Skin is the largest organ of the body and plays multiple roles. It provides a home of sensory neurons which help us to sense the world around us and also allows us to keep our insides and blocks the path of pathogens. It is our most visible organ and has also become the target organ for a wide range of products that promise youthful, clearer, and healthier skin. However, the skin plays many roles but also links up with many myths and misunderstandings. There is much confusion linked with skin which we will make clear with the help of experts; they are
- Prof. Hywel C. Williams, OBE, D.Sc – a professor of dermato-epidemiology and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
- Dr. Derrick Phillips — an expert dermatologist and a spokesperson for the British Skin Foundation.
- Dr. Beth G. Goldstein– a founder at Get Mr. and Central Dermatology Center.
Skin related medical myths that everyone should know
Some skin-related myths explained by experts
- Using expensive creams helps you to be young forever
Many reputed skin cream industries are promising many skin benefits. But according to Dr. Phillips, in spite of the reputation and cost, no skin cream can protect skin against aging. He clearly says that ‘this is a marketing ploy and is certainly not true. He also explained to Medical News that today ‘use of simple moisturizer could achieve a lot and creams having topical retinoid can improve photoaging effects’. But he says he is ‘not at all aware of any cream that keeps skin young forever.’ Also, in an agreement, Dr. Phillips wrote that ‘the key intervention in slowing aging process is by using sunscreen containing broadband UV cover.’
- Drinking water helps your skin to stay hydrated
According to Professor Williams, it is a half-truth as ‘drinking water only keeps skin hydrated as water keeps the body hydrated and skin is the largest organ of the body.’ Also, Dr. Goldstein said that ‘there is no such evidence that drinking water directly affects the skin in any way.’
- Antibacterial soap does wonder to the skin
According to Prof. Williams, this is a myth as the skin’s natural microbiome is vital for its health. He clarifies that ‘use of antibacterial soaps can upset natural skin balance and can also be harsher on the skin in comparison to pH neutral soaps.’ On the other hand, Dr. Goldstein added, ‘unless you are in any situation like in work in healthcare. Food handling or pandemic, removing good and bad bacteria on daily basis is not the best option’.
- Dirty face cause acne
Prof. Williams termed this as non-sense and said that standard dirt will not produce acne. Dr. Goldstein says ‘acne is caused by a complex interaction of the skin and hormones and not dirt.’ In fact, Dr. Phillips also adds up a modern dermatological condition. He says, ‘in past few years there is a rise in cases of cell phone acne. A condition in which people get acne spots on side of the face due to the pressure of mobile phones. The condition is linked with light from smartphones, heat, dust, friction, sweat, and bacteria on phones’ surfaces. Though it can be prevented by cleaning phone’s surface on regular basis.’
- All sun exposure is harmful to the skin
Professor Williams explained ‘all sun exposures have a degree of photodamage, but some sun exposures are vital to boost vitamin D synthesis.’ Also, Dr. Phillips said’ sun is a major source of Vitamin d which is vital for bone health and makes the immune system strong. UV exposure has anti-inflammatory properties too that help in many skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and pruritus.’
- Black slave – a safe treatment of skin cancer
In the past few years, many companies make black slaves, a derivative bloodroot plant, to treat skin cancer. In reality, it is dangerous, and Prof Williams explained it clearly. He says ‘the active ingredient in black slave known as sanguinarine can cause severe tissue necrosis. To treat skin cancer always see a dermatologist.’ Also, Dr. Goldstein explains ‘have seen sad results of people who tried this treatment as black slave damage healthy tissue without curing cancer.’
According to experts, it is essential to clear many skin-related myths, as staying updated will help you stay healthy.