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All you need to know about the acne myths and facts

Myths and facts regarding acne. © Shutterstock

Dr Apratim Goel, dermatologist and laser surgeon Director, Cutis skin studio, Mumbai, helps you to understand the facts and myths about that stubborn acne.

Written by Editorial Team |Published : September 22, 2018 12:27 PM IST

Did you notice that annoying acne before going to a party? Are you worried about it? It can lower your self-confidence. Keep calm, Dr Apratim Goel, dermatologist and laser surgeon Director, Cutis skin studio, Mumbai, clears all the myths regarding acne. Read on to know more.

An inflammatory skin condition that leads to spots and pimples on the face, shoulders, back, neck, chest, and upper arms, can be called as acne. Here are a few types of acne - Whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, cysts, and nodules. It can be painful and worrisome. Relax! Dr Goel will clear all your doubts. Just get your facts right!

Myth #1: Tanning clears up skin

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Fact: Although, a tan may temporarily mask acne, the sun can make the skin dry and irritate it, leading to breakouts in the future. There's no link between sun exposure and acne prevention, but the sun's rays can cause premature ageing and skin cancer. Always protect your skin by choosing a sunscreen of at least SPF (sun protection factor) 25 that says noncomedogenic or nonacnegenic (which means it won't clog pores).

Myth #2: Chocolate and fried foods cause acne

Fact: Eating too many sugary, high-fat foods is not a good idea but studies show that no specific food has been proven to cause acne. Every individual is different, though. Some people notice their breakouts are worse after eating certain foods and these foods vary from person-to-person. For example, some people may notice breakouts after eating chocolate, while others won t, whereas, some might witness breakouts after drinking too much coffee. So, you can cut down on the foods which according to you can lead to acne and see if there is any improvement.

Myth #3: The more you wash your face, lesser breakouts you'll have

Fact: You will be able to get rid of dirt and oil from your pores if you wash your face from time to time. But, washing your face too much can dry it out and cause irritation, this will invite more breakouts. Don t scrub your face, doing so can irritate your skin. Follow the golden rule of washing your face twice or thrice a day with a face cleansing gel or foam, in a circular motion and gently pat dry it.

Myth #4: Popping pimples will help them go away faster

Fact: Popping a pimple may reduce your acne temporarily, but it can cause it to stay around longer and form scars. By squeezing you will push bacteria into the skin which can increase acne and cause a red or brown mark or pits. So, avoid touching it.

Myth #5: Don't wear makeup if you want clear skin

Fact: There is no need to avoid it totally. As long as you choose cosmetics that are nonacnegenic or noncomedogenic, its fine. Some concealers contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid which help to deal with acne. If you have moderate to severe acne talk to your dermatologist about the best cosmetics to use. The trick to avoiding acne is to never sleep with the makeup on.

Myth #6: If you keep getting breakouts, use more acne medication until the breakouts stop

Fact: Because acne medication contains drying agents like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, using too much medication may cause over drying, leading to irritation and more blemishes.

If over-the-counter acne medication doesn't seem to work on your acne, it's a good idea to talk to your dermatologist.

Myth #7: As I have acne and dandruff, its fine to oil the hair

Fact: Since the effort in acne is to reduce oiliness of face as well as scalp, oiling will actually increase acne. In fact, antidandruff shampoo must be used once or twice a week.

Myth #8: My mom and sister have acne so I will also get it

Fact: Genetics is not the only factor causing acne. Acne is multifactorial and stress, makeup, food, drugs, weather, hormones and various other factors play a role in it.

Myth #9: Medicated soaps are best for washing my face with acne

Fact: Gel or foam based face washes containing anti-acne ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide are preferred over similar soaps. However, avoid the cr me based cleansers. Don t scrub your face with face wash thinking it will help the skin to glow. It will rip the skin of all its oils and make it more sensitive and allergy prone.

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