Everyone seems to have their own home-grown theories on what will cure acne and there have been plenty of, so called, miracle commercial cures too, but how many of these pearls of wisdom that you might have heard of actually hold any water?
Well, what is not in doubt is that acne can be a big problem for some people. Whilst, for most people, acne is just an irritation, for others, acne can be so severe that it can knock their self-confidence and even bring on depression. So, for anyone who suffers from acne of any degree, here we take a look at what the dermatologists say about some of those acne myths that you need to stop believing.
1. Only teens get acne
Although teenagers are more prone to acne, because their hormones go into over-drive, acne is not an issue that is confined to only teenagers. Acne can affect people of all ages and some people who had no acne during their teenage years, go on to develop acne at a later age.
2. Acne is caused by chocolate and greasy food
It is a common myth that certain types of food can be the cause of acne. There is no question that eating a healthy diet can improve the health of your skin, but there is actually no direct evidence that any one type of food can cause breakouts.
3. Drinking lots of water will cure acne
Again, as with the food question, staying hydrated will keep your skin hydrated and healthy, but there is no evidence that you can cure acne by drinking lots of water. You should be drinking at least eight glasses of water every day for the good of your general health, but it won’t instantly clear up your acne.
4. You can scrub acne away
No amount of vigorous scrubbing will remove the blemishes caused by acne, but exfoliating your skin will clear away the dead skin cells that can block up your pores. In fact, scrubbing away at your face too hard, and too often, will irritate the skin even further and could cause it to become even more infected and irritated.
5. Not wearing sunscreen will clear up acne
This is really bad advice, and you need to use sunscreen to prevent damage to your skin from the UV rays in sunlight. Exposure to the sun does kill the bacteria, which is why acne will clear up sometimes after a day at the beach, but you still need to use sunscreen. When you are shopping for sunscreen, look for brands that are labelled noncomedogenic. This means that it won’t clog your pores, nor will it make acne worse.
6. Makeup causes acne
Leaving makeup on overnight will definitely aggravate acne, because the skin will have no time to breathe, but the general wearing of makeup will not cause breakouts, so long as you choose makeup products that are labelled as being nonacnegenic or noncomedogenic. A lot of concealers now also contain acne fighting ingredients; so look for the ones that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
7. Acne means poor personal hygiene
Some people will look at a spotty youth and jump to the conclusion that the spots are caused by poor personal hygiene, but this is a myth too. There is no direct correlation between personal hygiene and acne. If you have acne, you have acne. Regular cleansing can reduce the effects of acne, but the presence of acne doesn’t mean that the person could do with a good wash!
8. Too much physical intimacy causes acne
This is an old wives tale that dates back to the 17thcentury and it was probably used as a way to try and discourage youngsters from indulging in lovemaking before they were married. There is, of course, no evidence that physical intimacy causes acne. Let’s face it, if that were true, we’d all be walking around covered in acne spots!
9. Acne can be cured
Products that proclaim proudly that they are a cure for acne are lying. Acne can’t be cured, it can only be controlled. Most people do grow out of acne in later years, but a lot of people continue to suffer from it into adulthood. With the right products, healthy diet and skin care regime, though, it can be kept under control.
10. Pile on the acne treatments thick, and acne will disappear faster
You should only ever use acne treatments exactly as prescribed by the manufacturer. Using them more frequently or using more of the product than is prescribed will not clear up acne any faster. It could damage your skin and dry it up. Be careful!
Do you know other myths about acne?