Given the preponderance of acne among teenagers—scientific estimates put the incidence as high as 75% for young men and 91% for young women—the underlying question is, arguably, “What does not cause acne?”(1) But as far as eggs are concerned, a study of 166 subjects in Jordan published in 2006 did indeed find that the chicken byproduct ranked fairly high on the perceived list of acne-inducing food substances.
The tabulated results of the Jordanian study are quite fascinating. Topping the list of foods reported by these research subjects to have aggravated acne were nuts (89.2%) and chocolate (84.9%). Nothing else really came close. Next on the list was cakes and biscuits (57.2%), oily food (53%) and fried food (51.8%), followed finally by eggs at (42.2%).
However, the many benefits of eggs as compared to some of the other foods on this list may counterbalance such concerns. Eggs have only 70 to 80 calories each, are low in fat, and are part of the protein-rich Food Guide Pyramid published by the U.S. government.(2) Some scholars and dieticians suggest that chicken eggs have been unfairly demonized over concerns about cholesterol, when in fact they are one of nature’s most perfect animal foods, especially if-when the chickens laying them are on specific types of diets.
Egg White Masks
In fact, eggs are such a versatile foodstuff that while some studies may suggest they contribute to acne, other uses show that they can and are being used to combat acne. Not cause it. (3)
Much of the evidence in this realm is of the testimonial variety. But one 15-year-old acne sufferer, afflicted with nodular cysts, reported on a discussion forum that her condition showed great improvement after she applied egg white masks. Other young women chimed in with similarly positive feedback. Some women added lemon to dilute the smell, while others used honey to make the substance stickier to apply.
(1) Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal – Factors Believed by Jordanian Patients to Affect Their Acne Condition, 2006, Retrieved July 26, 2011 from http://www.emro.who.int/publications/emhj/1206/PDF/article16.pdf
(2) Medicinenet.com – Eggs: Dietary Friend or Foe?, Retrieved July 26, 2011 from http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=60421
(3) Acne.org – Egg White Masks: Reviews, Retrieved July 26, 2011 from http://www.acne.org/egg-white-mask-reviews/203/page1.html