- A 2016 research found that over 90 percent of dermatologic patients identified that their diet has a significant effect on their skin problems.
- Most of them singled out greasy foods as the main culprit for breakouts.
- Avoiding certain foods may help manage acne problems, but skin experts and dermatologists say start with cutting back on sugar.
According to a research done in 2016, 46 out of 49 dermatologic patients identified that acne is affected by the food they eat – and greasy foods top their list. But, skipping greasy foods and avoiding dairy is not a surefire remedy for acne-prone skin.
Ditching the extra slice of pizza is not enough — you might have to chuck soda out of the way, too.
Rajani Katta, clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Texas says: “Multiple studies have now found that diets with a high glycemic load can trigger acne in certain persons.”
Founder of Union Square Laser Dermatology, Anne Chapas, further explains that: “The spikes in blood sugar which arise from eating high-glycemic foods cause oil production, which in turn causes acne.”
Potatoes, white bread, rice, cakes are a few examples of high-glycemic food, all of which contribute to a “spike” in blood sugar levels, causing insulin to “spike” as well. The sudden insulin increase triggers a protein known as insulin-like growth factor 1 and the hormone androgen – the combined action of both stimulates skin cell growth and the production of sebum, an oily secretion made by the skin glands – which then causes acne.
It is worth noting that many fried foods are also high-glycemic. An example would be potato chips – it can worsen acne not because it’s greasy, but because the potatoes can cause a blood-sugar spike.
Still, the widespread belief that oily food causes acne remains unconfirmed.
“Eating greasy food has little to no effect on acne,” the Mayo Clinic states. “Though working in a greasy area, such as a kitchen with fry vats, does because the oil can stick to the skin and block the hair follicles. This further irritates the skin or promotes acne.”
Katta says that acne problems may be solved by avoiding certain foods, but she emphasizes that a lot of the information on the internet is not based on credible scientific research.
She further recommends “You should not be making changes to your diet based on anecdotal evidence. One success story is not enough to prove something will work for everyone.”
It’s also important to note that some people have acne issues, not because of diet or certain foods but due to some other factors, including a genetic tendency toward acne and hormonal changes, Katta says.
Source: The Atlantic