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Researchers from Italy may have just uncovered the mystery behind adult female acne. According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, acne in women is caused by three main factors: stress, diet, and genetics.
The study looked at 500 women over the age of 25. Researchers found that these women had a few things in common. For one, they had diets low in fruits and vegetables. Secondly, they had a family history of acne. And thirdly, they reported chronic levels of stress and anxiety.
For Dr. Debra Jaliman, none of this is surprising. Jaliman is an assistant professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. She said it’s quite common to see adult women with acne.
“Women tend to get adult acne more often than men. It’s often due to changes in hormone levels and or hormonal imbalances,” Jaliman stated.
But she’s also well aware of the link between acne and diet. Jaliman said that she’s seen plenty of people, both men and women, whose acne is caused by poor eating habits.
“We see that people who have a diet of junk food tend to break out more,” Jaliman explained.
Interestingly enough, the study did not find any connection between acne and dairy. Some dermatologists theorize that the hormones present within dairy cause imbalances in humans that lead to acne. However, the researchers in this study found no evidence to support that claim.
Rather, researchers suspect that high glycemic index foods—such as sugar, white bread, chips, and pastas—are to blame. High GI foods cause blood sugar levels to spike, which can disrupt hormone levels.
So on the bright side, two out of the three factors are completely within one’s control. As for the genetics aspect? Well, mom and dad can take the blame for that one.