Skin Myths

For your interest, we have decided to give factual evidence to dispell some common misconceptions regarding the skin. This list will be continually expanded as new myths come to our attention.

Myth 1: Acne is caused by poor dietary choices that teenagers make.

The Truth

Studies that have been done in thousands of teenagers have demonstrated no correlation between the consumption of caffeinated beverages, chocolates, or greasy foods and the presence or absence of acne. In actuality, acne is caused by a hormonally-induced overproduction of oil and effects 80% of teenagers regardless of their diet.

Myth 2: Tanning from the use of tanning beds is safer than tanning from sun rays.

The Truth

The ultraviolet rays from tanning beds are primarily UVA, a longer wavelength than UVB which is the primary wavelength in sun rays. UVA rays may tan and not burn on the surface but they actually penetrate deeper in the skin and cause undetectable changes in the DNA of deeper epidermal cells as well as much more deleterious changes in the collagen layer. The end result is progressive aging and a 50 – fold increased risk of skin cancer compared with natural sun exposure.

Myth 3: Warts are gotten from touching frogs or from going barefoot in pool ares or locker rooms.

The Truth

Warts are caused by skin infection with a papilloma virus that is present on the surface of every human’s skin.  Inoculation of the virus into the skin by minor trauma allows it to reach its target, the epidermal cell.  Warts are locally contagious on the person having one but are rarely if ever spread person-to –person (except in the case of genital warts spread through skin-to-skin contact between partners).  Frogs do not carry the human papilloma virus.

Myth 4: Dandruff can be spread to others through sharing of combs and brushes.

The Truth

Dandruff is the result of skin cells flaking off of areas of scalp affected by seborrheic dermatitis, which is actually an allergic reaction to a skin yeast native to the upper body and scalp.  As everyone has the yeast already, it is not acquired from another person.  The incidence of seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff approaches 40% in the population.  Treatment is best done with shampoos or applications that reduce the yeast presence such as those containing selenium sulfide, zinc pyrithione, or ketoconazole.

Brentwood Dermatology

343 Franklin Road
Suite 202
Brentwood, TN 37027
[get directions]

Phone: 615-377-3448
Fax: 615-370-3449

Office Hours

8:00am - 4:30pm

Brentwood Dermatology - Best of Brentwood 2016 & 2017