(HealthDayNews) -- Acne is the term for plugged pores (blackheads and whiteheads), pimples and even deeper lumps (cysts or nodules) that occur on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and upper arms.
While it affects most teenagers, acne also can strike adults into their 40s.
And although the condition is common, it is often misunderstood. Here are some frequent misconceptions, according to the American Academy of Dermatology:
- Misconception: Poor hygiene causes acne.
Acne is not a result of dirt or surface skin oils. Vigorous washing and scrubbing will irritate the skin and only make acne worse. The best approach is to gently wash your face twice a day with a mild soap, pat dry and use an appropriate acne treatment.
- Misconception: Diet causes acne.
Studies haven't found a connection between diet and acne, so eating chocolate, french fries or pizza won't cause acne or make it worse.
- Misconception: Stress causes acne.
The ordinary stress of day-to-day living is not an important factor in acne, but severe stress that needs medical attention sometimes is treated with drugs that can cause acne. If you think you may have acne related to a drug prescribed for stress or depression, consult your physician.
- Misconception: You have to let acne run its course.
Acne can be cleared up. If the acne products you've tried haven't worked, see a dermatologist.