he best diet for acne is a difficult question to answer. Many factors come into play when it comes to what will work for you and your skin. It may be the time of year or the amount of water you drink each day.
Maybe there's an ingredient in your food that isn't sitting well with your stomach, or maybe it's something else entirely. Whatever the case may be, finding out which foods make your breakouts worse can help you find the best diet plan for acne!
Why Do People Have Acne?
Acne is a skin condition that causes red or black pimples on the face, chest, and back. Acne usually starts during adolescence due to hormonal changes in your body. There are about 1 billion teenagers in the world, and about 80% of them will have acne. A study has found that acne is a psychological problem and can also affect someone's self-esteem and social life.
Acne is caused by changes to the skin’s oil glands and hair follicles. The most common cause of acne is when these cells produce too much sebum, which clogs pores. Hormones produced during puberty can contribute to this overproduction, but it usually levels off as you become an adult. Living with people who smoke can also cause acne, as well as certain medications.
Other causes of acne include stress and genetics. Hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle may contribute to breakouts in some women. Acne usually appears on the face because it is more difficult for makeup or oil-control products to cover up there than other areas of skin on the body.
People who have oily skin can also experience acne breakouts because they produce more oil and cells that hold on to it near the surface of their face. Acne is not contagious, but there are certain bacteria you may pick up from other people's hands or by touching surfaces that carry them like cell phones or keyboards. Conditions like rosacea and psoriasis can also contribute to acne.
Another cause of acne is acne scars. These are the result of acne lesions that were either deep or left untreated for an extended period of time, and they create a lasting memory on your face.
How Is Diet Connected With Acne?
Acne has a relation to what you eat. It is not just a myth, but there is truth in it. Certain foods are believed by many people who have tried them to help prevent breakouts or improve the skin conditions they already have.
There are two main ways in which diet can affect acne. Acne is often worsened by foods that are high in refined sugars and trans fats, such as many sweets or fast food meals. At the same time, low-quality protein sources like beef and your dairy intake cause inflammation of the skin.
When researchers looked at how these poor proteins affected rats, they found that a diet high in dairy and beef protein increased the number of inflammatory compounds on the skin, worsened acne lesions, and led to more rapid reproduction of new cells.
To find out which types of food are most likely to contribute to breakouts, researchers looked at different diets around the world for clues.
The team studied data from 25,000 people in rural and urban communities in Asia, Africa, Latin America, North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe with a mix of traditional diets. They found that those eating plant-based foods were less likely to have acne than those who ate animal products more often.
What Are The Best Diet For Acne?
This diet works great for both acne and weight loss. It’s easy to follow, low in carbohydrates and high in fat, so you won’t feel hungry. In Gothenburg, Sweden, a study from the Department of Dermatology and Venereology even found that a ketogenic diet can reduce acne.
Low Sugar Diet
Sugar is not your skin best friend – but then again, most things are better for you than sugar! The American Academy of Dermatologists recommends avoiding foods with added sugars to help with acne. This means that you should avoid processed foods and refined carbs, as well as desserts, candy, baked goods, and sugary drinks.
For those who are suffering from severe acne, a gluten-free diet may be worth considering. Gluten is found in wheat, barley, and rye, so it’s important to know which foods contain this if you have acne or want to help your skin regain its natural balance.
The Paleo diet is a grain-free, dairy and refined sugar-free way to eat. It's low in carbs which are great for acne sufferers because they have been shown to increase inflammation in the body.
This type of diet has long been associated with good health and longevity. Research from Harvard School of Public Health found that following a Mediterranean diet improved acne symptoms. This diet emphasizes plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This diet is rich in omega-three fatty acids, which are important for skin health.
Vegetarian Or Vegan Diet
Some dermatologists will recommend this diet to their patients who have acne because they believe that the lack of meat and animal products helps reduce hormonal imbalances and inflammation.
Raw Food Diet
The raw food diet is usually vegan and gluten-free. It includes an abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds which are low in calories but very high in vitamins A, C, and E, as well as antioxidants that will protect your skin from sun damage.
