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Common Misconceptions About Acne

Can a sedentary lifestyle cause acne? What about sexual intercourse? Does acne disappear after puberty? Is it hereditary? Do chocolate and fatty foods exacerbate acne?

Acne is the most common skin condition. There are several types of acne such as comedones, pus-filled pimples, and subcutaneous abscesses. Over 80% of teens suffer from varying degrees of acne, and the condition does not spare adults, either (it is more prevalent among women than men). Despite heightened awareness, there are still many myths getting in the way of correct treatment, which could ultimately exacerbate the condition.

The 12 most common misconceptions about acne:

Pimples are hereditary – True! If a parent had acne, there is a higher chance that their child will develop acne, too.

Low levels of physical or sexual activity can cause or exacerbate acne – False! No clear link has been found between physical or sexual activity and skin condition. Nonetheless, physical activity is known to relieve stress and anxiety, which in some instances, can have a slight impact on skin condition.

Chocolate and fatty foods cause breakouts – False! This may be the most commonly held myth, but no particular food is attributed to exacerbating acne.

Harsh soap and a dryer can help treat acne – False! Vigorous cleansing may temporarily make skin feel clean and less oily, but it damages the natural balance of sebum secretion. Dry skin accelerates sebum production and exacerbates acne.

Use a cleansing liquid or gel to remove debris and excess oil, to open pores, and to encourage the skin’s natural regeneration process.

Exposing acne to the sun causes sunspots – True! While moderate sun exposure helps most cases of acne, if there are infected pimples or a genetic disposition for dark skin, sun exposure can increase the likelihood of acne leaving dark spots.

Frequent cleansing helps eliminate acne – False! Frequent cleansing can damage and dry the skin, which can aggravate acne.

Acne ends with puberty – False! Acne can last well beyond puberty, and affects many adults. While acne is common in puberty and most teens are affected by it by age 18, teens with severe acne may continue to suffer from the condition well into adulthood, too.

Anxiety and stress can cause acne – True! Anxiety and stress exacerbate any physical condition, and acne is no exception.

Oily or acne-prone skin should not be moisturized – False! Moisturizer can treat and nourish the skin. Choose oil-free moisturizer to balance sebum secretion and soothe the skin as part of a skincare regimen to manage and treat acne.

Acne is worse in girls than boys – False! According to research, acne is more severe in boys than girls. The main reason for this is that girls tend to treat acne more thoroughly and methodically than boys.

There is a link between hairstyle and acne – True! Hair that is cut or styled close to the face creates friction and causes an accumulation of oil and dirt, which can exacerbate acne.

Popping pimples eliminates and prevents pimples – False! Popping pimples can cause scarring that can sometimes be irreversible. In the long run, it will exacerbate acne. Cleanse the skin with a gentle peel and use specially formulated products to help dry and heal the skin.

Home-made concoctions can complement cosmetic products. Combining these treatments can offer ideal treatment of acne:

  1. Cook two heaped tablespoons of Quaker oats for ten minutes and chill. Apply to the face and leave on the skin for ten minutes. Rinse well with water and gently pat dry. Follow with face cream specially formulated for oily skin. Repeat twice a week.
  2. Add three tablespoons of dried basil leaves to a pot of boiling water. Infuse for fifteen minutes and chill. Dampen a cotton pad with the basil infusion and wipe across your face. Use twice a day.