The Skin Acne Diet
Acne is a condition in which pores in the skin become clogged. This causes an oily substance known as sebum to accumulate under the skin, which fosters bacterial growth. The bacterial infection causes inflammation and swelling, leading to pimples. Although the extent to which diet can affect the likelihood of developing acne is not known, Acne.org notes that people may be able to lower their risk of having acne outbreaks by modifying their diets.
Although scientists do not fully understand what causes acne, some clues can be gleaned from looking at the relative rates of acne in different populations. Acne is more common in the United States and other developed countries. On the other hand, people who live in New Guinea and Paraguay have almost no acne, notes Diet.com, a website dedicated to providing information about different foods and their effects on the body.
Acne-Free Populations and Diet
One of the things that is shared by populations that have a very low incidence of acne is the types of foods that they eat. These groups have a diet which is similar to what hunter-gatherer populations used to consume. This means these are relatively natural foods that have not been processed. Some of these diets are largely plant-based, Diet.com notes.
Insulin and Acne
One of the ways in which diet may play a role in acne has to do with the hormone insulin. Insulin is a hormone which is secreted in response to increased levels of blood sugar. Increased levels of insulin can also affect the concentrations of other hormones in the body, including androgens such as testosterone and estrogen. Changes in these levels of hormones may be responsible for the increased sebum production that can trigger acne, Acne.org reports.
Diet and Acne
People can help prevent acne by eating foods with a low glycemic index, Acne.org explains. Foods with a low glycemic index, which include fruits, vegetables and lean meats, do not cause rapid increases in blood glucose levels. Because insulin levels are related to blood glucose levels, eating these foods can help prevent insulin spikes that can lead to other hormonal changes that may trigger an acne breakout.
Healthy skin is also less likely to develop acne. There are a number of different vitamins that are important for skin health, Acne.com reports. These include vitamins A, B2, B3, E and zinc. Taking a multivitamin and eating a well-balanced diet can help a person make sure that he gets enough of these vitamins, which can keep the skin healthy and less likely to develop acne. Regularly cleaning the skin is also important for preventing acne. Acne.com recommends washing your skin twice a day and avoiding harsh exfoliating agents or products that contain alcohol, as these can cause your skin to become dry and irritated.
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