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Teen Acne: Is Food to Blame?

From the WebMD Archives

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One way to find out if milk makes your skin break out is to go dairy-free for at least a month and note any changes in your complexion.

Of course, your growing body needs calcium to build strong bones. If you cut down on milk and other dairy foods, make sure you still get 1,300 milligrams of calcium every day. You can get that from a supplement or calcium-fortified foods such as orange juice, cereal, bread, soy milk, and tofu. Almonds, spinach, and broccoli also have calcium naturally.

Fruits and Vegetables

You can't blame spinach, or any vegetable or fruit, for your pimples. In fact, eating more of these foods may help give you glowing, healthy skin.

"A varied, healthy diet consisting of foods as unprocessed and true to their natural form as possible is as essential to your skin's health as it is to your overall health," Marmur says.

Eat more foods that are high in vitamin A (such as cantaloupes, carrots, and sweet potatoes), which contribute to a clear complexion. Wash everything down with water, which hydrates your skin and has no sugar.

To curb flare-ups, you have to be a skin detective. "Start incorporating healthy food choices and pay attention to your skin," Shamban says.

It will take time. You may need to stick to your new way of eating for 2 months before your skin improves. But it could happen.

WebMD Feature Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD on February 18, 2014

Sources

SOURCES:

Spencer, E. International Journal of Dermatology, March 2009.

Pappas, A. DermatoEndocrinology, September-Oct ober2009.

Smith, R. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2007.

News release, American Academy of Dermatology.

Valori Treloar, MD, dermatologist, Integrative Dermatology, Newton, Ma.; coauthor, The Clear Skin Diet, Cumberland House, 2007.

FDA: "Facing facts about acne."

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "Questions and answers about acne." 

Ellen Marmur, MD, associate clinical professor of dermatology and genetic sciences, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York; author, Simple Skin Beauty, Atria Books, 2010.

American Academy of Dermatology: "Face washing 101."

National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: "Dietary supplement fact sheet: calcium."

Adebamowo, C. Dermatology Online Journal , May 2006.

Adebamowo, C. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, February 2005.

Adebamowo, C. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, May 2008.

National Institutes of Child Health and Development: "Calcium from other foods."

Ava Shamban, MD, dermatologist, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, Calif.; author, Heal Your Skin, Wiley, 2011.

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