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Diet and Acne

Patients frequently want to know if diet plays a role in causing their acne.  The honest answer is that we are still not entirely certain.  Nonetheless, we do have some evidence implicating diet as a possible trigger of acne for some patients.  Two dietary factors that repeatedly come up as possibly or even probably a cause of acne are high glycemic (sugary) foods and dairy.  Surprisingly, the strongest evidence is that non-fat dairy is more likely than full fat dairy to cause acne.  While chocolate and fatty/greasy foods have long been considered as possible causes of acne (and they may be), the scientific evidence for this is not as strong at this time.

Given all of this, what do I suggest?  I suggest the obvious answer.  Try to eat as healthful a diet as possible: a balanced diet with a significant focus on non-processed fresh foods especially fruits and vegetables.  While the evidence doesn’t suggest it is necessary to completely eliminate all fatty and sugary foods, it is wise for our patients with acne to minimize non-fat dairy and high glycemic foods like candy, ice creams, and soda.

Jeremy Moss, M.D. Ph.D. Dr. Jeremy Moss, a board certified dermatologist, is an associate professor of dermatology at Yale University and on the active medical staff at St. Vincent’s Medical Center.

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I would like try to clear up some of the controversy regarding the use of sunscreens.

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