Acne is by far the most common skin disorder, affecting about 80% of teenagers and young adults. Even though acne is usually associated with teenagers, it affects people of all ages. The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology estimates that 54% of women over 25 experience acne breakouts and clinical studies suggest that more than 40% of people in their 20s and 30s have persistent acne.
Acne develops when your oil glands produce too much sebum, which can clog your pores and cause pimples, also called acne lesions, to erupt. They can show up on your face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders. Acne is not a health issue that should cause much distress, but it can be unsightly and lead to permanent scarring.
For obvious reasons, most people would prefer to avoid acne breakouts, but there are a lot of myths floating around about what causes acne and how to prevent it. Your best bet is to make an appointment with dermatologist Dr. Jeffrey S. Fromowitz of Dermatology of Boca in Boca Raton, Florida, for personalized treatment options.
You can also help yourself by learning to distinguish myth from fact when it comes to acne and food. Here are three popular myths about how what you put in your mouth affects your skin.
At first, researchers believed your diet had a significant impact on acne. Then, after a few studies regarding chocolate and acne, they reversed their position. Now, recent studies do point to a connection — or at least a correlation, though not an absolute cause and effect — between acne and food.
The culprits? Foods high on the glycemic index, such as white bread, chips, high-sugar products, and white potatoes. Other studies show that dairy, also long thought to be an acne aggravator, may also lead to pimples.
Eating foods low on the glycemic index and limiting your dairy intake may improve your skin.
Because acne is caused by an increase in sebum, which is an oily substance, people have long assumed that eating greasy foods makes your skin greasy, leading to an acne eruption.
This has never been scientifically proven, so you don’t need to worry about eating fried or greasy foods when it comes to your skin. However, there are plenty of reasons you should still limit these types of foods, especially when it comes to your heart and your waist circumference.
Although eating greasy foods do not promote acne, touching your skin after eating may contribute to clogged pores and breakouts.
Chocolate has long been lumped together with greasy foods and junk food as snacks to avoid if you want to get rid of your acne. While the sugar and dairy content in milk chocolate may contribute to skin problems, dark chocolate is probably safe. In fact, the antioxidants in dark chocolate may even help your skin.
If you suspect something in your diet is causing breakouts, keep a food diary and make an appointment with Dr. Fromowitz to learn how to effectively treat your acne.