Pimples, the enemy of beauty, both cause permanent blemishes to your skin and bring other risks for your skin if they aren’t treated correctly.
Making common mistakes such as using medications your friends recommend, squeezing pimples and trying to cover them with makeup makes the treatment of problematic skin even more difficult.
Acne is frequently seen between the ages 12 and 30. Almost everyone suffers from acne at least once in their life. There are many who deal with acne on a regular basis. However, in severe cases, if no precaution is taken and no treatment is applied, acne can cause permanent skin and psychological damage. The following issues are common misconceptions that make treatment harder for doctors:
‘Acne and pimples aren’t the same thing’: Sometimes patients claim they don’t have acne, just pimples. This isn’t correct, but it is true that there are different types of acne. For example, it may appear as “vulgaris,” simple acne, or “nodulocystic,” a severe type of acne.
‘If I squeeze the pimple, it will disappear faster’: Squeezing pimples doesn’t contribute to the treatment. On the contrary, it causes permanent blemishes to the skin and the spread of acne.
‘After puberty, pimples will decrease’: Do not delay treatment thinking that your pimples are connected to puberty. Not treating acne and expecting it to heal on its own is among the biggest mistakes. While you wait for it to heal your acne may be replaced by permanent blemishes.
‘Yogurt, toothpaste and soap are natural remedies that dry out pimples’: Applying yogurt, toothpaste, soap foam to pimples and isn’t an effective treatment method. This may cause permanent redness on the skin, blemishes, or even infection. Additionally, they can cause allergic reactions.
‘Using concealer hides your pimples as a short term solution, and will also dry them out’: Using foundation or powder will cover the pimples. However, using makeup may cause the emergence of new pimples. Makeup use contributes to the emergence of comedogenic acne, black or white heads, especially.
‘Topical acne treatments cause different damage to the skin’: Acne is a disorder that can be perfectly treated through a variety of methods. Having itchy, red or flakey skin over the course of treatment doesn’t mean that it is an incorrect treatment. Any reaction from sensitive skin can be treated by doctors. A few uncomfortable side effects doesn’t mean the doctor is mistaken or the medication is not suitable.
‘Oral medications meant for severe acne are harmful to the patient’: Treatment of nodulocystic acne or even more severe types of acne may require additional oral medications such as birth control pills or retinoic acid. This doesn’t mean the life of the patient is at risk. Such treatments should only be used when they will be beneficial for the patient. The treatments will not be administered if they might cause harm. It is important to remember that each medication has its own side effects.
‘I will not be able to get pregnant after retinoic acid treatment’: Treatment with retinoic acid, a derivative of vitamin A, is highly effective for some patients suffering from acne. The concern that this treatment prevents pregnancy is completely false. For those trying to get pregnant, there is no risk two months after the treatment. It is not possible to get pregnant during the course of the treatment, as your doctor will advise.
‘One prescription is enough for treatment’: Some patients with pimples, especially impatient youngsters, expect their problem to be solved in a couple of days. Unfortunately, acne is a chronic disorder that requires a long-lasting treatment, follow-ups and the patient to use different medications during different periods of the disorder.
‘An acne medication that worked for my friend’s acne will for my skin as well”: Ineffective treatments received at beauty centers, advice taken from neighbors, and medications not prescribed by a dermatologist may occasionally work, but most of the time they cause an increase in blemishes. Dermatologists are well-versed in the types of acne and their treatments. The kinds of acne, its causes and treatments can easily be diagnosed upon a visit to the dermatologist’s office.
*Dr. Zerrin Baysal is a dermatologist working with the Memorial Etiler Medical Center dermatology department.