Foods To Prevent Acne
Here are some of the foods that you can eat to help prevent acne breakouts:
Eat fruits that are rich in antioxidants like apples, blueberries, or blackberries.
Research shows that olive oil can be a great natural moisturizer for your skin and will help with acne prevention.
Drink plenty of water because dehydration may cause inflammation which could lead to breakouts. Water also helps clear the body from toxins that may be causing your acne.
Research has shown that green tea can help prevent the formation of certain bacteria in your stomach, which will lower inflammation and improve the condition of the skin on your face.
A bowl of oatmeal with a banana for breakfast is an excellent choice to provide healthy carbs, fiber, protein, and antioxidants.
A diet that is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids can help with acne prevention because it helps reduce inflammation and the overproduction of sebum, which are both associated with breakouts.
A study found that when people with cystic acne drank lemon juice mixed with water every day for 12 weeks, their acne improved significantly.
A diet that is rich in vegetables will help you reduce inflammation and balance the pH levels of your skin, which can alleviate acne symptoms.
Eating raw nuts is a great way to get protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals for optimal health. Nuts have been shown to be beneficial at reducing breakouts by moisturizing skin and improving acne.
A diet that is rich in protein will help you reduce inflammation which could be causing your breakouts, by keeping the sebum production low. Protein also helps restore the damaged cells on your pores because it boosts collagen levels.
If you are looking for a healthy fat to use to your advantage in preventing acne, try using broccoli because it contains carotenoid and indole-carbinol compounds that seem to have an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin.
In addition to consuming oregano for its health benefits, you can also apply this spice directly onto breakouts as a natural topical treatment.
Foods that worsen the acne
Sugary foods like cakes and cookies make acne worse because they cause blood sugar levels to spike.
One study found that a high-glycemic-index diet may increase the risk of developing acne, although it is unclear how this works.
Dairy products like milk and cheese are off-limits on the acne diet because they contain hormones that exacerbate breakouts.
The protein in dairy is also a common cause of breakouts, but there isn't any clear evidence as to why this happens. The acidity or fat content in dairy products could be responsible for causing more breakouts.
Processed foods like chips and donuts contain many artificial ingredients that can irritate the skin.
There are also studies to support this theory: one study found that diet-related acne is more common in people who eat a lot of processed carbohydrates. At the same time, another link was seen between high glycemic diets and acne.
Fried foods like French fries and onion rings are not recommended because they contain many unhealthy fat.
One study also found that fried foods were linked to an increased risk for acne.
A lot of acne products contain caffeine, so you should avoid drinking a lot of coffee or tea if you want to see an improvement in your skin.
Drinking soda is not recommended because it contains sugar and may have high levels of artificial sweeteners, aggravating the condition.
When To Consult A Doctor?
When you think you need to consult your doctor, you may already be experiencing some of the symptoms that a dermatologist can help with. Some important tell-tale signs include
- Acne lesions are not healing as expected and are associated with significant pain, swelling, or fever.
- Redness persists or worsens around acne lesions after applying topical medication for more than two weeks.
- Presence of acne lesions on the chest, back, or shoulders
- Presence of acne rosacea or a skin condition that arises in response to antibiotic treatment.
- New skin growths (warts) appear after treatment for an acne lesion.
If you have any of these symptoms and suspect that they may be caused by a different condition than just the pimples themselves, it's probably time to consult your doctor. They will be able to help you make a diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate treatment.
A dermatologist may prescribe a topical medication for acne and other treatments such as oral antibiotics for more severe cases or isotretinoin capsules, a type of drug used in the treatment of severe acne.
The best diet for acne is one that suits your lifestyle and body. The cause of acne can range from food sensitivities to hormonal imbalances, so finding a good diet may depend on what's triggering your breakouts. Eating well-balanced meals will help you maintain stable blood sugar levels while supplying essential nutrients the skin needs to heal.
When you're experiencing flare-ups and breakouts, it's a sign that your acne might be hormonal in nature. If this is the case, see an endocrinologist or gynecologist for treatment options like birth control pills to regulate hormones.