Scientists have invested a lot of time into getting a better understanding of acne and have actually found that despite the larger number of adolescents going through acne as compared to that of adults, the skin anomaly is a direct consequence of poor dieting.
To show that acne is a by-product of poor dieting, scientists went on to study a group of youngsters in societies that did not consume any processed foods. One group was the Kitavan Islanders of Papua in New Guinea, and another group was the South American Ache hunter gatherers from Paraquay. In the end, not a single case of acne in both non-processed foods consuming groups was found. Out of all 1315 men and women analyzed, not one pimple was detected. The sample even included 315 young people aged between 15 and 25, which is a primary time for acne.
So with that being said, How exactly does a poor diet cause acne?
Basically when foods with a high glycemic index such as pastries, sweets, candy, and other processed foods are eaten (This is common in the westernized diet) they are rapidly broken down into sugar or glucose for the body to use for energy. Glucose is handled by a hormone called insulin, but when there are higher levels of glucose due to the many processed foods in the diet the body is forced to convert the glucose at higher speeds than normal which causes a spike in insulin. This stimulates (IGF-1) or Insulin-like Growth Factor which increases the amount of skin cells created. Additionally, raised insulin levels lower the amount of insulin-like growth factor binding-protein 3 (IGFBP-3) which is responsible for controlling the generation of new skin cells. So to sum up, a spike in insulin results in an overproduction of skin cells that block the skin pores which then become clogged with sebum and bacteria. Ultimately this is what contributes to breakouts. A pilot study also suggests that dietary glycemic load may factor into contributing to the pathogenesis of acne.
Americans spend over 2 billion every year on acne treatments. If you have been using some type of topical or drug without success in clearing your acne than this may be the reason why. The foundational cause of most acne is improper diet and combining a good external routine or application along with a good internal regimen is key. In other words, we need to do a better job of getting to the root cause of the issue as opposed to trying to treat only the symptoms.
If you need more information on a good routine you can view our top 8 tips for reversing Acne here.