Got Acne?...Don't Eat Chocolate

  There is ongoing research of whether or not chocolate causes acne.  Some researchers say these delicious treats may not cause acne directly; however, it may cause certain things to develop in the body that can lead to acne.  
  According to WebMD, young men who ate up to 8 ounces of chocolate saw their number of pimples rise from as low as four to about 70.  Based on observation, the more chocolate they ate, the more they broke out.  

The Experiment: 
   Scientists studied 10 men who ranged in ages 18-35 who were previously diagnosed with acne.  These men were observed by the researchers.  They ate as much pure chocolate as they wanted.  This went up to a maximum of four ounce candy bars.  Then they were told to follow a normal chocolate free diet for a week.  
   At the start of the experiment, the men had about three pimples.  By the fourth day of observing the men, some of them had about 13.  By the end of the week they had about 18.  The men who had less than a four ounce chocolate bar had fewer than 10 pimples the next week.  One young man, who had the most chocolate, had about 8 ounces of chocolate.  This resulted in about 70 pimples by the end of the week. 

Why Does Chocolate Do This? 
   Researcher Caroline Caperton, an MD, stated that people that ate chocolate typically eat chocolate that had sugar, milk, and other ingredients that can aggravate one's skin.  Some of these ingredients may also include caffeine and theobromine.  These are known for clogging your pores. According to a dermatologist, Dr. Shamban, there is little evidence that fatty foods, such as chocolate, will cause acne.  On the other hand, it has been discovered that foods high in sugar and fat can increase sebum production and promote inflammatory responses in the body.  The increased production of these parts of the body can result in acne.  Over eating too many of these fatty and sugary foods can increase your chances of developing or getting more acne.  

The Solution:
   According to the Huffington Post, dark chocolate, in certain cases, is better for you than milk chocolate.  It is better for your cardiovascular system and for your skin.  Dark chocolate has high cocoa content.  This can result in higher amounts of flavonoids, catechin, and procyanidin.  These chemicals are antioxidants in the body which protect the body's cells against free radicals.  

   It may not always be the chocolate that is causing the increase of acne, it can be the things inside the multiply in your body.  Certain ingredients that chocolate has can overproduce in your system and cause an increase in acne, especially when you are prone to it.  Although the test study I spoke about earlier in the blog was not done with enough people to really support the case, scientists are doing bigger and further research on this topic to finally be able to come up with an answer. 

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A question I wanted to further add to the end of this is ... do you think chocolate can cause acne? Have you ever witnessed this story before? If show please share your story down below of anything you have observed in your life about the correlations between chocolate and acne.

This was a really interesting blog! I would have never even considered that chocolate could have any effect on the amount of acne that you have or don't have. My only thought is that I fit into the age group of the study you mentioned and admittedly, I do eat a considerable amount of chocolate and have minimal acne. I think as you said at the end of your blog that the study needs to be much larger before anything conclusive can be determined. Maybe chocolate can affect acne growth in some while others will see no changes. Also, have any studies been conducted that show that chocolate increases acne in women? I tried to find a study but could not. While, I think there is a possibility that chocolate can have an impact on acne growth, I need a little more evidence before I can be persuaded either way.

Prior to reading this entry, I had heard this correlation and was always skeptical. After reading your entry, I am still just as skeptical. In fact, I've become comfortable with my own conclusion that we will never really know for sure whether or not chocolate causes acne. As I was reading, I thought of a multitude of things that could be third variables in the relationship between chocolate and acne: the rest of the individual's diet, the size/type of the pimples that were recognized in the study, the amount/type of acne that the individual was previously getting and the length of time that they have had acne, to name a few. These distractions made it difficult for me to conclude anything from this study. I am not sure if we will ever know exactly what does and does not cause acne. A perfect study would be if we could find individuals who suffer from every different type and frequency of acne and study the effects of a diet that consists solely of chocolate, which is unlikely to happen.

I know that when I complain to my mom about my face breaking out, her first question to me is if I have had a lot of sugar lately, so I always kind of linked diet and pimples together, but I never really thought about chocolate as the main source of acne. It's a good point that you brought up about the fact that your body multiplying the things inside your body and creating acne. Also, a great point about dark chocolate having major health benefits. I found an article that lists 6 health benefits of dark chocolate, so it's interesting that while milk chocolate kind of messes you up, the dark chocolate makes up for it with it's different postive effects.

I believe this is probably more correltaion than causation...or at least I hope so. I would probably call myself a chocoalte addict. I love it and I eat considerable amounts of it, however I've never had acne and I have rare breakouts thankfully. I agree with you that this experiment needs to be conducted with more people and they should definitely test women. I think they should also take into consideration all of the other reasons these people could have pimples like stress, diet, and things.

To the comment above, chocolate is not the main source of acne. Chocolate is only a factor that could be among hundreds of others for why someone has acne. My grandma always tells me she doesn’t eat this and that because it makes her skin break out; foods like gum, jam, and other sweets. The reason being is that all these foods contain sugar, which can not only affect your physique, but also your skin. The foods you eat can have a big effect on whether or not you have acne, however; I doubt that food is ever the sole reason in anyone’s acne case. There are so many other factors such as genetics, hygiene, if someone touches their face a lot, what type of products one uses on their face, etc.

I had acne up until a few years ago, and it was truly hell. It started around middle school, and at that point I had tried everything my dermatologist recommended. None of it worked, and even some products like ProActiv, which claim to have helped numerous amounts of people with acne, made it worse. My dermatologist finally recommended Accutane, which I had no idea what it was until that point. According to Drug Information Online, the pill “reduces the amount of oil released by oil glands in your skin, and helps your skin renew itself more quickly.” I took a pill every day for 6 months, which is the normal period you stay on the pill unless your skin does not improve.

Accutane could have been the best or worst thing that ever happened to my skin. My skin cleared out, and I have not had acne since. In fact, people always comment on how good my skin looks. The down side was the side effects, which I never expected to be so severe. 1) My skin and lips were super dry always, and my face looked a bit swollen. 2) I had the worst back pains I have ever had in my life, to the point where I could not participate in PE class sometimes. 3) I had very bad depression. My life circumstances were not the best at the moment, but after I finished the pill, I started feeling generally happier. I am sure the depression was a combination of the pill and my life circumstances. However, the worst part was that I did not even realize that I could have been depressed because of the pill until after I finished it. Every time the doctor asked me if I was feeling depressed, I said no because of embarrassment and because I did not think the pill had anything to do with it. In addition, I had to go get my blood taken every month so they could check if the pill had affected my liver because it is one the strongest pills on the market today. It can be dangerous for your health, but if acne is really ruining your life, it can also really improve your life.

If you have severe acne, I do recommend Accutane if you are ready for the possibility of the side effects I mentioned above. But I promise you, your skin will clear out drastically. If you don’t have severe acne, just a few pimples here and there, then Accutane is not necessary. In that case, stick with the basics like eating less sugary treats like chocolate!

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