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The Chocolate and Acne Myth

Love chocolate? Concerned that it will cause acne or make you break out in pimples the night before a big date?

Go ahead and indulge without worrying about an onslaught of zits.

Many people believe that chocolate, fatty foods, and sugar cause or aggravate acne. The most common myths about diet and acne involve chocolate, candies, potato chips, French fries, and other greasy foods. But there's no evidence that any of these foods cause acne or cause it to worsen.

Acne occurs when oil glands of the skin produce too much oil, mostly as a result of hormonal changes. Oil gets trapped in blocked oil ducts, resulting in what we know as pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads on the surface of the skin. For most people specific foods have little to do with it. Some research suggests that certain foods may cause certain people to break out, but there's no clear association between foods and acne.

Of course, you should limit your intake of foods that are high in calories and low in nutrition (unfortunately, that includes chocolate and potato chips). For overall good health, including skin health, you should eat a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein sources. But preventing acne no special restrictions on food are imposed for preventing acne.

Learn more about acne, its causes, and how to treat it, or test your knowledge of acne.