Oily skin, acne and spots - don't believe the myths

Get professional advice on the treatment of these skin conditions

The many myths associated with the treatment of oily skin, acne and spots have in many cases left sufferers a great deal worse off. Britain's leading dermatologist, Dr Nick Lowe, frequently has to re-educate patients on the effective treatment of these skin conditions and correct the damage done due to mistreating a symptom.

Myth: Only teenagers are prone to oily skin and blemishes.

Dr Lowe says:
"50 per cent of women and 25 per cent of men suffer from adult acne. Stress can be one of the leading factors in the development of oily skin or adult acne. Other factors include changes in the hormonal balance to include: pregnancy, menstruation, hormonal abnormalities and stopping contraceptive medication. Some dairy products can worsen acne from hormones that are fed to cows. Certain medicines such as the contraceptive pill, anti inflammatory steroids, some anti-epileptic medications, lithium and related medications can lead to adult acne being triggered."

MythOily skin doesn't need moisturiser - it only makes it worse.

Dr Lowe says:
"Even the oiliest skin still needs a moisturiser in order to deliver hydration and protect against the elements - in fact dry skin sometimes produces too much oil. Dryness results from the skin's barrier between the oil glands being less efficient e.g in very dry weather or in eczema sufferers. To help your oily skin, use an oil reducing cleanser such as my Purify and Renew Foaming Cleanser and follow with a light moisturiser such as Oil Control Day Cream."

Myth: Chocolate and deserts always cause breakouts.

Dr Lowe says:
"Some people believe that eating sweets such as chocolate and greasy foods are a cause of breakouts. This may be true for a few people who drink a lot of milk or eat a lot of milk chocolate as this can make acne worse by passing on hormones fed or produced by cows. Also, being overweight, and eating foods high in sugar, causes increased insulin production that signals the body to release extra androgens (male hormones), which are involved in pimple formation. Chocolate lovers needn't fear - dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, which are good for the skin. The easiest solution to keep you and your skin looking its best through diet is to eat a healthy and balanced range of foods and healthy drinks."