Do you know anyone who has acne?

As many of you know, my wife and I are the proud parents of 3 teenagers and one pre-teen.  Pimples and zits are a part of our every day conversation.  I can honestly say that I know a thing or two about acne.  For years, the common belief within the medical field was that diet had absolutely no effect on acne.  I know first hand that this belief is wrong.  My wife and I can tell how poorly our kids have been eating based on their complexion.

A recent study published in the July 2007 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has finally given science a conclusive link between a high sugar, high grain diet, and acne. In this study, participants followed a diet low in sugar and grain.  This resulted in a significant improvement of their acne within 3 months.  I wonder why most people suffering from acne have never heard of this study?

It is well known that sugar and grain consumption results in a rapid rise in blood sugar.  Rapid spikes in blood sugar are associated with multiple health problems.  According to a review published in Experimental Dermatology in 2009, it is not sugar itself that contributes to acne, but the effect that blood sugar spikes have on acne producing hormones.   Unfortunately, acne is caused by more than just sweets and grains.

Acute inflammation is a normal response to injury or infection.  It starts the healing process and without inflammation you wouldn’t survive. Acute inflammation is short lived and quickly fades as the body heals.  Chronic inflammation is a whole different story.  Our exposure to pollution, environmental toxins, processed food, long hours of inactivity, poor sleep, and high stress leads to persistent internal injury.  This constant abuse results in chronic inflammation.  The term chronic refers to being stuck in a state of overdrive.  This taxes the immune system and leaves less energy and resources to fight infection, avert cancer, and kill acne-causing bacteria.

In summary, skin complexion can be a reflection of overall health.  I recommend addressing diet and lifestyle factors before resorting to acne medications.  This approach always results in an improvement in overall health, as well as a significant improvement in acne.  With all of the controversy surrounding the health risks of certain acne medications, it is refreshing to know that there is a safe, cheap, and effective treatment option.

Thanks for tuning in!


Dr. C

Uthman Cavallo, MD





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