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Myth #1 - Acne is caused by poor hygiene
Fact: Hygiene is not the culprit here. In fact, washing your face too often or too vigorously can actually make your acne worse.

The real culprits are those pesky hormones that kick in at puberty and cause excess production of skin oils. Match that up to increased shedding of dead skin cells and you have a lovely mixture ready to clog any pore on a very clean face.

Gently wash your face no more than twice a day with a mild cleanser and then pat it dry. Scrubbing or rubbing your face can lead to dry skin and irritated acne. That means delayed healing and worse, more breakouts. So treat your skin with care to help it heal.

Myth #2 - Acne is caused by eating chocolate and greasy foods
Fact: Despite numerous scientific studies, no evidence has been found to link diet to acne. Dermatologists do advise, however, that if you notice a tendency to break out after eating a certain food, eliminate it from your diet and see if your skin clears up.

So while you won't have to give up your Friday night pizza, burger and fries or favorite chocolate bar, remember that a healthy skin (and body) requires nutrition from a well-balanced diet.

Myth #3 - Stress causes acne
Fact: Your regular, every day variety of stress is not an important factor in acne. Rather, some drugs used to treat severe stress may cause acne as a side effect. If you think your acne is caused by a medication prescribed for stress or depression, you should talk to your doctor.

Myth #4 - Acne is a cosmetic disease
Fact: It's true that acne does affect how we look and at the same time does not pose a serious threat to our physical health. In that sense you can call it a cosmetic disease.

On the other hand, acne can lead to permanent physical scarring. It can also seriously affect the way some people feel about themselves and how they interact with others. This invisible side of acne can express itself in feelings of embarrassment, frustration or depression and result in decreased self-esteem and social withdrawal.

Myth #5 - You should not wear makeup if you have acne
Fact: Looking your best can make you feel your best so you'll be glad to know that you actually can wear makeup if you have acne. Just remember, only use cosmetic and skin care products that are labeled noncomedogenic or nonacnegenic (won't clog pores or cause breakouts).

Some concealers contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Both ingredients help to fight acne. You might also find that tinted acne-fighting creams can help get rid of pimples while hiding them.

You may have noticed more and more skin care products labeled "organic," "all natural" or "herbal" coming onto the market. However, these cosmetics may, in fact, clog pores and make your acne worse.

Stop using any cosmetic or skin care product that seems to be irritating your skin or causing breakouts. Talk with your dermatologist to see what adjustments can be made to improve your treatment and speed you on your way to clear, healthy skin.

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