Top 10 teen skincare myths busted

Hey kids! Do you think you already know all there is to know about skincare?
You may be surprised that some of the things you’ve heard about acne — like what causes it and how to deal with it — aren’t actually true. Find out more about these misconceptions:

Myth 1: Tanning clears up skin.

Fact: Although a tan may temporarily mask acne, the sun can make the skin dry and irritated, leading to more breakouts in the future. In fact, there’s no link between sun exposure and acne prevention, but the sun’s rays can cause premature aging and skin cancer. Always protect your skin by choosing a sunscreen of at least SPF (sun protection factor) 25 that says noncomedogenic or nonacnegenic on the label, which means it won’t clog pores.

Myth 2: Chocolate and fried foods cause acne.

Fact: Although eating too many sugary, high-fat foods is never a good idea, (from health point of view) studies show that no specific food has been proven to cause acne. Every individual is different, though. Some people notice their breakouts are worse after eating certain foods — and these foods are different depending on the person. For example, some people may notice breakouts after eating chocolate, while others are fine with chocolate but notice they get breakouts after drinking too much coffee. If that’s the case for you, it can help to cut back on that food and see if it makes a difference.

Myth 3: The more you wash your face, lesser breakouts you’ll have.

Fact: Although washing your face helps to remove dirt and oil from your pores, washing too much can lead to dryness and irritation, causing more breakouts. Also, avoid scrubbing your face, which can irritate the skin. As a general rule, wash your face 2-3 times a day with a face cleansing gel or foam in a circular motion and gently pat dry when you’re done.

Myth 4: Popping pimples will help them go away faster.

Fact: Popping a pimple may be tempting and may reduce acne temporarily, but it can cause it to stay around longer and form scars. By squeezing you can actually push bacteria further into the skin, increasing acne and sometimes causing a red or brown mark or pits to form. While it is possible to get rid of the brown and red marks with peels and lasers, it takes a long time. But the pits can be reduced with fractional lasers and dermarollers, but never go away.  So try not to touch the acne

Myth 5: Don’t wear makeup if you want clear skin.

Fact: Though makeup does block the oil glands, there is no need to avoid it totally. As long as you choose cosmetics that are nonacnegenic or noncomedogenic, they should be fine on certain skins. In fact, some concealers now contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, which help to fight acne. If you have moderate to severe acne talk to your dermatologist about the best cosmetics to use — he or she may recommend avoiding cosmetics altogether or only using certain brands so you’re acne isn’t aggravated. And even if a product is labeled nonacnegenic or noncomedogenic, you should talk to your doctor if you notice that it’s irritating your skin or seems to cause breakouts. The trick to avoid acne is to never sleep with the makeup on.

Myth 6: If you keep getting breakouts, it helps to use more acne medication until the breakouts stop.

Fact: Because acne medication contains drying agents like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, using too much medication may cause over drying, leading to irritation and more blemishes.

If over-the-counter acne medication doesn’t seem to work on your acne, it’s a good idea to talk to your dermatologist. But if you have just a few acne, it is till advisable to treat the entire face and prevent new ones from coming up.

Myth 7: My mom says acne will clear on its own, no medications needed.

Fact: Acne is a bacterial infection and required antibiotics. When the treatment is started early, not only the acne incidence reduces but also the chances of scar formation. While it’s true that acne do clear without medications also, but they leave bad scars which may never go. So mantra is to treat the acne at earliest.

Myth 8: As I have acne and dandruff, its fine to oil the hair

Fact: The main pathology in acne is that under the effect of hormones and external factors, the skin turns oily which causes oil gland blockage. Since the effort in acne is to reduce oiliness of face as well as scalp, oiling will actually increase acne. Infact antidandruff shampoo must be used once or twice a week.

Myth 9: My mom and sister has acne so I will also get it.

Fact: This is not always true though acne definitely has a familial tendency. But genetics is not the only factor causing acne. Acne is multifactorial and stress, makeup, food, drugs, weather, hormones and various other factors play a role in the causation. So if mom has acne, don’t loose your sleep over it.

Myth 10: Medicated soaps are best for washing my face with acne.

Fact: Gel or foam based face washes especially containing anti acne ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide are preferred over similar soaps. However avoid the crème based cleansers. Also avoid over scrubbing your face with face wash or scrub thinking it will help the skin glow. It will rip the skin of all its oils and make it more sensitive and allergy prone.

Source: Dr. Madhuri Agarwal

The author is an expert Dermatologist at Kaya Skin Clinic

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Image: latteda