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6 Acne Myths You Should Know

If you have acne, you’ve probably gotten a lot of advice about how to clear your skin. In fact, many of the "tips" you might hear about acne are just myths that have no scientific basis. Here are some of the most common examples:

Sun helps!

Sun doesn’t help acne, it can actually make it worse! The ultra violet (UV) light in sunlight can damage the skin, making it dry and irritated, which can lead to more acne developing in the weeks following overexposure to the sun. You should always protect your skin with a sunscreen that is labelled as non-comedogenic or non-acnegenic (i.e. it doesn’t clog pores).

Don’t eat greasy foods!
There is no scientific evidence to back up the claim that acne is caused by greasy foods. You’re safe for now, pizza. 
Clean your face more!
Washing your face helps to remove dirt and excess oil but scrubbing it and washing it too often can lead to dryness and irritation, which will cause more acne. 

Don’t wear make-up! 
It should be ok for you to wear make-up if is labelled as non-acnegenic or non-comedogenic, meaning that it doesn’t clog the pores in your skin. If you’re in doubt, ask a specialist about the best cosmetics to use.

It’s just a teenage phase!
Acne often peaks in the teenage years, and is associated with fluctuating hormone levels during this time but it can often persist into adulthood. Acne is always treated in the same way no matter what age the patient is. 

You can only get acne on your face!
Acne can happen anywhere on your body but is more commonly found on the face, chest and back, areas where the skin has a relatively high number of sebaceous glands.
 

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Sources

Magin P, Pond D, Smith W, Watson A. A systematic review of the evidence for “myths and misconceptions” in acne management: diet, face-washing and sunlight. Fam Pract. 2004;22(1):62-70. doi:10.1093/fampra/cmh715
Davidovici BB, Wolf R. The role of diet in acne: facts and controversies. Clin Dermatol. 2010;28(1):12-16. doi:10.1016/j.clindermatol.2009.03.010
Matsuoka Y, Yoneda K, Sadahira C, Katsuura J, Moriue T, Kubota Y. Effects of skin care and makeup under instructions from dermatologists on the quality of life of female patients with acne vulgaris. J Dermatol. 2006;33(11):745-752. doi:10.1111/j.1346-8138.2006.00174.x

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