At last, dermatologists and GPs are waking up and listening to their patients who are convinced there is a link between acne and diet.
A study of research carried out over the last 50 years has uncovered a link between a sugary diet, milk consumption and skin problems.
For many years the medical profession has dismissed this anecdotal evidence saying that the problems are ‘hormonal’ and ‘a normal adolescent phase’. Unfortunately, acne is not exclusively a teenage problem. I have many adults, both male and female, contacting me because their acne has appeared in their 20s or 30s.
Those of us who see clients in clinic and recommend a diet based on natural and low GI (Glycaemic Index) foods, have seen great improvements in acne and skin health in general. Changing from a diet high in simple carbohydrates to one with more complex carbs, lower dairy and good quality protein and essential fatty acids can make a significant difference to the skin.
Another important factor in skin health is having good levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut. The conventional approach to acne is to prescribe long term antibiotics which often have very little beneficial effect on the skin. Unfortunately this drug therpay has a hugely detrimental effect on beneficial bacteria, destroying gut bacteria and frequently making the problem worse.
In some naturopathic circles acne is known as ‘skin diabetes’ because a diet high in high GI (Glycaemic Index) foods cause a spike in hormone levels including insulin which is thought to instigate sebum production. High GI foods include cakes, biscuits, white bread, fizzy drinks, chocolate and sweets, fruit juices and highly processed foods.
It has also been suggested that because milk contains hormones, this may also contribute to acne. Again, many people who cut out milk from their diets experience a great improvement in skin health.
The authors of the latest overview – published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics – say that dermatologists and nutrition professionals should work together to design and conduct quality research to help the millions of acne sufferers.
If you would like more information on skin health including how to introduce low GI foods into the diet, contact Pippa Mitchell, Nutritional Therapist on 01483 527945 who can help you with a bespoke diet plan.