Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Chocolate & Acne Vulgaris

Chocolate & Acne Vulgaris Chocolate & Acne Vulgaris

Overview

Some doctors have long dismissed the idea that chocolate plays a role in acne vulgaris. Yet many people with acne continue to complain that their breakouts become worse with certain foods, especially chocolate, notes the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Evidence about the link between diet and this skin condition is growing, pointing to certain ingredients in chocolate that may make acne worse.

Chocolate Does Not Cause Acne

By now you probably know that there is no truth to the rumor that chocolate --- or any other food --- causes acne. This skin condition results from hormonal activity, too much oil in your skin, excessive amounts of dead skin cells, bacteria and inflammation. However, for some people, certain foods play a major role in their acne, according to the book "Prescription for Drug Alternatives" by physician James F. Balch and his co-authors.

Sugar

One 44-g bar of chocolate contains nearly 23 g of sugar, according to the USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory. Sugar is a refined carbohydrate, which causes blood glucose and insulin levels to rise rapidly. Insulin triggers production of inflammation and oil. On the other hand, a diet consisting of low-glycemic carbohydrates --- which includes food such as whole grains, vegetables and fruit --- and protein is linked to fewer pimples and less severe breakouts, according to an international study published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" in July 2007.

Milk

Another ingredient in chocolate that may aggravate acne is milk. Dairy cows are usually pregnant, which means their hormone levels are high. They also receive synthetic hormones so they produce more milk. The high levels of hormones in milk may disrupt your body's hormonal balance, which can increase acne activity. Balch and his co-authors recommend switching to hormone-free dairy products. If you can't kick your sweet tooth to the curb, switch to organic chocolate, especially 100 percent organic dark chocolate.

Considerations

Diet-related acne triggers differ from person to person. For instance, nuts are often cited as promoting breakouts, notes the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Also, cravings for refined carbohydrates such as candies and chocolates increase with stress. High stress levels increase production of cortisol, a hormone that can exacerbate acne.

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