Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Acne Myths

Acne is related to diet

Prevailing wisdom in the dermatology community is that diet and acne are not related. Of course science is never a 100% reliable enterprise. But at this time, there is no evidence that chocolate, sugar, oil, milk, seafood, or any other food causes acne. Some people absolutely insist that a certain food causes acne for them. In this case, doctors sometimes recommend that they avoid that food.


Washing your face more often will help clear up acne
Acne is not caused by dirt. Contrary to what you may have seen in commercials, pores do not get blocked from the top down. Rather, an entire pore collapses from deep within the skin, starting acne formation. Frequent washing does nothing to prevent this. Over-washing is actually irritating, and excess irritation can worsen acne. A washcloth can aggravate this situation further. Use bare hands to wash and only wash twice a day.


Stress causes acne
Stress is not a very important factor in acne despite what you may have heard. Drugs that treat severe stress may have acne as a side effect, but stress itself is no big deal. Your time is better spent determining the right course of acne treatment rather than feeling guilt about stress.


Masturbation or sex causes acne
This antiquated notion, originating as early as the 17th century to dissuade young people from having premarital sex, is just plain wrong. Don't believe the hype.


The sun is good for acne
The sun may work in the short-term to hasten the clearing of existing acne while reddening your skin, thus blending your skin tone with red acne marks. However, a sun tan is actually skin damage. Sun exposure causes irritation which can make acne worse. The sun is a short-term band-aid which will often bite back with more acne in the weeks following exposure.



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