Is Skin Health a Reflection of Our Diet?
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Role of Diet in Dermatology

Published on Apr 13, 2017 and last reviewed on Aug 18, 2023   -  2 min read


There are a few diseases in which diet has a definitive role. This article stresses upon the importance of diet in dermatology.

Role of Diet in Dermatology

The word diet is derived from the Greek word "dieta" which means 'way of life'. The role of diet in the management of certain dermatological diseases is proven, and in some diseases, it probably plays a role.

  • Dermatitis Herpetiformis - Gluten-free diet, i.e., wheat, rye, barley has to be followed. High iodine diet (seafood, high salt containing food items like pickle) has to be avoided. However, rice and corn are safe to consume. Dietary modification reduces the dose of medication required, invokes a feeling of wellbeing and reduces the risk of cancer development.
  • Atopic Dermatitis - Breastfeeding is encouraged. Avoid cow's milk as it can damage the newborn's gut. Also, probiotic supplements help strengthen the digestive system of the infant.
  • Acne - Food with a high glycemic index like dairy products, sweets, refined food has to be cut down. Omega-3 PUFA (fish oil) can be therapeutic because of its anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Psoriasis - Omega-3 fatty acid and antioxidant supplementation can improve symptoms. Tomatoes, lemon, gooseberries, guava, nuts are natural sources of antioxidants. Alcohol and gluten has to be avoided. Weight reduction should be encouraged in obese patients.
  • Pemphigus - Tannin-containing beverages like tea and coffee should be avoided. Cases have been reported in which pemphigus was triggered or exacerbated on consuming onions, garlic, radish, berries, betel nut, and beer.
  • Allergic contact dermatitis - Interestingly, certain foods can trigger allergic dermatitis on consumption. Bell peppers, cassava, avocado, banana, and chestnut have been implicated in the same. 30% of the general population has also been shown to have allergy to latex found in some foods like banana.
  • Patients with urticaria have to identify the food allergen they are allergic to and avoid it.
  • Colouring agents, flavoring agents like azo dyes, tartrazine, and amaranth can cause allergies and fixed drug eruptions.
  • Phenylketonuria and tyrosinemia - Avoid the respective amino acids. Protein intake is restricted. Excess intake of milk, egg, meat, and aspartame used as artificial sweetener should be avoided.
  • Homocystinuria - Methionine restricted diet has to be followed. Avoid eggs, meat, dairy products.
  • Galactosemia - Galactose and lactose-free diet is to be given, i.e., breastfeeding should not be done. Calcium and vitamin supplementation has to be done.
  • Patients with trimethylaminuria can reduce their symptoms by consuming a low protein diet.
  • Antioxidants and beta-carotene containing food like carrots, pumpkin and green leafy vegetables are encouraged in patients with porphyria.
  • Rosacea - Hot beverages like coffee, tea can induce flushing. Also avoid spicy foods, wine, and betel nut.
  • Vitamin-C deficiencies can cause various symptoms like hair fall, mouth ulcers, gum bleeding, etc. Hence take vitamin C rich diet.

A balanced diet can help maintain healthy, disease-free skin. Dietary management plays a significant role in managing certain skin disease.

Consult a dietician online -->

Frequently Asked Questions


What Is the Role of Diet in Skin Health?

A diet rich in sugar and processed food can lead to cutaneous inflammation, acne, and poor skin health, while the presence of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in fruits, vegetables, and good fats leads to healthier skin, fewer wrinkles, and decreased skin dryness.


How Does Diet Affect Skin Conditions?

Dietary modifications greatly improve skin health, minimize skin issues, and even delay age-related skin changes. A good diet also results in positive systemic changes that ultimately give good skin.


How Does Diet Affect Acne?

Certain food items such as nuts, chocolate candy, and red tea have been associated with the development of acne.


How Far Does Diet Affect the Skin?

Food intake directly affects skin health as processed foods and food with high sugar content can lead to skin inflammation, acne formation, and other age-evident skin features.


What Food Intake Is Beneficial for the Skin?

The best food, according to dermatologists, to get better skin are fatty fish, avocados, walnuts, sunflower seeds, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, soy, dark chocolate, green tea, and red grapes.


What Can Be Done to Improve Skin Health?

Some of the ways to improve overall skin health are:
  - Dietary modifications to a skin-friendly diet.
- Restrictive calorie intake.
- Cutting alcohol intake.
- Reduction of stress.
- Moisturizing the skin.
- Smoking cessation.
- Sound and efficient sleep.


What Can Be Done to Improve Skin in Seven Days?

Following certain skin care tips religiously can drastically improve the skin, and the results may be seen in as less than seven days. The steps include:
- Good skincare habits - Cleanse, tone, and moisturize the skin.
- Eat good, healthy, and skin-friendly food.
- Exfoliate the skin once or twice a week, depending upon the skin type.
- Use a face mask once weekly (hydrating and nutritious face masks).
- Sleep sound and effective for six to eight hours. (Voila! You have achieved better skin).


What Can Be Done to Get Glowing Skin?

Glowing skin is in great demand and is often a sign of better skin health. To achieve glowing skin, one must follow a daily skincare routine like cleansing, moisturizing, sun protection, minimal exfoliation, a skin-friendly diet, and plenty of water intake.


Which Is the Most Attractive Skin Tone?

A new study by the University of Missouri, USA has found that a greater percentage of people perceive light brown skin to be physically more attractive than pale and darker skin tones.


Is It Possible for the Dermatologist to Make the Skin White?

It is impossible to change the natural skin tone as it is genetically determined, but it is possible to lighten it through various procedures such as lasers, chemical peels, and lightening injections. These procedures target certain regions where melanin has accumulated thereby reducing melanin production in such regions. These procedures should always be performed by certified dermatologists.


What Can Be Done to Naturally Change Skin Color?

To naturally lighten the skin tone one can try the following:
  - Sufficient good quality sleep.
   - Sufficient hydration.
  - Sunscreen protection (even indoors).
  - Skin moisturization.
  - Olive oil and honey massage.
  - Facial steam.
  - Cold rose-water.
  - Skin exfoliation.
  - Banana and honey face pack.
  - Orange peel face mask.
  - Natural bleach face pack.
  - Aloe vera treatment.
  - Cucumber face pack.
  - Apple cider vinegar and rose water toner.
  - Egg white mask.


Is Skin Whitening a Permanent Procedure?

Skin whitening creams result in temporary skin lightening, but other methods like chemical peeling and laser surgery promise a permanent whitening solution.


How Does a Poor Diet Affect Acne?

A diet containing high amounts of sugar and processed food like chips, pasta, white bread, and potatoes can cause a flare-up of acne.


What Is Considered the Best Treatment for Skin Lightening?

Modern techniques like carbon dioxide laser, chemical peeling, microdermabrasion, and Glutathione injections are considered best for skin lightening with extended results.


Does Drinking Water Make the Skin Clear?

Sufficient hydration flushes out toxins, resulting in improved systemic health and better skin conditions.


Does Drinking Water Make the Skin Clear?

Sufficient hydration flushes out toxins, resulting in improved systemic health and better skin conditions.

Last reviewed at:
18 Aug 2023  -  2 min read




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