Teen skin care: Experts bust a few myths

Being a teenager can be even more fun if you’ve learnt the art of caring for your skin correctly. Knowing how to differentiate between fact and myth can help you look great, boost your confidence and make you a hit with your friends.

Knowledge about what works for you and what’s harmful can save time and money. To help you get clarity about the misconceptions that fog your mind, our expert, Dr. Rohini Prasad (MCh) who is trained in Plastic Surgery, tackles some skin care myths.

1. My mom had acne. Will I get it?
Acne is not a genetically predisposed problem. Only very few cases of acne are hereditary.

2. Vigorous scrubbing will help your face glow.
No, gentle exfoliation with scrubs available in the market can open up pores in your skin and prevent acne. But, vigorous scrubbing should be avoided.

3. Oily food causes acne
Blocked and infected pores cause acne. The serum responsible for this is a hormone-related secretion and has nothing to do with consumption of oily food.

4. Makeup can make your skin lifeless.
Different people react differently to makeup. Some of them are allergic to external topical applications that can cause eruptions or rashes. Harsh bleaches can harm the skin permanently by destroying the layers of the skin.

5. Squeezing pimples can get rid of them
No, that is very dangerous. The skin on the nose and around the lips is very sensitive and an infection can lead to facial cellulitis that is at times life threatening.

6. Acne scars can never be removed
Contrary to this claim, scars can be removed to a satisfactory level. Scars are of three types – shallow, elevated or hyperpigmented. Shallow scars can be treated with dermabrasion, the elevated ones can be surgically corrected while the dark or hyperpigmented ones can be treated with lightening agents or gels.

7. Dark circles can be bleached
This may not work in all cases. If the dark circles are caused by dehydration and wrinkling, bleaching will not help.

8. It is okay to use waxing creams to remove upper lip hair
It is better not to interfere with the face texture. Plucking and waxing can lead to serious infections of the hair follicles.

9. All natural products are not to be trusted
Products available at home or obtained from nature have been used for centuries and are generally safe. But, if you have a particular allergy to a product, then it can be harmful.

10. Cream-based cosmetics are best avoided.
Cream based cosmetics act as a non-water soluble layer between the skin and the cosmetic and protect the skin. So, they can be used safely.

Home remedies are the best way to care for your skin. However, Dr. Rohini has apprehensions on this also for at times the so-called ‘natural’ products can do more harm than good. Homemade fruit peels should be tested for allergic reactions before being applied to the face. Similarly, flower extracts may contain pollen that can cause allergies and may also trigger an attack of asthma. Any adulteration in store-bought turmeric powder used in face packs at home can also damage the skin.

It’s common for a teenager to feel she’s the only one who’s affected. But, don’t worry – skin problems are common amongst this age group. These useful tips from Dr. Rohini can help you deal with a few of these problems

Acne: Keep the face clean by washing with a mild soap. Do not use cosmetics if you are prone to acne. Drink plenty of water, eat a variety of fruits and vegetables and avoid stress to reduce occurrence.

Excess sweating: Sweating caused by a local response of your body can be tackled by bathing frequently so as to prevent social stigma caused by odour. Destressing can prevent sweating caused by a systemic response of the body.

Oily skin: Wash your face regularly or wipe with cotton and astringent. Use water boiled with neem leaves as a natural astringent.

Warts: They can be removed only surgically, or by hot or cold cautery where an instrument is used to destroy the growth by burning.

In Picture: Teen beauty icon Selena Gomez