Despite scientifically based facts about acne, a lot of so-called myths about the disease still exist in the society. Some of the common myths (and their counter facts) that need to be corrected are the following:
MYTH #1: TANNING OR SUN EXPOSURE CAN CURE ACNE
FACT: Getting a tan or getting exposed under the sunlight may cause the skin to become darker, thus temporarily concealing the redness of the acne. But once the tan disappears, the ace is still there.
Also, tanning or sunbathing may cause dryness and irritation to the skin. And worse, it can increase the risk of premature aging and cancer of the skin. Instead, use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, and one that will not clog pores. Such sunscreen is referred to as nonacnegenic or noncomedogenic.
MYTH #2: FRIED, OILY AND FATTY FOODS CAN CAUSE ACNE
FACT: There is actually no scientific basis on the belief that greasy diet, including French fries, pizza, or chocolates, can be a cause of acne. However, this myth can be helpful to make children prefer to consume more vegetables and fruits rather than the less nutritious pizza and chocolate bars. However, there are certain foods that worsen, but not cause, acne. Such foods include those that have high Calcium content (milk) or high Iodine content (seafood).
MYTH #3: ACNE IS PRIMARILY BROUGHT ABOUT BY POOR HYGIENE
FACT: Skin infections may be related to acne in some ways. But poor hygiene is actually not the cause for the outbreaks of acne. Oil combines with dead cells, producing acne. And this combination occurs beneath the surface of the skin where it is impossible to reach and clean away. However, gentle washing with mild soap and water and patting the face dry at least twice daily is the best way to reduce bacteria, which can cause skin infection that may eventually lead to acne.
MYTH #4: MAKEUP OR COSMETIC PRODUCTS CAN CAUSE ACNE
FACT: This could be true, but not entirely. Some cosmetic products are not advisable because it can cause unhealthy clogging of the skin pores. However, “nonacnegenic” or “noncomedogenic” makeup products can be safely used, even by those who already have acne. As a matter of fact, there are some cosmetic brands that contain acne-treating ingredients.
MYTH #5: SEX AND MASTURBATION CAN RESULT TO ACNE
FACT: Although testosterone, a sex hormone can cause the outbreaks of acne, sex and masturbation has absolutely no relevance to the occurrence of such skin disease. This belief was used in the 17th century to discourage young people to engage with premarital sex.
MYTH #6: THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY TO GET RID OF PIMPLES IS TO SQUEEZE THEM OUT
FACT: Such action could only aggravate the spreading of bacteria. Also, popping or squeezing the pimples out can eventually lead to the formation of scars, which in grave cases, can be permanent.
Most often than not, misconceptions such as the previously stated ones, are untrue and should thus be corrected to foster better assessment, acne treatment, and prevention of acne.