Can the Ketogenic Diet Improve My Acne? (A Skin Disease that Affects Over 50 Million People)

Last modified: August 2, 2019

Richard Honaker M.D.
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Could the popular keto diet be the answer to your acne? 

Acne is the most common skin disease in the US, affecting over 50 million people. In fact, approximately 85% of people between 12 and 24 experience at least minor acne. While more common in younger skin, acne can occur at any age. In fact, adult acne is one the rise. The good news is that there may be an answer for your skin problems.

The keto diet.

Simple dietary changes have been proven to reduce acne. Carbs, insulin levels, and inflammation are all to blame, and it begins with what’s on your plate.

What Causes Acne?

teen boy popping a pimple

Source: Canva

Acne is caused by four main factors . . .

  • An increase of skin cells within ducts that push oily lubrication to the skin.
  • Shedding of skin cells around hair follicles.
  • Increase in sebum (oily, waxy substance that lubricates skin) production.
  • Increased inflammation caused by Propionibacterium acnes, a bacterium that affects the upper skin layer.

Insulin and hormones that have an impact on insulin, like testosterone, mediate the four factors causing acne.

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What Science Says About Acne and the Ketogenic Diet

Source: Canva

A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (2007) found that a low glycemic diet could improve acne. The 12-week study saw a 51 percent decrease in acne lesions.

A few takeaways from the study are . . .

  • A low glycemic diet may lower insulin levels
  • Eating more whole foods may decrease acne
  • Diet plays a major role in acne severity

Guess what? The ketogenic diet does all those things!

Ketogenic Diet May Reduce Acne Signs and Symptoms

Source: Canva

The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat (good fats) diet that limits carb intake to 20-50 grams per day. Due to the ketogenic diets ability to lower insulin levels and decrease inflammation, it may be useful for reducing your acne.

Seafood, low-carb vegetables, avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, and other foods are on the ketogenic diet menu. The research is hard to ignore. Steering clear of high glycemic carb-loaded foods could improve your acne.

If you want to ask a doctor if the ketogenic diet is safe for you, now you can in minutes. Our free Dr. Chat is accessible for everyone. Simply click to get started.

Submitted by Dr. Richard Honaker:

Disclaimer: This article provides general information and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. If you require specific advice, please consult one of our medical professionals through the app. However, in case of an emergency, please call 911.

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