Acne is a troublesome skin condition that plagues many of us. To treat it properly, it is important to get your facts about acne right.
Myth 1: Adults do not get acne
Not true. A significant number of adults continue to have acne into their 30s and 40s. Some who have never had acne start to have it in their 40s and 50s.
Adult acne is quite different in that it tends to present itself as tender, deep nodules around the mouth and jaw. There is a huge hormonal influence and professional help is usually required to treat it.
Myth 2: You cannot wear make-up with acne
It is true that heavy oil-based foundations aggravate acne.
However, mineral make-up products are the best for acne-prone skin.
It is light and does not sink into pores and block them.
There are also medicated concealer sticks to cover the acne and at the same time treat it.
Myth 3: Wait and the acne will go away
Yes, it finally does.
But the longer the acne stays on your face, the higher the chance of a dark mark or scarring.
Best to treat the skin with medicated anti-acne products to help clear it as well as prevent future breakouts.
If unsuccessful, seek professional help.
Myth 4: The more you wash and scrub, the better
It is true that an oily face should be washed at least twice a day.
However washing more than necessary can dry skin and cause irritation.
Scrubs are not good for acne-prone skin as it can aggravate inflammation and spread the infection.
Myth 5: Squeezing out pus makes acne go away faster
This is the worst thing you can do as your fingers are not clean and squeezing leads to further inflammation, making the acne look worse and last longer.
The trauma leads to a dark spot or scar after healing.
So leave that pimple alone!
Use over-the-counter acne treatment gel or cream to shrink the pimple.
If it is huge, see a dermatologist who can reduce it with an injection.
Myth 6: Avoid sunscreen as it aggravates acne
You should pick the right sunscreen - one that is mattifying and oil-free.
Sunscreen is important as it minimises the marks left after the acne has healed.
Myth 7: Junk food causes acne
Studies have shown that eating fried foods does not impact the skin.
But there are studies that say the culprits are two types of food: Dairy and those with high glycaemic index.
Dr Komathy Rajaratnam is the founder of The Lifestyle Clinic at 16-03 Camden Medical Centre, Tel: 6733-0788. Her articles in upcoming issues will deal with beauty and aesthetic issues relevant to the Indian body type.
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