When it comes to acne, a lot of information is available from different sources. Old wives’ tales, random experiments, and even misguided practices that promise instant cures for acne are followed by many in the hopes of being pimple-free. Unfortunately, some, if not all, of these are without scientific basis and can even make acne worse. Serious skin care for acne-prone skin starts with the right and proper information.
On causes of acne:
There are a lot of myths concerning the causes and treatment for acne. Below are just some of the most popular and widely practiced acne myths:
Stress does not cause acne but it can make acne worse. Scientific studies show that stress can affect a person’s hormonal cycle which can make the existing acne condition worse. Also, some psychiatric medicines taken to reduce stress can acne as a side effect.
* Masturbation or sex
Sex or masturbation does not cause acne. Studies done to relate sex or masturbation to acne are inconclusive with no additional evidence. An old wives’ tale, this acne myth became popular during the early 17th century to discourage women from engaging in pre-marital sex or other scandalous behavior. Some misleading adults even use the fear of having acne to discourage adolescents of today from engaging in sex at an early age.
* Chocolates and oily food
Although eating too much of sweets and oily food is never good for anybody, the relationship between acne and this food group is largely indirect. Hormonal changes, which is the most common cause of acne, may cause a person to alternately crave sweet and salty food like chocolates and chips. Since this craving often coincides with acne flare ups, this food group has been misleadingly labeled as a cause of acne.
On cures for acne
If myths on the probable causes of acne are abundant, there are also many so-called cures that promise instant freedom from acne. These are:
* Frequent face washing
Since excess oil and dirt are among the causes of acne, some people have this misguided notion that frequently washing one’s face can prevent and treat acne. However, this is not the case. Doing so only worsens acne since the skin is stripped off protective lipids which can make it sensitive, dry, and prone to irritations.
Toothpaste has antiseptic properties which can cause a pimple to dry out. However, while applying toothpaste to acne may be effective to some, it can cause greater damage to others especially if applied for over time. Toothpaste can dry out surrounding areas and “burn” pimple spots which can lead to discolorations.
* Sun exposure
Probably one of the most idiotic acne myth to surface, some people swear by this. However, sun exposure can only lead to one thing: skin damage. Tans and darker skin tones only hide or camouflage acne but a closer look and touch will reveal bumps and zits. This can make the acne situation worse since sun exposure can make one’s skin dry, flaky, discolored, and extra-sensitive.
Eating a balanced diet, exercising, getting enough rest, and following a skin care regimen specific to one’s skin type are essential for serious skin care of acne-prone skin. Medications and treatments prescribed by a dermatologist can also help greatly.