#MythNoMore: Does Spicy Food Aggravate Acne?

#MythNoMore: Does Spicy Food Aggravate Acne?

Ask anyone from my family what my favourite food is and they’ll say “anything spicy” without a second thought. And, of course, they’re right! My taste buds crave it. I love chillies with all my heart. The pungent flavour gives me a mild high and all my meals—be it breakfast, lunch or dinner have to have that one spot on my plate reserved for achaar. It was last weekend when I started to ponder whether acne could have an effect on my skin’s complexion. I had not given it much thought until my aunt brought it up. She said my easily irritable skin might be breaking out because of spicy food. She could be right, but I’m sure everyday stress, dust, hormonal changes and heat could also be equally responsible for my bout of acne. Thus, for my understanding, I thought It would be a great idea to get Mumbai-based Dermatologist, Dr. Aparna Santhanam’s views on this. I’m hoping she would have the answer to my queries. (And hopefully, tell me not to break up with spicy food!)

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The Claim

Spicy food causes your skin to break out. It’s believed that spicy food can cause an inflammatory response that brings with it a rise in body temperature. When that happens, you begin to sweat as it triggers oils to be released from the skin, too. The oil then traps dirt and bacteria which eventually causes acne. This isn’t the first time that food is blamed for acne. A lot of people speak about food items that aggravate their acne. Oily and spicy food along with chocolate form the ‘un-holy’ trinity. Since spice is my one true love, I need closure on that item first.    

Expert Speak

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“It’s a myth that spicy food causes acne. Many spices like cinnamon, cloves, and red chillies actually reduce inflammation in the body. It is a scientifically proven fact that foods that cause the most inflammation include sugar and actually cutting down these reduces the occurrence of acne. So, go ahead and have your spicy fix fearlessly!” says Dr. Aparna Santhanam.

The Final Result

I’ll have to agree with Santhanam on this one and I’m glad she’s busted this myth with wit and grace. Truth be told, I would pick food stuffed with spices over a chocolate brownie any day.

If you found this helpful, let us know which myth you would want us to bust next week. We’re ALL ears, ladies!

Images: Shutterstock