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Is There a Link Between Diet and Acne?

 Is There a Link Between Diet and Acne?

When your child has acne, the process behind the blemishes is known. Skin oils and cells mix and plug up hair follicles. Why certain kids suffer more than others isn’t as clear. Controlling acne also varies from person to person. 

One thing that is clear is that there are many myths surrounding acne. It’s not caused by poor hygiene or foreign dirt on the face. Scrubbing too hard or washing the face too often can make acne worse. Nor will eating chocolate or greasy foods cause acne. 

There are, however, some connections made between acne and diet, though study samples are small and there must be more research to expand on these findings. It might be possible to reduce the impact of acne by altering your child’s diet. 

Visit Dr 2 Kids, Smita Tandon, MD when home care doesn’t provide effective results. We specialize in helping teens with acne, so we can add the power of medical supervision to their acne management routine. Because there are healthy diet changes that may reduce the activity of acne outbreaks, we’ve prepared this primer to help point you in the right direction. 

Effects of high blood glucose

Blood glucose, the sugar that powers the body’s cells, is an important factor in overall health. Too little glucose and the body hasn’t got the energy to operate. Too much glucose nudges the body toward insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. 

The foods your child eats all affect glucose levels in the blood. Some foods spike glucose quickly, things like sodas or highly processed carbohydrates. Other foods release their glucose slowly, like whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables. 

Acne is an inflammatory condition and spikes in blood glucose levels can boost levels of inflammation in the body. Increased sebum production is another by-product of high glucose. Avoiding high blood glucose levels can help reduce acne response, and dietary changes can help your child moderate glucose levels. 

The importance of low glycemic index foods

Those foods that release their sugars slowly have a property called low glycemic index (GI). The slow release of glucose elements make them body-friendly for those with acne. The benefits of low GI foods hardly stop there. These fit in every healthy eating plan for diabetics and heart patients. 

While there hasn’t been a large study devoted to the effects of low GI on acne, a collection of small studies shows dramatic results. Low GI diets show a pronounced effect on acne, even in studies where acne wasn’t the focus. 

Cow’s milk

One exception to the low GI rule for acne may be cow’s milk. While cow’s milk won’t spike your blood sugar like high GI foods, all fat levels of cow’s milk (low-fat, skim, and whole) increase the risk of acne flare-ups. Researchers don’t know why this effect occurs, and it doesn’t carry over to dairy products made with milk. Limit your child’s intake of cow’s milk to ease the acne effect. 

We can help your teen with alternatives to their current hygiene plan, including prescription-strength medications. Call or click to book an appointment with Dr 2 Kids, Smita Tandon, MD today. 

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