There’s lots of great advice out there about acne, but there’s also a lot of misinformation. Acne myths are potentially harmful, as they can give people misleading skincare tips which can worsen the condition. So we thought it best to set the record straight. Sorting the facts from the fiction, keep reading to discover the most common acne myths and why they are just that – myths.
Squeezing your spots isn’t such a bad thing
By squeezing any form of acne whether it’s blackheads, whiteheads, papules or pustules you could make the acne worse or cause permanent scarring. People mistakenly believe that by popping a pimple they are releasing the pus and thus the bacteria, allowing for the spot to heal. But in fact, by squeezing the spot, you spread the bacteria and trigger an inflammatory response in your skin. This means your skin detects trapped bacteria and secretes chemicals to fight it, this is what causes the spot to swell, redden and become painful. Taking much longer for the spot to go away.
Acne is infectious
This is very simply not true. Acne is not an infection or virus that can be passed on from person to person.
You can never wash your face too much
Washing your face more than twice a day could actually irritate your skin and aggravate your acne in a number of ways. Overzealous washing can strip the skin of its natural oils, causing you skin to overcompensate and produce an excessive amount of oil. Furthermore, harshly scrubbing at the face can cause irritation and even tiny scratches and micro-tears in the skin, which then gives access to more infection and inflammation.
Only teens get acne
This is can be one of the damaging acne myths for self-esteem. Although in the mainstream media acne is correlated with puberty and your awkward teen years, in truth adults suffer from it too. So you’re not alone. Up to 25% of men and 50% of women suffer from adult acne.
Sunbathing and sunbeds can help improve the symptoms of acne
This is completely false and an utterly harmful myth. There is no conclusive evidence to suggest that prolonged exposure to sunlight or sunbeds can improve your acne. It may feel as though it dries out the skin and reduces redness but don’t be fooled. The sun is not your friend. UV rays and prolonged sun exposure can instead cause a premature onset of ageing; wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and sagging skin as well as skin cancer.
Acne is caused by having poor hygiene
Acne is not caused by dirt or uncleanliness, so you can stop blaming yourself. Most of the biological reactions that trigger acne occur beneath the skin, not on the surface. So the cleanliness of your skin whilst helpful is not the sole solution. Washing your face twice a day is more than enough to reduce bacteria, remove surface oil and help exfoliate dead skin cells. To kill the acne-causing bacteria you need to use a targeted treatment.