Acne is a common skin condition that occurs when the sebaceous glands in the skin produce too much sebum, an oily substance, which then combines with dead skin cells to block hair follicles. Spots form which range in size from small blackheads to painful red nodules. Researchers believe hormones play an important role in acne, which is why teenagers often have it, but also why it can show up any time throughout one’s life.

Researchers have come to agree that food does not cause acne, but because individuals do feel that different foods affect their acne, much research has gone toward various foods. Greasy foods and chocolate do not cause acne, but that does not mean that a healthy diet is not beneficial to people with acne, especially as overall health affects every area of the body.

Two aspects of the Western diet may play a role in acne, but there is no conclusive evidence as of yet, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. First, it is possible that hormones in milk may play a role, but studies have not taken other variables into account, such as genetics, in this particular research. Second, the refined carbohydrates found in many people’s diets may be leading to insulin resistance, which theoretically may cause increased sebum production.

A low-glycemic diet, which contains vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins, will help the body work more effectively, and help reduce the risk of many conditions, so it is worth trying to help with acne reduction. It is possible to find hormone-free milk products as well, so if that is a concern, the switch is easy to make.

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