When you were little, you likely were told a lot of different things regarding acne that you will get as a teenager. Parents often told children about acne before it began happening as part of the changes that would happen as a result of puberty. The problem with what parents have said through the years about acne is that they are often misleading or straight up getting the facts about acne wrong. As you turned into a teenager, even more misconceptions and myths were thrown your way as a result of the breakouts you were getting, and this really led to a lot of teenagers not knowing the truth about acne or how to deal with a breakout. Here are the top 7 myths and misconceptions that we have all heard at one time or another about acne, and hopefully clearing up these myths will help you better understand this condition and how to control it.
Only Teenagers Get Acne- One of the most common myths that is out there about acne is that it is something only teenagers get. This is one of those myths that have been out there for years regarding acne, because a lot of parents will tell you that once you get through the teenage years, you do not have to worry anymore about breakouts. This is just simply not true, because adults, both men and women are likely to get acne at some point in their lives. While it is true that most adults do not have as bad of breakouts as teenagers, since hormone levels are fairly consistent in adulthood, it does happen from time to time. It is estimated that around 40 percent of adults get acne at some point, and more adult women get acne than adult men because women are more likely to have hormone fluctuations that can bring on the acne. Women can choose to get on the birth control pill in order to help prevent breakouts and regulate hormones, but it’s important to have hormone levels checked if you are an adult man or women who gets regular breakouts because this could mean a hormone deficiency, and then you can get treatment that will help knock out the number of breakouts you experience.
Pop the Pimples– While it does feel really good to pop a pimple, the truth of the matter is that you do not want to pop pimples, whether you get them on your face or your back. Popping pimples often times leads to scarring, which can be permanent, and the scars do not go away the older you get. If you have an entire face filled with pimples and you pop them, then when you are older it will look like you were in an accident or burned because your face will be all scarred up literally for life. While you might find it very satisfying to pop the pimples on your face or back or anywhere else, it is best just to leave them alone and let nature run its course, because interfering with the process will leave you looking even worse later in life.
Dirty Skin Leads to Acne- You might have heard your parents telling you when you were younger to wash your face, because leaving dirt and bacteria on your skin will lead to acne and breakouts. This is not technically correct, although it is a good idea to wash your face, you should only wash your face once or twice a day. You also want to make sure you are using lukewarm water and not hot water, and that you are using a mild cleanser and not something harsh like an astringent. Some people will actually wash their faces vigorously multiple times a day, and this is not good for your skin because it will cause it to not only look really bad, it will actually lead to more problems because of the abrasive chemicals and washing too aggressively can also lead to more acne instead of less. When you wash your face, you want to do so in a soft circular motion, instead of sitting there rubbing the skin right off your face. Parents might be telling you to wash your face and wash it often, but this is not true at all. Of course if you are sweaty or you have makeup on, you should wash that off to help keep your skin looking healthy and keep away bacteria, just don’t do it too often or use too much pressure when you are washing.
Greasy Foods and Junk Foods Cause Acne– Another very common misconception about acne is that junk foods or greasy foods are responsible for creating acne. There have been numerous studies through the years that have shown no correlation between greasy foods like pizza, french fries, and hamburgers, and the number of acne breakouts that someone has. These types of foods are shown not to impact whether or not you will get acne, and they are shown to not impact your health in the regards of acne. It is important to note though these foods do contribute to other health issues, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol levels, so you still should only eat these foods in moderation because they are not healthy for you. While these foods are not directly related to acne, if you get the grease on your skin, such as on your face, it can clog your pores and lead to a breakout. This is why it’s important to wash your hands before you touch your face after you eat these types of foods, because you don’t want the grease to clog your pores and create bacteria, which then can cause acne to develop.
Tanning Beds Get Rid of Acne- Most teenagers will try to justify their use of tanning beds by creating mythical benefits of tanning beds, such as that it can help rid you of acne. Back when the tanning beds were a big thing and a trend among the younger generation, the myth that tanning beds can help acne came to be, and this is just not true. Studies have shown that the UVA light, which is used in tanning beds, has no benefit when it comes to getting rid of acne. Tanning beds are very dangerous and can lead to numerous health issues, so even if this was true, it is not enough of a benefit to even consider tanning on a regular basis. To just be clear though, there is no evidence to support that tanning beds benefits acne or helps get rid of acne at any level, so you should not try to go to the tanning bed to help get rid of your breakout.
Your Pores Close and Open- One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to your pores is that they open and close, such as hot water opening the pores and cold water closing the pores. This is just not true at all because pores are not a muscle and do not have the ability to expand and contract based on situations or circumstances, such as the temperature of the water you are using. Acne occurs because your pores get clogged, which often happens because bacteria gets into the pores, but using cold water does not close your pores and make you less prone to a breakout. Your pores can appear bigger or smaller depending on a number of things, such as having oily skin can lead to oily pores, which does make the pores appear larger. Washing your face can help keep the pores smaller because it gets the dead skin out of the way, but there is no way that your pores move or act like a muscle. Think of it like this, your pores are always open, they do not close, but what you eat and how often you wash your face can change the size of the pores.
Acne Just Goes Away– While it is not 100 percent false, there is a misconception out there that you just need to let acne go away. These days there are numerous treatments available to help you clear up your skin, such as pills and topical creams, and if you are a female you can get on birth control in order to clear up bad acne breakouts. The truth is that you do not need to just suffer with pizza face and get made fun of at school because there are ways to treat this condition. It’s just like any other problem these days, if there is a way to make something better or treat it then you do not need to sit there and just suffer, and you should be taking advantage of the products available to you. If you are worried about cost, a lot of the products are pretty inexpensive, and most of it is covered by insurance so you only have to pay the copay that you normally would for a prescription.