Conventional medical wisdom holds that hormones, not diet, are the main causes for the development of acne, particularly during the teenage years. However, some interesting evidence now suggests a possible link between acne and obesity driven by eating a high-glycemic load diet.
A recent review published in August in the dermatology journal Cutis indicates that acne may be promoted by the same kind of diet that triggers insulin resistance, a condition that can develop when the normal amount of insulin secreted is not sufficient to move glucose into the cells, causing an increase in both insulin and blood sugar levels.
High insulin levels (hyperinsulinemia) affect the production of androgens (male hormones) and insulin growth factor 1, a hormone similar to insulin. Together these two changes can increase production of sebum, an oil secreted in skin that plays a key role in the development of acne.
So far, no studies have shown a direct link between acne and obesity, but some dermatologists are recommending that patients avoid foods that rank high on the glycemic index as a possible means of helping control acne. The study also noted that dairy foods have been associated with acne.