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DIET and ACNE -Dermatologist Guide



Diet plays an important role in the management of acne, as do supplements such as zinc. Finding the correct combination for your skin type is the key, as everyone has a unique pattern of acne. Some have blackhead acne and clogged pores – peels and retinol help in this context. Some have papular pustular zits, and in this context - phototherapy – LED, Omnilux and Kleresca can help accelerate healing in conjunction with diet.


Hormonal acne, or to be more specific, adult jawline hormonal acne is complex, and like the name suggests it is primarily due to hormones, but also contributed by stress, make up, occlusion, and in many cases diet. Treatment of this subgroup of acne is harder with diet alone. Studies so far have focused mostly on the foods that make acne worse. Here are the three that come up most often as culprits in increasing breakouts. Avoid these for 4 weeks, and see if you notice a difference. Realize that acne is much more complex than a food trigger, its everything else you do- from stress levels, through to the correct make up, sunscreen, moisturizer and cleanser.


A brief summary on the research to date on acne & diet- MILK- The 2010 study in the JAAD or American Journal of dermatology found an association between cow’s milk and acne. Cow’s milk spikes blood sugar, which can increase inflammation- leading to zits, acne and pimples. It modulates IGF-1 levels, increases the production of skin oils.


SUGAR - is every where from soda, pearl tea, candy, and desserts. This spikes your blood sugar levels, and you could break out hours later. If you suspect sugar could be a culprit for you, decrease your sugar load to make that difference.


HIGH-GLYCEMIC FOODS - Refined Food- These are foods that break down quickly in the body, triggering an insulin spike and raising blood sugar levels. They trigger hormonal fluctuations and inflammation—both of which encourage acne. Foods like white bread, processed breakfast cereals, white rice, potato chips, cookies and cakes.



Choose low glycemic-index foods instead, like vegetables, whole grains, potatoes, and most fruits. In the context of this video, refined food groups such as instant noodles contribute to a spike in blood sugars. The combination of fluctuating sugar levels, poor nutrition and possibly additives found in instant noodles contribute to acne outbreaks. Additionally the time of our life where by nutrition is compromised, namely early adulthood overlaps with the timeline of 'acne prone age.' Follow the above tips for one month and MOST importantly make objective assessments. This means take good before and after photos to compare results prior to an acne diet, and use this as a reference point.


Apart from Accutane, acne can be treated with peels, vitamin A creams- retinol, as well as good skin care including correct use of cleansers, exfoliants and in females make up. Try these simple measures outlined. If all else fails, a general dermatologist can prescribe medication to address hormonal issues, or tablets that decrease oil production.

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