A systematic review of the evidence for 'myths and misconceptions' in acne management: Diet, face-washing and sunlight

Discipline of Genral Practice, University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.
Family Practice (Impact Factor: 1.86). 03/2005; 22(1):62-70. DOI: 10.1093/fampra/cmh715
Source: PubMed


Lay perceptions that diet, hygiene and sunlight exposure are strongly associated with acne causation and exacerbation are common but at variance with the consensus of current dermatological opinion.
The objective of this study was to carry out a review of the literature to assess the evidence for diet, face-washing and sunlight exposure in acne management.
Original studies were identified by searches of the Medline, EMBASE, AMED (Allied and Complementary Medicine), CINAHL, Cochrane, and DARE databases. Methodological information was extracted from identified articles but, given the paucity of high quality studies found, no studies were excluded from the review on methodological grounds.
Given the prevalence of lay perceptions, and the confidence of dermatological opinion in rebutting these perceptions as myths and misconceptions, surprisingly little evidence exists for the efficacy or lack of efficacy of dietary factors, face-washing and sunlight exposure in the management of acne. Much of the available evidence has methodological limitations.
Based on the present state of evidence, clinicians cannot be didactic in their recommendations regarding diet, hygiene and face-washing, and sunlight to patients with acne. Advice should be individualized, and both clinician and patient cognizant of its limitations.

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    • "It included a section on social and demographic information (age and sex) along with the 12 misconceptions concerning acne vulgaris (There is no cure for acne, Acne causes disfigurement, Increased stress exacerbates acne, Eating chocolate exacerbates acne, Over-the-counter medicine reduces acne, Acne spontaneously recovers, Only teens get acne, Frequent face washing relieves acne, acne is limited to face only, Popping pimples relieve acne, Acne is an infectious disease, Female use of cosmetics is safe in presence of acne). The twelve misconceptions were selected and included in the study based on their popularity in the media, the opinion of dermatologists and previous related studies (12,13) . Our survey focused on acne misconceptions common worldwide and those specific to the target Saudi community. "

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    • "This might warrant dermatologist to explain the benefit of using sun protecting creams to avoid sun burning or unwanted facial tanning especially for patients on treatments with photosensitizing agents. The counseling should be individualized [19] "
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: Acne is a common skin disease especially in adolescents and young adults. Several pathogenetic factors are implicated in causing the disease. Typically acne flares and remits in its course. Several factors can cause flares. The aim of this study was to assess the perceived factors of acne flares and the idea of sun creams causing skin darkening. Methods: A questionnaire study of the perceived factors in causing acne flares was studied in university female stu-dents. These included food, stress, hygiene and menstrual periods. In addition, the effect of sun creams on causing skin darkening was asked. Results: Food was implicated by 43.2% of patients. Stress and menstrual periods were thought to exacerbate acne by more than 70% of patients while 80% of patients did not think bad hygiene worsened acne. 40% of patients thought the use of sun creams cause skin darkening. Conclusion: More controlled studies are needed to explore the effect of food on acne. Dermatologists need to explain the benefit of using sun creams especially to acne patients while using standard treatments.
    Full-text · Dataset · Oct 2013
    • "Robyn N Smith et al., have suggested that nutrition-related lifestyle factors may play a role in the pathogenesis of acne.[43] The role of chocolate and other dietary factors in acne development has also been reported.[44] "
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    ABSTRACT: Many nutrients are essential for life, and an adequate amount of nutrients in the diet is necessary for providing energy, building and maintaining body organs, and for various metabolic processes. The role of food in the induction of various skin disorders and skin diseases leading to nutritional deficiencies is well known. The photo-protective potential of antioxidants, the effects of micronutrient supplementation on the skin immune system, and the modulating effects of fatty acids on skin disorders are well documented. Skin diseases due to nutritional deficiencies, the dietary role in skin immunity and various skin diseases, and the role of antioxidants and other supplements in skin health have been reviewed.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2010 · Indian Journal of Dermatology
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