Acne Skin and Nutrition
Can your diet affect acne skin?
It is commonly believed that what you eat, especially tasty food like chocolate, nuts, candy and soft drinks, can cause acne skin. Many people with acne skin change their diet, but does it help?
We’ve all heard how chocolate and greasy food options cause acne skin. While studies have been done to determine the link, there is very little evidence that food has an effect on the development and course of acne in most people.
In a study of chocolate ingestion among acne patients, acne skin was unaffected in the majority of patients, improved in a few, and worsened in a few.
In addition, there is no scientific evidence to support the belief that high intake of carbohydrate and/or fat influences sebum production or acne.
Studies have been done comparing low- and high-glycaemic-load diets (LGLD, HGLD), but have found no clear evidence of a difference between the groups in change in acne lesions.
One study did show that drinking milk and eating ice cream was often linked to the development of acne skin.
So, the good news is that there is little evidence to support the belief that food has any effect on acne skin in most people. Rather, follow a diet that supports your overall good health.
- Gollnick H, Cunliffe W, Berson D, Drew B, Finlay A, Leyden JJ, et al. Management of Acne. A Report From the Global Alliance to Improve Outcomes in Acne. J Am Acad Dermatol 2003;49(1):S1-S37.
- Magin P, Pond D, Smith W, Watson A. A systematic review of the evidence for ‘myths and misconceptions’ in acne management: diet, face-washing and sunlight. Family Practice 2005;22:62-70.
- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Conditions. Acne. NIH Publication No. 15-4998. Available from URL: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Acne/. Cited 23 February 2016.
- Sykes NL, Webster GF. Acne. A Review of Optimum Treatment. Drugs 1994;48(1):59-70
- Cao H, Yang G, Wang Y, et al. Complementary therapies for acne vulgaris. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. Author manuscript. 2016;1-138. CD009436. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD009436.pub2
- Ismail NH, Manaf ZA, Azizan NZ. High glycemic load diet, milk and ice cream consumption are related to acne vulgaris in Malaysian young adults: a case control study. BMC Dermatology 2012;12:13-20
Written by Lauren Espach
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