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6 Skin Care Myths That Are Far From The Truth

November 24, 2014

1.  The skin should be washed more than one time a day, and an antibacterial soap is best to keep the skin healthy

This is a myth because over-showering, using hot water and soaps that are harsh and drying to the skin will strip the skin of its natural oils, allowing the epidermis to crack, become scaly and itchy.  When the skin itches we tend to scratch it, which can then lead to infection.  The best way to keep the skin healthy is to only shower once a day, avoid hot water, use a mild soap such as Dove or Aveeno and to moisturize multiple times a day. 

 

2.  Tanning beds are safe for your skin

Tanning beds may not use UVB rays that burn the skin, but UVA rays also cause damage to the skin.  Tanning of any kind using UV light can damage the skin, lead to wrinkles and skin cancer.  In fact the most recent studies show an increased risk of Melanoma (the deadly form of skin cancer) if a tanning bed is used at all.  However, most frightening is a 75% increased risk of melanoma when used by someone in their teens or early twenties. 

 

3. The higher the SPF in sunscreen the better

Studies consistently show that there is no greater efficacy in any sunscreen above an SPF of 30.  Also, new evidence shows that using a mineral block, without chemicals is the best choice for sun protection.  Mineral blocks usually contain Zinc Oxide , Titanium Dioxide,  or both,  and can rarely be found in an SPF above 30.

 

4. The foods we eat cause acne

No study has been able to consistently show that any foods worsen acne.  The only ingested product that has been somewhat linked to acne is milk.  Although some people may report breaking out more after eating fatty foods, there has not been any conclusive evidence to support that.  However, it is always good advice to eat as healthy as possible and avoid consumption of milk. Most dermatologists agree that normal pubescent hormones and genetics are the cause of most acne breakouts.  Although other disorders that affect hormones can also cause acne such as polycystic ovarian syndrome.

 

5. African American and darker skinned people cannot get skin cancer

Although it is true that fair skinned people are more likely to develop skin cancer, it can be found in all ethnicities.   In fact, the five-year survival rate for a black person with melanoma is 74.1% compared to 92.9 % in the white population.  This means that while melanoma is diagnosed much less frequently in the black population, the risk of death from melanoma is higher in the black population than in the white population.

 

6. We need to be going out in the sun often to keep our Vitamin D levels up

Only about five to ten minutes a day is necessary.  Some studies suggest that too much sun can actually cause some of the Vitamin D to become inactive.   There are also oral supplements that can be taken.  Bottom line, sun bathing is never necessary.

 

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