Diet and acne update: carbohydrates emerge as the main culprit

J Drugs Dermatol. 2014 Apr;13(4):428-35.


The prevalence of adult acne in the US appears to be increasing over the last few decades. But what's behind the rise: is it nature or nurture? We are well aware that genetics can strongly influence a patient's risk of developing acne. However, significant changes in germline genetic variants are unlikely to have occurred over the last 20 years. Consequently, we are forced to examine environmental variables, including diet. This review article presents the most updated evidence supporting a link between refined carbohydrates and acne. Based on the data summarized here, dermatologists should encourage their acne patients to minimize their intake of high glycemic index foods.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / epidemiology
  • Acne Vulgaris / etiology*
  • Acne Vulgaris / pathology
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / adverse effects*
  • Glycemic Index*
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Dietary Carbohydrates