Six myths about acne

The world is full of experts on acne. After all, most people suffer from it at some point during their teenage years. This gives everyone the right to pass on traditions. Unfortunately much of this conventional wisdom is wrong.

Myth 1. Only people who don't wash get acne
There is no link between "dirt" and acne. The myth says that the pores of the skin get blocked by dirt. The reality is that the glands produce too much sebum oil in the follicles which are then plugged by dead skin cells. Excessive washing to remove surface "dirt" can actually make the problem worse, particularly if you rub your skin too hard.

Myth 2. Too much sex or masturbation causes acne
This is a myth invented by puritans parents who want their children to ignore the pubescence and live celibate lives. It is simply a coincidence that hormones are related to acne.

Myth 3. Depression causes acne
Again, it is a coincidence that there is a link between stress and hormone levels. Indeed, the causation is the wrong way round. It is acne that causes the stress.

Myth 4. Acne is caused by some diets
There have been a significant number of clinical trials attempting to identify cause and effect between different foods and acne. The theory has been that fatty foods are responsible for the excess oil production in the skin, but there is absolutely no documental evidence for this. Meanwhile it doesn't mean you must eat fatty food, it damages your health in many other ways.

Myth 5. Acne is not a disease. You do not need to treat it, it will go away itself
Yes, it is true that people do not die or even experience any pain if they have acne. Except that physical appearance is often a key to identity and, if that identity is threatened, self-confidence can be lost. Depression is a resulting disease with a very small number being so demoralized they commit suicide. Given that acne is treatable, it is sensible to do so.

Myth 6. Going out in the sun will clear up acne
This is something close to the truth, but still is the myth. If you go out in the sun, your face will redden and this will hide the red blemishes. In fact, excessive exposure to the sun will damage the skin and can make the acne worse. This is not to say that you should avoid the sun. It is a useful source of vitamin D and, so long as you avoid burning, you can safely go out in the sun.

All these myths indeed are a mixture of facts and traditional misunderstandings, making no distinction between cause, effect and coincidence. But there is one truth about medicaitons that help to cope with acne. Accutane is the most effective treatment for acne on the market. Despite the inconvenience of the precautions that have to be taken, it is worth the effort, almost always clearing up severe cases the first time. If acne returns, a second round of treatment completes the job. Accutane is not a myth.

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