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Are Your Pimples a Result of What You Eat!

Updated: Sep 18

By Renata Block, MMS, PA-C

Over the past 70 years, there has been debate on the topic of acne flares associated with dietary intake.  In particular, chocolate and dairy have known to be evil causes.   


Studies and More Studies

With more studies about the subject and a recent study conducted in France,  there was a noted risk of acne flares in adults who consumed foods high in fats and carbs.  That said, we already know a high-glycemic intake can contribute to acne flares, which confirms the side of the increased consumption of carb-based dietary habits.  These new findings are also in line with associations of prior observational studies of a diet of high glycemic intake and even milk consumption.  In the end, it keeps giving physicians and healthcare providers alike reassurance that diet consumption can contribute to those pesky pimples.

ACNE over the Age of 50

Being the age of 50 and still experiencing acne flares, I love that this study had over 24K participants, with about 60% were aged 55 and older.  In general, studies typically focus on a much younger patient population, such as young adults and teenagers, in which there has been much data collection about the subject.  However, as a practicing Dermatology PA-C, I always inform my patients that there are many contributors to causing acne flares no matter what your age.  I treat patients in their 60s with acne concerns.  It can be quite frustrating as insurance denies many "older" patients (aka over the age 25, Yes, WOW) who suffer from acne the prescriptions needed to manage the flares and prevent scarring.  

Bottom Line

The Western Diet, which is fatty, rich in animal products and sugar, is associated with adult acne.  Think of surgery beverages, saturated fatty acid intake, and milk consumption.  But remember, there any other contributing factors such as hormones, stress, environment, products, etc. that can wreak havoc to your skin.  Be Skin Savvy, and contact me for a FREE consultation of OTC product use to make sure you are SKINtelligent about your skincare.


Diva Tip: Make sure you are aware of what triggers your acne.  If you need guidance on your acne regimen, see us virtually!

Renata Block is the creator of Savvy Derm Diva and is a Dermatology Physician Assistant practicing at Advanced Dermatology & Aesthetic Medicine, LLC in Chicago. Follow her on IG, Twitter, and FB @savvydermdiva


Source: JAMA Dermatology. Penso L, et al "Association Between Adult Acne and Dietary Behaviors: Findings From the NutriNet-Sente' Prospective Cohort Study" JAMA Dermatol 2020; DOI: 10.1001/jamadermatol.20201602.

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