There are many myths and misconceptions about acne, the causes of acne and acne treatments. Such misplaced beliefs not only increase feelings of anxiety and guilt in people who have acne, they could also worsen your acne.
1) Acne is caused by bad hygiene and dirty skin.
This is untrue. Blackheads are the colour they are through oxidation, not dirt.
2) Washing more will help.
In fact, if you use cleansers which are too harsh and apply too much scrubbing to active acne areas, you are likely to irriate your skin and worsen your acne.
However, you do need to make sure you cleanse your skin properly with a gentle cleanser, especially if you have been wearing make-up. Proper cleansing will remove sweat, excess sebum, bacteria and dirt which could trigger your acne.
3) There is no cure for acne.
There are several every effective treatments for acne. Seek treatment early to minimize acne scarring. Waiting and wishing will not make your acne go away.
4) A suntan will improve acne.
Over-exposing your skin to direct sunlight will dry out your skin, increase your wrinkles and age your skin. You may also increase your risk of skin cancer.
5) Covering your acne with makeup will help.
This only helps to make mild acne less conspicuous, and provided you use only non-comedogenic products. Too much makeup on skin with moderate or severe acne may worsen your acne when the pores are clogged.
6) Sex or masturbation causes acne.
Acne is only linked to sex hormones, in particular testosterone.
7) Fatty foods and chocolate cause acne.
Foods high in saturated fat may worsen acne. Reducing or eliminating your intake of sugar and dairy products may help acne. Dark chocolate will not cause acne. In fact, dark chocolate contains flavonoids which benefit your skin.
8) Only teenagers have acne.
Acne can affect anyone, from babies to adults, regardless of age, race or gender.
9) Acne is a contagious disease.
Acne is not passed from one person to another.
10) Squeezing acne spots and pimples will clear them up.
You may be tempted to dig your nails into your pimples to pop them. But this can lead to scarring, pocks and holes in the skin. It is best to treat the acne with topical or oral medication or treatments.
11) All acne medications are the same.
Acne medication is prescribed based on the patient’s type of acne. Usually, a combination of acne treatments and medications is needed to effectively treat acne.
12) Acne can disappear overnight.
Acne can take weeks, months, and in some cases years to treat. The longer you have had acne, the longer your treatment will take to eradicate the acne. Therefore, seek treatment early. Acne can be effectively treated with medication.
13) Acne is simply a cosmetic condition.
Acne has both psychological and physical implications.
14) Acne appears only on the face.
Acne can appear on other parts of the body too including the back, shoulders, chest, arms, neck and even the scalp. Therefore you should also make sure you clean the skin on the rest of your body well, not just the face.
When you have acne, seek professional help early to avoid falling victim to these acne myths which not only do not help your acne, they can in fact worsen your acne. You can only start treating your acne effectively when you have the right facts and knowledge.