Don't do it! Picking and squeezing pimples quickly and visibly worsens acne. It also carries the risk of permanent scarring.
Acne is caused by poor hygiene
Acne happens when the oil glands (pores) in the skin become blocked. Hormones make the oil glands produce more oil (sebum) and if the pores are blocked, a build-up occurs and you've got acne. It is not caused by poor hygiene, however keeping your skin clean will help acne.
Make-up and moisturisers won't make acne worse
Some particular face moisturisers or make-up can make acne worse. Oil-based foundation can make acne worse. A silicone-based foundation is better for people with acne prone skin.
Masturbation causes acne or makes acne worse
Masturbation will not cause acne or make acne worse.
Blackheads are just dirt. You can wash acne away.
Too much scrubbing of your skin can further irritate the skin and trigger inflammation. You can't wash acne away!
For women, acne outbreaks can't be blamed on getting a period
Not true. Many females notice their acne worsens just before their period. This is due to changes in female sex hormones which can contribute to the blockage and inflammation of the pore.
Eating chocolate causes acne
No - chocolate doesn't cause acne! Although diet is important, in many cases having a good diet alone will not 'cure' acne.
Steroids won't cause acne
Anabolic steroids illicitly used for bodybuilding often cause acne and are linked to more severe forms of acne seen in some men.
Pregnancy will help acne
Not true. Hormonal changes related to pregnancy or with stopping or starting oral contraceptives can cause acne in some people.
Too much, or too little sex makes acne worse
Acne has no connection between too much or too little sex.
Sweat from exercise causes acne
Not true - although it is always a good idea to cleanse your face after hot, sweaty activities.
Acne is not hereditary
Not true! Some traits do 'run in the family'. Studies show that the likelihood of acne is greater in people whose parents or siblings have also had acne.
Acne is caused by allergies
There is no evidence that acne has any connection with any allergic reactions you may have.
Sunlight, sun-baking or solariums will improve acne.
Sun exposure can cause inflamed spots to turn dark brown. It will also cause premature wrinkles, other signs of aged skin, skin growths and skin cancers. Although some people with acne notice a small improvement in their acne during summer, the benefits of extra exposure to sunlight are at best small, while the risks are large.
Some prescribed medications won't make acne worse.
Some prescribed medications may aggravate or trigger acne. A doctor or pharmacist can advice you on this.
Masturbation causes acne or makes acne worse
Using lots of over-the-counter acne medication containing active ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid will improve acne.
Eating too much junk food or drinking too much soft drink can cause acne
Although a balanced diet high in fruit and vegetables will provide the vitamins and minerals necessary for good health, having a balanced diet will not in itself clear your skin and 'cure' your acne.
Acne is contagious
Acne cannot be 'caught' or transmitted from one person to another. Touching a pimple and then touching someone else on the skin will not increase their chances of forming a pimple.
The All About Acne team, who are the authors of this site, are a group of leading dermatologists from across Australia who have an interest in the management of acne. These people donate their time and expertise in order to provide the most up-to-date, practical and relevant information on acne-related matters.
Our experienced team of experts guarantees the information on this website is independent, up-to-date and based on the highest quality research available. No gossip, gimmicks or fads for unproven remedies – just accurate, practical information to guide you.
Dr JoAnn See, dermatologist, NSW
All About Acne Co-Chair
Dr See is a dermatologist in private practice in Sydney. She has been a fellow at the Baylor University Hospital in Dallas, Texas and is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology. Dr See has lectured both in Australia and internationally and is a frequent spokesperson on acne. Her subspecialty interests are acne and skin care. She is on the International Global Alliance to Improve Outcomes in Acne; a body of clinicians and researchers dedicated to evaluating "best treatment" practice regarding acne, as well as advancing the understanding of acne science.
Associate Professor Kurt Gebauer, dermatologist, WA
All About Acne Co-Chair
Dr Gebauer is a consultant dermatologist predominantly in private practice in Fremantle, Western Australia. He also serves as Head of Department at Fremantle Hospital, a State government teaching hospital. Dr Gebauer has ongoing interests in clinical research and trial work, having conducted trials in acne as well as a wide variety of other dermatological diseases. His dermatological interests include general dermatology, industrial dermatology, workers' compensation and legal matters. Part of his dermatology training was in Derby, United Kingdom. A frequent lecturer and teacher of varied medical and paramedical groups in Western Australia, Dr Gebauer has also lectured internationally. He has also been a specialist advisory board member for general practitioner magazines.
