When you go to the grocery store, do you think to yourself that you are choosing foods that are causing back acne breakouts? Or when you are on your way to the gym, drinking your protein shake, do you think, "Today, I want to get stronger, oh, and I want more back acne?"
If you are like most people, than the answer is a resounding "No". Unfortunately though, every day, millions of people are unwittingly increasing their chances of another acne breakout on their face, back and body.
When it comes to back acne, what we put in our bodies has as much to do, if not more, than what we put on our bodies (e.g. makeup, clothes, etc.). Today, I am going to walk you through five things you are consuming that are causing your back acne breakouts.
High-Glycemic Index Foods
Foods with a high glycemic index cause dramatic fluctuations in your body's blood sugar and can increase inflammation in your body which can cause, or even worsen existing acne. Impactful foods are high in carbohydrates, such as soda, candy, cereals, ice cream, as well as watermelon, honey and white rice. Also, you may be unaware of this next fact, but the more sugar you eat, the more your body craves. It's a vicious cycle, so beware.
Whey Protein (Powder)
More people are getting up off of the couch and working out in hopes of living a healthier life. People from 13 to 80 years of age are hiking, biking and lifting weights to keep their bodies strong. But for those of you, mostly younger adults, lifting weights in the gym, you may be experiencing more back acne. Ask yourself, have you decided to boost your workout routine with protein powder in hopes that you will get the beach body you always wanted?
Well, other than the dirty, sweaty clothes, there may be another cause of your increase in back and body acne. That culprit is whey protein powder. According to the Brazilian Society of Dermatology, the effect of whey protein showed the onset and exacerbation of acne vulgaris increases with use and is discouraged. Whey protein, which are proteins derived from cow's milk, increases insulin levels and sebum production, which is a leading cause of acne vulgaris.
Many studies have been conducted around the correlation between milk consumption and acne breakouts. I'm going to break all of the research down into a bite-size piece of content. Research suggests that there is a very strong correlation between cow's milk and acne breakouts. The studies have concluded that of the approximately 60,000 people tested throughout the world, there is significant evidence linking acne breakouts to cow milk consumption. Take it for what it's worth, but having suffered from acne and back acne, the writing was on the wall for me to stop consuming cow's milk.
Nope...to break the old wives tale, according to leading experts, including dermatologist Dr. Joel Schlessinger, fried foods do not cause acne. However, the processed carbohydrates in those foods are what leads to acne breakouts. Refer back to the section on High-Glycemic Index Foods. In addition, most fried foods are eaten with your hands and can be very messy and lead to greasy lips and hands. This grease is very effective at clogging your pores, so the next time you wipe your hands or face after taking a bite of fried chicken, think about the oils you are spreading that are clogging your pores. A little tip, if you are at home or even out at a restaurant, wash your hands and face with a gentle soap immediately after enjoying your next order of spicy wings. It could save you from your next pimple.
As we all know, there is caffeine in drinks like soda, coffee and tea; yes, even decaf has caffeine, but did you know that some other foods, beverages, and medications have this stimulant in them as well? Be wary of items such as chocolate, ice cream, hot cocoa and even headache medications. Could you imagine having a horrible headache and trying to rest, only to find out that you are unable to sleep because the caffeine in your headache medication is making you restless?
If you are trying to clear up acne on your face or back and body, consuming too much caffeine may only make the problem worse. Caffeine increases your body's production of cortisol, a stress hormone, and may also increase your body's oil production. These effects can lead to clogged pores and new breakouts. And the problems don't stop there when it comes to caffeine, but that is for another time.
So what can you do?
Unfortunately, not many of us have the power to give up all of our vices all at once. However, over time, you can re-train your body to not want or "need" so much processed sugar or fast-food. But if you make little changes each day, you will successfully achieve your goals more often and you will be more likely to work hard.
To give you a personal example of my own struggles, and to illustrate that thoughtful change is possible, there was a period in my life when I seriously struggled with a certain fast-food chain that had very convincing, talking cows. I had always known that I enjoyed this delicious, fried chicken and the crunchy fried tater tots, but it wasn't until I moved to my new home when I started to develop a real problem with these tasty delicacies. I found myself having to drive by the fast-food restaurant as I went to and from work. Well, let's just say that my every once in a while treat of breakfast, turned into an everyday plethora of acne causing fried chicken, potatoes, and caffeinated coffee with cream and sugar. For two years straight, I stopped by at least 3 times a week and didn't think about the slowly accruing back acne and pimples. Then one day, joking around but serious, my wife told me that she thought I had a problem...not with acne, but with eating out. At that point, I decided that I would try my darnedest to stop going...forever.
I FAILED! MISERABLY!
Two months later, I realized that although I wasn't going on the same three days each week, now I was going three days, or more, but now I was pulling my family into the "fun" by going out to dinner and letting our children have fun in the play area. My wife saw right through my, legitimately unintentional, change in routine to bringing the family and had another talk with me. From that point forward, she would ask me every day if I had gone and some days I did and most others I did not.
So, how did I make the change? First, having someone bring awareness to me helped immensely. Second, I would try to set small records on how long I could go "without". It was a relief when I reached a week, then I would cheat. Then I would reach two weeks and I would cheat. But I noticed that when I cheated, it was harder for me the next few days. It was like my brain "WANTED" to go more intensely. Once I recognized that the longer I went without cheating, the easier it got. I knew that even if I ended up going because the kids wanted some nuggets and to play, that if I only went that once, it would be fine. And to this day, although we may still visit the chain, I no longer have that "pull" to go. And the one thing that I haven't talked much about here, is that once I stopped getting my caffeinated drinks and fried meals, my back acne began to clear up.
I still have to use a back acne treatment for the occasional breakout, and for those occassions, I use the Back Acne Treatment by Powderma, which heals my back quickly, but I no longer have to worry about those painful, long-lasting breakouts anymore.
I truly hope this helps inspire you to make the changes in what you eat. Also, and possibly more importantly, I want you to be able to achieve the goals you set out for yourself. Always remember that no matter what the struggle is, whether it's foods that makes you breakout with pimples or another challenge you are facing, making small goals for change and finding someone to support you and your change will help make all of the difference in the world.