Skincare and acne myths!

As someone who has suffered with acne throughout my teenage years and early adulthood I know how frustrating it can be. This week I am going to set straight some of the myths surrounding acne and skincare. I know that many of you will relate to this given almost 90% of you will have experienced at least some spots by the age of 24.

What causes acne?
Firstly a short explanation of what happens to our skin to cause acne. Acne is caused when hair follicles in the skin become blocked. Sebaceous glands are tiny glands found near the surface of your skin, these attach to the base of the hair follicles and stop the skin from becoming dry by producing an oil called sebum. If the gland produces too much sebum this can become mixed with dead skin cells and plug the follicle. This area can then become inflamed and bulge giving a pimple or spot. Normally harmful bacteria that occur on our skin can play a role in this inflammation. Factors that play a role in the development of acne includes hormones,

Acne Myth busting ��

Acne is for teenagers- Myth
Acne often presents in the teenage years however the condition can actually develop at any age. In adults there are two subtypes: ‘persistent acne’ that continues from your teenage years and ‘late-onset acne’ that begins after the age of 25. Common causes of acne include hormones, your genetic make-up, certain medications and also smoking.

Acne is genetic- Fact
Your genetics play a major role as to whether you are likely to develop acne. Some studies have shown suggested that nearly 80% of acne cases is due to genetic inheritance. One study found that if both of your parents had acne, you are more likely to develop more severe acne at an early age. The study also found that if one or both of your parents had adult acne, you are much more likely to get it. Thanks Mum and Dad!

Acne caused by unclean skin- Myth
Over production of sebum by the sebaceous glands is the primary disorder, which is mostly caused by hormone levels. When pores become blocked they become inflamed and present themselves as spots. This is not due to being unclean or poor hygiene, which is both a frustrating and misleading myth. This is not to say however that keeping your skin clean and using cleansers is not important.

Chocolate makes acne worse- Myth
This has been a long standing myth that has now been gladly banished, especially for chocolate lovers out there. Research suggests that diet plays far less of a role in acne than we first thought and that hormones and genetics are much more important as a causative factor.

Acne is contagious- Myth
Acne is not an infection and therefore is not contagious. I can't be clear enough on this one.

You should still moisturise acne prone skin- Fact
Our skin is a protective layer and needs to be looked after carefully, moisturising is a part of this process and does not cause or worsen your spots. Even oily skin needs moisturising as excess oils do not equate to effective skin hydration. I advise using water based moisturisers that are kinder to acne prone skin.

Don’t squeeze spots- Fact
Squeezing the spots is not going to speed up the recovery or resolution of the acne, in fact often it makes your skin look worse. More importantly squeezing and picking spots makes scarring more likely.

Avoid make up- Myth
There is no need to avoid make up. Often people choose to cover up spots with make up to improve self confidence. It is important to choose the right products in particular opting for oil-free foundation or BB cream for coverage.

I hope the above tips have been useful and that we have banished a few myths! As always please see your doctor if you have any symptoms or concerns.