8 things you shouldn’t believe about acne breakouts
Many people suffer from acne breakouts, and the world is filled with as many pundits who claim to give you magic solutions for your perennial problem.
However, most of these wannabe pundits have no idea what to do and some of them are merely spreading myths. The following are some of the most common myths about acne you will come across:
- Acne only happens to teenagers. FALSE though teens do suffer from acne, some people can develop acne for the first time in their 20s or 30s. Most patients treated for acne vulgaris are women between the ages of 20 and 45.
- Acne happens due to a dirty face. FALSE. Acne is a multifarious skin disorder that goes beyond dirty skin.
- Heavy scrubbing is needed to rid acne. FALSE. Acne can’t be washed away. A cleanser with ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and sulfur compounds will help clear the skin, but it won’t clear it any faster if you scrub harder. Scrubbing acne too hard can actually inflame blackheads, so be sure to be nice to your skin.
- Popping your pimples makes them go away. False. Popping pimples will in fact cause scarring.
- Acne will go away by itself. False. Doing nothing could make the condition worse. Mild, topical treatments — such as over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide — are best, and they’re especially effective if started early.
- Getting a tan will help hide acne. False. The sun’s UV rays actually dry the skin, and can make the skin condition worse.
- What you eat has nothing to do with acne. False. It is not clear whether acne is caused by diet or genetics, but recent research links the skin condition to dairy. Ask your doctor if he or she recommends limiting dairy to help clear your skin.
- Acne goes if you sweat more. False. Some believe you can sweat out your acne, by going to a steam room or using hot towels. But in fact, some studies suggest that high temperatures and humidity can worsen the condition.
Fact: When using acne medication, be sure not to use too much as they contain drying agents that can cause irritation and leave marks.
If over-the-counter acne medication doesn’t seem to work on your acne, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor or dermatologist. Also, if you’re taking a prescription acne medication, make sure you follow your doctor’s instructions — some medications may take up to 8 weeks to make a significant difference.
Wash your face every night. Doesn’t be too harsh when scrubbing the face as not to cause irritation. There is no need to wash more than twice a day as this could worsen the condition. It signals to the skin that it needs to produce more oil and thus continuous the vicious cycle that you won’t be able to stop.
When looking for acne products in the store, look for ones that contain benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, and so the product is made to (1) open the pores and (2) kill bacteria. Be sure not to overuse as agents can dry out the skin and cause irritation and blemishes.
This article was written by Margaret Kahiu, and it was published earlier on Citizen Digital.
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