There are many allegations as to the causes of acne. As technology and science help us find the actual roots, we are able to dispel many of the misconceptions surrounding acne. However, the myths still persist. Here are some more commonly known myths:
Myth: Acne is caused by poor hygiene.
Lack of cleanliness is not the reason for acne. There are skin infections associated with acne due to a mixture of sebum and dead cells that lie beneath the surface of the skin. Although gentle cleansing of the skin with soap and water once or twice a day will assist in keeping skin as healthy as possible, it is ineffective in clearing away the skin infections. Take care not to scrub too hard as this could further aggravate acne.
Myth: Grease and Chocolate will cause acne.
People have believed for years that eating chocolate will cause pimples. There is no scientific proof for this – studies have shown no direct relationship between consuming chocolate and acne breakouts. This is also true of other foods like potato chips and French fries. Eating too much of these types of food is, however, unhealthy, and advisable to eat in moderation.
Note: Although chocolate and greasy foods do not cause acne, some foods DO seem to exacerbate it. Milk and foods high in iodine (as found in seafood) seem to aggravate acne.
Myth: Sex is directly linked to acne.
Everything from masturbation to celibacy has been blamed for acne. This again is false. Although there is a link between hormone levels and sexual activity, it is unclear what the link between sex and levels of sebum (causing acne.) Emotions and stress also affect hormone levels.
Myth: You will grow out of acne.
Acne may last a matter of weeks or as long as several years. There is no need to try to live with it when there are so many over-the-counter treatments available to anyone suffering from the discomfort and embarrassment of acne. Dermatologists are also easily accessible for more severe cases.
Myth: Acne only affects teenagers.
Although 85% of adolescents experience acne, adults are susceptible to suffering from acne when they are in their 30s or 40s.
Myth: Acne is only a superficial condition.
Due to the severity of physical disfigurement acne leads to psychological stress. There are strong links to depression, social withdrawal and low self-esteem.
Myth: Popping/Squeezing pimples will get rid of them faster.
This may actually aggravate acne by spreading the bacteria which is causing it! Squeezing pimples can also lead to permanent scarring.
Myth: Sun exposure will help clear up acne.
Although short-term effects of the sun seem to dry out excess oils, the skin quickly adapts to sun exposure. This eliminates long-term benefits from sun exposure and increases the potential for skin damage and cancer.
Myth: Wearing makeup causes acne.
Healthy skin is the best way to avoid acne. Because some makeups can clog pores, acne can in fact result. Cosmetics have flooded the market with labels indicating they are noncomedogenic or nonacnegenic, which means they will not cause acne. These brands of makeup are safe to use. Some actually include ingredients that help treat acne.
Myth: Using more acne medication will treat the condition quicker.
Excess use of ointments may actually irritate the skin, worsening the condition. Oral medications can be dangerous to your overall health. Always use medications as directed.