With a new skin care product being revealed each week, it is natural when the most uncaring person in the world begins to worry a bit about their skin.
One skin care company might say shaving makes your hair grow back thicker while another might say squinting will give you wrinkles. This week’s FYI will focus on the Facts and Myths about skin diseases solely for your information.
MYTH: Shaving makes hair grow back thicker.
FACT: “That’s definitely a myth,” said Dr. Arielle Kauvar, a clinical associate professor in NYU’s department of dermatology. But there’s a reason why shaving might appear to have that result.
“When you shave, you’re seeing the blunt edges of the hair regrow all at the same time, so there’s an appearance of being thicker, but there’s no difference in the diameter or the density of the hair,” Kauvar said.
Hair doesn’t seem to grow in as thick in waxing, because the entire follicle is removed, so the hair coming back in is growing in different cycles. As a result, it does not appear to be as dense. Also, the hair is tapered at the end, so it does not appear to be as thick.
MYTH: Exfoliating can slow hair growth.
FACT: Doing something to your skin doesn’t seem to affect something that grows below it. “Exfoliating the surface of the skin – it’s not going to change the metabolism of the follicle underneath the skin,” said Dr. Ronald Brancaccio, Director of the Skin Institute of New York.
The only current treatment available to slow hair growth is the drug Vaniqa, which is applied topically to reduce facial hair growth in women. It works by blocking an enzyme that enables hair follicles to grow. A number of illnesses can also lead to a temporary loss of hair. These include thyroid problems and a condition known as telogen effluvium. Typically, 20 percent of hair is in the resting phase – where it is not growing – at any given time. Illness, trauma or childbirth can lead to telogen effluvium, where a greater percentage of the hair is pushed into that resting phase, making it seem like hair fell out overnight.
MYTH: All wrinkles form by age 25, they just start to show later.
FACT: This is known to be a myth largely because activities after 25, like spending more time out in the sun, can lead to an increase in wrinkles. “If you get a lot of sun exposure, you’re definitely going to get more wrinkles,” said Dr. Zoe Draelos, a dermatologist in private practice and a researcher in High Point, NC.
Wrinkles are the result of a loss of collagen, the main structural protein of the skin. As you age, the body begins to produce less of it, which keeps skin from being as firm as it was when you were younger. But while that decline in collagen happens to everyone, and wrinkles will form along the lines that are moved in facial expressions, sun exposure breaks down collagen even more, leading to wrinkles that otherwise might never have happened.
MYTH: Apply moisturizer and foundation in upward strokes or you will get wrinkles.
FACT: You can’t rub wrinkles into your face. The skin is elastic, and when you stretch it, it bounces back. Even daily repetition won’t be enough to cause a wrinkle if it isn’t done in exactly the same way each time. The only way to artificially create a wrinkle is stretching the skin for a prolonged period, like when you sleep.