“Food Does Not Cause Acne” – Response to your comments!!
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“Food Does Not Cause Acne” – Response to your comments!!

I heard a lot of comments on my Acne video that were disputing my assertions that food in general does not cause Acne Food does not cause Acne! In general! Let me clarify a little bit about what I said in my Acne video I was saying this as a generality I think that there are a lot of hormones in foods such as milk products, and hormones we do know help to promote the worsening of Acne So, yes, there are certain foods that I think you should avoid because of the hormones that are added to it But it’s still important to know that if you eat a greasy piece of pizza, this oil that you ingest is not suddenly coming out of your pores. Have you ever eaten pizza and then sat back, and you’re really full and you also said: “Oh, I can just feel the grease coming out of my pores” That doesn’t happen! Because that oil does not transfer to your skin. I don’t think that it’s directly the food’s fault that causes your Acne It really has to do with additives that might be in it. such as hormones. Hormones we do know play a big role in the worsening of our Acne.


  • Nia Lin

    Every dermatologist, PCP, GYN & even every neurologist I've ever had has asserted to me that my bouts of acne are hormonal & that acne is not caused by eating greasy foods or chocolate or even weight gain. Every one of them explained to me that MOST cases of acne are hormonal & that the propensity for it can also be inherited, that it can run in families. It was explained to me by my PCP & GYN that this is why conditions that effect or stem from hormonal imbalances such as PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), can cause or increase acne (among other things). Given my lack of any medical school experience & the absence of MD after my name, I'm inclined to believe the explanations of acne from not only you, but my own dermatologists & @ least 5 other doctors of varying, but equally knowledgeable, specialties. Thanks for confirming this information. & thank you for taking the time to educate us! You're very much appreciated.

  • L

    Ugh i love you!!!!!
    People will deny what you say but at the end of the day they havent had 12+ years of schooling to be a doctor and the concurrent experience of working as a dermatologist that you have.
    Some people value their personal experience over medical expertise (my parents included haha)

  • iqreevo

    Hi Dr Lee,
    I'm 26, live in Australia, i have bad eczema and get cystic acne. my skin is always dry and red especially on my cheeks and even eyelids/eyebrows. i get cystic acne on my lower cheeks and jaw and sometimes my temples. don't really get any acne at all on my forehead or nose. My dermatologist has tried a lot of different products and we're down to accutane now however she wasnt very keen on prescribing it to me and doubted how much effect it would have because of my eczema and i wouldnt be able to do the full dosage of accutane. Would you have any other suggestions at all? I use aveeno products as recommended by her and they've helped immensely with my eczema but i still get flare ups and the acne is persistent.

  • Colin Wolfe

    Hello and congratulations! Do you have any colleagues in Austin, Texas that make the same generous offer in lieu of payment? I have something developing very fast and I am paycheck to paycheck. It's in a very uncomfortable spot. Please help if you can. Thank you! 🙂

  • Wendy E

    I have a question about sunscreen and dry eyes. Every sunscreen I've tried burns my eyes makes my DES symptoms almost unbearable. Even just putting sunscreen on the tip of my nose and lower face does it. Maybe a subject for your University?
    Thank you!

  • hela ben hadj

    @doctor sandra lee: sorry if this is unrelated but I have a question regarding nail care. As you know, most women love getting their nails done at the salon these days – we use all sorts of products from regular nail polish to gel or acrylic. What are the risks associated with the regular use of these products? What about the UV/LED lamps we use? How bad is that for our nails? I have personally been using gel nail polish for over a year until I discovered that my nails were lifting from the nail bed. My doctor told me he has never seen something like this before. It would be great if you can tell us more about it. I would hate to see more women go through my bad experience. We would love to get some medical advice from you. Thank you doctor!! 🙂

  • cecilou

    I agree with you, my mother always repeated to me : "don't eat chocolate, it causes acne"…. And It always annoyed me so much because it is so false !

    To treat my acne, I just went to see a dermatologist who gave me oral antibiotics that I took for 5 to 6 months + benzoyl peroxyde and after more than half a year of treatment it cleared the majority of my acne.. And I can eat chocolate as much as I want, the only thing it causes to me is fat lol ! (That's why I don't eat sugar or chocolate anyway… I don't want to be fat lol ! But it doesn't cause any acne, that's just an old folkloric and false belief… 😉 )

    So parents should say : "go to a dermatologist" if you have acne, not "don't eat sugar/chocolate"…. Because the first one WILL work after months (acne is unfortunately long to treat… But at the end we can get rid of it with patience 😉 )

  • Lisa Mulloy

    I'm 47 now, but when I was in high school, if I ate chocolate or drank carbonated beverages (Pepsi or Coke, the regular not the diet) I would break out. Even into my 20s and 30s I broke out. I still love my Coke and chocolate but limit it now.

  • WaterspoutsOfTheDeep

    I was always under the impression food allergies cause inflammation which can lead to acne. Which is why a food allergy test is important.

  • Marriott

    Dr Lee, your comments are false and irresponsible. Food does not cause acne is like saying sugar does not cause diabetes. Your pizza example is way off base. Maybe you need to go back to school.

  • Linda brown

    My daughter was diagnosed with cystic acne. Her only other health problem was mild asthma. When she began dating a boy at age 18, I noticed her acne went into overdrive. This young man drank a gallon of milk every 2 days & my daughter also increased her consumption of milk. We had been told about hormonal & Polycystic Ovary. However, I asked her to give up milk & milk products for 1 month. During that month, her cystic acne disappeared as did her asthma. She has a very extensive allergy profile & milk has been added to her list. She is 37 now: no milk = no acne or asthma. Prior to giving up milk, she was on a steroidal inhaler & when sh saw her pulmonologist after she had stopped milk products, he was stunned by her pulmonary tests (all normal) & she no longer needed an inhaler.

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