Acne: Myths and Facts

Chocolate doesn’t cause acne, but milk does…

Myth: Acne caused by not lack of hygiene.
Fact: There is a number of things that can case acne, but lack of hygiene is not one of them. In fact, excessive washing of acne prone areas can aggravate the condition.

Myth: Chocolate, cheese and oily foods cause acne.

Fact: There is no scientific proof that these foods can cause acne. However, there is some evidence that consumption of milk can cause acne. It appears that culprit is not milk itself, but hormones commonly found in it. Also there is evidence that unhealthy diet high in simple carbohydrates (like sugar) can contribute to acne and not good for your skin in general. So, as long as you eat healthy, there is no harm in indulging in occasional chocolate bar or cheeseburger.

Myth: You need to get regular facials control acne.
Fact: There reason your skin looks better after facial (after redness and swelling go down, anyway) is absence of visible black heads. It makes your pores seem smaller and overall skin tone brighter, however this effect is temporary. Studies show that facials do not affect frequency of breakouts. I’m not advocating against facials – they do improve skin appearance and make us feel pampered; just don’t expect them to cure your acne.

Myth: Sun exposure treats acne.
Fact: Sun exposure makes your skin dryer, you may see some improvement. However, sun also promotes shedding of dead cells and production of oils. As a result, it promotes acne on a long run (and I don’t even want to get into how much it contributes to skin aging).

Myth: Acne can only affect your face.
Fact: Often acne also affects back, chest, upper arms and scalp.

Myth: If you leave acne alone you’ll outgrow it soon.
Fact: Acne is more than occasional pimple now and then. It can cause scarring, both physical and emotional; it’s important to start treating acne early to prevent that.

Myth: Acne plaques only teenagers.
Fact: Many adults in their 20’s and 30’s suffer from acne (yours truly included) and women are more prone to acne than men (not fair, I know).

Myth: Acne is your own fault.
Fact: It’s not. There are a lot of factors involved, both genetic and environmental. The good news is that there are things you can do to control you acne.

Acne cannot be cured, but it can be treated. With a number of treatment options we have today there is really no reason why you should keep suffering. I’ll go over the treatment options ranging for topical medications to oral antibiotics in future posts.

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