There are many myths about acne. Such mistaken beliefs can keep people from treating acne properly or even direct them to behaviors that make the condition worse. One example is the idea that acne is caused by dirt and vigorous scrubbing can make it go away. In reality, harsh scrubbing can inflame the skin and increase acne breakouts. Surface dirt and oil isn't what causes acne anyway, but rather a combination of oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells that come from deep inside the pores. Another myth is that sun exposure will clear up your skin. While this may appear to be true initially, the sun triggers increased oil production that can eventually make acne worse. What's more, it leads to premature aging of the skin and increases the risk of skin cancer. Then there's the story about chocolate and pizza making your face break out. If you like such foods, enjoy them in moderation. They've never been proven to affect acne. Still another myth is that people with acne have to let the condition 'run its course.' There are many products, both over-the-counter and prescription, that can improve your skin. Early treatment can also prevent or minimize scarring.