Neha Tiwari in beauty and cosmetics, Healthcare, Health and Beauty Sep 23, 2019 · 3 min read · +400

Facts & Myths: Common Acne Misconceptions

Facts & Myths: Common Acne Misconceptions

Acne is a skin condition that most people suffer from at frequent intervals.  Environmental factors like weather changes, physical/mental stress are thought to be some of the contributing factors for the onset of acne.  In girls/women, hormonal shifts associated with reproductive functions can also trigger acne. Androgen hormone is basically responsible for the appearance of acne and when this hormone induces the sebaceous glands for excreting a large amount of oil, the skin pores get clogged with oil. Consequently, the clogged area becomes fertile ground for the accumulation of dirt and bacteria which in turn becomes acne. The social discomfort from acne is considered more challenging than the physical impact of acne although the condition can lead to irritation of the skin and dry skin in some instances. But, if you are known to have sensitive skin, you should be extra careful on the type of products and acne scar treatment that you take to get rid of or treat your acne condition. Similarly, you may also experience irritation and dryness of the skin and therefore it is desirable that you avoid frequent washing of the area impacted by acne as it can worsen your skin condition removing the smoothness of the skin layer. Health experts opine that using sensitive soap can be beneficial and ensuring that skin products you use do not contain dyes, perfume or chemicals can also be helpful in containing the problem. For best results, you should be using the soap about twice daily. 

Acne treatment

When it comes to treating acne, a 2.5% benzoyl peroxide can be applied to the affected area. This medication is available across the counter as a cream, gel or lotion. The higher concentration of benzoyl peroxide, however, can be counterproductive and therefore you should be cautious about the concentration level. After applying the cream/lotion, you can use a lotion-free from oil regularly to hydrate the skin and avoid dryness. This way, the moisture on your skin will be sustained around the pores helping avoid irritation and promoting healing.  Other forms of treatment are also available to treat your acne condition and it is desirable that you consult a dermatologist depending on the severity of your acne problem. 

Herbal medication

Another effective treatment measure is the use of herbal medication that has been practised for centuries. Some of the helpful herbs include rose water, aloe vera, tea tree oil, red clover, burdock root or a combination of these in treating acne and other skin conditions. While the herbal medication carries beneficial properties, certain side effects should also be expected from them.  Skin irritation and dryness are among the more common side effects of herbal medicines. You should also take care not to ingest the herbal medicines for acne. This again brings into focus the need to consult a medical professional or a dermatologist before determining the best line of treatment for your acne. 

Myths and misconceptions about acne

There are many misconceptions and myths about acne and therefore it helps to get to the facts so that you can address your acne problems more effectively. Consider the following:-

  • Acne is natural and you can hardly do anything to alleviate the problem 

Yes, Acne is a natural phenomenon that is associated more with teenagers because of hormonal imbalance and dry skin or other causes. Acne can be treated effectively and you should choose a treatment that best suits your condition to avoid permanent scars from forming on your skin. Launching the treatment early on helps in quick healing and less expensive. Acne can also come back despite the treatment and the only means to get relief is repeating the treatment.

  • Poor personal hygiene causes acne 

Dirt in the body is not the trigger for acne and even when your personal hygiene is at its best, you are not essentially safe from acne.  The pigment melanin is responsible for the natural colour of your skin and this material appears like dirt when it deposits inside blackheads from acne. Thus, several face washes across a day do not help acne in any manner, save for a temporary relief due to the higher moisture level on the skin surface. In fact, frequent washing can be more harmful since the surface of the skin can be dried out with every wash. In turn, your acne condition can be aggravated due to dry skin. You are better off washing your face twice every day using a cleanser and following the best acne remedy advised by a medical professional. 

  • Junk foods cause acne

Admittedly, junk food does negatively impact your health in many ways. But, they do not contribute directly to acne in any manner. However, if you observe a specific reaction to one or more types of junk food, you can avoid them until you gain control over acne and get rid of the scars.

  • Only teenagers are affected by acne

Although teenagers are more vulnerable to acne, age is not a key factor for acne and even people in their forties can get acne. However, with women, pregnancy, menstrual cycle and birth control tablets can trigger acne.

  • Sunlight can be helpful in controlling acne

Yes, sun rays can help with drying existing pimples though it cannot prevent new spots from surfacing. In certain cases, however, sun rays can clog the skin pores and worsen your condition. Further, tetracycline and retinoids, the commonly prescribed medicine for the treatment of acne can bring more sensitivity to sun rays.

  • Acne is strongly linked to diet

    This can be partially true since a very small part of the indigenous population has stayed free from acne. This population sustained life with unprocessed food available to gatherers and hunters. The medical world is yet to establish the influence of such a diet in preventing acne. But, given the modern-day lifestyle, it may be an independent challenge to follow such a diet regimen even when science establishes the benefits in terms of acne control.


    Acne is a skin issue that can be treated quickly in most cases and seldom becomes a long-lasting issue. Consulting a medical professional and taking his/her advice is the way to go.