The Truth About Acne-Prone Skin
Does chocolate cause breakouts? Are blackheads dirt? Will moisturizer clog your pores? What you think you know about adult acne is probably less fact, more fiction. And, when it comes to treating acne, it helps to understand the difference. Ready to find the underlying cause of things? Here are ten myths about breakouts – busted.
Myth #1: Acne Is A Teenage Problem
The most common acne myth is that acne is a teenage problem. While it is true that most teens (close to 85%) battle breakouts, pimples can continue to pop up – and even appear for the first time – in adulthood. In fact, the International Dermal Institute reports that between 40 and 55% of adults ages twenty to forty struggle with breakouts. While the severity and symptoms of adult-onset acne vary, acne that develops past adolescence is typically caused by genetics and hormones, and aggravated by stress.
Myth #2: Junk Food Causes Breakouts
Contrary to popular belief, junk food does not cause pimples. But, don’t be too quick to scoop up that second slice of pizza. While research shows no direct link between junk food and acne, the consumption of fatty and sugary foods can still have a negative impact on your skin. As dermatologist, Dr Aman Sharma explains: “When people fill up on chocolate and other high-caloric and fatty foods, they leave little room to eat a balanced diet, which is needed for healthy skin. So it can be the lack of needed nutrients, rather than the junk food itself, which supports the proliferation of acne.” In moderation one can enjoy , but then moderation is also different for different people. so watch out
What to do?
Dr Alpna Das Sharma says that “plant-based foods such as nuts and seeds; and foods containing healthy fatty acids (omega-3s), such as salmon and rainbow trout, are high in anti-inflammatory properties which can be beneficial to our skin.” Foods like refined carbohydrates, sugars and dairy may not make blemishes vanish overnight, but swapping in good-for-you alternatives has the potential to improve your skin’s health over time. Not only this but desi ghee or clarified butter can also be good options for a healthy diet for young acne patients. it also can cut the urge for high cal-and junk foods.
Myth #3: Problem Skin Is Dirty Skin
Skin cell turnover is a natural process that pushes oil and debris out of your pores, keeping them clean. When that does not happen fast enough, your pores collect a backlog of oil, skin debris and protein. Dirt is not part of the equation. Rather, acne results when this backlog combines with bacteria, triggering infection and inflammation.
A related misconception is that acne can be eradicated by keeping skin squeaky clean. However, unbelievably, there is such thing as cleansing too much. While we’re advocates of a clean complexion, over washing and using harsh cleansers can contribute to the breakdown of your skin’s natural oils. This dehydrates the skin, which overcompensates by producing even more sebum. The result is clogged pores and more breakouts.
Myth #4: Oily Skin Doesn’t Need Moisturizer
A healthy moisture barrier not only locks in moisture but also keeps out impurities and irritants that can make problem skin worse. If your skin is acne-prone, you may balk at the mention of moisturizer. However, even oily skin needs hydration and moisture. Dr. Alpna Sharma says: “Moisturizing the skin maintains the integrity of barrier function and is vital for good skin health. Even oily skin needs moisturizing as excess oils do not equate to effective skin hydration.” When skin is dehydrated, it compensates by producing more oil, which leads to more breakouts. A healthy moisture barrier not only locks in moisture but also keeps out impurities and irritants that can make problem skin worse.
You now know moisturizing is a key step to any acne skin care routine – but are all moisturizers created equal. The short answer: No. Rich moisturizers can be overkill for an oily complexion. Instead, opt for a lightweight hydrator that will not bog down your pores. Our recommendation is the new Aveil Crème’ Avoine which is enriched with colloidal oatmeal, sodium PCA and rich emollients which are synonymous with hydrating and soothing the skin. Prefer moisturisers which are paraffin free.
