Everyone has been affected
by acne at some point in their lives. Although there has been
much research carried out with regard to acne, widely held myths
about this skin problem persist. Some of these myths and misconceptions
are based on common knowledge passed down from one generation
to the next, some were revealed on TV programs, or from hearsay;
and from to time published in beauty magazines.
For those people who do not suffer acne, these little pieces
of advice may seem innocent; however, for those who suffer persistent
acne, these unfounded pieces of advice may set off a severe
skin problem. This list of popular acne myths has been created
to educate people about acne and avoid worsening it.
Myth 1 – Dirt can cause acne
Who hasn’t heard of this before? This is the very first
of the many acne myths. Although there are many causes of acne,
dirt is not one of them. Plugged hair follicles, as a result
of dead skin cells mixing with the body’s natural skin
oils, develop into blemishes. However, dirt has nothing to do
with it. Therefore, washing the face and body more than two
or three times a day will not help get rid of acne. In fact,
too much washing, or worse, abuse of harsh cleansing scrubs,
will probably only dry the skin out, encouraging peeling and
the need for the skin to produce more oil.
Myth 2 – Acne is only for teenagers
This is the second of many popular acne myths. This terrible
misconception could be dangerous because teenagers may be led
to wait for acne to fade as they age, instead of looking for
immediate therapy. They may risk developing acne scars. Also
because of this myth, adults with acne may feel too embarrassed
to seek treatment. Acne prevails in different age groups and
not to teenagers alone. It also varies from individual to individual
and from treatment to treatment.
Myth 3 – Acne is just a superficial condition
This is not true, as acne may affect a person’s self-esteem
and lead to depression. After the acne has been cured, it may
leave physical and psychological scarring.
Myth 4 – Direct on the spot treatment works
This is a longstanding acne myth because pimples take two to
three weeks to develop. Therefore, direct administration of
products will not tackle the root of the problem but will only
deal with the old symptom. The only direct method to deal with
acne is to prevent blemishes from developing. Treatment of the
entire area of the affected skin is needed to do this, and it
helps to reduce future development of new acne spots.
Myth 5 – Certain foods exacerbate acne
The truth of the matter is that no scientist has yet been able
to establish a direct correlation between food and acne. However,
a healthy diet is always recommended for many reasons. A healthy
diet keeps the body strong and will help the person feel better
during their acne-prone periods.
Myth 6 – Cosmetics will cause acne
Not if you use non-comedogenic make-up, which most make-ups
are made of today. Non-comedogenic make-up will not plug follicles
that initiate the development of acne. When choosing make-up,
choose non-comedogenic, oil-free (water-based), and non-hypoallergenic
(no added fragrance) products.
Myth 7 – Excessive sex can cause acne
Sexual behavior is not even slightly connected with acne, although
androgens are one of the most important causes of acne. These
and other hormones trigger several energies, which includes
Myth 8 – Sweating unclogs hair follicles
Sweat comes from another gland of the skin, and not the sebaceous
gland. Sweat glands and sebaceous glands are different, and
sweating does not help to clean up sebaceous gland ducts as
the two glands are unconnected. While considered a healthy habit,
exercise can actually produce flare-ups. The heat, perspiration,
and friction from strenuous exercise provoke oil formation and
may worsen acne on the forehead, chest, and back. Try to lessen
irritation by wearing cotton outfits while exercising and by
showering right after a workout. Swimming is probably the best
exercise recommended for acne victims as the perspiration, heat
and friction are not largely involved.
Myth 9 – Sun exposure treats acne
There has been some research on this popular belief, but nothing
conclusive has been found. Perhaps the reason behind this myth
is the fact that the skin darkens after sunbathing, masking
the blemishes. In fact, extended sun exposure triggers faster
exfoliation of dead skin cells, making follicles more susceptible
to getting plugged. Being in the sun for long periods of the
time may actually enhance the possibility of scarring. Using
sunlight to treat acne is potentially dangerous, as sunlight
can cause skin cancer. It is recommended, therefore, to use
oil-free sun protection products that contain a sun protection
factor (SPF) of at least 30 for both UVA and UVB rays.
Myth 10 – Stress can cause acne
This is actually half a myth because stress can cause acne
although only indirectly. The production of cortisol, which
causes the sebaceous glands to generate more oils, intensifies
when the body is under the effects of stress. Relaxation techniques
may help and is recommended in this case.
Myth 11 – Acne is curable
This is the last circulating acne myth. Acne is very treatable,
even though a definite cure has not been found yet. Prevention
is better than cure, and this also applies to acne. The best
approach in dealing with acne is to prevent lesions from occurring
through the various available therapies. If one does not use
preventive maintenance treatment, unhealed acne may return.