Acne myths abound regarding the causes of acne, who gets it and treatment. Acne sufferers often feel desperate about their breakouts and are inclined to believe or try almost anything to eradicate this embarrassing disorder. So, what are the acne truths?
Acne Myth No. 1: Diet Does Not Affect Acne
The original belief that diet does affect acne has actually turned out to be correct. The foods you should avoid for a healthy body also need to be avoided for healthy skin. This means keeping refined sugar, trans-fats and other inflammation-causing foods to a minimum.
For many years, food was blamed on causing acne. Chocolate and French fries, a teen diet staple, were considered main offenders. Then, for many years the reigning acne theory was that diet does not affect acne. Acne sufferers rejoiced. However, while research shows that cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate, does not cause acne, the refined sugar, and milk in the chocolate might trigger breakouts. Trans fats often used in French fries and other fast foods increase inflammation in the body. Acne is actually a disease of inflammation, so consuming foods that cause inflammation will make it worse.
Acne Myth No. 2: Acne is Caused by Dirty Skin
If acne was simply due to being dirty, then just cleansing the skin would eradicate this complex disorder. There is no question that bacteria are a big component of acne, but this goes beyond the skin’s surface.
Acne Myth No. 3: Sun Exposure Helps Acne
While sun exposure does promote production of Vitamin D and boost moods, excess UV exposure is not a solution for any skin condition. Dermatologists used to condone this myth and prescribed sitting under a sun lamp as part of an acne treatment protocol.
It is true that sun exposure dries out the skin, which seems to help breakouts, but it also triggers rebound oil production and inflammation, which can cause more breakouts as well as sun damage and potentially, skin cancer.
Acne Myth No. 4: Sunscreen Causes Acne
There is much debate over whether chemical sunscreens or physical sunscreens cause more breakouts. Synthetically-sourced sunscreens are believed to cause irritation, so all skin types would be wise to avoid them. Ignore sources that indicate physical sunscreens like zinc and titanium dioxide sit on the skin surface, blocking sweat, which can lead to breakouts. On the contrary, zinc helps heal breakouts and titanium dioxide, a natural antiseptic, helps control bacteria.
Acne Myth No. 5: Acne is Just Something That Teens Experience
Acne is not exclusive to teenagers nor is it simply outgrown. While adolescents are the group primarily affected by acne, up to 85 percent of people will experience acne during their lifetime. Many who hold this false belief disregard the impact acne can have and treat acne as a hopeless cause and fail to seek out help. Immediate and consistent care can control acne and prevent potential lifelong scarring and self-esteem issues.
Acne Myth No. 6: Makeup Causes Acne
Makeup that contains mineral oil and other pore clogging ingredients can trigger acne. But, not all makeup causes acne. More often, failure to remove even noncomedogenic makeup at the end of the day hinders skin’s ability to “breathe” and is a main offender. Also, applying it with dirty hands, sponges and makeup brushes adds bacteria to this inflammatory disease.