5 Acne Myths Busted
Acne is a skin disorder that will affect 17 million Americans at some point in their lives. Acne happens when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. These hair follicles are linked to our sebaceous glands. An oily substance called sebum lubricates the hair and skin and is released from these glands.
Normally, sebum moves up along the hair shafts and out through the openings of the hair follicles to the surface of your skin. Sometimes, though, your body produces too much sebum. When this happens, the sebum and dead skin cells collect in the hair follicles and become plugged. This creates an environment for bacteria to thrive. The end result? Acne.
Common myths about acne
Given that so many people suffer from acne, there are many common myths about the condition. Today, I’d like to dispel some of the most common acne myths and set the record straight.
1. If you have acne, your face must be dirty
Being overzealous about cleansing can make your acne worse. While it may be tempting to scrub harder or wash extra vigorously, this will strip the skin and may cause your pores to produce even more oil.
Use a gentle pH balanced facial cleanser twice daily for best results. Make sure it is FRAGRANCE FREE. Keep in mind that everyone's skin is different, so one cleanser that your friend loves may not work for you. I have found this to be true for my children. My 17 and 16 year olds need different face washes. My top recommendations for acne:
2. Acne only happens to teenagers
This is another myth. Acne does not discriminate when it comes to age. We often think of acne as being something that happens to teenagers because it is common among this age group, but the reason it happens at that time is because of hormonal changes.
Pregnant women, women experiencing perimenopause and menopause also are more likely to experience acne because of hormonal changes. Additionally, acne can be hereditary and may appear at any time.
3. You can sweat your acne away
NO! This is just plain bonkers.
Have you heard this one before? Many people mistakenly believe that heading to the steam room or working out extra hard will cause you to “sweat away” your acne. Others believe that you can detox your skin this way, resulting in a pimple free complexion. Acne occurs in the sebaceous glands, which are not the same as the sweat glands. No amount of sweating will clear your pores of debris.
4. Acne will disappear on its own
If only it were that simple. Sadly, acne can persist for a long time. It also tends to need some intervention. You do not have to suffer, though. Acne can be treated. Sticking to an acne skincare routine will likely take care of your acne once and for all. Consistency is key and results may take a few weeks. If your acne persists, you may want to seek the advice of a dermatologist. The single best product I can recommend that will work IF YOU ARE PATIENT is using a high quality product with 0.1% Adapalene. This is the ingredient in the once prescription-only Differin. I buy La Roche-Posay Effaclar for my teens. It has erased my 16 year old's acne. He uses it nightly and it took 3-4 weeks of nightly use to work. My 17 year old "forgets" to use it. When I nag him about it, the difference is remarkable. You MUST be consistent, though. Nothing works better.
In fact, as you can see, I keep buying it--
5. French fries and chocolate cause acne
Don’t worry! You can still indulge in your favorite chocolate bar or greasy fries from time to time without them wreaking havoc on your skin. This has been a common acne myth for many years and it is simply not true. While eating excess sugar or foods high in sodium or iodine can make existing cases of acne worse, these foods are not the cause of acne. The only food we know from current research that may be a cause is dairy. We’ll take a look at that one in a future blog post.