Julia P via Flickr

Julia P via Flickr

Skin issues; especially acne can happen at any age. Some of us will continue to have breakout of acne well beyond the teenage years.

Here are some of the myths I hear every day about acne;

1. Poor hygiene causes acne

In our current industrial and antibiotic over-exposed generation, the contrary seems to be more to blame. Our obsession with over scrubbing and overuse of astringents strip the healthy balance and oil barriers of the skin predisposing us to break outs.

So most general practitioners and dermatologists a like tend to recommend a gentle cleanser and no more than 5% benzoyl peroxide for most patients.

2. Consuming greasy or fatty foods cause acne

Other than possible link to poor overall diet (which can lead to poor skin health), just consuming fatty food itself is not directly linked.

There are better studies out recently that does seem to link a diet high in dairy products predispose to breakouts.  So if the patient reports loving their milk, cheese, butter and creams, I sometimes recommend (though this is still not fully validated) limiting this category of foods for 2-3 months to see if their skin improves.

3. Gluten causes acne

Again, no really good reproducible data on this and since gluten is overall a health food category, I rarely limit this unless I am sure the patient has a gluten insensitivity or intolerance issues.

4. Nothing I tried has worked for me

Turns out most patients feel a regimen; whether over the counter or prescription strength, should work  within 7 days.

Since the whole acne cycle takes on average 4-6 weeks from under the surface to the visible blemish on top of the skin, most regimen need a good 1-2 month of consistent use to improve the complexion.

So BE PATIENT and persistent before you give up and mark up another failure.

5. Birth control pills cause acne

This myth is true by the way; with some caveats. Some variations of birth control pills  have a type of progesterone that can aggravate existing acne or trigger a breakout.

There are many formulations that do not contain this type of progesterone and these are actually used to control the menstrual cycle and treat hormone related acne too.

Do you have other questions about acne? Ask them below in the comments and we would be sure to give our best answers.

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About the author

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Dr. Carol

Dr. Carol- doctor, wife, mom and maker PB&J!
One of my passions is to help people Embrace change, Try new things and be BOLD for a healthier and balanced life!


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