Be wise. Help your skin with a healthy, skin oriented diet.
There is a common perception that diet, like hygiene and sunlight exposure, is one of the factors strongly associated with acne. That perception is, however, at variance with the consensus of the current dermatological opinion.
That being said, one should be aware of clinical data showing the effect of certain foods on acne as well as acne diets designed and recommended by dermatologists, that apparently have a profound effect on the skin with acne. There are also a number of testimonials from people who saw miraculous changes in their acne when they changed what they ate everyday.
For example, data from large population studies in China suggest a potential link between nutritional factors such as spicy and/or sweet diets and oily skin. Apparently, spicy or sweet foods (or combination of both) promote sebum excretion, worsening skin “oiliness”. The increased “oiliness” may lead to more clogged pores and more sebum on the skin and result in the blemishes, pimples, redness, inflammation and bacterial colonization of clogged pores – all well known manifestations of acne.
Among sweets, chocolate is often given a bad name as some individuals may experience ill effects from it. However, scientists stress that this does not apply to everyone and the general population can enjoy chocolate’s goodness and appreciate its many health benefits.
There are scientific reports that show a strong association between milk intake and teenage acne, suggesting that some milk components like hormones or other biologically active substances are sufficient to elicit acne-type responses in the teenage skin.
Fruits and vegetables, especially those high in carotenoids, are good for everybody. This may be especially true for those with oily, prone to acne skin. It was found that regular consumption of tomato products improves antioxidant cell defenses due to their endogenous antioxidant compounds, notably lycopene and other carotenoids. On the other hand, the oxidative stress measured in patients with acne was found to be higher than normal. This strongly suggests the incorporation of antioxidants as part of a combined acne treatment, including natural antioxidants from carotenoid rich produce and food products, such as tomato, tomato juice or lycopene-enriched tomato juice.
When comparing the prevalence of acne in different societies and cultures, it appears that people from Western civilizations – women, men and children – suffer the most from acne. On the other hand, acne skin problems are practically absent from some indigenous societies.
That observation inspired Dr Loren Cordain to design his acne diet(www.dietaryacnecure.com). The diet is based on the Kitavan Islanders (Papua New Guinea) diet that is rich in tubers, fruit, fish and coconut oil, practically free of dairy products, alcohol, coffee or tea, with almost negligible consumption of oils, margarine, cereals, sugar and salt. According to the author, the right choice of foods from the list recommended in his acne diet can prevent pore blockage, excess oil production, inflammation and bacterial colonization that characterize acne.
The most striking difference between “natural” diets and diets influenced by Western culture is the high content of high-glycemic, insulin-spiking starchy carbohydrates, like cereals, breads, cakes, chips and candy. According to Dr. Cordain, the boost in blood sugar caused by digestion of these foods initiates a series of hormonal changes known to underlie the development of acne.
Coping with a chronic skin condition, like rosacea, acne and other sensitive skin symptoms or irritability, means that first you must understand the condition and possibly seek medical help from a specialist (dermatologist). Next steps should include trying to be well informed on how to take care for your skin everyday and how to adjust your life style to avoid factors and situations like diet and activities that possibly trigger or aggravate your skin condition.
Our “common sense questionnaire” can help you design a personal healthy skin diet that can alleviate signs and symptoms of acne. For those who want to design their own healthy skin diet we have a “common sense questionnaire”, as well as some common sense questions and advice that can help:
• Watch your skin. Always pay attention to any change, whether an improvement
• Note the food or situation when changes take place.If you especially are concerned
with food, try to remember what you ate on the “bad” days versus “good” days.
• Be informed – listen to what other people say about their experiences with
certain foods, food products, dishes or cuisines.
• Read what specialists have to say about diets they recommend for certain skin conditions.
• Confront this collected information with your own experiences. Perform your
own experiments to find your food culprits that trigger the bad complexion days for you.
• Be persistent, diligent and don't get easily discouraged by the results. For quite
a number of people, eliminating some trigger food helped significantly with their skin problems and it also may help you.
We suggest using our My Diet: Notes form to keep a record of personal food culprits. To share your record with us so we can share it with our readers – please press the Send button. Thank you!
Print My Diet: Notes and Diet Helpers form for your personal record
A PERSONAL NOTE FROM DR. PIOTR CHOMCZYNSKI
When on vacation, a person with rosacea has the dilemma of how to have great time enjoying the outdoors while also keeping their rosacea under control. My vacation advice is: just relax and do not go to the extreme, and accept a some degree of redness on your face. That is what I am going to do on my upcoming vacation. When on the beach, hiking mountains, taking bike trips or playing outdoor games, always wear a hat and use sunscreen (protection level 30 or higher). Even if the sky is cloudy. An additional temptation might be local cuisine. When you try new dishes, observe your skin reaction. Unlike an allergy reaction, it takes about two days to develop visible skin symptoms of rosacea. Most spices, and especially curry are recognized as rosaceae triggers. Various nuts and fruits, especially berries, are also on this list. Fortunately, it takes more than a spoon of a dish or more than a few berries to trigger rosacea. So try new dishes but do not exaggerate, do not take second helpings, before you know that the dish is rosacea-safe.
My last vacation advice is: keep Noredol in your pocket and use it more frequently.