Do you believe diet affects acne?

The medical research has long failed to show a link between diet and acne. However, I have seen many people who feel they have worse acne after eating fatty foods.

Was wondering in your personal experience if you feel they are related.

(While waiting for someone to answer, think I’ll open a bag of potato chips.)

I’d read there could be a correlation between high carbs and acne (looking at insulin and insulin-releasing hormone and the effect on sex hormones or something like that; my aged brain has forgotten much of the details). The people blaming their breakouts on greasy French fries would be overlooking the carb-y potato portion of the French fries as the culprit. Separating the fats from the carbs in order to test it could be a challenge.

For me and one of my daughters, foods didn’t matter, just the teenage years. For the other daughter, foods seemed to make a big difference. But we couldn’t pinpoint any one category, as she changed her entire diet to better foods. Who knows, maybe she just aged out of it at the same time she changed her diet.

The cleanliness of my hands and face sure affected my acne. If I were to eat greasy foods, and touched my hands to my face, and went to bed without washing my face, I would see acne in the form of clogged pores.

But yeah what needscoffee says it’s not about greasy foods it’s about carbs and sugar and inflammation. That’s where I get my cystic acne flare-ups from.

I wonder if the correlation people perceive between greasy foods/chocolate/etc. and acne has anything to do with hormones related to the menstrual cycle. That is, PMS can cause cravings and also breakouts. So some folks may correctly perceive a connection, even if the causal relationship isn’t what they think.

I don’t believe there’s any connection. People will see connections of that sort even when there isn’t one.

Well, we are learning a lot about how the gut flora may impact all sorts of other things, including mental health. So, I wouldn’t rule it out completely. But for me, for now, the connection exists in the realm of belief in life on other planets. Likely? M’yah. But no evidence yet.

Did you mean to reply to me specifically?

No, I didn’t.

My guess is that it’s truly an open question.

As medicine gets closer and closer to understanding and characterizing individual physiology, it may be that certain individuals’ bodies behave in certain ways that aren’t really sussed out in more conventional Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials (RCCT).

This is a soapbox thing for me, but the venerable RCCT can tell if the “treatment” group responded differently from the “control” group to a degree that’s unlikely to be coincidence.

But it can’t really speak to individuals.

Drug X, in an RCCT, may very well have cured somebody of Disease Y or it may well have killed somebody in the trial.

We really can’t know.

RCCT is the best we currently have – given adequate sample sizes – but it may pale in comparison to infinitely variable individual physiology and other very difficult to wrangle variables.

My $0.02.

In fact, it has been researched for years. A connection in a decent study should not be very hard to prove, one would think. It has not been, so it is highly likely the connection is weak, if indeed at all. Yet if I eat a very greasy fast food meal, my face seemingly becomes eligible to join OPEC. Don’t really get it.

In my personal experience? No. The only thing that I’ve distinctly noticed can cause acne for me is stress.

50+ years ago, my doctor suggested I lay off the cola drinks and chocolate bars. Acne improved markedly after I heeded his advice.