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Acne and Antibiotics

Acne severity and food: Hold the pizza!

Acne is an inflammatory disease of the pilosebaceous follicle. The pathogenesis of acne is multi-factorial and include genetic, environmental, hormonal factors and immune dysregulation. Previous studies have revealed high carbohydrate diets may increase the severity of acne due to its affect on insulin secretion. Additionally, diets high in whey and casein protein have been shown to contribute to the development of acne. A small case control study published this month in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology investigated the role of carbohydrates, protein and fat consumption in the development and severity of acne.

The study revealed a statistically significant difference in regards to cheese consumption with acne patients having a higher amount of cheese consumption than patients in the control group. On the other hand, there was no significant difference found between the two groups in regards to consumption of milk, yogurt, ice cream and kefir. The authors of this study point out that additional testosterone is produced in the processing and fermentation of milk to cheese. An additional finding of this study is that acne severity increased with increased carbohydrate consumption. Of note, there was no statistically significant difference between the acne and control groups in terms of age, body weight, height, BMI and body fat percentage. Lastly, acne severity did not increase as fat consumption increased.

While this is a small study, the results suggest a relationship between carbohydrates, cheese and acne. This paired with previous studies reveal a need to for more studies to determine the influence of diet and eating habits on acne.

Byline: Sarah B. W. Patton, MSHS, PA-C
Posted January 6, 2020

Original article adapted: Kara YA, Ozdemir D. Evaluation of food consumption in patients with acne vulgaris and its relationship with acne severity. J Cosm Dermatol 2019;00:1-5 Epub ahead or print.