1. Dirt causes acne. Acne is caused by a number of things, but dirt is not considered a major cause. Acne occurs when the oil from the sebum gland and dead skin cells at the surface of the skin plug the hair follicle. Although dirt may have a role in this process, the main ingredients are oil and skin cells.
2. Acne only affects teenagers and young people. Acne affects all ages and both genders. While it is more prevalent during our teenage years because of the strong hormonal changes taking place, many adults continue to fight acne well after their teenage years.
3. Acne is only a cosmetic condition. Although acne certainly affects the way we look, we have treated many patients that have been deeply affected psychologically by their acne condition. The cosmetic concerns associated with acne can have a lasting effect on a person’s self-esteem and disposition.
4. Spot Treatments work. Benzoyl Peroxide is an excellent way to prevent acne when it is able to penetrate into the hair follicles where p.acne bacteria live. In the same way, benzoyl peroxide is only effective for active pimples when it can penetrate into the skin to kill acne bacteria. Unless the acne lesions are open, it is difficult for benzoyl peroxide to work.
5. Food causes acne. Not true. There has been no scientific link established between the types of food you eat and whether or not you have acne.
6. Makeup causes acne. While makeup does not cause acne, it can definitely make those that are prone to it worse. To start, all of your acne products should be labeled as “non-comedogenic”, “oil-free” (water-based) and “hypoallergenic”. In addition, ingredients to avoid include lanolin, sodium lauryl sulphate, sodium laureth sulphate, propylene glycol, alcohol, isopropyl myristate, mineral oil and parabens.
7. Sweating cleans your pores. Sweating makes your pores widen, but it will not clean them out. Exercising causes oil production (sebum gland) which can aggravate acne when it combines with dead skin cells. When we sweat it is important for skin health for the oil and dead skin cells to exit the skin. Anything that prevents this from happening like shirts, headbands and the like can worsen your acne condition.
8. Sun exposure prevents acne. Many different high intensity light sources have the ability to kill acne bacteria, and sunlight is included in this group. But while sunlight may help to kill some acne bacteria, that alone will not prevent acne. In addition, exposing yourself too much to sunlight for the purposes of improving your acne can have other detrimental effects on the skin, including skin cancer, sun spots and premature aging.
9. Scrubbing the skin prevents acne. Scrubbing or washing the skin too often and too harshly can actually worsen acne. Many of our acne patients wash their face several times a day thinking this will help “clean” their acne away by drying their skin. What happens in many cases is that the irritation caused by excessive washing leads to inflammation and more acne. In addition, washing too much throws off the pH balance of the skin, drying it out and making it prone to inflammation and more acne.
10. Stress causes acne. Stress does not directly result in acne. Stress can affect the balance of hormones in the body, which may change sebum (oil) production and affect the amount of acne. When we are stressed, our bodies produce cortisol, which in turn causes the sebaceous glands to produce more oil.