Best and worst food for acne
Acne is one of the most common dermatological conditions affecting adolescents and young adults around the globe and the common etiologies are bacteria, hormones, excess sebum production and hyperproliferation of follicular cells. Acne is of two types – non-inflammatory acne consisting of whiteheads and blackheads and inflammatory acne having papules, pustules and nodulocystic.
Further, the treatment depends upon the grade of acne which constitutes from Grade 1 to Grade 4. While there is no scientific evidence that eating certain foods causes acne, they can aggravate the problem if you already have acne-prone oily skin, causing additional breakouts hence, it's always a good idea to keep a close eye on your eating habits and pay attention to how they affect your skin.
Worst food for acne:
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Megha Sharma, Consultant Dermatologist, Cosmetologist and Hair transplant surgeon At Dr. Megha Sharma’s Skin Clinic in Faridabad, shared, “Although diet alone cannot treat acne but yes, it can help in reducing and improving acne and inflammation. Diet which induces the aggravation of acne are foods with – high glycemic index, dairy products , saturated and trans fats.”
She added, “Foods with high glycemic index increases acne severity by elevating serum insulin concentrations leading to stimulation of sebocyte proliferation and sebum production, as well as raising androgen.” She listed the various foods which helps in increasing acne:
1. Milk and milk products
2. Fast foods- fried chicken, cheese burgers, pizza, potatoes and fries
3. Processed foods- chips
4. Sugar containing beverages like soda, sweet tea, canned juices
5. Cakes, doughnuts, rolls, cookies, chocolates
6. Cheese butter, meats and poultry
7. Coconut oil and palm oil
8. White rice, cereals ,white breads , etc.
Bringing his expertise to the same, Dr BL Jangid, Dermatologist and Hair Transplant Surgeon at New Delhi's SkinQure Clinic, said, “Everyone's body and skin are unique and everyone reacts to food in various ways. So, if you discover that a particular meal or dietary item causes acne, you should avoid it. Before experimenting with your diet, it's always a good idea to consult with a dermatologist to determine what works best for you and your skin.”
According to him, the worst food for acne are:
1. Say no-no to sugar: This is due to the refined carbohydrates in your food, which quickly combine with blood sugar and generate elevated insulin levels. Higher insulin levels are not ideal if you have acne-prone skin.
2. Foods with high glycemic index - Certain foods and diets elevate blood sugar levels, causing insulin to be released. These foods are classified as high glycaemic carbohydrates because of this feature, which means they are made up of simple sugars. High insulin levels in the blood might trigger your oil glands to create even more oil, increasing your acne risk.
3. Avoid junk food - Fatty food, sometimes known as junk food, is distinguished by its oiliness, processed carbs, and high calorie content. If you have acne-prone skin, avoid junk food, no matter how tempting and delectable they look.
4. Soy products - Though soy offers many health and body benefits, it also includes phytoestrogens, which can upset hormonal balance and make the skin greasy, resulting in acne.
5. Dairy products - Many studies have identified a link between milk products and acne over the years. Milk has been shown to raise insulin levels, which can aggravate acne.
Best foods for acne:
Dr Megha Sharma revealed, “Diet with low glycemic index helps in improving acne . Foods containing omega-3 fatty acid, antioxidants and Vitamin E have anti inflammatory properties, Zinc in diet is helpful in regulation of metabolism and hormones and many times it is added as treatment also.”
She added, “Another important thing is Vitamin A and D which have antiproliferative effects and their analogues like retinoids are given in treatment protocols. Western diets are rich in high glycemic index and are deprived of omega 3 fatty acids increasing the severity of acne in the ones consuming them.”
She shared the following list of good foods for acne:
1. Green leafy vegetables
2. Yellow and red fruits like carrots, apricot
3. Tomatoes, blueberries
4. Nuts and cashews
5. Fish and sea food
6. Pumpkin seeds
7. Beans, peas, lentils
8. Brown rice
9. Unprocessed fruits and vegetables
11. Whole grain, etc
Dr Megha Sharma said, “All these foods are rich in Vitamin A and D , omega 3 fatty acids ,antioxidants and have low glycemic index. It has been researched through various studies that diet can contribute in the severity of acne and helps in improving acne but cannot cure it.”
Elaborating upon some of the best food for acne, Dr BL Jangid listed:
1. Avocado - Rich in Vitamin, it's packed with anti-inflammatory fats and will give your skin that radiance. It will also make it less prone to inflammation, which will help to reduce acne breakouts.
2. Beetroot - Beetroot juice is high in antioxidants, which can help you combat acne and pimples. Drink beetroot juice blended with cucumber or carrot juice if you have acne or pimples on your face.
3. Berries - Dark berries, such as blueberries and blackberries, are known to be antioxidant powerhouses. Antioxidant-rich foods can help to reduce mild to moderate acne.
4. Broccoli - Broccoli is high in vitamins A, B complex, C, E, and K, as well as other minerals. These potent antioxidants aid our skin in a variety of ways, including the capacity to battle acne.
With diet modification for treatment of acne do consult a dermatologist for the prevention of its complications like acne scars and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.