9 most common acne misconceptions

Acnes are a very common disease of the sebaceous glands, and they are present in 90% of boys and girls in puberty and in 5% adults. There are numerous misconceptions and beliefs about how to stop them and treat them, and most of them are wrong and often lead to worsening the state.

Written by: Dr. Svetlana Djurisic, dermatovenerology specialist – Dermatim

Misconception number 1 – Often washing and cleaning of the face will stop acne from appearing.

Wrong. Aggressive washing and excessive cleaning of the face dries and irritates the skin even more, and so it leads to the acne worsening. Genetic predisposition and hormonal status participate in the development of acne, and they cause increased secretion of sebum, excessive creation of dead cells that clog the pores, and that leads to forming of blackheads and pimples. Pimples are not a consequence of dirt and filth present on the skins surface. Sometimes excessive cleaning and squeezing of the pimples can cause mechanical acne. The best way to avoid this problem is to gently wash the face twice a day with warm water and gently clean it.

Misconception number 2 – Acnes are exclusively and adolescents disease.

Acnes are a disease most common in the adolescent period. However, sometimes middle aged women have acne, as a consequence of hormonal disbalance, polycystic ovaries or adrenal gland tumor. Also, in small children, the raised level of androgynous hormones of various origin can lead to acnes appearing before the adolescent period.

Misconception number 3 – Makeup can cause acnes to appear.

Partially true. Makeup is not the causative factor that leads to acne appearing. It is only true that some ingredients in cosmetics, labeled as “comedogenic” can cause skin pores to clog. It is best to cause products that contain non-comedogenic ingredients. The addition of salicylic acid in makeup products can even have a favorable effect on acne. It is most important to completely remove the makeup from the face before exercising or going to sleep.

Misconception number 4 – Squeezing pimples helps them disappear faster.

Wrong. Unprofessionally squeezing pimples enables the inflamed sebum content to penetrate deeper into the layers of the skin and makes the acnes last longer. As a consequence of squeezing the pimples on the face, deep scars and lasting crates can appear. The best way to solve the problem is to contact a dermatologist which will prescribe you with creams with benzoyl peroxide, which enables the pimples to dry faster.

Misconception number 5 – Exposure to sunlight will help with the acne.

Exposure to sunlight may hide the acne for a while but also lead to the damage and drying, which signalize the skin to produce more fats. After a longer period, the Sun worsens the case of acnes, and increases the tendency to develop skin cancer and premature ageing.

Misconception number 6 – Chocolate and fatty foods worsen the case of acne.

Causes of acne formation are hormonal disbalance and genetics, so the food is not the main causal factor of acnes. However, with persons who already have pimples on their face, too much sweet foods raise the insulin levels, disrupt the hormonal status and worsen the acne.

Misconception number 7 – Drying the greasy and problematic skin will cure acne.

When skin is overly dried it produces more sebum to compensate. Dry skin is irritable, so that the acne problem can only worsen. The best is to use skin drying products moderately and the main goal is to achieve balanced greasiness on the skin surface.

Misconception number 8 – Tooth paste helps to remove acnes.

Wrong. Tooth paste has no effect on inflammation and creation of facial pustules, which are caused by bacteria and other causal factors in acne forming, and are treated by appropriate acne therapy.

Misconception number 9 – Mineral oils are comedogenic and worsen the acnes.

Cosmetic mineral oils are not comedogenic. To efficiently remove the greasy sebum plugs from the skin, substances based on mineral oils need to be present in cosmetic products. Water based products can not remove or melt sebum plugs.

More about acnes read here.