Myths About Acne
Patients will often carry beliefs about the cause(s) of their acne, 27-29 and will often blame themselves for the condition. Dispelling popular
myths can have a positive impact on a person’s motivation in coping with acne, improve adherence to treatment, and stop a person adopting
unnecessary or potentially harmful behaviour.
Are acne conditions infectious?
Acne is not infectious and cannot be passed on to other people. P. acnes is naturally present on skin but colonises follicles in acne.
Does Poor Hygiene Cause Acne?
Acne is not caused by poor hygiene and there is no evidence it is improved by cleaning.30 In fact, excessive washing can aggravate acne. The
black tip of a comedone is deposited melanin and oxidised sebum,16 not dirt, and it cannot be removed by scrubbing. Vigorous washing or
picking spots may actually make things worse.
Do cosmetics cause Acne?
Yes, especially if they are non-comedogenic but it is best to avoid heavy make-up.
Does Your diet have an influence on acne?
Diet has little or no effect on acne. No studies have shown a link between acne and diet. In particular, no effect has been established between
chocolate, dairy products, shellfish, or fatty foods.31,32
Does stress make acne worse?
Patients sometimes report that stress aggravates acne. This possibility is not unreasonable because stress, through its effect on the pituitaryadrenal
axis, may slightly increase the levels of circulating androgens.
Does acne increase before your period?
A premenstrual acne flare occurs in about 60% of females with acne.
Does sunshine help acne?
Many patients report benefit from sunshine, however, studies show sunlight probably has little benefit in acne.