Acne Myths

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Acne is caused by dirty skin.

Unfortunately this myth causes a lot of overcleaning of the face with soaps and strong detergent cleansers. Frequent washing actually irritates pores, which can cause them to become clogged. Cleansing with the right type of product (not bar soaps or harsh detergent based cleansers) twice a day is good enough. A washcloth or any other cleansing device can add even more irritation. The best bet is to wash very gently with bare hands and only wash twice a day.

Acne is caused by chocolate, candy and french fries.

A diet high in iodides (the salt on those french fries) can make acne worse, but neither candy nor fried foods “cause” acne. There have been studies that show that sugar-laden foods and fast foods can make acne worse, but it certainly is not the “cause”. If it caused it then every teenager in America would have acne, but that is not the case. Acne is an inherited disorder of the pores – you either are prone to it or not. Clinical experiments have proven that chocolate does not cause or worsen acne.

Stress causes acne.

Acne causes oil, dead cells and bacteria together. Stress can aggravate acne, but not cause it.

Acne can be cured.

There is no “cure” for acne. Most people will grow out of it at some point in their lives, but no one can predict when that will be. Acne can wreak havoc on your face until you do. The good news is that acne can be controlled by using the right products for your type of acne and used in the right way.

Moisturizer will make you break out.

Most people with acne are deathly afraid of moisturizers and with good cause! There ARE many moisturizers with pore-clogging ingredients in them. However, any product that is active enough to get your acne under control can and will be inherently drying/dehydrating. This means you will need to:
• Start slowly with strong products to allow your skin to get used to them.
• Use a sunscreen/moisturizer during the day to give your skin the moisture it needs so it doesn’t get completely irritated and dried out from your acne regimen.
• Make sure the sunscreen and/or moisturizer you use is noncomedogenic (non pore-clogging).
• Never use moisturizer over the top of benzoyl peroxide – it will stop it from penetrating the pore where it does the work of preventing acne from forming.

I can dry up my acne.

Not true. Drying out your face only makes your skin sensitive, flaky, tight and uncomfortable. Your face is dry on the surface, but that doesn’t really clean out your pores. Using a combination of acne products that keep the pore clean, kill bacteria and exfoliate without over drying is how you clear up acne.

I don’t need to use a sunscreen. The sun will help get rid of acne

Oh, yes you do! Not only does a sunscreen prevent acne spots from becoming pigmented, it also helps hydrate the face during the day while your using an acne regimen. Make sure the sunscreen/moisturizer you use is noncomedogenic (non pore-clogging) ingredients. Overly exposing your skin to the sun creates skin damage, which leaves the skin irritated. Irritation brings new breakouts.

Dermatologists know everything there is to know about acne.

Most dermatologist do not specialize in acne. Becoming a dermatologist requires a person to study and understand a huge list of skin diseases, and acne is simply one of many. Even though acne is the #1 reason people see dermatologists, this does not mean that a dermatologist is a specialist in acne unless she specifically decided to focus her practice on this area.