Wednesday, 10 August 2011

A low-carb diet may help clear your complexion

Wednesday, 10 August 2011
While a low-carb diet is credited with providing a slim waistline, it may also improve acne.

On August 8, WebMD News reported that low-carb eating can help clear up acne by controlling glucose levels, which can promote a healthier complexion.

People with acne may have what is called hyperinsulinemia, which is characterized by excess levels of insulin in the blood. "Foods that are low in the glycemic index (GI) may contribute to the hormonal control of acne," said Alan R. Shalita, MD, chairman of the department of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York in an interview with WebMD.

"I would encourage patients with acne to moderate the amount of carbs that they eat and not to overdo dairy," which can also cause acne, he added.

Selecting foods lower on the glycemic index means avoiding blood sugar spikes with white rice, sweets, and white flour breads and opting for fresh foods, such as vegetables, meat, and fruits.

Shalita also debunked the myth that chocolate triggers blemishes, noting that for people who do react to chocolate, it is more a result of the sugar and fat in the candy.

If you have mild to moderate acne, Shalita recommends applying an over-the-counter salicylic acid cleanser followed by a benzoyl peroxide leave-on product to help dry the skin.

"If you don't respond, see a dermatologist," he said.

Other treatments for more severe acne include some oral contraceptives and oral or topical antibiotics.

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