Since medical information is fluid and dynamic, we may hear something that makes no sense or appears contradictory. For example, “Drinking a lot of milk may cause you to break out in acne (pimples)” may become a recent medical finding, while “Food has no effect on acne at all” may become obsolete. As stated earlier, available medical information on many topics is may change frequently based upon new data. What we are examining today is some of the latest information on the current trend that is becoming increasingly accepted among dermatologists: “Some foods worsen the condition of acne”; here are some examples:
The Glycemic Index is a measure of how quickly blood sugar rises after eating carbohydrates. For example, glucose (pure sugar) has an a glycemic index of 100, and is closely followed by cakes, cookies, and ice cream. In brief, “sweet” foods may worsen the condition of your acne.
This is because quickly rising blood sugar stimulates the production of hormonal insulin, and this promotes sebum, which causes an imbalance of the sex hormones as a result of protein being obstructed from binding with sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). Once the imbalance of sex hormones worsens, pimples break out.
According to many surveys of teenagers, there is a relationship between the consumption of milk and acne. Teenagers who consume a lot of milk are prone to have acne when compared to those who consume less milk. Choosing low-fat milk is not a better option, as some studies indicate that low-fat milk can cause the same problem. In fact, it is not about the amount of milk consumed or the fat content; rather, it is the types of hormones that matter, such as IGF-1, androgen, and steroidal substances in the milk.
However, the relationship between food and acne needs further research before anything can be proved 100% degree of medical certainty. At this stage, I would suggest that if you have suffered from acne for a long time, try avoiding foods with a high glycemic index and cow’s milk, although it may take four to six weeks before you may see an improvement in your condition. It is also worth noting that a reduction in the consumption of food with a high glycemic index is beneficial to your health, helps control your weight and decreases the possibility of getting diabetes. Nevertheless, if the change in your diet does not improve your skin, I would advise you against taking medication without medical supervision. Acne is very complicated and there is no formula that is suitable for everyone. Instead, I would suggest you seek professional advice to find the causes of your acne and propose the most appropriate treatment.
The First Class Honors Medical Degree, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University , 2000