With all the information on acne causes and treatments in books, magazines, or on the Internet, it’s difficult sometimes to know what is fact and what is myth.  Acne treatments range from home remedies, herbal medicines, creams, gels, vitamins, antibiotics, hormonal treatments, retinoids, laser treatment and the list goes on.

First of all what is acne? Acne is the result of hair follicles and skin pores getting clogged when the body produces too much oil which builds up which then leads to swelling, pimples, zits or whiteheads.  The oily substance is called sebum, which lubricates and moisturizes the skin and hair.  Normally, sebum produces small amounts of oil, but sometimes, although no one knows for sure why, starts over-producing oil.  Hormones play a part in the amount of sebum that is produced during adolescence.  The male hormone androgen can cause sebaceous glands to enlarge leading to the increase of more sebum.

Some FACTS about acne:

  • Popping pimples can lead to infection and scarring.
  • An acne treatment that works for one person may not work for you.
  • If other family members have/or had acne, it’s more likely that you will, too.
  • People of all races and ages can get acne.
  • Oil build-up in the skin can contribute to pimples.
  • Acne is more common in males than in females during adolescence.
  • Some birth control pills can help acne by slowing down over-producing oil glands in the skin.
  • Acne has nothing to do with lack of cleanliness.
  • Acne is not contagious.

Some MYTHS about acne:

  • The sun is good for acne.  A tan can temporarily cover up blemishes, but the sun may actually make acne worse.
  • Eating chocolate and sugar causes acne.
  • Acne is a result of poor hygiene.  Although, proper cleansing is essential for treating an acne condition.
  • Acne is not caused by dirt.
  • Stress causes acne. However, research suggests that for people who have acne, stress can make it worse.
  • Any acne medication works instantly.
  • Washing many times a day will minimize acne.
  • Washing with rough soaps and aggressive scrubbing will clear up acne on the face.
  • Picking your acne will make it disappear.
  • Once acne has cleared up, it will never come back.
  • Teenagers are the only ones that get acne.

 

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