Written by Lisa Allen | Edited by Dr Mark Kapnoudhis
The first question when it comes to acne is always:
What causes acne?
Where do these ugly acnes come from?
Acne refers to a dermatological disorder caused by variation in skin conditions on account of a few internal and external factors. Formation of acne may be attributed to 3 following steps:
- Excess production of sebum in the sebaceous glands – Sebum is essential to keep the skin moisturized however an over production can deteriorate the natural health of the skin. An excess production of the androgen hormone which is very familiar in the puberty phase cause excess secretion of sebum. This further leads to blockage of pores to trigger acne.
- Clogging of hair follicles caused by accumulation of dead cells – The dead cells in the body need to be shed regularly. In the absence of proper shedding they tend to pile up and clog the hair follicles.
- Bacterial buildup – Excess production of sebum can rupture the cellular walls of the pores and thus provide an excellent breeding ground for bacterial growth.
A combination of the above factors is known to give rise to acne formation. However, the role of other factors like lack of sleep, stress, side effects caused by certain medications likes drugs containing lithium and corticosteroids, genetic factors cannot be ruled out in the onset of acne.
Acne may range from mild to severe cases and vary in individuals from time to time. The acne that one develops during puberty may soon fade off during adulthood. In some severe acne if left untreated can give rise to cystic ones. Which is not only ugly but also irritating.
What Bacteria Causes Acne?
A type of bacteria called the propionibacterium acne is known to be the culprit behind acne formation. It feeds on the sebum of the sebaceous glands and generally increases during the puberty stage in the follicles to form acne.
Upon bacterial invasion the white blood cells are alerted and move towards the follicles to secrete an enzyme that ruptures the walls of the follicle permitting the follicle contents to surpass and appear on the surface of the skin. This eventually leads to the formation of acne characterized with redness and inflammation.
What Foods Cause Acne?
If you have ever been told that binging on your favorite chocolate can impact the breakout of acne, who ever told you was just envious of your sweet tooth love. Not to blame them, it is a common misconception far from the truth that the foods that we eat very minutely impact the onset of acne.
There is not much evidence to prove that eating a particular food directly causes acne however it is believed that individuals who lack essential vitamins and minerals are prone to acne breakouts. In the context of acne formation the following facts may be noteworthy:
1. Excess fat can disrupt your blood sugar level leading to acne – Consumption of excess fat causes drastic changes in the blood sugar level, which disrupts the hormonal production further leading to excess production of sebum resulting in clogging of pores. The end result of excessive fat consumption being the onset of acne.
Besides, the presence of unnecessary fat in the blood stream decelerates the transportation of oxygen and nutrition to the cells. Thus the cells receive lesser oxygen and nutrients than what it should get which could probably lead to the formation of acne.
Therefore it is best advised to avoid foods comprising excess fat to prevent the chain of reactions leading to formation of acne.
You may simply replace your usual cooking oil for olive oil and remember whenever you eat foods rich in fat, gently wipe your face to prevent the trigger of acne.
2. Dairy products – Dairy products are generally high in fat content. And I just told you the consequences of consumption of high fat foods on the skin. Besides the milk we regularly use more or less comes from pregnant cows and the milk they secrete contain specific hormones.
While the skin glands of human beings play a major role in conversion of these specific hormones to what is known as the dihydrotestosterone hormone which in turn leads to hyperactivity of the sebaceous glands causing excess production of sebum. This is all it takes to form acne.
Other dairy products which are thought to lead to acne include cheese cream and cottage cheese.[/su_button]
3. Processed foods – Processed foods including instant foods, fast foods generally contain preservatives in the form of excessive salt and sugar, hydrogenated fats and saturated oils which are the best triggers of acne. They are deficient in fiber, essential minerals and vitamins which may be another reason for formation of acne. So it is highly recommended that you limit these foods if you can’t avoid them completely and instead binge on foods in their natural form like fresh fruits and vegetables. Eating organic foods and whole grains can ensure sufficient supply of nutrients and minerals.
4. Caffeine – In some individuals caffeine is believed to trigger acne. Caffeine probably stimulates the adrenal glands leading to disruption of the hormonal balance to impact the health of the skin.Shellfish:People who often eat shellfish complaint of acne. Shellfish contains high amounts of iodine which may turn out too hard for people prone to acne.
5. Wheat products – In some wheat products is known to be the possible cause of acne. If your skeptical about having an allergy towards them just stop consuming them for a while and see if your acne subsides. If it does, stay away from wheat breads, pastas etc.
6. Red meat – People who consume high quantities of red meat are also prone to acne. The saturated fat content in them could be the culprit. Another possible factor could be the antibiotics the cattle are fed with to bulge up quickly so that they are ready to be sold in the market. If you have been facing acne on account of red meat consumption switch over to lean meat and stay clean and clear.
What Causes Acne – Does It Really Matter?
It’s noted that stop eating these foods immediately won’t keep you away from acne. You must balance your meals to get proper nutrition and be healthy to fight against acne. No matter what causes acne or what is acne, you can be confident that you can wipe out these ugly pimples right away.