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Guide to Acne & Nutrition: Advice on How to Eat to Treat Acne-Prone Skin

Your one-stop source for information on the optimal diet, the best foods, and the best recipes for getting rid of acne vulgaris.


The claim that acne and nutrition are unrelated is just a myth that many people still hold on to, including many dermatologists. In reality, there are only two studies that seem to support the claim that there is no connection between acne and nutrition, and both of these studies were poorly designed and published more than forty years ago. In contrast, there are several well-designed, modern studies that show that nutritional factors play a key role in the development (and prevention) of acne vulgaris.

In this online guide to Nutrition and Acne, we provide you with advice and practical nutrition-related tips on how you can eat to prevent and treat acne-prone skin. This guide is structured along three sections:




What is Acne?

Acne vulgaris (commonly known as acne) is a common skin condition in Western countries. It is an inflammatory disease involving the sebaceous glands in the skin, particularly on the face, chest, and upper back. It is characterized by the formation of acne lesions such comedones, postules, papules, nodules, and cysts. These are commonly referred to as pimples, blemishes, spots, or zits. Scarring and hyperpigmentation may also occur in addition to the more common characteristics. Although acne can affect anyone, adolescents are more likely to suffer from the condition. Some studies suggest that as many as 90% of male and 80% of female teenagers in Western countries are afflicted with acne.

How Does Acne Develop?

Acne starts developing when the pores in the skin (sebaceous follicles) become overstuffed with dead skin cells and excess sebum. Sebum is a thick oily substance, produced by the sebaceous glands, that moistens and protects the skin. Sebum production is stimulated, indirectly or directly, by certain hormones such as insulin and androgens. Androgens are male hormones that also women produce, usually in small quantities, in the ovaries. When the overstuffed pore becomes infected with bacteria, inflammation occurs, resulting in an acne breakout.