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Myths, and Facts for Acne

by Marcie Cook Licensed Aesthetician 
MYTHS
  • The number one myth about acne is that it comes from dirt. Acne is caused by a number of things, but dirt isn't one of them. Blemishes form when dead skin cells mix with your body's natural oil, forming a plug in the pores. Over washing your face or body (more than 2-3 times per day) will not make your acne better. In fact too much washing or the over-use of harsh scrubs, alcohol-based toners and pore strips can actually strip the skin of the oil it needs to stay soft and pliable; leaving it dry and irritated. It can cause the skin to start producing more oil. For best results, use a gentle medicated scrub and a mild alcohol-free toner (witch hazel is a gentle alternative).

  • Another myth is that acne is for teenagers and you'll grow out of it. This myth is one of the most damaging, because it can cause teenagers to "wait it out" instead of seeking treatment for their acne. Aside from the damage this myth can cause teenagers it can be even more damaging to adults, it can leave them feeling alienated from other adults. They could be asking themselves "why do I still have acne? Or what am I doing wrong". The truth is acne can strike any age and remember it's not your fault.

  • Over-the counter products have been making the claim that a dab of medicine directly on the pimple will clear it up, unfortunately there is no truth to this claim. Since blemishes take 2-3 weeks to develop, you're treating an old symptom of the problem rather than the problem itself.

  • Certain foods cause acne is a myth I am sure everyone has heard of at one time or another. Scientists have been unable to find any substantial connection between acne and diet. Although it is true that a healthy diet will help your body have the strength to help you fight against acne.

  • Acne is caused by too much sex, have you ever heard that one before? Although hormones are a factor in determining how much acne you will have, your sexual habits have absolutely no effect on acne.

  • While stress does not cause acne, it can trigger flare-ups. When the body encounters stress, it steps up production of cortisol, which causes the sebaceous glands to produce more oil.

  • And the final myth about acne is that it is curable, as much as people would like to believe that this rumor is true unfortunately it is not true yet. The best way to treat acne is to prevent blemishes from happening. So if breakouts seem to be sticking around, see a dermatologist right away. Even if your blemishes go away, your acne in not cured. It's important to be diligent about your treatment plan, even if your skin is clear.
FACTS
  • Most make-ups today will not cause acne, because they are for the most part non-comedogenic, non clog poring. So when looking for make-up look for make-ups that are non-comedogenic, oil-free and hypoallergenic.

  • Vigorous exercise stimulates oil production, which combines with heat, perspiration and friction to aggravate acne on the forehead, chest, and back.

  • Sun exposure helps acne although it is true that minimal amounts of sun exposure may initially improve the appearance of acne -- as the skin darkens, blemishes may be less noticeable. But prolonged exposure promotes more rapid exfoliation of dead skin cells, so you're more likely to get clogged pores. Over time, sun damages the skin and increases the likelihood that your acne will leave scars.



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