Is Acne Contagious? 7 Acne Myths Busted
Is acne contagious? Can the sun improve your acne? Learn the facts from Tiege Hanley and find out the best way to achieve clear skin.
Acne is an extremely common skin condition, affecting more than 50 million people in the United States. Even so, there are a staggering number of misconceptions about acne that persist today.
While many of the myths and misconceptions about acne are harmless, some can have long-term consequences for your skin and health. We’re talking about dangerous myths, such as the belief that the sun makes acne better or that moisturizers cause acne.
To clear things up, we’re tackling the most common misconceptions about acne. Here are three things you need to know:
- Acne isn’t contagious and the sun won’t improve your breakouts.
- You should continue to use your moisturizer when you have acne.
- The best way to treat your acne is by using an acne treatment system formulated for your skin.
Myth #1: Acne Is Contagious
No, acne isn’t contagious. However, acne can run in families.
If your parents suffered from bad breakouts, there is a good chance that you will, too. Although there isn’t a specific “acne gene,” your parents can pass down certain traits such as oily skin that can make you more likely to have acne.
Recently, the world’s first acne genetics study was published in Nature Communications. The study looked at the DNA of nearly 27,000 people and discovered 15 regions of the genome that were more common in participants with severe acne (see claim: “These findings indicate that variations affecting the structure and maintenance of the skin…is a critical aspect of the genetic predisposition to severe acne.”)
Myth #2: Acne Only Affects Teenagers
Unfortunately, many adults struggle with acne well past their teenage years. Moreover, research from The International Dermal Institute indicates that acne is on the rise in adults.
Although researchers aren’t entirely certain, some believe that the rise in adult acne is correlated with our rising stress levels. Stress has long been associated with acne severity and is believed to trigger stress hormones which in turn stimulate our skin’s sebaceous glands.
Myth #3: Sun Exposure Helps Reduce Acne
This is one of the more dangerous myths that we’d like to stamp out. The sun doesn’t improve your acne. It only makes it less noticeable when your skin darkens.
Even a slight tan is a sign of UV damage from the sun, which can increase your risk of skin cancer. Furthermore, your tan will quickly fade and only make your acne more noticeable.
To get rid of your acne safely, it’s important that you use an acne treatment system formulated for your skin. It may take a couple of weeks to completely clear up your skin, but you won’t receive permanent sun damage in the process.
Myth #4: Sunscreen Clogs Pores
Another harmful acne myth is the belief that all sunscreens will clog the pores of your skin. While some sunscreens can make acne worse, there are easy ways to get around this.
Using a daily men’s moisturizer with SPF is a simple, effective way to hydrate your skin and protect it from the sun’s UV rays. If you struggle with neck and back acne, you can also use it in those regions to avoid making your acne worse.
Myth #5: Blackheads Are a Sign of a Dirty Face
Advertisements love to peddle their exfoliating scrubs by telling people that their blackheads are dirt clogged in their pores. However, the brown/black gunk you see in your pores is simply an open comedo (a clogged pore) filled with dead skin cells and bacteria that have been exposed to the air.
Your face isn’t dirty and doesn’t need to be scrubbed daily to get rid of your blackheads. In fact, this will only make it worse by drying out your skin.
Exfoliating twice a week will help minimize the appearance of your pores without over-drying your skin. If you have dry skin, you may find that once a week will do just fine.
Myth #6: Diet Has Nothing to Do with Acne
This topic is still hotly debated in the skin care community, but the science doesn’t lie. Research has shown a strong link between nutrition and acne.
A 2007 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that acne patients who ate a low-glycemic diet had significant improvement in their acne symptoms (see claim: “At 12 wk, mean (+/-SEM) total lesion counts had decreased more (P=0.03) in the low-glycemic-load group…”) Researchers believe that a low-glycemic diet doesn’t spike insulin levels, which can subsequently trigger hormones that influence acne.
Other studies have also found that eating acne-friendly foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins may improve acne symptoms. Another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that various dietary fatty acids have anti-inflammatory effects, which can reduce acne caused by inflammation (see abstract of study for substantiation of claim.)
Myth #7: Moisturizers Make Acne Worse
If you stop using your moisturizer during a bad breakout, you’re doing your skin more harm than good. Dry skin can make acne worse because your skin’s oil glands kick into overdrive to compensate for the loss of moisture.
While it may seem counterintuitive, you should continue with your regular skin care regimen. The only change you should make to your routine is potentially using an acne cream to clear up your skin.
Fact: Tiege Hanley Can Improve Your Skin
Now that these common myths have been debunked, you can take better steps to treat your acne. Tiege Hanley’s Acne System is formulated for men with all skin types and strictly uses high-quality ingredients to clear your skin.
For mild to moderate acne, we recommend our Level 1 Acne System. For more severe cases, check out our Level 2 Acne System. Within a couple of weeks, you’ll likely begin seeing a clearer, more handsome-looking complexion.