Acne myths: common misconceptions about acne

Acne myths: common misconceptions about acne


Acne, also called pimples or zits, is a skin condition that most commonly associated with young people ages twelve and twenty-four. However, acne of some form affects over eighty percent of all people regardless of race or ethnicity. Acne appears mainly on the face and neck, but can also flare-up on the chest, back, and upper arms. Acne also seems to affect men and women in different ways. The medical term for the most common type of acne is acne vulgaris (vulgaris means common).

As common as acne is and despite the many informative websites on the Internet, many myths about the causes of acne and how best to treat it are still being disseminated.

To treat and control acne effectively, you need to separate facts from myths. If you are affected by acne, the road to success in treating your acne is by getting the right information. If you have acne, the last thing you need is to aggravate your acne problem with wrong treatments that may make your acne worse.

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

Myth: Bad hygiene causes acne.

Truth: Acne is not caused by dirty skin.

Many people still believe that acne is cause by not being clean, or not washing often enough. The true is dirt, or even germs, on the surface of your skin do not cause acne. It is true that dirt and germs may aggravate your acne – if you already have acne, but washing too much or too harshly can make your acne skin worst. While dirt and oil may clog skin pores that may lead to pimples, the main cause of acne is inside your body and not on the outside of your skin.

You do not need to wash your face more than twice a day, unless you sweat a lot or sweat during exercise. Washing too much will strip your skin of its natural oils, drying out your skin. More over, over scrubbing your face or skin can irritate existing pimples and damage the skin. The correct way to keep your skin clean is to wash once in the morning and once before bedtime with warm water, pat dry with a clean cotton towel, and apply moisturizer – if needed.

Myth: Certain foods cause acne.

Truth: There is no direct link between acne to any particular foods.

Some people find that certain foods trigger the onset of their acne, but there is no proof that directly link specific foods to acne. The most likely reason to some people reacting to certain foods is food allergies.  Eating a food that you are allegoric to causes your body’s immune system to react, which may than trigger the onset of acne. So if you feel that your acne breaks out after eating a certain food, avoid eating that food in the future. It is likely that by following a well-balanced and healthy diet, you immune system will strong enough to be able to cope with the occasional chocolates cake or French fries without triggering outbreaks of acne. A balanced diet is important not only for your general well being but also for maintaining the health of your skin and to prevent acne outbreaks.

Myth: Stress causes acne.

Truth: There is no evidence that stress and acne.

Stress does not directly cause acne. However, stress cause changes in the body’s hormonal balance, which increase the production of sebum in the oil glands that can clog pores and cause acne breakouts. Stress also strains the body’s immune system and hinders your body’s ability to fight infections that occurs in some types of acne.

Myth:Acne is only cosmetic problem.Truth: Acne may indicate most serious physical ailments.

Acne is not a life threatening condition and most outbreaks, when properly treated, leave little trace on your skin. However, acne may be symptoms of more serious other medical conditions that is causing chemical or hormonal imbalances within your body.

If you have acne that don’t seem to respond to traditional acne treatments, is best to see your doctor or a dermatologist for help to rule out other cause of the acne and to minimize the physical and emotional scarring.

Myth: Sunlight will get rid of acne.

Truth: Sun exposure will not cure acne.

Sunlight may hide your existing acne, it will not prevent new outbreaks, and too much sun may even exasperate your acne condition. Too much sun will also dry out your skin and promote the increase of sebaceous glands to produce even more sebum that can worsen your acne. Over exposure to the sun will also increase your risk of skin cancer and encourage premature aging of your skin.

Myth: You can’t treat acne and just have to let it heal itself.

Truth:  Acne can be treated and controlled.

While many people have mild forms of acne that quickly clear up by themselves, acne should be treated at the first sign of outbreaks.  More acne will respond to over-the-counter acne treatment products. However, if you have one of the more severe types of acne that is not responding to traditional treatment, you will need to seek out the help of a good dermatologist. Your acne may need to be treated with antibiotics, or one of the other prescription medications used to treat sever acne.

Now that you know the truth to some of the common misconceptions about acne, you have a better understanding about how to deal with it. While there is no cure for acne, you are in a better position to keep it under control. Acne can be triggered by a variety of factors such as hormonal changes, emotional and stressful situations, but not everyone gets acne in response to these factors. The best way for you to keep acne under control is to take notice of what foods, emotional stress, or environmental factors trigger or aggravate your acne, and avoid these situations in the future to limit your chance of acne outbreaks.