Is there a link between diet and acne? – Patient

You don’t have to look very far online to find someone proffering a miracle ‘acne diet’ or ‘hormone-balancing’ dietary supplement that will supposedly clear up your skin for good. But what does the evidence really say?

Acne affects 80% of us at some point in our lives, with as much as 40-55% of the populationaged 20-40 suffering from adult acne. It can have a major impact on sufferers’ self-esteem and mental health and, if you’re affected by long-term adult acne, it’s likely you’ve tried a whole range of acne-fighting options.

Typical treatments include topical creams, gels and lotions, antibiotics, Roaccutane and – for female patients – the combined oral contraceptive pill. But could diet also play a part in treating persistent, acne-prone skin?

Well, according to the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD), the short answer is that, at least currently, “there has not been enough research to prove a direct link between diet and acne.” However, they add, there does seem to be some link on an observational and anecdotal level.

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