Views: 0 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2022-06-16 Origin: Site
Our skin plays multiple roles. For instance, it helps keep our insides inside and blocks the path of pathogens. It also helps us stay warm when it is cold and cool down when it is hot. Importantly, the skin provides a home for sensory neurons, which let us sense the world around us. Despite the wide range of physiological functions this organ plays, it is arguably most famous for being the largest organ of the body, although some scientists disagree. The skin is also our most visible organ. And because it is so visible, skin has also become the target organ for a wide range of products, many of which promise clearer, healthier, more youthful skin. Because the skin, for many of us, is the poster child of our face, it is no wonder that scientists, doctors, and charlatans have paid it a great deal of attention over the years. With this heady cocktail of high visibility and multiple physiological roles, it is no wonder that public dermatological perceptions are a mixed bag of myths and misunderstandings. In this article, we will address 12 common confusions. To help us wrestle fact from fiction, we enlisted the help of three experts: Prof. Hywel C. Williams, OBE, D.Sc.: a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and a National Institute for Health Research Senior Investigator Emeritus. Prof. Williams is also a professor of dermato-epidemiology and co-director of the Center of Evidence-Based Dermatology at Queen’s Medical Centre at Nottingham University Hospitals National Health Service (NHS) Trust. Dr. Derrick Phillips: a dermatologist and spokesperson for the British Skin Foundation. Dr. Beth G. Goldstein: Founder at Get Mr. and Central Dermatology Center. 1. Expensive skin cream can keep your skin ‘young’ forever The skin cream industry is huge. For instance, in the United States in 2020, “prestige skin care” sales totaled $1.1 billion from April to June. And that marked an 18% drop from 2019 sales. However, despite their lucrative popularity and regardless of cost, no skin creams can protect skin against aging indefinitely. “This is a marketing ploy and is certainly not true,” said Dr. Phillips. As Prof. Williams explained to Medical News Today, “Simple moisturizers can achieve quite a lot. Creams containing topical retinoids can improve photoaging effects.” He dryly notes, however, that he is “not aware of any cream that keeps skin young forever.” Dr. Goldstein informed us that “90% of skin aging is from photodamage. So all of the creams that state they can prevent wrinkles and aging are missing the mark.” In agreement, Dr. Phillips wrote: “The most important intervention in slowing down the process is using a sunscreen with broadband UV cover.” Notably, he also notes that “these needn’t be expensive.” 2. Drinking water keeps your skin hydrated This is a half-truth. According to Prof. Williams, drinking water only keeps your skin hydrated “in the sense that water keeps the body hydrated and skin is the largest organ of the body.” It is only at certain, rare times when this might be the case. “There is no evidence that drinking water directly impacts your skin unless in extremes, such as heat stroke or severe dehydration,” said Dr. Goldstein. 3. Antibacterial soap is best for the skin This is a myth. The skin’s natural microbiomeTrusted Source is vital for maintaining healthy skin. “Using antibacterial soaps can upset that natural balance,” explained Prof. Williams. “They can also be harsher on the skin than pH neutral soaps.” “Removing both the good and bad bacteria on a regular basis is not always the best idea,” added Dr. Goldstein, “unless you are in a situation where this is important, for instance, if you work in healthcare, food handling, or of course, during a pandemic.” 4. Having a dirty face causes acne In Prof. Williams’s professional opinion, this is “nonsense.” Unless, he explained, the dirt “is contamination with oily substances such as hair pomade, oily make-up, or occupational oil exposure.” Standard dirt will not produce acne. Diving into the details, Dr. Phillips told MNT that, although the skin’s microbiome may differ in people who have acne compared with those who do not, this is not due to cleanliness. He also adds an interesting note about a rather modern dermatological condition: “In the past year, there has been a rise in ‘cell phone’ acneTrusted Source, where people get acne spots on the side of their face that presses against their mobile phones. It is thought to be related to a combination of short-wavelength visible light from smartphones, sweat, dust, heat, friction, and bacteria on the surface of the phones. Flares may be prevented by regularly cleaning phone screens.”
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