Acne Myths Busted – What Really Causes Acne?

Acne has been around since medieval times. There seems to be a mysterious air surrounding acne- both its causes and treatment. Here are the top most disputed acne myths and the truth behind them.

Myth #1: Acne is caused by not cleaning your face enough.

Truth: Actually, washing your face too frequently or strenuously can cause excessive dryness to the epidermis. This leads to peeling and increased sebum production. The skin overcompensates for the oil that is washed off, causing an oilier complexion. Aggressive abrasion worsens acne, causing bacteria to spread to other parts of the skin. Avoid scrubs, stick to peels to lighten scars and unclog pores.

Myth# 2: Sun tanning will clear up acne.

Truth: While it is true that ultraviolet rays can kill bacteria, sun tanning actually do more harm than good. Sun exposure causes darkening of acne scars, wrinkles and not to mention- skin cancer. However, there are benefits of taking a good walk in the sun. Bathing in the sun gives a good dose of vitamin D which helps you absorb calcium necessary for hormone balance and sleep mechanisms. Just be sure to wear a generous lather of sunscreen 20 minutes before you head out and limit your full sun exposure time.

Myth #3: Masturbation causes acne.

Truth: This is an age old belief does contain some truth. When you masturbate, your sexual desires releases androgen, a sebum causing hormone that causes oilier than normal skin. It’s not really the deed but your emotion during your actions that causes androgen levels to spike leading to acne.

Myth #4: Food You Eat Do Not Cause Acne

Truth: Food you eat can cause and even worsen acne!  Milk and sugar have been scientifically proven as direct causes to increased hormonal activity giving rise to acne.

In Eastern medicine foods are categorized as being yin (cool) and Yang (hot/heat). There are at visceral qualities of foods as there are nutritional values to them. Depending on the cool or heat-inducing qualities of food and its preparation, foods have a biology that impacts our system as we consume them. Acne is considered a heat-damp oriented disease in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Eating too much heat and damp foods such as beef, eggs, dairy, sweet and deep fried foods, in addition to weaken digestion, leads to formation of zits.

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