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.
Risha Bellomo, MPAS, PA-C
has over 25 years of healthcare experience with 18 of those years in dermatology and aesthetics. She graduated with High Honors from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and Chemistry and received her Master’s Degree through the University of Florida’s College of Medicine in Physician Assistants Studies. Risha is the Founder & Executive Director of Bellomo Consulting and BCI Management & Communications, in which she develops medical educational programs, speaks and consults nationally, runs national and regional meetings and establishes strategic business and marketing plans for organizations and companies.
Risha is the managing director of Allele Medical and Hudson Medical Wellness, a concierge aesthetic, dermatology, and training facility.
Risha has been published numerous times in Skin & Aging, The Journal of Dermatology Physician Assistants, The Dermatologist, Physician Assistant Clinics, and Advanced for NPs and PAs. Risha co-founded the non-profit organization The Florida Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants and is an editorial board member for The Dermatologist. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women in 2010 and 2011. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her two sons, Austin and Enzo and her husband Phil.
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.