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Can Acne Be Cleared by Diet and Lifestyle Modifications?

If you suffer from acne, you’ve probably tried every product on the pharmacy shelf. Expensive washes and scrubs work for a while, but your acne always seems to come back at the most inopportune moments. If you’d like to reduce sudden breakouts, a change in diet may help.

While diet changes alone won’t completely clear your acne, they are an important part of any skincare routine. Let’s talk about foods that might make acne worse, what you could eat instead and how to make an acne-friendly diet part of your skincare routine.

What Foods Make Acne Worse?

According to the American Association of Dermatology, high-glycemic foods can make acne worse. These are foods that cause the body’s blood sugar levels to rise rapidly. The most common perpetrators include:

  • White bread
  • Soda
  • Dairy
  • Pastries (especially fried ones such as doughnuts)
  • French fries
  • Potato chips
  • Sugary milk chocolate

Consuming large amounts of high-glycemic foods puts your body in high-stress mode. When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that regulates blood pressure, controls sleep, temporarily boosts energy, and increases skin oil production in high doses.

When your body’s constantly stressed from a poor diet, high cortisol levels may increase acne breakouts.

What’s a Good Acne-friendly Diet?

While there isn’t a single diet that prevents or cures acne, research shows that foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may soothe inflammation and acne. These foods are excellent sources of omega-3:

  • Fish, specifically salmon
  • Pasteurized eggs
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Wild rice (not white rice)
  • Soy products
  • Navy beans
  • Spinach
  • Kale

Once again, the link between acne and diet isn’t fully understood and varies from person to person. To find foods that work best for you, make a food diary and note when acne breakouts occur.

What Other Lifestyle Changes Reduce Acne?

Diet is only one stone on the path to clearer skin. To take a more holistic approach to skincare, make some other lifestyle changes:

  • Exfoliate your skin. This clears pores and sheds dead skin.
  • Exercise to regulate blood sugar levels. However, be sure to shower before sweat dries on your skin.
  • Drink water. More water gives your cells more energy to carry out bodily functions and create new cells.
  • Always wash off makeup before bed.
  • Work with a dermatologist.

When you work with a dermatologist, you can gain a better understanding of your unique skin. They can provide skin-cleaning procedures like dermaplaning and chemical peels. These are stronger versions of skincare routines and products you use at home.

They can also inform you about prescription-strength acne medications you can’t find in a store. To find out more about these medications, diets, and lifestyle changes that may improve your acne, contact the Dermatology Group of Ohio. With offices in Cincinnati, Mason, West Chester, and more, we’re proud to serve communities all around southern Ohio. Schedule a dermatology appointment about acne today.

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