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Can Eating Chili Cause Acne?

by
author image Barb Nefer
Based in Kissimmee, Fla., Barb Nefer is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience. She is a mental health counselor, finance coach and travel agency owner. Her work has appeared in such magazines as "The Writer" and "Grit" and she authored the book, "So You Want to Be a Counselor."
Can Eating Chili Cause Acne?
Some nutrients in chili can help fight acne. Photo Credit ITStock Free/Polka Dot/Getty Images

The American Academy of Dermatology cites acne as the most common skin disorder in America. Pimples are closely associated with teenagers, but this skin problem can affect people into late adulthood, with almost 85 percent of the U.S. population having it at some point in their lives. Diet does not play a big role in acne, but certain foods may aggravate it, while some nutrients help relieve the condition.

Physical Causes

The main causes of acne are physical, with three contributing factors. The skin produces too much oil and sheds dead skin cells too rapidly, MayoClinic.com reports. The cells and oil block your hair follicles, and bacteria grows in the trapped oil, resulting in outbreaks of pimples. Cleanliness does not affect your probability of getting acne because dirt plays no role.

Dietary Causes

Research has not definitely pinpointed dietary causes for acne, but things commonly blamed for causing the condition, such as chocolate and greasy foods, do not affect pimples. There may be a link to foods that increase blood sugar, such as bagels, bread and other high-starch items, according to MayoClinic.com. Typical chili recipes contain ingredients such as ground beef, beans, tomatoes and onions, which do not boost blood sugar levels, so chili does not contribute to pimples.

Beneficial Nutrients

Some of the ingredients in chili contain nutrients known to help fight and prevent pimples. Chili recipes with lean ground beef may be beneficial, since lean meats contain vitamin B-3, which promotes healthy skin and blood circulation, according to Acne.com. Vitamin A is helpful, and it is found in liver, fish oil and dairy products. And vitamin B-2 is present in milk products, so topping your chili with low-fat cheese can be beneficial.

Considerations

Vitamin E and zinc help fight acne, but they are not present in notable quantities in chili ingredients. Peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, vegetable oil and broccoli are all rich in vitamin E, while good zinc sources include nuts, whole grains, eggs and mushrooms, Acne.com advises. Fight your acne by eating a balanced diet that includes a wide range of foods and nutrients and avoids starches.

Treatment

Acne often requires treatment beyond dietary changes because severe pimples can leave lifelong scars. Effective over-the-counter remedies have salicylic acid, lactic acid, benzoyl peroxide, sulfur or resorcinol as their active ingredients, according to MayoClinic.com. Doctors can prescribe stronger medicated lotions, antibiotics and oral drugs for more persistent cases. More-aggressive treatment options include light and laser therapy, microdermabrasion and chemical peels.

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