When it comes to dietary triggers for acne, the list of supposed villains is long. Researchers and the lay public have pointed at multiple suspects, including chocolate, milk, sugar, and fried and greasy foods, among others. Avoid these foods, the thinking goes, and pimples should take a hike.
Should healthcare providers urge patients with acne to improve their diets? Absolutely, says a Theresa Coyner, M.S.N., A.N.P.-B.C., D.C.N.P., who specializes in dermatology at Randall Dermatology in West Lafayette, Indiana. She has closely studied diet in acne.
"While the absolute proof that's reproducible isn't there yet, I think diet certainly does factor into acne," says Coyner who is a co-author of a 2018 report in the Journal of the Dermatology Nurses’ Association about dietary influences on acne vulgaris.1
Here are four foods that have been implicated in acne.
1. Coyner T, Purath J. Dietary Influences on Acne Vulgaris: Myth or Fact? J Dermatol Nurses Assoc. 2018;10(1):S18–S22.
2. Cengiz FP, Cevirgen cemil B, Emiroglu N, Gulsel bahali A, Onsun N. Acne located on the trunk, whey protein supplementation: Is there any association?. Health Promot Perspect. 2017;7(2):106-108.