Acne Myth Busting Blog
What can I do about my spots? Is a question I get from so many patients. Whether you are, a man, woman, teenager or pregnant woman. It seems nobody gets away with out at least a few spots appearing at the exact time you don’t want them to! The Christmas party, staff picture day or indeed your wedding day!
This is a two-part blog, the first addresses a few myths regarding acne and lifestyle that I am typically asked by patients, while the second talks you though the treatments available and the ones that I think work!
PART ONE: ACNE MYTHS
1. Washing or scrubbing your face will clear up acne! MYTH
Despite what they show you on TV acne is not caused by the bacteria you have on the skin. The process occurs below the skin surface, where pores become blocked from the bottom up by excessive sebum production. Washing twice a day with your hands is all you needed!
2. Acne is related to eating high carb diets or too much chocolate! MYTH
There is no scientific data confirming either of these statements. However the more robust scientific research does point to a lower calorie diet having a beneficial effect on acne. Higher calorie diets results in high level of male hormones, which can be present in both men and women, stimulate sebum production in the skin. So perhaps it’s not what you are eating but how much?
3. Stress Causes Acne! ABSOLUTELY TRUE
Stress drives acne in two ways. First by our ‘fight or flight’ response fueling adrenogens (male hormones) again to stimulate sebum production and block pores and secondly by causing an inflammatory response in the body causing the walls of pores to break and thus clog.
4. The sun helps my acne! MAYBE
Moderate skin exposure, up to 30 minutes a week depending on your skin tone can have a beneficial effect on acne. However use caution as over exposure and sun burn can often causes damage and an inflammatory response that can lead to breakouts.
5. You should never squeeze a spot! MYTH
Actually squeeze a way! Spots that have a white center can be squeezed and what’s more this can remove the blockages and start the healing process. Squeezing spots however that are deeper and present below the skin with an overlying redness can actually make the spot worse and often lead to scaring.
I hope that his helps to clarify the facts about lifestyle and acne. It always useful to know you are in charge of your own skin and that minor lifestyle changes can have a big effect!
The Beauty Medic