The mythology of acne Acc

Let’s start off with a definition of a myth. Essentially, it’s a lie we tell ourselves to hide our fear. Suppose we’re frightened of lightning. No problem! We’ll invent a god who walks around the sky and, if he gets upset with anyone, he lets go a bolt or two. Why is this a good idea? As a priest in this new religion, all you have to do is keep the god happy by worshiping, giving me offerings and buying my comic books. So long as the god is happy, you will then be safe. No more fear! Thor rocks! Now let’s apply this to acne. As parents, we feel the need to prepare our children for all the bad stuff that’s likely to happen to them. So we tell them the story of acne. This is a disease so terrible that most affected end up looking like a toad with warts – obviously you want to keep the fear to Disney animation level so mention Princes turning into them and Princesse Fiona secretly being a green-skinned ogre at night. All this recognizes the new social reality. Only those with a perfect skin are acceptable. Everyone else is out of the magic circle in school and only allowed to mix with goths and nerds. To cushion the blow of having unattractive friends, we then tell them the really big lie – that they soon grow out of it and it will never affect them as adults.

The current estimate is that about 15% of the adult population suffers acne. That’s millions of people. Fortunately, the majority of sufferers are women and there’s a big market for selling concealer makeup, i.e. heavy foundation creams and a powder to put on top. Even metrosexual men are reluctant to wear obvious makeup. So why is acne affecting more adults? Here we get into yet more myths as self-appointed experts muscle their way on to television and radio stations to sell their miracle products or latest book detailing Obama’s acne and his loss of popularity. Their explanations range from too much stress in our lives to the diet we eat. This would be helpful if there was any scientific evidence to link either stress or diet to acne. Except there’s no such evidence. It’s all just more myths.

So what can or should we do as adults. For men, washing twice a day with an unmedicated soap is enough to clear the pores. If you want a cheap alternative to soap, use benzoyl peroxide in small amounts. Using too many products to clean your skin can dry it out and make acne harder to beat. For general health and the improvement of your skin, you should also drink less alcohol, quit smoking and avoid a smokey atmosphere. For women, using an oral contraceptive can reduce the hormone level. If this is not acceptable on moral grounds, then the usual self-help approaches to keeping the skin clean are the best. If all else fails and your appearance is so important, Accutane is available. As a woman, remember to take the strongest possible measures to prevent pregnancy. There’s very clear evidence Accutane does cause birth defects in the majority of cases. No one can pass this medical consequence off as a myth.

John Scott is a frequent contributor to and is a highly regarded writer, having professionally dealt with numerous subjects. Visit the site to read John Scott’s contributions.

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