A woman with a magnifying glass and spots on her face

Myths and facts about acne

02 Dec 2022


Spots, greasy skin and redness, most of us have suffered from acne at one point in our lives. This common skin condition usually affects teenagers and younger adults but can be triggered by a number of reasons. From hormones to chocolate, we tackle some of the so-called causes of acne to separate facts from acne myths.

Acne is caused by dirty skin.

False. Acne has little to do with hygiene with most breakouts caused by what’s going on under the skin. In fact, washing your skin more than twice a day can make spots worse.

More than 80% of cases of adult acne occur in women.

True. Female hormonal changes due to pregnancy, periods or polycystic ovary syndrome are most likely the cause.

Acne can be caused by eating an unhealthy diet.

False. Whilst eating a balance diet is recommended for overall health, there is little research that shows that eating foods like chocolate can cause acne.

Testosterone triggers teenage acne.

True. It’s believed that increased testosterone levels during puberty may trigger the glands in the skin to produce excess oil that clogs pores and leads to acne.

Acne can be inherited from your parents.

True. Research suggests that people are more likely to develop severe acne if their parents also had it. This is the same for adult acne which can also run in families.

Medication can cause acne breakouts.

True. Some prescribed medicines like various anti-epileptic drugs, steroid medications and lithium can result in spotty skin and bouts of acne.

Now that we’ve cleared up some of the myths surrounding the causes of acne flare-ups, you can concentrate on clearing up your skin.

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