Fake news and misinformation are everywhere nowadays. But despite their recent spot in the limelight, they’ve been around for ages. And a topic that has never been free of the fake news treatment? Acne. Dodgy home remedies, pseudo-scientific causes, scaremongering about what you can and can’t do with acne– we’ve all heard them before.
At the launch of Hiruscar’s new Anti-Acne skincare range, dermatologist Dr Ch’ng Chin Chwen, Consultant Dermatologist at the University Malaya Medical Center, decided to put an end to these myths once and for all.
Here are 5 myths about acne you may or may not have believed, debunked!
1. Acne is caused by dirty or oily skin.
You may think that acne is caused by oil and bacteria on your face. Yes and no. While it’s true that a particular strain of bacteria called P. acnes causes acne, your face is actually home to thousands of species of bacteria, and they’re crucial to keeping P. acnes in check. So compulsively washing your face with harsh cleansers can do more harm than good by stripping your skin of its natural protective barrier.
2. You should never pop a pimple.
“Never pop your pimples!” “Don’t squeeze!” “Don’t even touch your face with your fingers!” Skincare adherents may tell you that you should never ever ever pop a pimple, as it’ll lead to deeper infection and scarring. That’s sort of true, but when done right – meaning with the right technique, at the right time, with the proper hygienic tools, and usually by a dermatologist or facialist – popping or extracting a pimple can help it heal faster and with less scarring.
3. Toothpaste can heal a pimple.
Remember all those DIY home remedies for acne? Toothpaste was a popular one, because it was something everyone already had. Unfortunately, convenience doesn’t mean it works. “There’s nothing in toothpaste that helps acne,” says Dr Ch’ng. What toothpaste does have is lots of sodium lauryl sulphate, a soapy detergent that dries out your skin – and a pimple – by causing water loss. But that’s no way to heal a pimple, as it’s not water that it needs to lose. In fact, this dryness will probably aggravate your skin and pimple instead! Look for actual pimple treatments instead.
4. Acne doesn’t itch.
If it itches, it’s got to be eczema or a rash or something else, right? Apparently not. Although it’s not a common side effect of acne, research has shown that some acne sufferers report itching that can feel similar to a mosquito bite. This itch gets worse with heat, sweat, and stress, so if you’ve noticed an itch on your face, don’t be too quick to write it off as something other than acne.
5. Pimples on different parts of your face mean different things.
A pimple on your forehead means you’re stressed, a pimple on your cheeks means you’ve been eating badly. It sounds compelling, doesn’t it? Like reflexology or astrology, but with your face. While it sounds compelling, “there’s really no evidence that the location of a pimple means anything at all,” says Dr Ch’ng.
Hiruscar’s new Anti-Acne skincare range is made up of just three easy-to-use but effective products – a cleanser, a moisturising serum, and a spot gel – formulated with ingredients proven to treat acne and breakouts in just two days. Available in all leading pharmacies now!