Acne is a common disorder of sebaceous glands. It occurs in about 90% of adolescents, as well as in 5% of adults.
There are numerous myths and misconceptions about acne, its prevention and treatment. Most of them are false and often lead to even bigger problems and aggravation of acne.
Myth 1: Only adolescents have acne
Acne is a disorder that affects adolescents. However, middle-aged women also experience acne outbreaks, most often as a result of hormonal imbalance, poly-cystic ovaries or adrenal tumors. Acne may also occur in younger children with elevated levels of androgenic hormones.
Myth 2: Pimple popping will speed up the recovery process
Incompetent pimple popping can cause the inflamed sebum content to be pressed into even deeper layers of the skin making the acne last longer. It may result in deep scars and permanent craters. The best way to solve your acne problem is to see a dermatologist. Instead of popping them, a dermatologist will prescribe creams with benzoyl peroxide allowing pimples to dry out faster.
Myth 3: Toothpaste can cure acne
Toothpaste has no effect on acne. Inflammation and the formation of pustules on the face is caused by bacteria and other factors, and it can be treated with appropriate acne therapy.
Myth 4: Regular face washing and cleansing prevents the appearance of acne
Acne isn’t a result of dirt and impurities present on the skin. Frequent washing and aggressive cleansing drys and irritates the skin even more and can aggravate the condition. The development of acne is affected by genetic predisposition and hormonal status, which cause increased sebum secretion, excessive formation of dead cells clogging the pores. All this leads to the formation of blackheads and pimples. Sometimes, excessive facial cleansing and pimple popping can cause the appearance of mechanical acne. The best way to avoid this problem is to gently wash your face twice a day with warm water and use gentle cleansing agents.
Myth 5: Makeup can cause acne
Although this is partly true, makeup is not the main causative factor leading to acne. The truth is that only some ingredients in cosmetic products, labelled as “comedogenic”, can cause clogging of pores. That is why it is best to use products that contain non-comedogenic ingredients. Salicylic acid contained in make-up products can even have beneficial effects on acne.
Nevertheless, it is very important that the makeup is thoroughly removed before exercise and before going to bed.
Myth 6: Sun improves the acne condition
Exposure to the sun can hide the appearance of acne for a while, but it can also lead to damage and drying out, signaling to the skin to produce even more sebum. Long sun exposure, leads to aggravation of acne, and increases the risk of developing skin cancer as well as premature aging.
Myth 7: Mineral oils are comedogenic and aggravate acne
Cosmetic mineral oils are not comedogenic. In order to effectively remove greasy sebum plugs in the skin, cosmetic products need to have ingredients based on mineral oils. Water-based products cannot remove and melt sebum plugs.
Myth 8: Chocolate and fatty foods exacerbate acne
The causes of acne are hormonal imbalance and genetics, so food is not the main causative factor for acne appearance. However, in people who already have pimples, too much sugar intake raises the level of insulin in the blood, which disrupts the hormonal status and aggravates acne.
Myth 9: Drying out oily and problematic skin will cure acne
When the skin dries out excessively, it compensates by producing more sebum. Dry skin is irritable, so the acne problem can only get worse. The best thing one can do is to moderately use skin-drying products and the main goal is to achieve a balanced sebum level on the skin.