Acne Myths And Misconceptions
Pumping Up and Breaking Out
When bodybuilders and other athletes ingest illegal steroids to reduce workout fatigue and build muscle mass, they’re pumping up more than just their biceps. Heavy cases of acne usually result, too, due to the overabundance of androgens in the athlete’s system.
Of course, mere zits, no matter how severe, are the least of the steroid abuser’s worries. Prolonged use of dangerous, black market substances such as human growth hormone and animal testosterone without strict medical supervision may cause irreversible liver damage that can ultimately lead to liver failure—and death.
If you know people at your gym or have friends at school who take such substances, you should warn them that they are playing with fire. Though they probably already know this, a word from you just might bring them back to their senses.
Some Common Acne Myths and Misconceptions – Busted!
The instant you break out with a few zits, you will almost certainly receive loads of well-intentioned but often misguided advice as to what caused them and how to treat them. Acne, like the common cold, is one of those disorders that lends itself to intense speculation and discussion by the non- medical public.
The reasons for this are understandable enough. First of all, nearly everyone suffers from acne sooner or later, just as nearly everyone comes down with a cold at some point. People feel as though they have experience with the problem, and therefore develop opinions about its causes and treatment.
Second, since no definitive acne cure exists, all kinds of "home remedies” and therapies have been concocted over the years. Here again, the same holds true for the common cold, which people try to treat with everything from chicken soup to hot baths and heating pads.
Finally, there is an all too human temptation to assume that a person with acne has somehow "brought on” the disease by virtue poor diet, bad hygiene, or sexual promiscuity much in the manner that cold sufferers are assumed by some to have caught their colds by not dressing warmly enough in the winter.
Of course, nothing of the sort is true in either case. We’ve already examined the main reasons and remedies for woe, and no reputable doctor would suggest that you catch a cold by getting cold (the real culprit is usually a viral or bacterial invader). Yet the myths and misconceptions persist.
Now, some of the myths surrounding acne are essentially harmless, but others most definitely aren’t. In fact, we can pretty much guarantee that you’ll worsen your acne if you allow certain bits of advice that have been floating around fir ages. To help you avoid mistreatment, and to clear up any confusion you may have about the disorder, let’s take a closer look at the most widespread of these popular myths.
Acne Myths #1:
Eating the wrong foods causes acne. People who believe this myth will caution you to stay away from chocolate, fried foods, and junk food snacks. Soda is also mentioned sometimes, but not as often as the others.
Your diet, however, doesn’t significantly increase or reduce your chances of developing acne, no matter how healthy or unhealthy it may be. Sure, you may experience a zit-like eruption due to a food allergy, but the cause for that type of breakout isn’t restricted to junk foods.
Any food could cause it, and junk foods aren’t even among the worst offenders in sparking allergic reactions. But before you race to the nearest fast-food chain to order a triple cheeseburger, super-sized fries, and a milk shake, please bear in mind what these foods can do to your waistline and your arteries!
Acne Myths #2: Dirt causes acne.
This is a deceptively dangerous myth because most of our readers, particularly here in America, are more likely to aggravate their acne through over-cleaning than by not cleaning frequently or thoroughly enough.
As we’ve demonstrated, most cases of acne begin in the oil glands, which are below the surface of the skin. Superfacial dirt and grime, then, simply aren’t at the root of the problem, unless you happen to be very inattentive to personal hygiene.
Acne Myths #3:
Sex (or the lack of it) causes acne. Contrary to what some mean-spirited people may suggest, acne is not the equivalent of a tabloid headline shouting: ZITS TELL ALL! In fact, no direct connection exists between sexual activity and acne outbreaks.
Acne Myths #4:
The sun is good for acne because it dries up oily skin and creates a tan that helps hide unsightly blemishes. This myth looks great on the surface, but is really rotten at the core. In fact, it wasn’t so long ago that some dermatologists were recommending limited UV exposure as a means of clearing up acne.
Shame on them——--they should have known better! Although the sun can dry up and obscure pimples to an extent, the short-term aesthetic benefits are grossly outweighed by the long-term consequences of photoaging. What’s more, UV rays have the effect of thickening epidermal cells, which can close off pores and actually worsen your acne problems.
Acne Myths #5:
Acne is a disease that affects teenagers only. While it’s true that acne affects teens more than any other age group, some forms of the disease are unique to adults, and some people suffer from chronic acne throughout their lifetime. The good news is that most of us will "outgrow” our zits as we enter adulthood; the bad news is that some of us will not.