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Does Eating Chocolate Cause Acne?


Eating chocolate does NOT cause acne.

More Info: Eating chocolate has not been scientifically proven to cause acne, but people do suffer from individual food sensitivities that can cause acne outbreaks.

Where Did the Chocolate Acne Association Originate?

The popular belief that chocolate causes acne may have been prompted by the September, 1938 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal that placed cocoa, chocolate, and derivatives of the cocoa bean on the forbidden list of acne causing foods.  The subject was reintroduced with vigor in the 1960’s and 70’s with several studies emerging that attempted to provide evidence either in support or to oppose the original study.  Today the subject is still debated, with the consensus that eating chocolate does not cause acne. [Ereaux, 257]

A Perpetuating Misconception

A 2001 study conducted by researchers from the University of Melbourne pinpoints the reason why the misconception that chocolate is associated with acne continues to perpetuate.  During final examinations prior to graduating, 215 medical students were given a questionnaire about acne causes.  The researchers found that even soon to be doctors, who would be providing guidance on such conditions as acne, had misconceptions about its causes.  Forty-one percent of the participants listed diet as associated with acne with 12% specifically naming chocolate. [Green, 98]

The Elimination Diet

Several recent studies have made an association between particular foods and acne such as milk and processed breads.  If you believe that your acne is induced or aggravated by a particular food, an elimination diet makes sense.  Remove one item from your diet for a three to six month period and measure your results.  If you are not successful, eliminate a second food and so on.



Ereaux B.Sc., M.D., C.M, L.P.. “Facts, Fads and Fancies in the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris. .” Canadian Medical Association Journal 39.3 (1938): 257-261. Print.

Green, J, and RD Sinclair . “Perceptions of acne vulgaris in final year medical student written examination answers..” Australian Journal of Dermatology 42.2 (2001): 98-101. Print.

“Acne Diet – More Than Skin Deep.” Daily Perricone. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2012.

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