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Six Myths About Acne Most People Take For the Truth

Written: 10/23/2007

Editor's note: This article is in response to a reader's question. Mitesh wanted to know if acne is linked in any way to diet. I answered his question in the first point. If you have any questions related to diet, health and fitness, please do not hesitate to contact me on yan@diethack.com or through the contact form.

Namely a skin disease, acne appears most often during adolescence. Generally not that dangerous to health, sometimes it can require drastic treatments to get rid of acne. The most affecting part of acne though, are the scars left behind and the trauma suffered by adolescents in the eyes of their peers. Many people treat acne on hearsay without actually knowing that sometimes what seems to have worked for others may not work for you.

Here are 6 of these so called "hearsays" or myths:
  1. Acne is due to your diet.
    No.

    The food plays virtually no role in the outbreak of acne. In reality, acne occurs as a result of the closure of your hair follicles (roots of your hairs in your skin). After an excessive production of sebum (oil), the pores in your skin become clogged and you start to see blackspots also known as blackheads which appear. Acne occurs also due to an inflammation inside of your hair follicles or infection due to a bacteria. Stress can also be a factor for the advent of acne due to inbalance hormone production in your body. If you have got acne, you can eat normally but healthily.

  2. Acne is a youth disease which disappears when you reach adulthood.
    This is not exactly false because the most severe cases of acne are found in adolescents and young adults. But like most people say, for some people acne doesn't disappear due to 'marriage'. Its high frequency among adolescents can be explained due to the fact that it is at this age that there is a surge in the level of sex hormones. This hormonal activity stimulates the release of sebum on your skin and it is this release, which ultimately causes acne. For people who continues to have a high hormonal activity, you will most of the time, see them plague with acne too. Also contrary to popular beliefs, acne sometimes occur before adolescence. Indeed it is between the age of 6 to 10 years that begins the production of the sex hormones. Sometimes you can see acne also on babies which are a few weeks old. This can be due to the mother which has had an increase in hormones during pregnancy.

  3. Acne is due to a bad hygiene.
    This is not true. Certainly hygiene plays a very important part in the well being of a person but acne doesn't sprout from a person not being that clean. Acne is due to an excess of sebum inside the hair follicles. On the contrary, certain adolescents tend to aggravate their situation by cleaning the acne too much which can spread the inflammation. Too much cleaning can trigger the formation of more sebum. If you have got acne, do not touch the infected parts and use a mild soap to wash your face.

  4. Acne is contagious.
    Although the lesions of acne contain small bacteria, this disease is not infectious. Indeed the proliferation of the bacteria occurs deep inside the skin, away from air and oxygen. Besides many people which do not have acne, have got this bacteria living on their skin.

  5. Acne heals with the sunlight.
    In fact, the sun is responsible for further inflammation of the deceased skin. During a first period, the sun will drain the lesions and dry the skin by increasing its thickness. You will think that the acne has disappeared. But once the sun has gone down, the inflammation will start again and will spread further across your skin. Be careful about this. If you are taking medications, read the label. Some medications specify not to go out in the sun when taking them. Better protect yourself and do not use oil to sunbathe because the application of oily products on a skin with acne is not recommended.

  6. Acne does not allow you to apply make-up.
    Make-up is possible if you take care to use products produced specifically for acne skin. Ask your pharmacist for these products and take care to read the label well to see if the products work with the type of acne you have because there exists various kind of acne. In all cases, clean your skin every day and take care to remove all the make-up. Apply a day or night cream only on a clean skin.


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