There are many misconceptions about who gets acne, what causes it, and how to treat it. Here are some of the most common acne myths and facts, revealed.
Myth: Eating greasy foods will give you acne
Fact: It's always important to eat a balanced diet of foods rich in vitamins and minerals, but eating junk foods such as chips, chocolate, fries, and pizza, in moderation, won't harm your skin. There is no connection between the oil in the foods and the production of the natural oils in the skin.
Myth: Acne is caused by dirty skin
Fact: Having acne does not mean that your skin is dirty or unhealthy. Acne can affect all skin types. In fact, the actual root cause of acne is deep within the dermis. Washing and scrubbing your face excessively will not remove the acne and can often irritate the skin and worsen the condition.
Myth: Acne bacteria causes acne
Fact: Almost everyone has acne bacteria (propionibacterium) on their skin. Whether you have acne or not your skin always carries this bacteria. If acne bacteria were responsible for causing acne, we would all be dealing with acne right now. The acne bacteria become a problem when our skin creates the perfect breeding ground for the bacteria to feed and grow. People who have acne already have an abundance of oil on their skin and once that is mixed with the bacteria, the acne becomes irritated and causes swelling, inflammation, and whiteheads.
Myth: Only teenagers get acne
Fact: Acne can be present at any age but is predominately apparent during puberty when the hormones are the most active. Adult men and woman can both develop acne but it is more common in women because of the constant fluctuation of hormones during each menstrual cycle and even during pregnancy.
Myth: Blackheads are dirt in my pores
Fact: Blackheads are usually the beginning of a breakout but are not dirt. They are caused when oil and dead skin cells get blocked in the pores. When exposed to oxygen they turn black. Once the blackhead comes in contact with the acne bacteria, it becomes inflamed and turns into a pimple. Further irritation of the pimple can lead to deep acne lesions filled with pus that can burst, causing the acne to spread and even cause scarring.
Myth: All acne can be treated the same
Fact: There are different forms and levels of acne and therefore, it needs to be treated accordingly. Your skin type also plays a role in the type of acne treatment you need. This is why certain acne products work for some people and not for others. Even your age can determine your course of treatment. For example, the acne products you may have used as a teenager will not be effective on your skin now.
Myth: Birth control pills can cause acne
Fact: The female hormones called estrogens can actually be beneficial to your acne when regulated with birth control pills. Because our estrogen levels change throughout our menstrual cycle, female acne may get better then get worse during this time. Birth control pills can help create a balanced level of estrogens in or body and in turn, reduce the chances of breakouts.