Acne and Nutrition

  • Gerd Plewig
  • Bodo Melnik
  • WenChieh Chen


Daniel Turner (1667–1741) of London was the first to emphasize dietary restrictions for acne therapy. Joseph Jakob Plenck (1735–1807) of Vienna related the frequency of acne in young people to a rich diet. Since then acne and diet has been a continuing debating issue. Over the last five decades, diet has been declined to play a role in acne pathogenesis. In 1969, the study of Fulton and coworkers, which was not controlled by glycemic index, showed that high amounts of chocolate did not affect the course of acne vulgaris or the output or composition of sebum. Though much more critical work is required, present knowledge suggests that the sebaceous gland has a high degree of autonomy. In 2002, Cordain and coworkers observed completely acne-free adolescents of Kitava islanders living under Paleolithic nutritional conditions excluding hyperglycemic carbohydrates, milk and dairy products. Further observations of low acne prevalence rates in less developed Paleolithic populations such as the Arche hunters in Paraguay, natives in rural Brazil, Eskimos, Okinawa islanders, and Chinese consuming traditional Chinese food suggested that acne is a disease of Western civilization.


Western Diet and Acne

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerd Plewig
    • 1
  • Bodo Melnik
    • 2
  • WenChieh Chen
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Dermatology and AllergyLudwig-Maximilian-University MunichMunichGermany
  2. 2.Department of Dermatology, Environmental Medicine and Health TheoryUniversity of OsnabrückOsnabrückGermany
  3. 3.Department of Dermatology and AllergyTechnical University of MunichMunichGermany

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