Acne And Dietary Management


Acne is a widespread skin condition that affects millions of individuals worldwide, primarily during adolescence. It can be not only physically but also emotionally upsetting, affecting one’s self-esteem and confidence.



Acne is a widespread skin condition that affects millions of individuals worldwide, primarily during adolescence. It can be not only physically but also emotionally upsetting, affecting one’s self-esteem and confidence. There are several treatments available i.e. antibiotics, topical creams, and laser therapy. The latest study has thrown light on the significance of nutrition in the development and control of acne.

This article will investigate the relationship between acne and dietary choices, offering evidence-based advice on how to manage and perhaps reduce acne through nutrition.

 Table Of Contents

  1. Understanding Acne
  2. Dietary Factors And Acne
  3. Conclusion
  4. References

Understanding Acne

Before tackling dietary control, it’s critical to understand what acne is and how it develops.

When hair follicles get blocked with oil and dead skin cells, acne develops. Inflammation, redness, and the creation of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads might result from the presence of the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes in these blocked follicles. While acne can be influenced by genetics, hormone swings, and skincare routines, nutritional variables.

Dietary Factors And Acne

High-Glycemic Foods

Diet rich in high-glycemic-index (GI) foods i.e. white bread, sugary snacks and beverages can lead to increase blood sugar levels rapidly. Elevated insulin levels activated by high-GI snacks or foods may encourage infection and oil assemble in the skin, causative factors to acne development.

Dairy Products

Some research have shown that dairy consumption is linked to acne. Milk’s hormones and growth factors are thought to activate oil glands and induce acne. Skim milk, in particular, appears to be linked to an increased incidence of acne.

Fatty Acids

Excessive intake of omega-6 fatty acids (vegetable oils and processed foods) can encourage acne formation and increase inflammation. Conversely, omega-3 fatty acids (fatty fish like salmon and flaxseeds) have anti-inflammatory properties which may help reduce inflammation related to acne.


Antioxidants like nutrients A, C, and E, may assist with shielding the skin from oxidative harm and irritation. Nuts, fruits, and vegetables are great sources of antioxidants.


Zinc plays an important role in skin health and wound healing. Evidence have shown that consumption of zinc-rich foods like nuts, seeds, and whole grains and zinc supplement may improve acne.

pimples on face

Dietary Management Of Acne

Based on the connection between diet and acne, here are some dietary management strategies to consider:

Stay Hydrated

For healthy skin proper hydration is essential. Drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Eat a Balanced Diet

To support skin health consume a variety of fruits and vegetables to ensure you get a wide range of vitamins and minerals.

Choose Low-Glycemic Foods

Complex carbohydrates (whole grains, legumes, and vegetables) have a lower glycemic index which may lower blood sugar levels.

Limit Dairy Intake

If you suspect dairy may be aggravating your acne, try reducing or eliminating dairy products from diet. Plant-based milk such as soy or coconut milk alternatives can be good substitutes.

Incorporate Omega-3

Include good fats (fish like salmon, walnuts, and flaxseeds) in your diet.

Antioxidant-Rich Foods

Diet rich in rainbow, vegetables, and nuts to provide your skin with essential antioxidants. 

Zinc Supplementation

Consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplements, but consider discussing zinc supplementation if you have a zinc deficiency or limited dietary sources.

Avoid Junk Food

Lower the consumption of processed foods, sugary snacks and fast food, as they are often high in sugar, unhealthy fats and additives that can worsen acne.

glowing skin


While diet alone may not be a magic cure for acne, emerging evidence suggests that dietary choices can indeed impact its development and severity. A balanced diet that focuses on low-GI foods, includes anti-inflammatory nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, zinc and dairy products, can be a valuable component of acne management.Remember that individual responses to dietary changes can vary and it’s essential to consult with a dermatologist or healthcare professional for personalized advice and treatment options tailored to your specific needs. Acne management often requires a holistic approach that includes skincare, lifestyle, and dietary modifications to achieve the best results.


  1. Smith, R. N., Mann, N. J., Braue, A., Mäkeläinen, H., & Varigos, G. A. (2007). A low-glycemic-load diet improves symptoms in acne vulgaris patients: a randomized controlled trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 86(1), 107-115.
  2. Adebamowo, C. A., Spiegelman, D., Danby, F. W., Frazier, A. L., Willett, W. C., & Holmes, M. D. (2005). High school dietary dairy intake and teenage acne. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 52(2), 207-214. (
  3. Melnik, B. C., & Schmitz, G. (2009). Role of insulin, insulin-like growth factor-1, hyperglycaemic food and milk consumption in the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris. Experimental Dermatology, 18(10), 833-841.
  4. Jung, J. Y., Kwon, H. H., Hong, J. S., Yoon, J. Y., Park, M. S., & Suh, D. H. (2010). Effect of dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acid and gamma-linolenic acid on acne vulgaris: a randomised, double-blind, controlled trial. Acta Dermato-Venereologica, 90(5), 1-8.
  5. Michaëlsson, G., Edqvist, L. E., & Ekbom, A. (1999). Association between acne and diet: a review of the evidence. International Journal of Dermatology, 38(3), 208-215. (