Saturday, February 16, 2008

Treating Acne - the Myths and the Realities

Acne is caused by dirt. Wrong!

Acne is caused by junk food. Wrong!

The myths surrounding the causes of acne are many. The myths about treating acne are also common. Applying some anti-acne cream or taking some prescribed antibiotic may provide relief from acne but is unlikely to cure it. It may go away for a time but it is likely to come back because the underlying causes are still there.

Acne is all too real for millions of people. It is estimated that some 80% of people suffer from acne at some point, most commonly during the teenage years but it can, and does, affect some adults for many years afterwards and sometime for decades.

Acne is not caused by dirt. It is caused by excessive production of sebum, the oil which naturally moisturises the skin, created by the sebaceous glands, situated just below the surface of the skin. Too much sebum and it is likely to clog the pores, the tiny holes in the skin, creating an opportunity for destructive bacteria to expand, resulting in outbreaks of acne.

Acne is most commonly caused by hormonal changes which in turn can be affected by what you do to yourself.

Nutrition and Acne

Junk food on its own does not in itself cause acne. Different people eating the same greasy hamburgers may or may not get acne. But if you are prone to acne the chances are that what you eat will have a profound effect on your chances of getting rid of acne. There are many reports from countless acne sufferers, some of them having endured acne for years, that certain drinks and foods make worse the hormonal changes which result in ongoing outbreaks of acne.

More and more evidence shows that serious reductions in the following foods and drinks will have a significant benefit for acne sufferers:

Vegetable oils such as sunflower oils used for cooking and found in many fast foods and snacks.


Sugar is found naturally in fruits. Most people are eating more and more processed sugar, whether putting in coffee or tea, or eating processed foods such as tinned vegetables, ready made meals and countless soft drinks.

Caffeine stimulates the development of stress hormones in your body which in turn are likely to stimulate over-production of oil on your skin

Cut these down or even cut them out and you will notice a significant effect on your acne

There is huge evidence that drinking lots of water, at least 10 glasses a day will massively help in tackling acne.


We all do this every day but there is a right way and a wrong way. Washing of your face and body twice a day will help your acne. Over-reacting to acne by washing six times a day will make things worse by depleting the skin of natural oils and encouraging the sebaceous glands to react by over-producing sebum. Avoid alcohol based products as these will dehydrate your skin causing the glands to produce more oil. Scrubbing your skin, as opposed to gently washing your body with a gentle soap, however good it makes you feel, will also remove essential skin oils ensuring future over-production of sebum. Moderation in all things.

Cosmetics and makeup

Makeup may not cause acne but if you already have acne, it may make it worse by clogging up the pores with the consequences already described. Use products that are labeled non-comedogenic or oil free. Remember not to leave your makeup on when you go to bed. Being coated in these products all night will mean your pores absorb them all the more.

Sunlight and Tanning

Exposure to the sun or sun lamps or the ultraviolet light found in tanning booths will tend to dehydrate your skin and stimulate acne production. Use high protection sun cream to protect yourself when in the sun.

Don't touch

Rubbing your acne spots or, even worse, picking at them will spread the infection and could cause permanent scarring.

Much of the time acne is caused by what you do to yourself. That also means you can solve your own acne problems. Good luck in that.

If you would like more information about natural methods of tackling acne click on this link: natural methods to beat acne.

Philip Tucker is an internet marketer, researcher and writer. For more information on natural home remedies for acne see his website