Could Your Diet Be Breaking You Out?

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So, is it true? Does fried or fatty food cause your face to break out?

So, is it true?á Does fried or fatty food cause your face to break out? Studies have shown that people generally have a misconception about the foods that can cause or worsen acne breakouts.á A major review of the effect of diet on acne, published in The International Journal of Dermatology last year, listed chocolate and fatty foods as the most common food blamed.á In fact, neither has been confirmed. Acne is the most common skin condition seen in dermatologists’ offices in the United States, with nearly 17 million people affected.á The condition is most common in adolescents, but up to 30% of adults over the age of 30 can have significant acne.á While it is not a physically debilitating condition by any means, its psychological impact can be considerable.á Acne has been associated with low self-esteem, poor body image, depression and, even, complete social withdrawal. á WHAT CAUSES ADULT ACNE? Acne results from abnormal function of skin glands called, sebaceous [si-bey-shuhs]á glands.á They produce an oily substance, called sebum.á Similar glands live in your ear and produce earwax! á Acne happens for 3 main reasons: áá á1. Skin cells overgrow and plug the gland áá á2. Increased production of sebum áá á3. Bacterial infiltration- bacteria eat the oily sebum to thrive áá á4. Inflammation under the skin surface, which can cause painful acne THE SKINNY ON DIET AND ACNE It is more likely that foods that are high in processed carbohydrates lead to or worsen acne.á Scientists use the term, glycemic load or index, to describe how high a food can raise the blood sugar.á Diets with a high glycemic load have been associated with acne worsening. á •áá áDietary factors that can affect acne breakouts. oáá áFatty meals do not appear to be associated with acne. oáá áMilk products have been associated with acne. oáá áHigh glycemic load (carb load) is more likely to cause acne than fat. oáá áChocolate has not been confirmed as a cause of acne. Other important points about acne — oáá áCosmetics, oily hair products, lotions can all exacerbate acne by plugging the glands. á oáá áSoaps and astringents remove sebum but do NOT alter sebum production. oáá áRepetitive mechanical trauma to the skin (ie scrubbing skin agents, soaps on the face) can promote inflammation—an important cause of acne. Stress— high stress levels are associated with acne. Consider the following with your doctor, as strategies to fight adult acne: oáá áReduce foods that have a high glycemic index or load (white bread, rice, sugary drinks and snacks). oáá áUse water-based facial products. oáá áAvoid scrubbing, rubbing or picking the affected skin. oáá áDevelop stress coping strategies that are effective for you. oáá áAsk your doctor if prescription medications are right for you. In many cases, antibiotics or a medicine, called isotretioin (retinoic acid), work well.á These medicines have important considerations, so talk to your doctor about them. Dave Montgomery, MD, PhD is Senior Fellow in Cardiology at Northwestern University and a sought after Speaker and Health Coach.á http://davemontgomerymd.com

Copyright 2010 Chicago Defender

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