Myth 1. Only people who don't wash get acne
There is no link between "dirt" and acne. The myth says that the pores of the skin get blocked by dirt. The reality is that the glands produce too much sebum oil in the follicles which are then plugged by dead skin cells. Excessive washing to remove surface "dirt" can actually make the problem worse, particularly if you rub your skin too hard.
Myth 2. Too much sex or masturbation causes acne
This is a myth invented by puritans parents who want their children to ignore the pubescence and live celibate lives. It is simply a coincidence that hormones are related to acne.
Myth 3. Stress causes acne
Again, it is a coincidence that there is a link between stress and hormone levels. Indeed, the causation is the wrong way round. It is acne that causes the stress.
Myth 4. Acne is caused by diet
There have been a significant number of clinical trials attempting to identify cause and effect between different foods and acne. The theory has been that greasy or fatty foods are responsible for the excess oil production in the skin, but there is absolutely no evidence for this. That said, eating a diet with less fat is good for you and you should do that anyway.
Myth 5. Acne is not a disease. You do not need to treat it
Yes, it is true that people do not die if they have acne. Except that physical appearance is often a key to identity and, if that identity is threatened, self-confidence can be lost. Depression is a resulting disease with a very small number being so demoralized they commit suicide. Given that acne is treatable, it is sensible to do so.
Myth 6. Going out in the sun will clear up acne
This is playing with the truth. If you go out in the sun, your face will redden and this will hide the red blemishes. In fact, excessive exposure to the sun will damage the skin and can make the acne worse. This is not to say that you should avoid the sun. It is a useful source of vitamin D and, so long as you avoid burning, you can safely go out in the sun. But if you are on medication, check with your doctor. Some drugs increase the risk of skin damage.
All myths are a mixture of facts and misunderstandings, making no distinction between cause and effect, and coincidence. But there is one truth. Accutane is the most effective treatment for acne on the market. Despite the inconvenience of the precautions that have to be taken, it is worth the effort, almost always clearing up severe cases the first time. If acne returns, a second round of treatment completes the job. Accutane is not a myth.