Diet and acne

Acne Diet At A Glance

  • Best Results4 to 10 weeks
  • Treatment RecoveryNA
  • Procedure TimeNA
  • Skin SpecialistDietician
  • Duration of ResultsLong lasting
  • AnaestheticNA
  • Back to WorkNA
  • Cost$

Acne Diet

Dermatologists encourage patients to try the acne diet before exploring prescribed medications. Avoiding acne trigger foods can also be adjunctive treatment, resulting in faster control of acne. Trigger foods include foods with a high GI index such as sugars, sweets, & processed food. Eating a health well balanced diet can improve acne.

FactsFacts on diet and acne

  • Eating a well balanced diet can improve acne
  • The results of diet can range from minimal improvement to a significant reduction in acne counts
  • Eating less sugars and processed foods can help reduce acne counts

Why is there such a big deal publicised about acne and diets?

Over the past few decades stubborn academics refute the causal link between diet & acne. This myth has been now debunked. Recent research has shown that in some people there is a link between diet & acne. If you change your diet, & acne improves, you may not need to go on medication.

Anti-acne diet may work in some cases. It requires marked discipline with no cheat days.

The acne free diet is not a fad diet, it is a simple diet based upon eating less processed foods such as sugars, and increasing your low GI foods. It may not work for everyone, but we do encourage patients to try it out– the absolute worse thing that can happen is that your acne does not improve on this diet, but you are eating more health meals!

What food can flare up acne?

Research has shown that foods with a high glycemic index (GI) can flare up your acne. The mechanism is though to be hormonally mediated, via insulin like growth factor mechanisms. Most Dermatologists now believe that following a low GI diet can help some cases of acne.

High GI foods include simple sugars such as sweets and chocolate (chocolate is actually a fat, and not a sugar, however most chocolates contain simple sugars, a source of high GI foods.). Processed foods such as white bread, biscuits, chips and junk foods have a high GI index and should be avoided in patients with acne.

What foods groups should I eat to help improve my acne?

Eating foods with a low GI index can help improve acne. Food groups include complex carbohydrates, & protein such as meat, fish, eggs, and soy. Dairy products such as milk should be consumed in moderation.

No cheat days. An acne diet can be effective in reducing oil production.

Will an acne free diet treat all forms of acne?

No. The cause of acne in multifactorial, including genetics, hormonal, stress, and dietary.  Diet related acne usually has trigger foods, such as chocolate, sweets, sugars and high GI foods. Most people are usually aware of their triggers as acne lesions tend to flare 2-3 days after certain food types.

Hormonal acne is usually seen around the chin and jaw line area and fluctuates with the monthly period cycle. Diet changes have impact on hormone related acne, however most patients will require other medication to treat this stubborn form of acne.

Bacne or back acne is a form of tuncal acne. This form of acne may respond to dietary changes, however the overall improvement maybe modest, compared to the severity of acne.

Cystic acne affecting the face, and occasionally back can be resistant to diet changes. In most cases this type of scarring acne responds to vitamin A tablets such as Oratane – Roaccutane – Accutane.

BHA peels can markedly reduce blackheads & acne in only 1-2 treatments.

Davin’s Viewpoint on acne diets and treatments

Acne and other skin conditions can respond to dietary changes, however patients should be mindful as to what types of acne lesions are suitable for an acne diet. Hormonal & cystic acne should not be managed with diet alone, as medical treatments should be considered. Patients with scarring acne should also consider medical treatments as first line, & dietary changes as supplementary.

An acne free diet is a well balanced diet high in protein and foods with a low GI index, high GI foods should be consumed in moderation. Working in with a medical dermatologist using medical treatments will give patients the best outcomes.

Disclaimer: I do not manage acne in my daily work. This is a medical condition that can be treated by my colleagues @cliniccutis

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