Myth #5: The Stronger The Acne Treatment, The Better It Works
When it comes to acne treatments, stronger is not necessarily better. Products that promise to dry out pimples often include harsh chemical additives that over strip and irritate an already inflamed complexion. Dr Aman Sharma says: “Many potent acne-blasting products strip natural oils from the skin. So, while heavy-duty formulas may make the skin feel squeaky-clean at first; they are skimming off what your skin naturally needs and can cause pores to panic. They then produce even more oil and therefore, can worsen your acne in the long run possibly by impacting the skin flora or skin microbiome balance.”
Myth #6: The Black In Blackheads Is Dirt
Blackheads are not at all related to the cleanliness of your skin. In fact, these small dark spots only differ slightly from whiteheads. The medical term for blackhead is “open comedo” and refers to a dilated hair follicle filled with sebum, dead skin cells and bacteria that, unlike a whitehead, is left uncovered. When sebum is exposed to air, a chemical process called oxidation occurs which causes it to darken.
Blackheads are best treated with topical remedies containing ingredients like salicylic acid that exfoliate skin and soften sebum. Salicylic acid is an oil-soluble BHA that is able to penetrate blocked pores and dissolve the paste-like mixture of sebum and dead skin that leads to blackheads. In addition to being an incredibly effective acne-fighter, salicylic acid has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce redness and calm acne-prone skin.
Myth #7: Applying A Spot Treatment Is Not Enough
When battling moderate to severe acne, applying the odd spot treatment isn’t going to do the trick. To keep a clear face, you need to treat the pimples you have, as well as those hiding under the skin that have not yet come to the surface. If you treat only the big pimples, you won’t prevent any new ones from popping up, and you will always be playing catch-up, rather than keeping your face clear.
Dermatologists recommend using products that not only tackle existing pimples but also prevent new ones from forming.
Myth #8: Body Acne Is The Same As Face Acne
If you experience acne vulgaris on your face, it is likely that you’ve noticed pimples popping up on your neck, chest and back as well. These body breakouts are caused by the same triggers as facial acne, but they can be more challenging to treat. The breakouts on your chest and back tend to be a little different than the acne on your face. They’re technically called folliculitis, which is when the hair follicle becomes infected. However, it looks the same as facial acne and can be treated with the same products and ingredients. One of the troubles with body acne is that the hair follicles (pores) are spaced further apart and the skin tends to be more tough. This can make it more difficult for topical products to penetrate the epidermis and work as quickly as they do on the face.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind to improve the look of body breakouts:
- Shower immediately after working out and always change into a fresh set of clothes
- Use products that contain salicylic acid
- Avoid benzoyl peroxide which can be harsh on skin and bleach fabric
Myth #9: Your Pores Can Open And Close
We hate to break it to you, but there is no way to close your pores completely. In fact, open pores play a key role in your skin’s health, releasing the sweat and sebum that keep it cool and lubricated. That said, when you’re already battling acne, large pores can feel like an unnecessary burden.
The good news: Pores can be made to look smaller. Your pores enlarge when oil and dead skin build up and put pressure on the pore opening, causing it to stretch. To “shrink” them down to size, you need to clear that congestion. Often, when people say they wish to open their pores, what they’re referring to is a deep cleaning to remove excess oil and debris. This may make open pores look as if they’ve shrunk or closed.
Myth #10: Acne Is Skin Deep
Acne goes more than skin deep. Studies show that persistent acne has mental and emotional effects that impact confidence, wellbeing and self-esteem. Researchers have found connections between acne and the development of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, poor self-image and decreased quality of life. Self-care often suffers, and patients with acne often withdraw from social and work activities, don’t go on dates and don’t try for better jobs.
Alternative medicine equates acne as an outcome of sum total of what we in modern day call lifestyle and metabolic factors. so it is for sure not just skin deep.
One of the best ways to tackle the causes of acne is through a healthy skin care routine. There are other acne myths out there as well. Ignore them and talk with your doctor about acne treatments that will work for you.
Ayurveda or homoeopathy can cure acne from the root and completely?
It is not that one pathy can cure and the other can’t cure acne completely. The concept of functional and integrative medicine take cue from this fact itself and combines best of holistic medicine to manage acne in a safe effective and lasting manner.