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Five Common Acne Myths

Beautiful woman inspecting skin in mirror

Statistics show that upward of 60 million Americans of all ages have some degree of acne. And the enduring myths concerning the condition, which essentially is the occurrence of inflamed or infected sebaceous glands in the skin, are seemingly almost as numerous. Here are a few of the most common misconceptions:

  1. Acne is only a teenage thing: Not so. According to results of a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, half of women in the US between 20 and 29 years old, 35 percent of women between 30 and 39 years old, and 26 percent of women between 40 and 49 reported having acne.
  2. Sun exposure improves acne: This myth has roots in the fact that exposure to sunlight may, indeed, reduce inflammation in the body and, after all, acne is an inflammatory process. But while a bit of a tan can help initially clear a complexion, over time, it breaks down the skin’s collagen. This means your pores have less structural support and are, quite literally, open to blemish-causing elements.
  3. Sunscreen and moisturizer cause acne: This may be true of one of the two categories of sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens, which absorb UV light, can irritate the skin, causing inflammation and acne breakouts. On the other hand, physical sunscreens, which reflect UV rays, may help to block or even kill acne-causing bacteria, particularly if they contain zinc oxide. As for moisturizer, dehydrated skin produces more pore-clogging oil than hydrated skin.
  4. The toothpaste trick zaps zits: This trick became popular because most toothpastes contain some amount of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, menthol, essential oils and triclosan, an additive that helps prevent bacterial contamination. Unfortunately, all of these ingredients also can irritate the skin or even cause a rash. So, you’re potentially trading one skin malady for another.
  5. Acne breakouts mean it’s time to ramp up cleansing: Yes, this can be true, particularly if you regularly head to bed without first removing makeup and cleansing your skin. But over-washing also can be a factor. Washing your face too often or too aggressively can strip your skin of its natural oils. Resulting dehydration triggers your body to overcompensate, producing more pore-clogging oils than it normally would and exacerbating acne problems.

If you’re dealing with persistent acne, Metropolitan Dermatology can help. Visit our Clark, Kearney, Teaneck, Jersey City, West New York or Staten Island location today.

Got Acne? Eight Things Your Skin is Trying to Tell You

Young teenage girl  with pimple

Chronic acne can be frustrating and even a bit embarrassing. But it can also be a tell-tale sign of health mistakes you’re making. If you’re experiencing an outbreak, here are eight things your skin may be trying to tell you.

  1. You’re dehydrated: When you don’t get enough water, your body reacts by kicking oil production into overdrive in an attempt to compensate for dry skin and subsequently causing an outbreak.
  2. Your diet needs a makeover: Prime nutritional suspects behind acne outbreaks include high glycemic index foods like processed and refine carbohydrates and, for some, dairy products. If you’re experiencing an outbreak, your skin may be hungry for more fresh fruits and vegetables.
  3. You need to lay off the caffeine: Too much caffeine can wonk up your hormones and inflame your skin.
  4. You need to curb the cocktails: Alcohol can dry out your skin, kicking up the oil production and causing an acne outbreak.
  5. It’s time to get physical: Working up a good sweat is the equivalent of getting a mini-facial. That’s because perspiration causes pores to dilate, allowing sweat to sweep out trapped dirt and oil that otherwise can cause acne. Just be sure to wash your face well after a workout.
  6. You may have an allergy: Symptoms of an allergy can range from mild symptoms to major anaphylactic shock. Acne is one of those symptoms, particularly in those with an intolerance to dairy products.
  7. Your air is polluted: Studies show that exposing your skin to airborne pollutants, like cigarette smoke, car exhaust and dust can cause or worsen acne. Wear a protective moisturizer daily and consider buying an at-home air filter, particularly if you live in an urban area.
  8. You need a break: When you’re stressed out, your body releases stress hormones including cortisol, which can boost your skin’s oil production and lead to an outbreak. And if you’re slacking on the beauty sleep, it can limit blood flow to the skin and collagen production.

If you experience chronic acne despite your best efforts at skin care, Metropolitan Dermatology can help. We’ve got four current locations in Clark, Kearny, Teaneck and Staten Island, with additional locations opening in Kearny, Jersey City and South Plainfield this year.

Got Acne? Five Ways You’re Making it Worse

Popping pimple

Some 95 percent of Americans experience acne at some point in their lives, both during the teenage years and into adulthood. Unfortunately, the DIY acne treatment route that many take can actually make the condition worse.

