Acne is the most common skincare problem seen by doctors. It occurs when hair follicles become clogged by a combination of an oily substance (produced by the skin) called sebum, dirt, and dead skin cells. It can usually be treated with topical over-the counter (OTC) products if mild to moderate. For more severe, stubborn and/or widespread acne, however, it is recommended that you see your family doctor or a dermatologist, so s/he can prescribe something stronger.

5 myths about acne

Myth #1: Eating greasy food makes acne worse.
Certain foods such as chocolate, French fries, and other greasy foods have long been suspected of aggravating acne but scientific studies have not been able to find a connection.

Myth #2: Poor hygiene can cause acne.
Acne is not a consequence of dirty skin and isn’t a reflection of anyone’s hygiene habits. And blackheads aren’t dirt-filled pores. They’re black because the protein in them (keratin) is oxidized when it comes into contact with air. In fact, washing too often and vigorously can actually make acne worse.

Myth #3: Acne will clear up on its own in time.
It may clear up eventually but acne can get a lot worse before it gets better. And the longer you have acne, the greater the chances of permanent scarring. The most effective way to get rid of acne is not to wait and see but to treat it. Talk to your doctor about what treatment is right for you.

Myth #4: You can get acne from contact with someone who has it.
Acne may be unsightly and embarrassing for the sufferer but it is absolutely not contagious.

Myth #5: Sun exposure and tanning clear up skin.
Neither outdoor nor indoor tanning will help acne over the long run. Being in the sun can help acne initially by drying up skin lesions and surface oils a bit but the effect is just temporary. More often, people will experience an acne flare-up after UV exposure. In addition, sun exposure greatly raises the risk of skin cancer.