14 Acne myths vs. facts

Are you fighting a losing battle with acne?

Acne: Myths vs. Facts

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Acne has been women’s worst foe since time immemorial but little did we know that whatever we’ve been told about it so far is not entirely true. If you’re too juggling between the acne myths and facts regarding acne, here we have, the best possible guide to it to let you be aware of everything you need to know about it.


Myth – Acne is something only teenagers relate to.


Fact – It’s true that at the onset of puberty, acne is most likely to occur due to the hormonal changes going on in the body at that time. It usually begins to disappear on its own as time passes by. But in some cases, it may get persistent and fail to clear. Also, it may appear after the age of 25 as well.


Myth – Acne and Spots are two different terms.


Fact – There’s no considerable difference between these two. Acne is in fact a medical term used to describe all kinds of bad spots, and is curable.


Myth – Acne is caused because you don’t wash your skin often.


Fact – Studies suggest that washing your skin twice a day is perfectly enough. Acne is primarily caused due to the dysfunction of oil producing glands of our body known as sebaceous gland as a result of irregular hormone levels. When the amount of oil produced by these glands increases abruptly, the skin becomes sticky trapping bacteria which multiply rapidly and result in spots.


Myth – Chocolates, colas and caffeine cause acne.

Acne: Myths vs. Facts

Fact – Although, this concept is strongly believed, dermatologists suggest that there’s no concrete proof behind it. However, Iodine does cause acne and is found in sea-foods like lobster, shellfish etc. and certain green vegetables also. But you obviously don’t break out as soon as you eat them. It’s the accumulation of Iodine over a certain period of time that results in acne. Consumption of dairy and foods with a high GI-index can aggravate acne in the similar ways. At the same time, it’s also a fact that in nearly 80% of such cases, there are the genetic factors that contribute to it much more than the dietary ones.


Myth – Men don’t suffer from acne.


Fact – Men too suffer from this problem but it’s true that women are more prone to it. Women are more sensitive to hormonal changes, especially during their menstrual cycle. Many women get stressed out due to the infamous mood swings happening during those days. In order to cope up with the stress, our adrenal gland secretes cortisone, thereby leaking out a little bit of male hormone, testosterone also. Since we only have a small amount of this hormone present in our blood, any additional release causes an abnormal rise in its level leading to an increase in the oil production causing acne.


Myth – Acne is contagious.


Fact – Although, a variety of skin problems are contagious, acne is not one of them. It is surely a result of bacterial infection but still it can’t be transmitted from person to another like most microbial infections, say, cold or flu. However, sharing someone’s towels, soaps or pillows should be avoided for hygienic purposes.


Myth – You cannot apply make-up during a breakout.

Acne: Myths vs. Facts

Fact – There’s no need to avoid make-up just because you’ve acne but keeping in mind, the correct products that suit your skin type is also very important. You could also use a good quality concealer to hide those spots. Thick liquid foundations should be avoided as they clog pores. Instead, light, loose and oil-free foundations could confidently be used for blemish prone skin.


Myth – Acne is a sign of serious health issues.


Fact – Acne in women can signal hormone problems. But it usually isn’t associated with serious health disorders unless it is not accompanied by some other visible signs. However, acne is not simply a cosmetic problem. If left untreated, or improperly managed, it could leave permanent scars as well.


Myth – Oily skin need not be moisturized.

Acne: Myths vs. Facts

Fact – Even oily skin needs proper moisturizing as excess oils do not compensate skin hydration. Products containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide are effective for skin cleansing which should be followed by moisturizing with a light gel-based moisturizer that is “non-comedogenic” in order to prevent acne.


Myth – You can get rid of spots by simply squeezing them.


Fact – It’s in fact, the worst thing you could do to your skin. Squeezing spots results in causing more damage to your already damaged skin. It doesn’t heal acne but may leave your skin with permanent pigmentation marks or scars. You should consult a dermatologist and get a spot-directed treatment instead of picking, scratching or squeezing the spots.


Myth – Getting injections to prevent acne is dangerous.


Fact – Steroid injections can be useful in getting rid of large, stubborn, solitary acne cysts, especially when a rapid response is needed. Steroid has no potential side-effects if taken under the supervision of a qualified dermatologist. It usually acts within 24-72 hours so, if a huge pimple breaks out on a special day, you can treat it by getting a single injection from your dermatologist.


Myth – Wearing sunscreen will aggravate your acne.

Acne: Myths vs. Facts

Fact – This logic applies to only some chemical sunscreens like Helioplex which dissipate UV light using a chemical reaction and thus, may cause heat bumps. You just need to pick the right physical sunscreen containing adequate amount of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide if you’ve an acne prone skin.


Myth – Blackheads are dirt trapped in the skin pores.


Fact – Dermatologists confirm that blackheads have nothing to do with dirt. Our skin pores collect a backlog of oil, skin debris, and protein which appear as blackheads but dirt isn’t a part of the equation. Retinoid, a derivative of vitamin A, increases the turnover of skin cells, keeping the pores clear and reducing blackheads.


Myth – Face acne and body acne are no different.


Fact – The nature of the acne-fighting follicles present on the face and that on the body are different from each other. So, the treatment must be different too. Topical products aren’t absorbed as well by your body as they are by your face. It’s important to consult your dermatologist to make sure that you’re heading in the right direction as far as the treatment is concerned.


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Sumedha is a young, ambitious girl of 19 who has a flair for writing and believes that one needs to be a genius to contribute to literature. She is inspired by Shakespeare and loves to pen down what girls of her age adore reading.