Here are five ways you may be making your acne worse:

  1. Scrubbing: Your facial skin is delicate. While a gentle scrub can help keep it beautifully polished, overdoing it can do some serious damage – especially if you’re experiencing an acne breakout. Scrubbing your skin can aggravate the skin and prompt additional breakouts.
  2. Excessive product: Along the same lines, using too much of any topical product – even a great one – an cause excessive dryness, redness, irritation and peeling.
  3. Popping: It seems it never fails – the day you’ve got a date, a job interview or a photo shoot, your complexion gets an unsightly surprise. While you may be tempted to nip it in the bud with a pick or a squeeze, know that pimple popping ultimately worsens the issue. It pushes infectious material deeper into the skin and the tiny opening that results invites more bactieria into affected areas. Plus, you risk permanent scarring.
  4. Skipping moisturizer: Those who regularly deal with acne often make the mistake of skipping moisturizer, believeing that it will interfere with acne treatment or make their skin oily. But moisture and oil are different things and serve different fuctions. Slacking on moisture can dry out your skin, prompting it to pump up its oil production, leading to more outbreaks.
  5. Tanning: Whether beneath the genuine sun or in a tanning bed, getting that bronze glow can temporarily camouflage acne breakouts and scars. While that may seem a positive thing, tanning actually also leads to more acne by boosting oil production in the skin. It’s a vicious, unsightly circle.

Your best bet for a clear, healthy complexion is to consult a skincare specialist who can provide a custom treatment just for you. If you live in the New Jersey area, schedule a consultation at Metropolitan Dermatology’s Clark, Keary, Teaneck or Staten Island locations.

Acne Facts & Stats – It’s Not Just a Teen Thing

Beautiful skin

Acne can be embarrassing for anyone and unfortunately, it’s also the most common skin condition in the US by far. It happens when hair follicles plug with oil and dead skin cells and, if gone untreated, can leave skin marked with dark spots and permanent scars.

If you’re experiencing a distressing bout of acne, you’re not alone. Consider these facts and statistics:

  • A full 95 percent of Americans will have acne at some point in their lives, particularly during the teenage years. However…
  • Acne isn’t just a teenage thing. Nearly 50 million Americans, including adults, experience it on any given day. That’s at least triple the number of those who suffer from rosacea (16 million), eczema (8 million) and psoriasis (7.5 million).
  • Both women and men experience acne, but at different times and for different reasons. For teen girls, acne peaks at 14 to 17 years of age, while boys are hardest hit between 16 and 19. During the adult years, 25 percent of men experience acne at some point, compared to half of all women, particularly during pregnancy. Fourteen percent of women are still battling acne into their 40s. Acne in men tends to wrap up earlier, but shaving facial hair can bring on folliculitis, a condition that visually mimics acne.
  • Though 40 percent of acne sufferers do nothing about their conditions, the fact is that acne is treatable and highly manageable.

If you or your teenager are among the tens of millions experiencing acne, call one of Metropolitan Dermatology’s four New Jersey-area locations and schedule a consultation with a skincare specialist about treatment options.


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Metropolitan Dermatology Locations

1075 Central Avenue
Clark, NJ 07066
732-574-1399
Clark NJ location servicing Edison, Westfield, Elizabeth, Linden, Scotch Plains, & Cranford, NJ

757 Teaneck Road
Teaneck, NJ 07666
201-837-3939
Teaneck NJ location servicing Hackensack, Fort Lee, Fair Lawn, Englewood, and Bergenfield, NJ.

703 Kearny Ave.
Kearny, NJ 07032
201-998-4699
Kearny NJ location servicing Jersey City, Nutley, North Arlington, Lyndhurst, and Hoboken, NJ. *Formerly 752 Kearny

1324 Victory Boulevard
Staten Island, NY 10301
718-448-4488
Staten Island NY location servicing all of New York City!

3202 John F Kennedy Blvd.
Jersey City, NJ 07306
201-792-4500
Jersey City, NJ location servicing Jersey City and Newark.

114 Lakeview Avenue
South Plainfield, NJ 07080
South Plainfield, NJ location servicing Plainfield and Edison.

449 60th St.
West New York, NJ 07093
201-861-4226
West New York NJ location servicing Union City, Bayonne, North Bergen, Hoboken, & Secaucus NJ

469 Morris. Ave
Elizabeth, NJ 07208
Elizabeth, NJ location servicing Elizabeth, Linden, Roselle Park and Hillside.