It’s no surprise that skin, your body’s biggest organ, behaves like the rest of your body when it comes to health and disease. The dietary connection to diseases like diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and other common diseases is widely recognized. Now, we will examine the connection between diet and common skin problems.

How can your diet affect acne?

Acne is caused by inflammation and infection of the sebaceous glands of the skin. Sebaceous glands are stimulated by hormones (particularly androgens). To avoid acne, try cutting back on saturated and hydrogenated fats, especially those in processed foods. Also cut down on junk food and foods high in sugar. Eat more raw vegetables, wholegrains, fresh fruit and fish. Try to include selenium-rich foods such as Brazil nuts, cashew nuts, fresh tuna, sunflower seeds, walnuts and whole meal bread.

How can your diet affect psoriasis?

Psoriasis appears as red skin patches with silvery scales, most commonly on the elbows and knees. The patches are caused by rapid growth and proliferation of cells in the outer skin layers. Patches can be itchy and sore and in severe cases, the skin may crack and bleed. Although research has yet to confirm a definitive link between diet and psoriasis flare-ups, you might discover that your symptoms improve when you avoid certain foods. An elimination or exclusion diet is the best way to determine what foods trigger your symptoms, though always check with your doctor before cutting out major food groups. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) from fish oil or cold-pressed nut and seed oils are important to include in your regular diet. It is recommended that your diet also be low in saturated fat and include anti-inflammatory herbs such as turmeric, red pepper, ginger, cumin, fennel, rosemary and garlic.

How can your diet affect eczema?

Eczema is a skin condition that usually begins as patchy redness, often on the hands but can appear anywhere on the skin. Although there are many triggers, one of the most common is food sensitivity. The most common provoking foods are milk, eggs, fish, cheese, nuts and food additives. Omega-3 fats, zinc and vitamin E may help reduce symptoms.

It’s important to build healthy skin from the inside out with a diet that’s good for your entire body. In our dermatology practice in Phoenix, we treat common skin problems like acne, rosacea, psoriasis, dandruff, eczema and many others. Many times, certain skin problems can be controlled or eliminated through proper diet.

Contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology today at 602-867-7546 or to learn more about how your diet can affect your skin.