Growing up you must have heard many grandma tales regarding acne.. let’s explore them one by one as we bust those myths!!

1.Chocolates cause acne – true or false?  FALSE

No studies have as of yet proven that chocolate itself directly causes acne. However, a couple of studies including a randomised controlled trial have shown that a diet with a low glycaemic index improves can which is discussed in more detail below.

2. Diet with a low GI index helps acne – true or false? TRUE

Glycaemic index (GI) is an indication of the rise in blood sugar levels after eating carbohydrates. Foods with a high GI index are white bread, white rice, potatoes, sugary foods, and drinks; whilst low GI foods include whole grains, pulses, fruits, and vegetables.

2 studies showed that a low GI diet resulted in improvement of their acne, so surely worth considering especially for all the other health benefits too!

3. Excess milk and dairy intake cause acne – true or false?   TRUE

Smaller studies (retrospective questionnaire-based) are showing evolving data that high milk/dairy consumption is associated with moderate to severe acne.

4. Acne is due to poor hygiene; blackheads are filled with dirt, so we have to scrub our skin squeaky clean! –  true or false?  FALSE                                     

Of course, acne is not due to poor hygiene! This notion causes people to use harsh products like soaps, astringents, scrubs on their skin causing rupture of the white and blackheads forming larger, red and painful spots and scarring.

5. Squeezing or picking pimples nips the spots in the bud – True or false?  FALSE 

Absolutely not! Picking zits is a very common tendency both done intentionally or out of habit. As tempting as it may seem, it is definitely worth resisting it, as it leaves permanent scars.

6. Makeup and moisturisers make acne worse – true or false?  TRUE

Oils, greasy creams or heavy makeup aggravate acne by blocking the pores.

7. Certain prescribed medications and steroids make acne worse – true or false? – TRUE

Steroids, lithium, anticonvulsants are some of the medications which can make acne worse. Anabolic steroids used for bodybuilding are linked to severe acne in men.

8. Stress aggravates acne – true or false? TRUE

2 studies found school students’ acne to worsen during exam times compared to summer holidays!

9. Acne is better during pregnancy and around periods – true or false?  FALSE 

In the early weeks of pregnancy acne worsens and remains the same, but then for a few lucky ones improves as the pregnancy progresses. This is due to the hormonal changes (increased oestrogen) in pregnancy. For similar reasons, acne flares up just before your periods.

10. Over the counter, expensive creams are sufficient to treat acne? True or false? FALSE

Although very mild acne can just about be managed with benzoyl peroxide containing creams, most specialist dermatological treatments are required. The earlier one starts treatment the less the residual scarring.

Information in the blogs is for general information and awareness but is not a substitute for consultation with your dermatologist.