New research is showing a stronger relationship between acne and diet. Last year in 2012, the Archives of Dermatology published a study showing that weight was an accurate predictor of developing acne, particularly in young women.

Research Study on Acne and Weight Gain

Over 3500 Norwegian teenagers (eighteen and nineteen year olds) took part in an experiment that studied the relationship between weight gain and acne. The researchers themselves came from several countries including:

  • United States
  • Norway
  • China
  • Denmark

They found that weight (measured in terms of body mass index) was significantly linked to the development of acne, especially in young women.

The published research is titled, “A Population-Based Study of Acne and Body Mass Index in Adolescents.”

What Does Weight Have To Do With Acne?

Foods that are high on the glycemic index tend to break down into glucose very quickly once digested.  Insulin is released to transport glucose throughout the body. Most tissues are able to become glucose resistant by turning off certain protein receptors. An exception would be the ovaries. This is why the study found a stronger relationship in young women.

The presence of sugar in the body triggers the formation of hormones such as androgens and IGF-1. These hormones cause sebaceous oil glands in the skin to grow in size and produce more oil.

When oil is constantly released from the skin, cellular debris tends to travel along with it. This can build up in the skin pores as blockages. When blockages are produced by the skin, this can lead to stubborn acne.

Acne and Diet

According to the conventional paradigm, there is no relationship between diet and the development of pimples. However, there are several other studies which seem to confirm that high amounts of sugar (e.g. junk food, soda and high carb foods) can make acne worse.

Patients with acne may also benefit from keeping a food diary.  This can help pinpoint specific food items that cause breakouts to occur.


Before and After Acne Treatment in Manhattan Beach CA

Los Angeles acne patient before and after laser treatment for acne and acne scars*