Acne & Foods
Acne is a common condition in both teenagers and adults. It happens most frequently during the teen years but can also plague women due to hormonal fluctuations, and it may show up in adult men too. There are many myths and facts about foods that might cause acne or prevent it. It is important to separate untrue beliefs from facts when you are dealing with a case of acne. You may be able to add a dietary component to your overall treatment plan.
The root cause of acne is not directly related to what you consume. The Mayo Clinic explains that it results from oil and dead skin cells that plug hair follicles. Some people produce a greater than normal amount of sebum, or skin oil, and some shed more skin cells than average. Either or both of these factors can make you more prone to developing acne.
Many foods that were once considered to be acne-causing culprits are actually harmless according to the Mayo Clinic. Hamburgers, french fries and other greasy foods do not cause the skin condition. The only oil that influences acne is that which is produced by glands in the skin. Chocolate will not cause acne either, the Mayo Clinic states.
The Mayo Clinic states that certain foods may play a causal role in acne. Research indicates that starchy foods like bread, chips and bagels may trigger it or make it worse. The exact mechanism is not known, but Mayo explains that it might be linked to blood sugar fluctuations caused by those foods. Health911.com cites sugary foods as a possible culprit too.
Some foods may be beneficial as part of an acne treatment program. For example, zinc helps some acne patients according to the Mayo Clinic. Health911.com recommends eating zinc-rich foods like wheat germ, liver, sunflower seeds, egg yolk, sesame seeds and lamb. Foods containing vitamins B5, B6, C and E can also help prevent acne outbreaks, Health911.com states. Kidshealth.org, a health website run by the Nemours Foundation, recommends eating a generally healthy diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products as this will promote overall good health.
While certain foods may improve or prevent acne, it is best to take a combined treatment approach that uses medication along with dietary changes. Acne that is treated ineffectively may cause permanent scarring. The Mayo Clinic states that many effective products are available over the counter. These include topical creams and lotions containing benzoyl peroxide, lactic acid, salicylic acid, sulfur or resorcinol. These medications can be applied as needed along with eliminating problematic foods and eating potentially beneficial ones.
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