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Clin Dermatol. 2004 Sep-Oct;22(5):387-93.

Acne and diet.

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  • 1Dermatology Unit, Kaplan Medical Center, 76100 Rechovot, Israel.


Forbidden foods? "The first law of dietetics seems to be: If it tastes good, it's bad for you" (Isaac Asimov, Russian-born biochemist and science fiction writer). This was essentially the Magna Carta for dermatologists of the 1950s: anything coveted by the teenage palate was suspect for morning after acne. Today, half a century later, although the slant has shifted away for this line of thinking in our dermatologic textbooks, several articles on the beliefs and perceptions of acne patients showed that nothing much has changed and that they expect us to give them detailed instructions of what "acne-related" foods they should avoid. In one such study(1), diet was the third most frequently implicated factor (after hormones and genetics) as the cause of the disease, with 32% of the respondents selecting diet as the main cause, and 44% thinking that foods aggravate acne. In another study that analyzed knowledge about causes of acne among English teenagers, 11% of the responders blamed greasy food as the main cause of the disease(2), whereas in another study found that 41% of final-year medical students of the University of Melbourne chose diet as an important factor of acne exacerbation on a final examination.(3)

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