top 5 acne myths

Simply put, acne happens when pores, or follicles, plug with excess sebum and dead skin cells. Many things can cause acne- from external irritants, bacteria, hormones, stress, even fungus. Today, many people believe myths or even "old wives tales" about acne without concrete evidence and facts, which has led to many misconceptions about acne and how it can be dealt with.

So, what are the top 5 myths about acne?


1. Only teenagers get acne.

Acne is a common skin disease that attacks the face, shoulders, back, neck, chest, and upper arms. This condition causes blackheads, whiteheads, blemishes, and pimples, among others. Although 8 in 10 teens have acne, it is only a myth that only teenagers get acne since adults also be affected by it. Much of the time, especially in women, hormonal fluctuations and changes are to blame. Yes, this can still happen in adulthood, especially during or after pregnancy. One study concluded that 85% of women and 15% of men have experienced adult acne at some point.

2. Tanning/sun exposure helps clear acne.

This is something you may have heard from one of your friends somewhere down the line, based on how they have been affected by breakouts and the healing process. Even though it can seem possible that the sun or tanning bed can dry out acne, it can't clear it. Actually, the sun can inflame and dry your skin, leading to more oil production on your skin, which can make the acne conditions worse than before.

3. Moisturizers can worsen acne.

Regardless of your skin type- whenever you cleanse your face, you should be following up with a moisturizer. If you suffer from acne, your best bet is to use lightweight moisturizers that are water-based and oil free instead of using oil-based moisturizers or moisturizers that contain oils. Yes, oil  can lead to breakouts in acne prone skin types- but not all. Remember that your skin needs moisture since most acne treatments have drying effects contributing to inflammation. Don't give up on moisturizing- find the right moisturizer for your skin when you are battling against breakouts.

4. Acne isn't genetic.

Acne can run through family bloodlines. Even if you don't have a genetic lineage that influences you to have acne breakouts, it has been discovered that genetics can impact your possibility of getting acne. For instance, genetics can establish how effective your immunity is at fighting against Propionibacterium acnes, a bacterium responsible for promoting acne.

Particular hormonal conditions, such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), have been illustrated to occur closely within family lines. Acne is a common sign of PCOS, which deems it a genetic condition. In an older study, adult acne was shown to have a genetic attribute on 204 individuals aged 25 and above.

If all your parents suffered from severe acne during their adolescence or adulthood, your chances of having acne are higher.

5. Chocolate makes acne worse.

Fortunately for all chocolate lovers out there, there is no verified evidence that chocolate can cause acne. However, this doesn't mean that your diet does not influence acne breakouts. The chances are higher that the sugar in your chocolate bar or chocolate cupcake is responsible for fresh pimples more than cocoa. Always opt dark chocolate, and- the darker the better.


Acne comes in many forms and can be caused by multiple different factors. There are ways to help identify what is causing your acne or breakouts, but a dermatologists expertise is always advised to getting to the bottom of things. Until you can pinpoint what is causing it and how to best treat it- steer clear of myths that are far-fetched or have little to no medical research to back it.

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