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17-11-2011 | Dermatology | Article

Excess fat, sugar, processed foods linked to acne development


Free abstract

MedWire News: Adolescents eating a diet high in fat, sugar, processed meat, and carbohydrates have a higher risk for developing acne than those who have healthier diets, suggest findings from a study on adolescents living in Central Anatolia, Turkey.

The study also showed that despite nearly two thirds of surveyed adolescents experiencing acne, only 11.5% consulted a doctor for the condition.

"As the most effective way of managing acne [recurrences] is to prevent its occurrence, it is of primary importance to receive medical help early," say AE Koku Aksu (Eskisehir Osmangazi University, Turkey) and co-researchers.

For the study, the researchers asked 2230 adolescents, aged on average 15.1 years, to complete a questionnaire about their acne and another about their daily dietary habits. Adolescents also had their acne evaluated by a doctor.

Doctors diagnosed that 60.7% of adolescents in the study were currently experiencing acne, with 21.0% presenting severe (grade 3 or 4) acne. In addition, 83.9% of adolescents reported ever having acne.

The researchers also found that, despite 25.0% of adolescents experiencing a worsening of their condition, only 11.5% went to visit their doctor.

Girls aged 13-14 years were more affected than boys of the same age, although between the ages of 15 and 18 years boys appeared to experience more acne than girls.

When the team assessed dietary risk factors for acne, they found that adolescents who consumed excess fat, sugar, processed meats (eg, sausages and burgers) and refined carbohydrates (eg, pastries and cakes) were 20-39% more likely to develop acne than those who had healthier diets.

Other risk factors associated with acne included being aged 15-18 years and being overweight, while face washing three or more times per day was associated with a 32% reduced risk for developing acne compared with face washing once a day.

"Increasing awareness is critical for convincing adolescents to seek medical help earlier," conclude the researchers in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Ingrid Grasmo