Acne and diet

Created On October 28, 2023

Hello all, I myself Dr. Karma Patel . I am a dermatologist with a special interest in teledermatology. We have consulted many patients online who have acne.

Are you wondering if you can get pimple after eating mango or acne from food

What are the pimple causing foods?

Is there any relation between acne and diet?

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Here In this blog, I am going to discuss and share my thoughts on acne and diet and will tell you about pimple causing foods

A lot of people talk about acne and diet, the role of diet in causing acne breakouts and worsening the existing acne lesions. Let us explore the possible link between food and acne if any, and how diet may contribute to acne breakouts and what you should eat and avoid to help manage your skin health.

Acne is a common skin condition that can cause embarrassment and frustration in one’s life. Acne can appear on your skin in many different forms namely black heads, white heads, papules, pustules and nodules. Although it can occur anywhere on the body, the common site for its occurrence being face. 

Let’s find out whether you actually can get pimple after eating mango! or acne from food! 

Food that are believed to contribute to the development of acne in other words acne food to avoid (pimple causing foods):

Food with high glycemic index (high in sugar): it is believed that food with high glycemic index contributes to acne breakout means it is one of the pimple causing foods. If we look at it what actually happens scientifically, Food high in sugar increases your insulin level, this results in increased androgen (hormone) and sebum production (a greasy substance produced by the oil glands) that increases oiliness of your skin and can exacerbate existing breakouts or make new ones form. 

Well, being a dermatologist in practice, I would say that the role of diet in causing acne is complex, as other factors may also be responsible or play a role in causing you acne breakouts. No research or studies conducted till date have found it directly responsible for causing you acne breakouts or in other words that it's one of the pimple causing foods. And its role in causing new acne lesions and exacerbating existing ones depends on several body factors and varies it from person to person. In some it may act as a triggering factor and in others it may not. So, what it essentially means is that not everyone who consumes a high sugar diet will experience acne breakouts and worsening of existing lesions. 

Chocolate: A lot of people around the world have the misconception that a chocolate is one of the pimple causing foods and can cause acne breakouts and exacerbate existing acne lesions but as per the research and studies conducted, cocoa, a key ingredient of chocolate is not responsible for causing acne breakouts but it is actually its sugar content that is found to be responsible for acne formation. But again, as I have said earlier, the role of sugary food in causing new acne lesions and exacerbating existing lesions depends on several body factors and it varies from person to person. So, those in whom it acts as a triggering factor can develop acne breakouts.

Fried food (oily food):

Fried food can contribute to the development of acne in several ways. Research says that it contains unhealthy fats and having such unhealthy eating habits which includes sugary snacks and fried food can result in increased sebum production and raise levels of inflammation in your body, leading to more comedones (clogged pores) forming on your face. 

People in India are traditionally fried food eaters. In fact many of the dishes which no doubt can be delicious for your tongue but not for your skin. So, one may find a large proportion of people are sensitive to fried (oily) food being a triggering factor causing acne breakout and worsening existing lesions. It is advisable that you keep consumption of fried food as less as possible, as it can be a triggering factor for your acne breakouts. 

Milk and dairy products: A food not well known for its contribution in causing acne breakouts.  Milk on the other hand contains insulin like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and is also known to increase its secretion, which results in increased sebum production and contributes to acne. 

According to research done, daily consumption of milk below 500 ml is less likely to contribute to acne. So, it is advisable that its consumption should be kept within those limits as well as other dairy products e.g. cheese, yogurt. 

Coming thus far reading the blog you now know what to avoid if you are someone experiencing acne breakouts. Now you might be wondering what to include in your diet to avoid acne from food. So, let us find out what to include in your diet. 

Well , There are certain foods found to be beneficial for skin health. 

Anti-inflammatory foods that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids such as salmon fish, nuts and seeds  like almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds can help improve your skin’s health by reducing inflammation in the body which can help with acne.

High-fibre vegetables, fruits and whole grains, such as bananas, apples, butternut squash, peas and lentils that contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants can help you keep your skin healthy. 

Food rich in Vitamin-c e.g. citrus fruits and a food rich in Vitamin-A such as carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach etc. is not a bad thing to have in your kitchen.

Keeping yourself hydrated also helps to make healthier skin. 

Well, including the above foods in your diet never means that you will not develop acne breakouts as there are many different triggering factors which contribute to acne breakouts. 

If you are someone who is concerned about acne and looking for possible connection between acne and diet, wants to find out about pimple causing foods and that if you can get acne from food  then I would recommend to consult a dermatologist on Neodermatologist, who can not only tell you about pimple causing foods but can also give you valuable advice on whether you can get acne from food, whether you can get pimple after eating mango and what to include and what to avoid in your diet to have healthy and acne-free skin. 

Thank you. 

Hiral Patel

I am getting treatment for my pimples at Upon asking my doctor what to eat and what to avoid to get rid of my pimples, he suggested me to go through the blog they have on their website which gives information on what to eat and avoid in acne and I read the blog and found the information useful. I followed exactly the same advice and getting positive results and for that I thank my doctor and team of dermatologists.

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