Myths About Acne

Acne is a common disorder that affects the skin’s oil glands. It usually starts around puberty and can persist for many years. Symptoms associated with acne breakouts include itching, pain and burning. Percentages show 80% of adolescents are subjected to this type of skin condition. Acne can be annoying and upsetting to the patient. Treatment typically depends on the needs of the individual patient and usually includes a combination of creams, lotions, gels and oral medications.  Dr. Marzia Baldi, Dermatologist at Humanitas Gavazzeni, explains false myths associated with acne.

What is acne and how it is caused?

Acne appears when the tiny holes in the skin (hair follicles) become blocked. The sebaceous glands are small glands that are attached to the hair follicles. They lubricate the hair and skin with an oily substance known as sebum. When the glands begin to produce too much sebum, this causes acne.

 “Essentially, acne is nothing more than inflammatory dermatoses of the skin. It affects parts of the skin containing hair (the so-called “hair follicles”) and the sebaceous glands. As we all know, acne is manifested in the form of pimples, which develop on the face, back and chest. In fact, acne can even be considered a chronic disease based on its duration, frequency of relapses and the psychosocial impact that it entails.”

“There are various types of acne breakouts. Acne may develop as a hereditary or personal predisposition. However, it can also result from physical and psychological states of transition due to hormonal changes or stressful periods. Although they may not be considered among the top causes of acne, there are certain foods that should be limited in consumption. Such foods include chocolate and so called “junk” foods, which apart from impacting an individual’s physical condition, are also considered a cause for the appearance of notorious pimples” says Dr. Baldi.

Can acne be prevented?

To prevent acne and reduce damage to the skin, it is important to follow these prevention tips.

  • Washing the face gently
  • Choosing a cleanser specifically designed to clear acne sores
  • Using a moisturizer that does not aggravate acne
  • Using oil-free foundation

“In some cases, it may be sufficient to use specific creams or scrubs performed on an outpatient basis. In other cases, however, it may be necessary to rely on more radical treatments such as photodynamic therapy. This type of therapy involves the application of an ointment containing 5-Amino levulinic acid (ALA) on the areas of the skin that are most affected by the acne. The resulting exposure of these areas to a red lighted lamp causes an immediate sterilization of the follicle, which leads to the disappearance of inflammation” concludes Dr. Baldi.


Humanitas is a highly specialized Hospital, Research and Teaching Center. Built around centers for the prevention and treatment of cancer, cardiovascular, neurological and orthopedic disease – together with an Ophthalmic Center and a Fertility Center – Humanitas also operates a highly specialised Emergency Department.