Acne and your diet

Posted on 22 Jun, 2011

It has long been disputed whether your diet can have any effect on the severity of acne, with some saying that the link made between eating chocolate and acne is just another urban myth. There are, however, some possible links between what you eat and your skin, and while changing your diet is unlikely to be truly effective without other acne treatment, it is worth considering the ideas below:

• In our society in the Western world, we have developed the habit of eating foods high in carbohydrates and sugar, such as chocolate. These foods increase insulin levels in the blood. This sets off a series of processes, including the production of more male hormones, which in turn cause hair follicles to scale and increases sebum production. These are commonly thought to facilitate the formation of acne.

• Cow’s milk could also have an effect as it contains certain male hormones amongst other components which lead to insulin production and an increase in spots.

• Monounsaturated fatty acids can increase sebum production, and are found in vegetable oils.

Limiting such foods may have a positive effect on acne-prone skin, although any modifications to diet should be undertaken with care to avoid any deficiencies. Other, effective treatments such as microdermabrasion and laser therapy are available that can significantly improve the appearance of afflicted skin.