Dr Mei Tam, dermatologist, Victoria
Dr Tam works as a consultant dermatologist at St. Vincent's Hospital and the Skin and Cancer Foundation of Victoria. She also runs a private practice. Dr Tam has collaborated in a prospective clinical trial looking at acne, isotretinoin with quality of life and depression, which was published in the Australasian Journal of Dermatology (Nov 2002). Dr Tam has also been involved with a range of other clinical research trials including eczema and psoriasis. She has a keen interest in contact dermatitis and clinical dermatology. Dr Tam has been a Fellow of the Australasian College of Dermatologists since 1998.
Dr Phillip Artemi, dermatologist, NSW
Dr Artemi is a dermatologist and Mohs surgeon in private practice in Sydney. He is also an International Fellow of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery as well as the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. His subspecialty interests are the treatment of acne and acne scarring, and the use of cosmeceuticals in skin care, acne, pigmentary problems and anti-ageing. Dr Artemi has lectured both in Australia and internationally and comments regularly in print, radio and television.
Dr Brian De'Ambrosis, dermatologist, Queensland
Dr De'Ambrosis is in private practice at South-East Dermatology in Brisbane. He is a senior visiting medical officer in procedural dermatology at Princess Alexandra Hospital and is also a visiting dermatologist at the Queensland Institute of Dermatology at Greenslopes Private Hospital. Dr De'Ambrosis has several publications related to skin cancer and general dermatological disorders. His special interests include melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers, Mohs surgery (a highly specialised form of skin cancer surgery) and laser surgery.
Associate Professor Greg Goodman, dermatologist, Victoria
Dr Greg Goodman is a consultant dermatologist working in private practice and at the Skin and Cancer Foundation of Victoria where he is Chief of Surgery. Dr Goodman has been a Fellow of the Australasian College of Dermatologists since 1984. He is a recognised expert and well-known national and international speaker in all facets of dermatology with a particular interest in acne, acne scarring, skin cancer, lasers and cosmetic dermatology. He has authored a number of peer reviewed journal articles, textbook chapters and continues his research in many facets of dermatology. A particular area of interest is the treatment of post-acne scarring, where Dr Goodman continues to be a leader in the field, having developed global acne scarring classification system to determine the best method of treating acne scarring. He has also conducted focus sessions on the topic for the American Academy of Dermatology
Dr Philip Tong, dermatologist, NSW
Dr Tong is a consultant dermatologist in private practice in a number of locations in Sydney. He is the Deputy Co-Chair of Research at The Skin Hospital as well as Clinical Lead for the Skin Imaging and Inflammation Group at The Centenary Institute. His dermatology training included Perth, Melbourne, Sydney as well as St John’s Institute of Dermatology in London, UK. Dr Tong has a clinical interest in the management of acne and acne scarring. He is also involved in training, running GP educational workshops and teaching for registrars.
Dr Catherine Reid, dermatologist, SA
Dr Reid is a dermatologist in private practice in Adelaide. She trained in dermatology in London, Oxford and Adelaide and was Head of Dermatology at the Royal Adelaide Hospital until 2012. Dr Reid has been the Principal Investigator in multiple clinical trials on psoriasis, skin cancer and acne.
Dr Vincent O'Brien, dermatologist, South Australia
Dr Vincent O’Brien is a medical graduate of the University of Adelaide. His first 10 years as a doctor were spent mostly with the Royal Flying Doctor Service in central and remote South Australia. During this time he developed an enduring love of the ‘bush’ and its people. In the early 1990’s Dr O’Brien undertook training in dermatology with the Australasian College of Dermatologists and became a “Fellow” in 1994. He has a wide interest in dermatology, especially in skin cancer and acne. He practices in North Adelaide, and also is a visiting dermatologist at the Royal Darwin Hospital.
A small number of companies fund the activities of All About Acne, which includes this website. Without their support, particularly the long-term support of Galderma, we would not exist.
Funding is provided through an educational grant which means it is our team that decides how best we can help people with acne. You’ll see from the content of our website that we focus on providing practical, helpful advice rather than promoting particular products.
Team members do not receive payment for their work with All About Acne.
Galderma is a global pharmaceutical company specialising in the research, development and marketing of innovative medical solutions in dermatology. With state-of-the-art R&D facilities, we focus exclusively on therapeutic and aesthetic innovations. Galderma Australia is committed to the future of dermatology, offering comprehensive solutions for acne patients - from over-the-counter to PBS funded prescription products and a complementary skincare range. Our sponsorship of All About Acne is just one way in which Galderma supports acne education.