August 3, 2023
The Biggest Myths About Acne and Food
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Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. Because it’s so common, many myths have developed about what causes acne, especially when it comes to food. Learn more about the misinformation surrounding diet and acne.

Acne affects about 50 million Americans each year, and it doesn’t just plague teens. It can affect people of all ages, including women in their 30s and 40s.

Because acne causes aesthetic and medical challenges, it’s no surprise that people are always looking for ways to prevent or treat it. Numerous myths about the skin condition have emerged, particularly concerning the relationship between acne and food.

At Twin Falls Dermatology and Aesthetics, LLC, Laurel Krupski, PA-C, MSW, sees many patients with acne. She wants you to understand how acne and your diet are related. In this article, we debunk some of the biggest myths surrounding acne and food.

Known acne causes

Acne develops due to an overproduction of oil, clogged pores, inflammation, and bacteria in the skin. Hormonal changes, such as those during puberty or during menstruation, also impact the frequency of acne breakouts.

Other possible contributors to acne include lotions, makeup and hair products, and certain medications, like steroids. Acne also has a genetic component and may be exacerbated by stress, pollution, and smoking.

Diet and acne

No known cause-and-effect relationship between diet and acne exists. Now, certain foods — like highly processed items, refined carbohydrates, and simple sugars — can promote total body inflammation, which may trigger acne outbreaks.

What you eat also affects your hormones, which may make acne worse. Eating a healthy, balanced diet made up of mainly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins supports general body and skin health.

Avoiding any one food is not going to clear up your acne.

Pervasive myths about acne and food

Don’t fall for these myths when it comes to acne.

Myth #1: Chocolate and greasy foods cause acne

No research proves that chocolate and greasy foods cause acne. Skipping chips or swearing off your favorite chocolate bar forever isn’t going to clear up a case of acne.

Myth #2: Dairy always causes acne

Dairy can raise insulin levels. This may affect other hormones that directly affect skin health. Although dairy has been linked with acne in some cases, it’s not a universal trigger for all people.

If you suspect a connection between dairy consumption and your breakouts, talk to Laurel. She can help you find alternatives to dairy without compromising your nutrition.

Myth #3: Sugar causes acne

The relationship between refined sugar and acne is complex and not direct. Soda, candy, and other foods with a high sugar content can raise total body inflammation, which can worsen acne in some people. But that doesn’t mean there’s a direct correlation between one dessert treat and your breakout.

The best strategy is to maintain a balanced diet that contains mostly whole foods and includes sugar as a treat, not a main source of fuel.

No one food or diet can completely cure your acne. A healthy diet contributes to overall skin health, but it is not a standalone solution for professional acne treatment.

If you or a loved one is struggling with acne, make an appointment at Twin Falls Dermatology and Aesthetics. Professional guidance and treatment is the key to managing this condition effectively. Laurel can help you with a comprehensive approach that includes proper skin care and healthy lifestyle habits.

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