Acne Myths

Acne Myths and Facts

To treat and control acne effectively, you need to separate facts from myths. Despite the many legitimate sources of information about acne available today, many myths about the causes of acne and how to treat it are still being circulated. If you have acne, the first step to successfully treating your acne is by educating yourself with the right information. The last thing you want to do is to compound your acne problem with misguided treatments that can aggravate your acne or possibly cause further damage to your skin.
Acne Myths

Here is a quick overview of some of the common acne myths:

Myth: Acne is caused by poor hygiene.

Truth: Acne is not caused by dirt or oil on the surface of your skin.

Dirt by itself does not cause acne. However, it may aggravate the symptoms and severity of acne outbreaks. While dirt and oil may clog skin pores that may lead to pimples, the main culprit for the development of acne is inside the body and not on the surface of your skin. Washing your skin too much and too hard can irritate your skin and make any acne you may already have even worse.

Wash your face twice a day once in the morning and once before bedtime – with a mild soap or no soap at all, rinse and pat dry with a clean towel. Washing too often will strip the face of the natural oils that keep the skin moist. Scrubbing too hard can lead to inflammations of existing pimples.

Myth: Certain foods cause acne.

Truth: Despite extensive scientific research, there is no evidence to directly link acne with any particular foods such as chocolates and French fries.

Certain foods can trigger the onset of acne in some people. However, the reason is more often due to food allergies. The most common food allergy that causes acne is dairy-based products. Eating a food that you are allergic to causes your body’s immune system to react, which can cause inflammation and other conditions, which may trigger acne outbreaks.

If you feel that your acne breaks out after eating a certain food, avoid eating that food. It’s possible that by eating a healthy and well-balanced diet, you will be able to enjoy the occasional chocolates and French fries without worrying about acne showing up on your face. A balanced diet is important not only for your general well-being but also for maintaining the health of your skin and preventing acne outbreaks.

Myth: Stress causes acne.

Truth: There is no direct link between stress and acne.

However, stress causes the body to respond by the increase of production hormones and oils in the sebaceous glands of the skin which can clog pores and cause acne breakouts. The increase in stress hormones also affects your body’s equilibrium which may lead to changes such as weight gain, increased blood pressure, and aggravation of acne.

Myth: Acne is only a skin deep.

Truth: Acne may indicate the most serious physical ailments.

Acne is not a life-threatening problem and most outbreaks – properly treated – leave little trace on your skin. However, acne may be the result of chemical or hormonal imbalances within your body caused by more serious illnesses.

Also, if you have more severe forms of acne and don’t treat it, the acne can result in permanent physical scars and in turn, affect your self-esteem, confidence, and your interaction with others.

If you have acne that doesn’t respond to regular acne treatments, consult with your primary health provider or a dermatologist for help to rule out other causes of the acne and to avoid the physical scars and emotional scars of serious forms of acne.

Myth: You just have to let acne run its course.

Truth: Acne can be treated and controlled.

While many types of acne clear up by themselves, acne should be treated at the first sign of outbreaks.

If you have one of several severe forms of acne that is not responding to over-the-counter acne treatment products, you will need the help of a dermatologist. It may be necessary to treat your acne with antibiotics or one of the other prescription medications used to treat it and to prevent permanent scarring.

Myth: Sunlight will get rid of acne.

Truth: Sun exposure will not cure acne.

While exposure to the sun may dry out and hide your existing acne, it will not prevent new ones from forming, and too much sun may even exasperate your acne condition. Too much sun will dry out your skin and will actually prompt the sebaceous glands to produce even more sebum that may worsen your acne. Overexposure to the sun will also increase your risk of skin cancer, and wrinkles and promote premature aging of your skin.

Acne can be triggered by a variety of factors such as hormonal changes, and emotional and stressful situations. Not everyone affected by these factors will get acne. There is no cure for acne but you can control it. Your best acne control is to take notice of what conditions, foods and emotions trigger or aggravate your acne, and in the future avoid these situations to limit your acne outbreaks.

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