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Overcoming Stubborn Adult Acne by Avoiding Food Allergies

Overcoming Stubborn Adult Acne by Avoiding Food Allergies
Frustrated young woman squeezing acne in bathroom

Q. I am 54 and suffered with adult acne from age 25. I tried every cream and antibiotic my doctors prescribed. I even took Accutane twice! A hormone test was fine, and I was stuck with this embarrassing problem.

Two years ago, I took a seven-day cruise and returned with clearer skin. In a burst of insight, I figured the source of my acne might be environmental. I asked to be tested for food allergies.

This cost $400 but it was worth every penny. I am allergic to bananas, pineapple, asparagus, celery and broccoli. I went off them immediately and after a few months my face cleared up. Please suggest food allergy testing for people with adult acne. My face is clear now, but if I eat celery from a veggie plate, I break out within 12 hours.

A. Dermatologists used to think that diet did not have any impact on acne. That belief is changing now, though. A review in the International Journal of Dermatology (April, 2009) found that acne may be linked to consumption of foods that raise blood sugar quickly, as well as to dairy products.

Dermatologist Patricia Farris cites scientific evidence for a low-sugar diet in the book, The Sugar Detox. (You can listen to our hour-long radio interview with Dr. Farris here.) Although there is not yet much data linking food allergies to acne, your experience is intriguing. Perhaps it will inspire others to share their experiences in the comment section below.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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