In our society, where facial manifestation is a matter of societal recognition, a severe dermatological condition like acne often leaves a permanent psychological stigma in teenage mind. For years, numerous acne myths and misconceptions have augmented and misled people to have their heads in the clouds about the possible solutions of acne. These false ideas only added confusion, rather than providing an answer to the real cause of this withering skin disorder. Therefore, it is greatly essential for us to know about the myths to put our record straight.
Myth 1: Poor Hygienic Skin Condition is Responsible for Acne
It is the most widespread acne myth. Acne never results from the dirty unhygienic skin. What might look like dirt inside blackhead is in fact natural pigment melanin. Many people misbelieve that frequent washing and scrubbing the affected area could heal the acne. In reality, this excessive rubbing and washing can dry the skin out, causing irritation and flaring up the pre-existing acne problem. Although, it looks unsightly to have excess oil and dust on the skin; but these should be washed away in a proper way. Best approach is to wash the skin with gentle soap water twice daily and pat dry.
Myth 2: Oily Skin is Liable for Acne Formation
Oily skin is certainly not the reason for the growth of blemishes on our skin. In case of acne, cells which line the hair follicles exuviate by nature and somehow remain unsuccessful to make it to the skin surface to be taken away. These cells create a plug inside the follicle by mixing with sebum (oil) and bacteria, which appears as acne lesion. It is true that often people plagued by this skin disorder have oily skin. But the oleaginous complexion is a symptom of acne, not the cause.
Myth 3: Tanning Helps to Heal Acne
Although, tanned skin might help to mask the acne lesion for the time being, but under the sun skin might shrivel up and get irritated, leading to more and more acne pimples in few weeks. It is always advisable to use a sunscreen cream of minimum SPF 15 with “noncomedogenic” or “nonacnegenic” written on the label.
Myth 4: Poor Diet is Responsible for Acne
This is another popular acne myth. Thorough scientific research could not find any specific food item which is responsible for acne. There is no reason to discontinue the consumption of chocolate, French fries, pizza, and other fast foods as a preventive measure to eradicate this skin disorder. Nonetheless, it is always a good idea to stay away from too many sugary or high-oily foodstuffs since unhygienic foodstuffs might upset your body mechanism and thereby trigger excess sebum secretion.
Myth 5: Acne is a Cosmetic Disease
Undoubtedly some oil based greasy cosmetics might worsen the acne condition, but so many water based moisturizers, foundations, and sunscreen lotions are available in the market which never affect this skin disease. These are labeled as “noncomedogenic” or “nonacnegenic.”
Myth 6: Stress Gives Rise to Acne
There is no truth in this acne myth. Everybody experiences normal stress in their routine life. But the complexity of growth mechanism of acne has nothing to do with a bout of stress any day. Although, some scientists that too much stressful situations could stimulate the hormonal glands to switch acnegenic conditions.
Myth 7: Sexual Activity Endorses Acne
This antiquated belief has nothing to do with acne. After reaching puberty, human body experiences certain hormonal changes. These hormonal activities construct our sexual feature. Sometimes these hormonal changes, especially male hormone androgen triggers acne formation. This skin ailment is related to the rise and fall of hormonal level in our body, but to any sexual activities like intercourse or masturbation.
Myth 8: Nothing could be done About Acne; So Accept the Fate
This acne myth is quite prevalent among people. Actually these blemishes could be cleared up easily through proper and timely treatment. Visit an acne specialist or dermatologist as soon as you see a small bump on your skin with the characteristics of acne lesions.
Myth 9: Popping is the Only Way to Get Rid of Acne
It might seem to be a temporary solution. But, popping in turn causes the acne to be infected more with the bacteria, by pushing them further into the skin. Squeezing or pressing a pimple or zit might result in more traumatic swelling and inflammation with red or brown scar.
Myth 10: Only Teenagers Get Acne
This is another acne myth. Anyone can have this skin syndrome at any age. It is found that about 25% of all people between the age group of 25 and 44 years have acne. Most of the adult women have this problem due to their hormone level fluctuation during menstruation.