More research is needed but nutrition can play a role in the development of acne. Some evidence suggests that people can reduce or prevent acne by consuming more omega-3 fatty acids, less dairy products and food with less high glycemic index.
Acne affects 50 million people every year in the U.S. and is the most common skin problem. It usually starts in adolescence and continues its activity between the ages of 12 and 24.
Acne can cause the skin to be lubricated and some lesions. Symptoms can be moderate-to-severe and can affect a person’s quality of life.
Although there is currently no cure for acne, effective treatment options such as gels and creams with prescription drugs are available. Lifestyle changes can also reduce symptoms and reduce acne attacks.
Some people think nutrition plays an important role, too. A 2016 survey found that 71% of respondents believed fried and fatty foods were pimples. Others said chocolate, dairy products and coke were responsible.
The effects of nutrition in the medical world are in discussion. While most experts have thought nutrition has no role in acne development in the past, recent studies show otherwise.
How Does Nutrition Affect The Skin?
Pimples occur as a result of pores on the skin clogging with dead cells, bacteria or both. This blockage can also occur if the body produces sebume, which prevents too much skin from drying out.
Clogged pores cause inflammation and can also cause other lesions, such as acne.
In adolescence, the body releases more of the insulin-like hormone called growth factor 1. Some studies show that this hormone can increase the production of sebum and make acne symptoms worse.
Some foods also increase the production of growth factor 1. Avoiding these foods can improve symptoms and prevent acne incursions.
Foods to Avoid
According to the results of a 2016 study, it is possible that the following foods can increase the secretion of the growth factor 1 hormone:
• dairy products
• foods with high glycemic index and load
Measuring the glycemic index allows us to learn how quickly and too much that foods are increasing blood sugar.
Measuring glycemic load makes it easier for a person to compare foods with different glycemic indexes and decide portion sizes.
Glycemic load can be calculated as follows:
Glycemic load = Glycemic index x amount of carbohydrates per serving (gram) / 100
It is possible to find glycemic information of various foods on the Internet. As a general rule, foods have higher values as they are processed.
According to the American Diabetes Association, the following foods have a high glycemic index:
• bread, especially white bread and baguettes
• sweet breakfast cereals
• ready-made cereals like oats
• Some fruits and vegetables such as melons, pineapples, pumpkins and potatoes
• Enriched pastas such as rice pasta
• white rice with short grain
• snack cakes, cookies, popcorn and pastries
Among the dairy products are milk, cheese, ice cream and yogurt.
However, the American Academy of Dermatology says avoiding high glycemic-indexed foods would be more beneficial than avoiding dairy products.
Eating chocolate can also worsen acne symptoms. This effect is particularly relevant to the high sugar content of chocolate. However, according to the results of a small study, even 100% unsaturated chocolate with cocoa can worsen acne symptoms in young men.
There is little evidence that fatty foods are pimples at the moment, and overactive sebaceous glands can cause fatty skin, but the fat in foods is not the reason.
What Foods Heal Pimples?
Research is even more complex when it is considered which foods to use to fight or prevent acne.
But while more research is needed, a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation and improve acne symptoms.
Omega-3-rich foods are as follows:
• fish such as salmon, sardines
• soybeans and soyproducts
• spinach and black cabbage
• dry curd
• red meat of grass-fed animals
• nuts such as walnuts and almonds
• mustard seeds
• wild rice
While more research is needed, limited amounts of evidence show that antioxidant and fiber-rich foods also help fight acne.
Creating an Anti-Acne Nutrition Plan
Due to so much uncertainty about the effects of nutrition on acne, it can be difficult to know which foods to try and avoid.
Besides, some tactics work in some, but others may not work.
Keeping a nutrition journal can detect which foods reduce and duplicate acne. Once you’ve kept a record of every food and snack you eat, make a note of daily changes in pimples.
After keeping a diary for a few weeks or longer, you can go to your doctor with this diary.
The doctor can establish the link between foods and pimples and recommend changes in nutrition.
It’s important to be patient when changing nutrition. Because it can take up to 12 weeks for the effects of nutrition on the skin to occur.
General Tips for Acne Treatment
There are many prescription or over-the-counter drugs against acne.
The doctor may recommend an appropriate treatment plan and may vary depending on these symptoms. In severe acne cases, the doctor can also refer to a dermatologist.
Here are the general tips for acne management:
• washing the skin twice a day, and also washing it after sweating or exercising
• washing especially oily hair regularly with shampoo
• use of lean, light skin care and cosmetic products
• not touching, scratching or blasting pimples
• avoid ingenue overexposure to the sun
He should also pay attention to the connection between stress and pimples. Stress causes the body to produce more androgen hormones, which triggers the sebaceous glands on the skin. Further oil production can also be the cause of acne.
Acne can affect one’s self-esteem and lead to depression, especially in young adults and adolescents. Therefore, acne should be taken seriously and the importance of stress management should be emphasized and should be alert to the symptoms of depression.
Some evidence suggests that nutrition can affect acne, but more results-based research is needed.
Those with acne can benefit from the following nutritional changes:
• A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fibers and plants
• avoiding foods with high glycemic index and load with dairy products
Applying the Mediterranean diet is the perfect way to make these changes. The food diary can also help discover which foods make pimples worse.
Nutritional changes will not prevent acne alone, and therefore it is important to maintain a regular treatment process.