Acne is the most common skin disease in the United States. It affects nearly 20 million teens and one in every twenty adults. There is a tremendous amount of misinformation that confuses people about the real causes of acne. In order to clear the confusion, let's take a look at some of the most common acne myths.
Acne is caused by what you eat
Although some individuals notice their skin breaks out after consuming greasy foods, soda, and chocolate, these outbreaks are generally related to food allergies, not acne. Extensive studies have been conducted on acne and none have found a connection between diet and acne. Acne is caused by an overproduction of sebum (oil) and obstruction of the pores. It is not caused by food.
Acne is caused by poor hygiene
Acne is not caused by poor hygiene; however, it is important to keep skin pores clear of dirt to prevent bacteria from infecting the skin. Oftentimes, people who believe this myth cleanse their skin vigorously and frequently, which can make acne worse. Experts recommend gently washing the face twice a day with special oil absorbing micro-fiber facial clothes or with mild soap.
Popping pimples is the best way to manage acne
STOP and step away from the mirror! Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, picking or popping your pimples can lead to a nasty infection, or possibly even permanent scarring. As difficult as it might be let them pop on their own and they'll heal much faster.
Only teenagers get acne
People of all ages can get acne. As early as birth, infants can have mild acne on their faces. Adolescent acne usually develops when puberty begins and adult acne develops between the ages of 20 and 50. Most people eventually outgrow acne; however, in women it may last until menopause.
Oily skin is the main cause of pimples
Acne is not caused by oily skin. For reasons no one completely understands, follicles (or pores) sometimes become blocked with sebum (oil). The cells that line the hair follicle fail to make their way to the skin's surface, where they can be washed away. Instead these cells build up, mix with sebum and bacteria, and form a plug. Acne originates from the faulty hair follicle cells that don't get washed away, not the oil.