Affecting up to 50 million Americans, acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. Acne treatment varies from topical medications to stronger medications like Accutane. Different treatments affect every individual differently, and the prescribed medications vary based on the severity of the acne.
If you’re like one of the 84% of people who have suffered or are currently suffering from acne then you probably have done some research exploring the different causes of acne and the various treatment options. Like many articles suggest, there are multiple causes of acne, the main two being hormones and excess oil production.
But did you know that your diet can affect the severity of your acne, too?
Foods That (Might) Cause Acne
There are a few types of food that can cause acne, or make it worse:
- Refined grains and sugars. This includes carbohydrates from bread, cake, etc., and sugary drinks like soda. Carbs and sugar increase blood sugar and the more insulin your body makes to lower your blood sugar, the more likely you are to get acne.
- Dairy products. The research isn’t clear yet, but many theories point to increased insulin levels and the increased levels of the amino acid known as IGF-1. Both change hormone levels, which in turn can cause acne.
- Chocolate. The exact cause of this has not yet been determined, but multiple studies have shown that chocolate consumption is positively correlated with acne onset.
- Seaweed. Seaweed is high in iodine, and too much iodine can make you break out.
If you notice, greasy foods are not among the list of foods that might cause acne. Contrary to the widespread myth that fast food causes acne, it’s actually just the cooking of greasy food (which exposes you to more oils that could clog your hair follicles) that might cause acne. Simply eating the greasy food does not cause acne.
Foods That (Might) Cure Acne
While there are a variety of foods that cause acne, there are just as many foods that can help cure acne.
- Salmon. Salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation. In addition, salmon lowers levels of the IGF-1 amino acid that causes acne.
- High fiber foods. High-fiber diets help control blood sugar, which helps decrease acne. Foods like fruit, vegetables, and beans are all high in fiber.
- Oysters. Oysters are not only high in zinc, but they also help kill a type of bacteria that causes acne.
- Nuts. Nuts increase levels of antioxidants, which acne-ridden patients are usually lacking in.
Preventing inflammation is key if you want to get rid of your acne. In addition to the foods mentioned above, probiotics are consistently helpful in reducing inflammation which can help reduce acne.
Results vary for a mix of reasons. Some people are more prone to oily skin or have different skin reactions to food. Age, family history, and hormonal changes all affect the onset and duration of acne, too.
The one thing that has been proven to work time and time again is the acne treatment services that we offer. These include salicylic acid peels, microdermabrasion, acne surgery, and photodynamic therapy. If you are suffering from acne and want to feel comfortable in your own skin again, Dr. Elias can be your acne treatment specialist. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.