Wouldn’t it be great if you could make a simple change in your diet to get clear skin? What if you could just switch from Coke to water to get the complexion you’ve been hoping for?
Unfortunately, when patients ask, “Does soda cause acne?”, we don’t have an easy answer.
Is There a Link Between Diet and Acne?
Will soda cause acne? Technically, no. There’s not a clear link between diet and acne, but many people disagree. Some people find they have worse acne after drinking a sugary drink. And for those patients, avoiding sodas helps clear up their skin.
Here’s a theory on how it might work. If you have acne already and add glucose to your diet, it could promote inflammation in the bacteria areas. So, in theory, avoiding the glucose helps reduce the inflammation. But researchers haven’t been able to prove it.
How Acne Research Works
In general, researchers are still trying to figure out just how diet might affect acne. Some people notice acne flare-ups after they eat greasy food. Others see sugary products trigger their acne. Researchers have studied how high-fructose corn syrup or high glycemic products affect breakouts. But so far, the research is either based on too few people to be conclusive or gets ambiguous results.
Right now, researchers can’t get conclusive results on how food affects acne because we’re still trying to understand how acne works. In order to prove a correlation between foods and acne, we need a better understanding of how they’re linked.
For example, think about how gasoline affects a car. We know that when you get in the car, it doesn’t just go. There’s more to it. We put gasoline in the car, it powers the engine, which turns the wheels, and the car moves.
With acne, we’re still building our knowledge of how it works. Sure, people notice that putting certain foods in their body changes their acne, but we don’t know the full mechanism yet. To complicate it further, the results aren’t consistent. Some people see a change in their acne when they add or eliminate certain foods in their diet, while others follow the same diet and don’t notice any difference.
Caffeine and Acne
Caffeine and acne aren’t linked either. We know caffeine is a stimulant. We understand how it interacts with receptors in the brain, but we don’t know how it affects acne or see consistent results when it’s studied.
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What Actually Clears Acne?
If you’re tired of wondering, “Why am I breaking out?”, start with the proven ways to treat acne. Follow a proven skin care regimen and visit your dermatologist to get a prescription for your specific problem.
We know how to get acne under control. We know oil production, clogged pores, and hormones significantly contribute to acne breakouts. Any role food plays is minor. People with serious acne need more than a change in diet. They need a prescription medication provided by their dermatologist.
Then, once everything else is controlled, if you still notice small changes in your acne with certain foods or drinks, make the adjustment. Diet won’t eliminate bad acne altogether, nor did it cause the whole problem to start with. But, if you notice a flare-up when you drink a Coke, cut it out of your diet and see what happens.