Acne is a subject fraught with long-held and widespread myths. Your best bet for treating your acne is to debunk the myths so you have time to focus on the facts. As if it’s not bad enough to deal with less-than-ideal skin, but now you’re supposed to live without chocolate, too? I’ve got good news—chocolate doesn’t cause acne. You don’t have to deny yourself the occasional candy bar in order to stave off a break-out.
Since we’re on the subject of chocolate, let’s tackle the “certain foods cause acne" myth. Simply put, there is no scientific evidence to back up this claim. Not only is the chocolate thing untrue, so is the “no greasy foods" rule. Greasy foods aren’t great for us for other reasons, but some fries or a slice of pizza isn’t going to bring on or worsen acne. If you’ve noticed that a particular food truly does cause you to break out, then you can, and probably should, avoid it. But for most people, changing your diet isn’t necessary.
Common myth #2—if you break out, it means you’re not washing your face thoroughly enough or frequently enough. Like the forbidden foods, this statement is also false. Well, I should clarify. Of course it’s necessary to wash your face daily (probably twice daily) and use the over-the-counter products that have proven successful for your skin type. But over-washing, and you really can over wash your face, is only going to aggravate your condition. Dirt and oils are not the causes of acne. On a related note, you don’t have to stop wearing make-up. Many young adults still face the occasional unwelcome pimple. By using nonacnegenic or noncomedogenic make-ups, you can cover up your blemishes without potentially causing more.
Here’s another myth that might offer a short-term solution but could create future long-term problems. A lot of people think that tanning beds and/or sun exposure will help with their acne. It’s true that a tan will temporarily mask the appearance of acne, but it’s more of a cosmetic quick-fix than a cure. Plus, you have to keep in mind the increased risk of skin cancer that unprotected exposure to the sun can cause.
If you’re facing a lot of daily stress (and who isn’t?), you might have been told that it is contributing to your acne. Yet again, this is just a myth. The common stresses of your daily life aren’t a major cause of acne. However, some anti-stress prescriptions have acne as a potential side-effect. If you’re facing this particular problem, you should definitely talk to your doctor right away about ways to fix it.
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