Objective: To assess the effect of chocolate on acne exacerbation in males between the ages of 18 and 35 with a history of acne vulgaris.
Design: Double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, controlled trial.
Setting: Single-site, outpatient, research, clinical facility at an academic research institution.
Participants: Fourteen men between the ages of 18 and 35 were assigned to swallow capsules filled with either unsweetened 100-percent cocoa, hydrolyzed gelatin powder, or a combination of the two, at baseline.
Measurements: Lesions were assessed and photographs were taken at baseline, Day 4, and Day 7.
Results: Of the 14 subjects, 13 completed this Institutional Review Board approved study. A statistically significant increase in the mean number of total acneiform lesions (comedones, papules, pustules, nodules) was detected on both Day 4 (p=0.006) and Day 7 (p=0.043) compared to baseline. A small-strength positive Pearson's correlation coefficient existed between the amount of chocolate each subject consumed and the number of lesions each subject developed between baseline and Day 4 (r=0.250), while a medium-strength positive correlation existed between baseline and Day 7 (r=0.314). No serious adverse events occurred.
Conclusion: It appears that in acne-prone, male individuals, the consumption of chocolate correlates to an increase in the exacerbation of acne.