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6 Foods You Should Avoid If Your Skin Is Prone To Adult Acne

A study in JAMA Dermatology published in June 2020 indicates that there are a few foods which have a higher likelihood of causing adult acne on excessive consumption.

Updated:June 26, 2020, 5:11 PM IST
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6 Foods You Should Avoid If Your Skin Is Prone To Adult Acne
(Photo: A file photo/ Image for representation purposes only.)

Adult acne can be extremely painful and while it is extremely common, it can still affect your self-confidence levels. Dermatologists have found that adult acne is usually linked to underlying conditions, like hormonal imbalances and diseases like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). People who have a history of skin diseases or dermatological issues while growing up also tend to have an increased risk of adult acne.

But what’s the link between your diet and adult acne? A study in JAMA Dermatology published in June 2020 indicates that there are a few foods which have a higher likelihood of causing adult acne on excessive consumption. The following are some such foods you should actively avoid if you are prone to adult acne:

1. Milk

Apart from the above-mentioned study, even the American Academy of Dermatology indicates that both skim milk and cow’s milk can cause adult acne. Cow milk protein allergy occasionally affects adults too and milk, in general, can affect insulin levels in the body to increase the severity of acne.

2. Sugar

Whether it’s in your favourite fizzy drink or that decadent dessert you love, high sugar consumption has a correlation with adult acne that you shouldn’t ignore. A study in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology in 2012 indicated that people who consume excess sugar have a 30% higher risk of getting adult acne.

3. Fried foods

Everybody loves the taste of fried food but if you’re prone to acne, eating those fries and pakoras can lead to a lot of pain in the near future. Fried foods have a very high glycemic index and are so fatty that they can increase your blood sugar levels. Excess of oily food directly affects your skin health and can cause acne any day, no matter your age.

4. Chocolate

Whether it’s dark, milk or white, chocolate has been associated with adult acne since the 1920s. The exact reason behind this is still unknown, but a study published in journal Cytokine in 2013 suggests that eating chocolate might increase the reactivity of gut bacteria that cause acne. The recent JAMA Dermatology study, however, indicates that dark chocolate poses very little acne risks compared to other chocolate varieties.

5. Fatty foods

Fried or not, foods that have a higher fat content can often cause adult acne. This is especially true for foods like mayonnaise, bacon, and other processed foods that have added preservatives and higher fat content.

6. Foods you’re sensitive to

Adult acne, as mentioned before, often boils down to the foods that elicit an inflammatory reaction in your skin. These are specific foods you’re sensitive or allergic to - could be shellfish, peanuts, spices, chillies, dairy or anything else for that matter. This is why it’s very important to visit a dermatologist if you have adult acne, get a complete blood work and allergy patch tests done to identify your specific trigger and then cut off those foods specifically.

For more information, read our article on Pimples (Acne).

Health articles on News18 are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.


The information provided here is intended to provide free education about certain medical conditions and certain possible treatment. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis, treatment, and medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. If you believe you, your child or someone you know suffers from the conditions described herein, please see your health care provider immediately. Do not attempt to treat yourself, your child, or anyone else without proper medical supervision. You acknowledge and agree that neither myUpchar nor News18 is liable for any loss or damage which may be incurred by you as a result of the information provided here, or as a result of any reliance placed by you on the completeness, accuracy or existence of any information provided herein.

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