The Truth About Breaking Out: Clearing Up Acne Myths
If you’re breaking out, whether it’s from hormones, allergic reactions, or hygiene, it’s easy to believe the hype when it comes to acne myths. We’ve all tried the home remedies, that subsequently leave us with worse, more obvious blemishes. We’ve avoided things like eating chocolate and working out under the pretense that it will aggravate our condition. But what’s the real deal? New York Dermatologist Eric Schweiger, MD, shares the facts about 5 common acne myths.
Myth #1: Sweat Causes Acne
Truth: “Sweating does not cause acne,” reveals Dr. Schweiger. “Sweat glands are not the same as oil pores.” Dr. Schweiger did explain that there is a condition called acne mechanica, in which acne is caused by a mix of heat, friction, and covered skin. To avoid this, steer clear of tight clothing, straps, and headbands that cover your skin in situations where you will be sweating for long periods of time. Be sure to also rinse off promptly following a work out.
Myth #2: Junk Food Leads to Breakouts
Truth: Dr. Schweiger explains, “The dermatological community has long dispelled the idea that junk foods, such as French fries and chocolate, cause acne. However, there is new research linking diet to acne.” For your skin and your health, avoid foods with a high-glycemic index – often processed, sugary foods. “[These foods] are thought to trigger the production of androgens, a hormone responsible for oil production.”
Myth #3: Wash Your Face Often to Avoid Blemishes
Truth: It’s the exactly opposite and over-washing actually makes your breakouts worse. “Washing your face any more than twice a day can cause drying of the skin, which can cause skin to produce more oil to overcompensate,” shared Dr. Schweiger.
Myth #4: Sit in the Sun to Clear Acne
Truth: No, no, and once again, no. It’s time we stop believing this harmful home-remedy. “While ‘drying out acne’ in the sun may seem like a good idea, it’s not,” explained Dr. Schweiger. “The sun not only causes premature aging, but it does nothing to help clear up or heal acne. A suntan may help mask the redness of zits, but it’s only temporary. Once the tan fades, the pimples can come back in full force thanks to ultraviolet light exposure.”
Acne Myth #5: Toothpaste Makes Zits Disappear
Truth: Dr. Schweiger said, “The thinking behind the toothpaste-as-acne-treatment myth is that toothpaste dries out the zit and therefore gets rid of it. Legitimate acne medications, such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, treat zits with the side effect of dry skin, leading people to believe that toothpaste works just the same. Not so. Toothpaste is not an effective acne treatment, not to mention it contains ingredients that can irritate the skin.”