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Foods That Induce Acne

Foods That Induce Acne Foods That Induce Acne

Acne is a widespread skin condition characterized by clogged pores, pimples and cysts. Although the skin care market is saturated with topical treatments and anti-acne pills, there may be another way to improve your complexion: by changing the food you eat. The exact link between diet and acne remains unclear, but a mounting body of evidence suggests certain foods can trigger breakouts in acne-prone individuals.

Dairy Products

Milk may be famous for its bone-building properties, but it is also one of the main dietary culprits for acne. In a study published in the February 2005 edition of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, researchers discovered a positive association between acne and dairy intake--particularly with the consumption of skim milk, cottage cheese, cream cheese, sherbet and dairy-based breakfast drinks. A similar study published in the May 2008 edition of the same journal reinforced the correlation between acne and skim milk consumption. Although the reason dairy induces acne is not clear, it may be due to the bioactive compounds and hormones found in milk.

High-Sugar Foods

Foods high in refined sugar---such as cake, chocolate, cookies, candy, ice cream, pie and sweet pastries---may cause acne in some individuals. In an article published in the June 2005 edition of Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery, researcher Loren Cordain determined a link between diets high in processed food and the prevalence of acne. High-sugar fare is a likely offender for blemished complexions; foods that quickly raise blood glucose levels may trigger hormonal responses involved with acne production. Although fruit is also high in simple sugars, it is less likely to induce acne than processed desserts due to its significant fiber and water content, which promotes slower sugar absorption.

Refined Grains

Along with sugar-filled foods, refined grain products---such as white bread, refined-grain pasta and white rice---may spike blood sugar levels and consequently contribute to acne. A study published in the July 2007 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined low-glycemic diets in relation to acne. Subjects who reduced their intake of blood sugar-raising foods like refined grains exhibited a clearer complexion than the control group. Whole grain products, which are higher in fiber than their refined counterparts, may be less likely to induce acne than processed grains.

Food Allergens

If you're allergic to a particular food or ingredient---such as wheat, soy, eggs, dairy or gluten---you may experience new or worsening acne after consuming your allergen. In response to ingested allergens, the body elicits a reaction that may include skin inflammation and other precursors for skin problems. Consulting a physician for allergy testing may help you identify specific foods that induce your acne.

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