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5 Untrue Acne Myths You’ve Been Told

5 Acne Myths

5 Untrue Acne Myths You’ve Been Told

Acne is one of the most common skin conditions, and thanks to its prevalence, there are plenty of myths regarding its causes and treatment. Unfortunately, many of these myths are simply untrue, and following the advice given by well-meaning but misinformed people can actually make your skin worse. Check out the top six myths about acne below, and learn the truth about your breakouts.

 Myth 1: Tanning Can Make Zits Disappear

Spending time in the outdoors can leave your skin looking sun-kissed, and for many, it seems like that extra tan can help make pimples fade and disappear. Unfortunately, this effect is merely a mirage, and a temporary one at that. The change in skin color can make red pimples stand out less, and the temporary decrease in inflammation can help a skin condition temporarily look better, but the pimples will come back bigger and stronger once those effects fade. Always apply sunscreen before heading outdoors, even if it’s overcast—87 percent of the sun’s rays can penetrate through clouds and fog.

Myth 2: Eating Fast Food Can Cause Pimples

While it’s important to follow a healthy diet for holistic health, the longtime myth that eating greasy foods automatically causes breakouts isn’t true. According to some scientists, foods can play a role in acne prevalence, but there’s insufficient evidence to point the finger at pizza or potato chips. Eat a balanced diet and enjoy treats in moderation to keep your body and skin looking its best, but don’t stress about that occasional chocolate bar resulting in an angry blemish.

Myth 3: Popping Pimples is Okay

I get it—it’s beyond enticing to grab hold of that painful pimple and squeeze. Gross as it sounds, we’ve all done it. This is one of the worst things you can do for your skin. There is no way to “safely” pop a pimple; you can actually serious harm your skin cells and spread bacteria around. This not only makes the existing pimple worse, but it can cause more pimples to spring forth in surrounding areas. Picking at your skin can also lead to scarring and dark marks. Use products that gently exfoliate the skin on a daily basis to keep these pimples at bay, and only allow a licensed aesthetician at a certified spa or dermatologist pop your pimples. While pimples may “pop” themselves occasionally, it’s best practice to avoid going in on your skin with your fingernails.

Myth 4: Only Teens Get Acne

Millions of Americans struggle with acne every year, and this might come as a surprise, but a significant chunk of these are adults. Teenagers aren’t the only ones who suffer from painful breakouts. According to the International Derma Institute, anywhere from 40 to 50 percent of people between the ages of 20 and 40 deal with adult acne. The occasional smattering of pimples is generally related to hormonal fluctuations, particularly in women, but severe, cystic acne can be a result of genetics, and many find it’s a condition they simply don’t grow out of. That’s why it’s important to practice a daily skin regimen far beyond your adolescent years.

Myth 5: Washing Your Face More Will Lead to Clear Skin

When faced with a breakout, many will up their daily cleansings. Unfortunately, this can actually make acne worse. Pimples aren’t a result of poor hygiene; causes include genetics, hormones, and even stress, along with other indirect factors that can’t be changed by washing your face more thoroughly. In fact, rigorous washing can actually exacerbate inflammation and dry out the skin, leaving your skin in a worse state. There’s another aspect of this advice to note; implying that someone needs to wash more implies that acne is caused by dirt. Pimples come about as a result of oil production; the glands underneath the skin pump out sebum. Too much of this sticky substance can collect with dead skin cells in the pores and bacteria on the skin, causing a plug to form. This plug then develops into a pimple. Soap and water won’t work on the root cause of acne—oil production. That’s why it’s important to use acne treatments formulated for treating this skin condition.

If you’ve been duped by any of these pervasive acne myths, you’re not alone! Now that you know the truth, you’re in a much better place to practice daily habits and be well on your way to clear, radiant skin.

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