As is the case with many conditions there is a lot of information distributed about acne and its causes and that information tends to be a mix of both fact and fiction. Thus, let us take a look at a few of those things that are being said and see if we can sort out the fact from the myth.


There is no direct connection between eating things like greasy hamburgers and chocolate or drinking excessive soft drinks and developing acne spots. What is true is that what we eat plays a role in all the body’s systems and therefore it does have a small part in whether developing acne is less or more likely.

For example, greasy foods do not directly convert into increased oil production in the sebaceous glands which adds to acne, although foods that do cause a rise in oil production would of course have an effect. However, iodized salt is the only food substance which has been shown to have any substantial effect and it merely exacerbates acne and does not cause it.


The chances of developing a pimple rise when a pore gets blocked and bacteria get trapped inside. What this means is that hygiene habits that work to close the skin’s pores can play a role. But this effect is only small and the bacteria and dead cell skins that get trapped and cannot work their way out of the pore to the surface are only influenced to a minor degree by insufficient regular face washing.

Nevertheless, after acne occurs then good skin hygiene is particularly important and mild cleansing two times a day with soap and water can help in treating acne and encouraging healthy skin in general. Good hygiene is an excellent for a number of reasons although it is most helpful in treating acne because it provides a good surface for medications to do their work most effectively.

Pimples are greatly influenced by excess production of sebum (skin oil) that is triggered in the main by hormones and abrasive cleansers that are applied roughly do not merely clear away this excess oil but also affects the skin’s ability to cope with it.


Because stress tends to weaken the body’s immune system and impact its hormone levels it could be thought that stress should play a role in the onset of acne. However, there is no clear evidence that stress leads to acne, although there is evidence to suggest that it could play a minor role after acne has arrived.

One problem in assessing the role of stress is that people who are suffering from chronic stress normally also suffer from other health problems which complicate the picture. Bear in mind too that we are talking here about clinical stress and not simply the worries that we all have as part of the trials and tribulations of day to day life.


Many individuals are tempted to raise the dosage of over-the-counter medications in the belief that if a little does a little good then a lot will do a lot of good. Unfortunately, this is not the case and it is both a waste of medicine and could actually damage the skin. Always follow the instructions on any medication and if any medication is not showing signs of working within two or three weeks then you should seek the guidance of your dermatologist.

It is also worthy of note that there is no such thing as the best acne medicine. We are all different and a medication that proves to be the best acne medication for one individual will not necessarily work for someone else.

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