Diet recommendations are essential in the effective management of acne. Dermatologist Dr Hanish Babu provides expert advice on acne diet recommendations and valuable tips on which food to avoid in acne. He also outlines an acne action plan before you make your first appointment with your dermatologist for the pimple problem.
In the previous article “Does Food Affect Acne” we have seen some pretty persuasive evidences that point towards a certain relationship between acne and food. This brings us to the next question to be considered: which are the food items that have to be avoided by acne sufferers or persons with acne prone skins? And, which food can be consumed without worrying about the facial eruptions?
Which food to avoid in acne?
Based on the studies mentioned and similar studies published and personal observations, the following suggestions seem proper:
- Reduce your intake of sugar (including excessive amounts of fruit juices), sweets, processed flour, baked goods, and trans or hydrogenated fats. Examples include donuts, cookies, pastry, ice cream, pies, etc. You may use natural sweetener rather than sugar. Regularly eating breads, cakes, chips and other staples of Western culture is likely to promote acne.
- Aerated drinks are a significant source of sugar. Switch to water, herbal teas, and vegetable juices.
- Reduce intake of nuts, including brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds, and filberts. Peanuts and peanut butter may provoke acne in some individuals. If you eat nuts, limit your intake to small amounts and preferably eat raw nuts.
- Reduce intake of milk products, including ice cream and cheese.
- Reduce intake of chocolates and sweet drinks: High sugar and milk content will definitely aggravate acne.
- Avoid Vitamin E & B complex supplements. Many patients have noticed aggravation of acne after taking vitamin E and B complex supplements. Hence it is safe to avoid supplements with high contents of these vitamins.
Acne Diet Recommendations
- For skin health, food rich in Essential Fatty Acids should be consumed often as it helps dilute sebum and decreases chances of clogged pores on the skin. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in wheat germ , evening primrose oil, soybean oil and fish oils. Although tuna, salmon, sardines etc are also EFA rich, they contain high amounts of iodine which is not good for acne. Fresh water fish is a good alternative.
- Increase intake of fresh vegetables, preferably organic. Eat a wide variety each day. Have 3-4 helpings of fresh vegetables and low sweet fruits every day.
- Take lean meat like chicken, preferably grilled. Always include lots of fresh green salad when you eat any type of meat. This will neutralise the negative effects of the hormones and iodides contained therein.
- Eat wholegrain bread, pasta and legumes which have a low glycemic index and do not aggravate acne.
- Increase water consumption Drink 2-3 glasses of cold water immediately after you wake up and brush your teeth in the morning. This will improve blood circulation to vital organs and also help in bowel motions. Drink 10-15 glasses of water per day, double the amount in hot weather. Plenty of fresh water intake not only will help you to maintain the health of your body and skin it will also improve your brain and other vital organs’ functions.
- Finally, eat everything in moderate amounts only.
An Acne Action Plan before seeing a Dermatologist
- If you are suffering from recurrent acne that comes back despite treatment and is dotted by flare-ups and remissions, you can help your dermatologist to manage your acne much better by following these steps:
- Keep an acne diet Diary: For a full month or two, write down all the food and the contents of food that consume on a daily basis. If you notice any flare ups, mark these days in red. If you find improvement, mark with green.
- Make a note of all medications consumed and applied with ingredients
- Also note the make up used and the ingredients. Face wash? How many times?
- Write down a small note on your emotional status during these days. Put a red mark on high stress days when everything went wrong and you lost your temper! When you had a peaceful, calm and quiet day, mark the stress column in green.
- If you are a female, write down if you noticed any flare ups before, during or after your menstrual periods.
Follow this acne diet action plan for best results to get rid of your acne.
The information given in this article is for educational purpose only so that patients are aware of the options available for diagnosis and treatment of common skin, hair and nail diseases. No diagnosis should be made or treatment undertaken without first consulting your dermatologist. If you do so, the author will not be responsible for any consequences. The images provided are for illustration purpose only and should not be reproduced without the consent of the author.
About the Author of Skin Care Tips from Dermatologist: Dr Hanish Babu, MD
Dr Hanish Babu, MD is a dermatologist with more than 3 decades of experience in treating skin and sexually transmitted diseases in UAE and India. He has been practicing in UAE since last 22 years. He is a respected speaker during the Continuing Medical education Programmes for doctors, medical students and paramedical staff and is also a Stress Management Trainer. He organises group therapy sessions for patients with psoriasis, eczema and vitiligo.
He is available for consultation at Cosmolaser Medical Centre in Samnan, Sharjah (06 5678 200) from 9 am – 1 pm and at City Medical Centre, Al Bustan, Ajman (06-7 441 882) from 4.30 pm – 9.30 pm.
Visit his personal website dr-hanishbabu.com for more details and for educational articles on Skin, hair, nail and sexually transmitted diseases. Click here to Book an Appointment with dermatologist Dr Hanish Babu, MD