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Can Foods Make You Break Out?

The links between your diet and your skin may surprise you.

Balance Your Fats

Different fatty acids in the foods we eat can support inflammation or dampen it. And too much inflammation inside your body can show up on your skin, Treloar says. Ages ago, omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3s were evenly represented in the human diet. But we tend to get a lot more omega-6s now.

You can address this imbalance, Treloar says, by:

  • Using less vegetable oils such as corn, safflower, and even canola oil.
  • Buying beef and eggs from animals that ate while roaming in pastures, rather than animals that were corn-fed.
  • Eating more fish rich in omega-3s, such as salmon and mackerel, and considering taking fish-oil supplements. As always, tell your doctor about any supplements you take, so they can look out for any possible side effects or drug interactions.

Gluten's Role

People with a condition called celiac disease must avoid a protein called gluten, which is found in certain grains. In these cases, eating gluten causes damage in the small intestine.

Concern about gluten’s effects in people without celiac disease has become trendy in recent years, McGee says. But people can be sensitive to gluten even if they don’t have celiac disease. In some cases, this gluten sensitivity can cause a skin rash, she tells WebMD. However, the rash related to gluten sensitivity, called dermatitis herpetiformis, is seen mainly in people with celiac disease.

A low-gluten diet can make a lot of nutritious foods – such as whole-wheat bread – disappear from your plate. If you start a trial period without gluten, be sure to talk with your doctor first.

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Reviewed on June 13, 2012

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