Top 5 Acne Myths debunked

shutterstock_116292913-1024x689As the new school year starts, it’s time to debunk acne myths that are holding Canadian teens back from getting acne under control, and feeling confident and happy, according to not for profit organization, the Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada. (PDF version)

“Some myths, passed on by parents and friends, can not only make teens miserable but can have some serious and long term consequences,” says Vancouver dermatologist and society president, Dr. Jason Rivers.

To coincide with the new school year, September 14 – 20, 2015, has been declared the first-ever Acne Awareness Week in Canada and is featured in Health Canada’s Calendar of Health Promotion Days.

“As teens settle in for a new year, it’s important to get the facts out. Acne is a common, treatable skin condition affecting 5 million Canadians. Often dismissed as ‘just pimples’, acne can result in emotional distress and permanent scars,” he adds.

Myth # 1
“You just have to get through acne”.
“If acne is impacting your daily life, making you feel stressed, embarrassed, angry, sad, ashamed, if you don’t want to go out with friends or go to school, or if you notice scarring, there is no need to suffer through it. Get medical help. Almost every case of acne can be successfully treated.”

Myth # 2
“Acne will go away on its own.”
“While most teens get mild acne, 3 in 10 young people get moderate acne where medical help is needed to get the condition under control and limit the risk of scarring. This type of acne will not usually go away on its own. It may worsen as teens get older.”

Myth # 3
“Acne is just pimples.”
“There is a lot of research showing the emotional effects of acne. It can cause everything from bad moods and social anxiety to depression. The rate of depression among acne patients is 10%. Another effect is acne scars which are permanent, lifelong markers of bad acne. 1 in 2 teens get acne scarring on the face.”

Myth # 4
“Nothing can be done about acne.”
“There are safe and effective acne treatments available in Canada that can get acne under control. While acne lasts an average of 2 years, medical treatments, in comparison, take a couple of months to show a 50 to 70% reduction in acne spots.”

Myth # 5
“Acne is caused by stress, sweat or diet”.
“Acne is caused by rising hormone levels that make the skin’s oil-producing glands enlarge and secrete more oil. The excess oil combines with dead skin cells to plug the skin pores. There is also a genetic component to acne. Those with a family history of severe acne are more likely to get it at an earlier age and develop severe acne. Some prescription medications such as certain contraceptives, prednisone, lithium and anabolic steroids can trigger acne.
“Stress, sweat and certain diets may make acne worse, but are not the root cause. Changes you make in these areas will likely help, but for more serious acne, you have to deal with the underlying causes.”

Main Take Away
“You can beat acne. Visit and take action now,” Dr. Rivers says.

About the Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada:
The society, a national, not for profit organization led by Canadian dermatologists, offers hope and help to sufferers by providing independent, reputable and current information on acne and raising awareness. For more, visit To join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, use #youcanbeatacne hashtag.

Acne images and Acne Fact sheet available at

Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada spokespeople available for interviews:

Dr. Jason Rivers, Vancouver
Dr. Jerry Tan, Windsor
Dr. Danielle Marcoux, Montreal
Dr. Shannon Humphrey, Vancouver
Dr. Benjamin Barankin, Toronto
Dr. Catherine Zip, Calgary
Dr. Marcie Ulmer, Vancouver

For more information or to organize interviews:

Sue Sherlock, Communications, Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada, 604-985-9184,
Ahmed Saleh, Ireland and Hall, 647-865-0991,