Top Acne Myths Explained

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Acne is a very common problem among both males and females of all ages, yet countless myths still persist about this skin condition.

A lack of understanding about acne often leads to incorrect treatment which can actually make the problem worse. 

In an effort to dispel those misunderstandings, we’re going to take a look at which beliefs are true and which are false so you can gain a better knowledge about your skin issues.

Myth 1 – Acne And Spots Are Two Different Things – False

Lots of people think that acne and spots are two different things. This isn’t true. Acne is just a medical term which is used by physicians to describe spots which are especially severe and which can be treated medically.

Myth 2 – Only Teenagers Get Acne – False

 While teenagers often get acne, adults can get it too. When adults develop acne, it has two subtypes. 

Adults who have had ongoing acne since they were a teenager are said to have “persistent acne” while those who only develop acne after they’re 25 years old are said to have “late-onset acne”.

Myth 3 – More Women Get Acne Than Men – True 

Adult acne is more commonly seen in women when compared with men. Up to 22% of all women will experience acne during their adult years while only around 3% of adult men will develop this skin condition. 

The reason for this is because women have a greater sensitivity to hormones during their menstrual cycle. Many women find they have more problems with their skin before their period.

Myth 4 – Acne Is All In The Genes – True

Genetics does have a role to play in whether or not you’ll develop acne. Studies have been carried out to suggest almost 80% of cases of acne is because of specific inherited genes. 

Unfortunately, experts don’t yet understand how this can be reversed.

Myth 5 – Unclean Skin Causes Acne – False

Acne develops for many reasons. It is a disorder of the skin’s pilosebaceous unit which is made up of the hair, hair follicle and oil-producing gland. 

The activity of that gland and its size is affected by levels of hormones and, in some circumstances, it will become larger and produce more oil. This results in a bacteria called P.acnes multiplying. This causes spots.

Myth 6 – Acne Is Caused By Your Lifestyle – True

Evidence exists to prove that if you consume high GI-index foods and dairy products your acne can be aggravated. 

Also, stress aggravates acne, so finding ways to reduce your stress levels while also reducing your consumption of high GI and dairy foods could be beneficial for your skin.

Myth 7 – I Can Pass Acne On To Other People – False

Acne isn’t contagious so it can’t be spread between people. Although bacteria does have a role to play in developing acne, it isn’t transmitted like other bacterial infections. 

Nevertheless, you probably shouldn’t share your pillows or towels just for reasons of general hygiene.

Myth 8 – I Shouldn’t Moisturize My Acne Prone Skin – False

If you moisturize your skin, its barrier function will remain intact. Moisturizing is also essential to maintain good skin health. Even when your skin is oily it should be moisturized, since excess oil doesn’t equate to good skin hydration. 

You should have a good and consistent skincare route, washing twice daily in both the morning and the evening with cleansers that have been formulated specifically for acne prone skin. Once you’ve cleansed your skin, use a non-comedogenic moisturizer with a light gel base since this helps to prevent blackheads forming.

Myth 9 – I Shouldn’t Use Abrasive Products On My Acne Prone Skin False

One common myth which persists about acne is that you shouldn’t use any abrasive skincare products. People who have oily skin should actually exfoliate gently weekly since it will immediately remove dead skin cells to give your skin a much brighter appearance. 

Also, in the long term, less blackheads will develop. Don’t overdo the exfoliation however, since you’ll irritate your skin and worsen the problem.

Myth 10 – You Shouldn’t Squeeze Spots – True

You should never squeeze, scratch or pick at your spots as it causes damage and could cause permanent scarring or pigmentation marks. 

Salicylic acid spot treatments are useful for settling inflammation but if your spots are especially troublesome you should visit a dermatologist who can offer you advice about your skincare.

Myth 11 – I Can’t Wear Makeup When I Have Acne – False

You can still wear makeup when you’ve got acne. In fact, lots of sufferers use concealers to hide their blemishes and boost their self-confidence. You should always make sure to choose products designed for use on blemish-prone, oily skin.

Myth 12 – Steroids Cure Spots – True

Steroid injections treat large and stubborn acne cysts quickly. The cyst will flatten within 42 to 72 hours however a dermatologist must carry out this procedure since it can be risky.

Myth 13 – Spots Are A Sign Of Other Health Problems – False

There is virtually no evidence which suggests acne is a sign of any specific health problems like a gluten intolerance or poor digestion. However, there is evidence to show that acne in specific areas have particular causes. 

For example, acne on the forehead is often caused by hair styling products such as oils and waxes that block the pores. Sometimes it is also caused by hair, helmets, caps or hats rubbing on the skin of the forehead causing breakouts. 

Acne on the jawline and cheek could be caused by using your phone. Touchscreen phone surfaces contain vast amounts of bacteria so when you hold your phone on your cheek, pressure is created that activates the sebaceous glands. Meanwhile, acne around your mouth could be because of hormonal changes.

These are just 13 of the most common myths about acne. Now you know the truth about which ones are false and which ones are true. Armed with this knowledge, you should be better informed about your skin condition and how to care for it.

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