Acne Myths You Shouldn't Believe

Wondering about acne? We can help. Here are some myths that can't be believed

We dispel some of the most common myths about acne

Unless you’re born with incredible genes, there’s a very good chance that acne has been a part of your life at some point. From the teenage years onward, it happens to us all from time to time.

Studies indicate about 80 percent of all people will have acne at some point in their lives. While a common fact of life, there is a fair bit of misinformation circulating about the bane of clear skin. Read on as we debunk some of the myths about zits.

Acne only affects teens. Actually, acne can happen to anyone at any age. This might not be a particularly comforting effect for the younger people among us...or the older folks, for that matter. Nonetheless, the idea that it’s just teenagers that get acne simply isn’t true. Though the percentage of those who deal with acne seems to decline as people age, it certainly isn’t limited to youth, and acne breakouts can happen for several reasons.

Acne is linked to poor hygiene. This isn’t true. No, dirty skin doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to break out. While washing your face with a good acne treatment soap or applying acne spot treatment is certainly helpful, you can have too much of a good thing. You can irritate your skin with too much washing it too much or scrubbing too hard.

Acne is the result of a poor diet. It’s true that eating too much chocolate or greasy foods like cheeseburgers and pizza are not great for you for certain reasons. Acne just isn’t one of them. However, some studies indicate that there is a link between acne and a rise in the consumption of dairy products. This leads researchers to believe dairy products could irritate the skin, though the exact connection isn’t 100 percent clear. On one hand, some researchers believe the artificial hormones in some milk may trigger acne to form. Some think the ingredients already naturally found in milk may be enough to cause breakouts. Still more researchers believe the dairy combined with several types of processed food common in western diets could change the insulin levels in your body and therefore cause breakouts.

Stress causes acne. The emotion of stress does not cause acne; however, it should be noted that acne can be a side effect of stress. To clarify, the hormones produced by stress can potentially cause your skin to produce more oil as an immunity response to the hormones, wrongly believing your body is under some sort of infectious attack.

Direct sunlight can help cure acne. Though a nice tan or even a slight sunburn can certainly reduce the visibility of pimples, they’re not going anywhere (and sun exposure can be bad for you). While it’s true that sunlight and tanning can dry out the skin, a sunburn or even a tan can cause the skin to get inflamed. This could possibly make your acne problem worse. Furthermore, make sure you’re using a sunscreen that is limited in oily ingredients and non-comedogenic, which means it does not clog up your pores.

Popping zits can get rid of them faster. Some people may turn away from the tried and true method of a spot acne treatment and instead try to rid themselves of pimples by popping them. Though popping zits does admittedly satisfy our less appealing temptations, it’s not a good idea to pick at acne. Popping a pimple could make the acne breakout worse or even worse than that, it could leave an acne scar on your skin that will not go away.

The bad news and the final myth we will address is that there is no final cure for acne. No, this irritating, embarrassing and sometimes quite painful affliction of the skin does not go away on its own and there is no vaccine for it.

With that being said, though, the good news is there are a number of treatments that work well for acne. If you have just a few pimples here and there, a high-quality acne spot treatment will help clear your skin up. Look for topical creams and other treatments that have ingredients such as salicylic acid or alpha hydroxy acids. These ingredients can help clear up the oil that’s stuck in your pores and cause acne to subside with consistent treatment.

If you are prone to breakouts of acne or even if your skin is especially sensitive, stay away from oil-based cosmetics and skin treatments. There are water-based alternatives that could work well with your sensitive skin.

Essential oils can also be helpful when treating breakouts, for those of you looking for a more nature-based treatment. Coconut oil when combined with such essential oils as small amounts of tea tree, orange or rose oil can help combat acne.

Though the misinformation about acne is out there in the world, there’s much that’s understood about the annoying fact of life. The good news is there’s plenty of ways you can treat it, and with time and good skin care, you, too, can be well on your way to healthier, clearer skin.

Resources — Wake Forest Baptist Health, Proactiv, Healthline, Time

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