Oily Food & Acne
Teenagers often love oily foods like hamburgers with french fries, grilled cheese sandwiches or loaded pizzas. They also happen to be the highest-risk group for acne, according to KidsHealth.org, a Nemours hospital network website. There is a persistent belief that pimples are caused by a greasy diet. Teens are often advised to avoid their favorite oily foods if they want a clear face, but WomensHealth.gov, a government health website, states that the objective facts don't back up this warning.
Acne is a very common skin condition that afflicts eight out of ten teenagers because of hormonal changes during puberty, KidsHealth.org explains. These changes make the skin glands, also known as sebaceous glands, produce more of a natural oil called sebum. It is characterized by pimples that usually dot the face and sometimes spread to the arms, back and chest. It is not dangerous, but untreated or severe cases may leave permanent scars.
Skin oil plays a direct role in acne. This sebum blends with bacteria and dead cells that shed naturally. The mixture blocks pores partially or completely, leading to whiteheads, blackheads or other pimple types. KidsHealth.org notes that while some people blame oily foods as a causal factor, there is no scientific evidence that dietary oil plays any role, even though skin oil is a proven culprit.
Acne treatment often takes a long time to work. The most common home treatments contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Both of these ingredients help clear up mild to moderate pimple outbreaks, but the American Academy of Pediatrics explains that it can take three to six weeks any noticeable effect. Acne sufferers who don't realize that the long time frame is normal may blame greasy foods when they do not see an immediate change. They may stop eating oily items and believe it helped when the change is really due to the products finally working.
The Mayo Clinic states that certain foods may be a factor in acne. Studies show that starch items might worsen pimples, possibly because of the way they affect blood sugar levels. Some of these foods, like potato chips, are oily, but most are non-greasy things like breads and bagels.
Although there is no scientific evidence that oily food causes acne in the general population, KidsHealth.org explains that individual acne sufferers may have problems with certain foods. It advises people with pimples to pay attention to what they eat when their outbreaks get worse. Certain greasy items may have an effect. Cutting out those specific items should improve the acne.
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