Acne Myths

Scientific knowledge about acne is gradually clearing up some of the misconceptions surrounding this condition, but there are many myths that persist. Here are some common acne myths.

Acne Myth #1 – Acne is caused by poor hygiene.
This belief may have arisen because of the skin infections associated with acne. However, lack of cleanliness is not the reason for outbreaks of acne. The mixture of sebum and dead cells which cause acne is situated beneath the surface of the skin where it is impossible to clean it away. However, gentle cleansing with soap and water once or twice a day will keep the skin as healthy as possible. Be careful not to scrub too hard, however, as this may make acne worse.

Acne Myth #2 – Acne is caused by certain foods.
There is a long-standing belief that eating chocolate will cause the face to break out in pimples. There is no scientific evidence for this — studies have shown no statistically significant relationship between eating chocolate and acne. The same holds true of other foods associated like potato chips and sugar. It is true, however, that eating too much of these foods is unhealthy, and you wish to keep as healthy as possible at all times and especially if afflicted with acne. Limiting chocolate and sugar consumption is always a good idea.

Even though chocolate and french fries do not cause acne, there are some foods which do seem to aggravate it. There seems to be a relationship between milk and acne, and foods high in iodine also seem to cause pimples. Iodine is found in seafood, so those with acne may be advised not to eat too much seafood.
Acne Myth #3 – Acne is related to sex.
At various times we heard that masturbation or celibacy causes pimples. There is no evidence for this. There is a link between sexual activity and hormone production, however, but the relationship between sex and the production of sebum (the oily substance which combines with dead skin cells to cause acne) is unclear. Anger and stress also affect hormone levels.