Being a spotty human is difficult even in the best of circumstances. It might require a lot of anxious mirror-watching, and in teens, it can mean having a shelf full of quick-fix acne remedies that are just as likely to sting the bejesus out of your skin as they are to work.
However, there are very genuine connections between acne and decreased mental health, especially in women, making having acne more than just a minor irritation. Acne frequently impacts your self-image, self-esteem, confidence, and lifestyle in a variety of seemingly unrelated ways. For example, it may have made you dislike seeing yourself without makeup, or it may have made you hesitant to go to the gym because it will require going bare-faced.
Acne can have a variety of effects on you. Even when an outbreak has passed its worst, acne-related post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation (red, residual markings) may require treatment.
And with that in mind, if you’re a spot-prone human, you might be able to relate to being on the receiving end of food-shaming if you appear to eat any foods that don’t perfectly align with what the public thinks a human with acne should be eating. However, is this anxiety around diet justified when it comes to acne?
What is acne?
Glad you asked. Despite the fact that you might not like to hear it, acne is a medical skin problem that affects a wide range of people. Acne refers to various types of breakouts, from mild ones like blackheads to the severe cases of what we would refer to as cystic acne. Although acne is most frequently associated with teenagers, it does not have an age restriction, as I can relate to personally. Although acne can usually be distinguished from being prone to breakouts by the presence of infected areas, there isn’t much visible difference between the two.
Acne is caused by a variety of circumstances.
- Hormones: When hormone levels change, androgens (male hormones that are also found in women) may cause our sebaceous gland to overproduce sebum, blocking pores.
- Hyperkeratinisation is the inability of the skin to exfoliate itself.
- Sebum overproduction occurs when we over-exfoliate the skin, causing it to compensate by creating an excessive amount of oils.
- Bacteria: Propionibacterium acnes (p. acnes) is the bacteria that causes more severe acne by entering the pore and causing cellular damage.
It’s important to note that this bacteria has nothing to do with hygiene, and washing your face will not get rid of it. Acne can be treated, but many people will have to live with it for the rest of their lives. Using the right products in conjunction with a solid skincare routine can help, as can breaking negative skincare habits, although medical intervention may be required at times. Acne affects a wide range of people and is frequently and incorrectly stigmatized.
Does diet affect acne and spots?
If you were a spotty teen, you may recall the embarrassment of tucking into a tasty treat, whether it was a chocolate bar, a pizza, a birthday cake, or anything remotely similar, only to have the evil eye cast upon you by someone who thought it wise enough to wonder aloud if your particular choice of treat was the cause of your current breakout situation. It might happen to you right now!
These comments were rarely beneficial, often insulting, and, as we now realize, had any solid foundation! We doubt any of those sometimes well-meaning, always judicious humans were dermatological scientists, but they certainly knew how to get under our skin.
There have been numerous studies conducted to investigate the possibility of links between nutrition and acne, but as we will see, these are frequently inconclusive or, at the very least, necessitate additional research.
So, can diet affect acne and spots?
Can Sugar Affect Acne and Spots?
What impact does sugar have overall on acne and spots when it comes to skin? You may have noticed that sugar has an impact on your own skin, so it may ring true for you.
We should always take sugar in moderation, however there are problems when it comes to the glycemic index (GI). It’s possible that you’ve heard about this before.
This is a system for classifying foods based on how quickly they raise the blood glucose level. Sugary meals, such as sweets and chocolate, increase your blood glucose levels more quickly than other foods, which might lead to an increase in your insulin levels. This may cause irritation, which may cause breakouts and have a negative effect on your acne.
Although more research is reportedly needed, several studies have found a connection between adults who present with acne and a diet heavy in carbohydrates and low in fiber. A high-glycemic-index/-load diet was positively associated with acne vulgaris, according to the data of another study.
Is Dairy Bad for Spots and Acne?
Another item that people usually associate with an increased risk of acne or worse breakouts is dairy. There are numerous bloggers and influencers who promote the elimination of dairy as a miracle treatment for acne. Despite the fact that one study states that “there has been a striking paucity of evidence for an association between food and acne,” it nevertheless concludes that there is some sort of link between teenage girls’ dairy consumption and their proclivity to suffer from acne. Many studies, however, rely on self-assessment from acne-affected women and so do not provide the most reliable information. We have seen a change in customers who have removed or lowered their dairy intake, especially if typical acne treatment approaches have failed. It doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s something to think about if you’re truly at a loss for what to do – just make sure you get all of the nutrients you need from several sources if you do this, and consult your doctor first.
Chocolate and Spots
Acne is frequently associated with chocolate. “Chocolate is frequently linked to acne, although only a few research have looked into this.” The most comprehensive study on this topic to date was one in which individuals ate a staggering 1,200 calories of chocolate per day, and it was discovered that there was no noticeable increase in oil production in the skin despite eating this huge amount of chocolate!”
Is it true that greasy food causes spots?
Many people believe that eating oily foods will result in oily skin, and that oily skin indicates acne. Not really. The oil we consume and the oil secreted by our pores are not the same, and they do not interact. Greasy or junk food may convert to glucose in your blood faster, which may affect your acne, but greasy food does not directly link to acne – though we do not recommend it. It’s still bad for you, and overindulging won’t help you nourish your skin from the inside out. However, if you’re a messy eater who smears burgers on your face while eating them, the oil may clog your pores and increase your congestion, but honestly, if those are your table manners, I believe you may have greater issues.
What Foods Help Clear Up Acne?
You can eat a lot of food to nourish your skin the way it deserves to be maintained, and a lot of food can help protect skin that is prone to acne. A great place to start would be to increase your diet’s vitamin A intake. Vitamin A facilitates peeling off of dead skin cells rather than leaving them to stay in the pore and clog it, which helps to increase skin proliferation. The list of foods high in vitamin A includes liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens, pumpkin, kale, goat’s cheese, and so on. Adding anti-inflammatory ingredients into your everyday cuisine “Turmeric is another ingredient that people should experiment with to see if it makes a difference in terms of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities.” Turmeric is especially tasty when mixed into scrambled eggs, rice, or even smoothies!