Find A Doctor Common ConditionsRecipesProductsForumsMagazine

Home > Magazine > Connection Between Acne and Diabetes
Logo
www.DiabetesIQ.com

Connection Between Acne and Diabetes

Connection Between Acne and Diabetes

  By: Editors at DiabetesIQ  |  Published: December 04, 2021   
Published: December 04, 2021   

Connection Between Acne and DiabetesConnection Between Acne and Diabetes
© Chernetskaya | Dreamstime.com

When it comes to skin diseases, acne is the first one that comes to mind. That is not a surprise, as acne (also known as acne vulgaris) is the most common skin condition in both adolescents and adults of any age, gender, and race, although teens and young adults experience acne more often than other age groups.

Acne occurs when hair follicles under the skin pores get clogged with dead skin cells and excess oil (sebum), which leads to pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. Acne can appear on the areas of your body where you have the most oil glands, such as face, shoulders, chest, and back.

There are many reasons that can cause development of acne. In teens and young adults, hormonal changes is the major culprit. Acne can be hereditary. In other words, it can run in the family, so if the parents had it, there is a chance the children may have it too. Some medications, like corticosteroids, and also some skin and hair products can cause acne as well.

Acne is also not rare in adults. Similarly to teenagers, hormones are often the cause along with medications, physical and emotional stress, bacteria, and contact irritation.

There is another reason of acne breakthrough in both teens and adults. – It could be an early sign of developing diabetes. When you are healthy, insulin – a hormone produced by the pancreas – helps glucose (blood sugar) get from the blood into the body’s cells to produce energy. However, if you suffer from prediabetes or diabetes, the body is unable to produce energy from blood sugar because either, in case of Type-1 diabetes, there is not enough insulin present in the body or, in case of Type-2 diabetes, insulin does not function properly.

Type-1 diabetes can often cause dry skin, triggered by dehydration that happens due to elimination of excess sugar in urine. Dry skin can make your pores break open, which allows acne causing bacteria get deep into the skin. Besides, dry skin can trigger the production of more sebum in your skin, which is a very common cause of acne.

If you have Type-2 diabetes and insulin cannot be processed properly, your body becomes overloaded with glucose. When that happens, your pancreas works overtime to produce more insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) to compensate for insulin inefficiency and restore blood sugar levels. Consequently, when your body is dealing with too much IGF-1 or insulin, it starts producing an excessive amount of androgen hormones, which in its turn leads to overproduction of sebum, opening up the door to acne.

This cause and effect situation represents a very unpleasant domino effect. – If you leave your pre-diabetes or diabetes unattended, it may lead to insulin resistance. That means that it will take much more insulin to restore normal blood sugar levels than it did before. Your body will react with highly increased production of insulin and androgen, which may give you a quite severe acne outbreak.

Thankfully, a proper diet can improve the acne situation or even help you avoid it altogether. First of all, reduce the amount of processed sugar you consume. Keep an eye on the nutrition labels before you buy any kind of food. On the other hand, complex sugars that are present in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, are accompanied by fiber and because of that they take much longer to break down, keeping the risk of blood sugar spikes low.

Give preference to the foods with low Glycemic Index (GI) score. It sounds like limiting yourself a lot, but in reality, there are many choices out there that fit into this category, including rolled oats, whole grain bread, almond milk, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, kidney beans, cherries, plums, and more.

Slow down on dairy products. Not only they are often high in sugar, but also increase inflammation and production of IGF-1, meaning high chance of acne. Instead, enrich your diet with protein. Food that is rich in protein, such as beans, eggs, and nuts, simply keeps you full.


Acne is an extremely common skin condition. Although for most people it is usually associated with adolescence, for people with diabetes it can be a serious issue that can persist for a prolonged period of time. However, acne can be successfully conquered with diabetes management. In particular, proper adjustments to your diet can make a difference and even eliminate the issue completely.
Best Curry for People with Diabetes – Everything You Need to Know
Read Next > 
Best Curry for People with Diabetes – Everything You Need to Know
Next > 

AS SEEN ON

AS SEEN ON

Do you have any questions about your diabetes condition or general questions about diabetes? You can now post those questions in DiabetesIQ Forum and have our diabetes experts answer your questions for FREE! Yes, there is absolutely no catch! - Registration only takes a few seconds and it's FREE. No credit card needed. You can ask any number of diabetes questions, all for FREE! Register today and join the conversation!

Find Best Doctors Near You
Latest In Forums
Latest In Forums
Topic Started By Posts Last Poster
Have high risk of diabetes, need advice
January 22, 2021 at 7:13 PM
dave
2
June 23, 2021 at 2:07 AM
ShimaRDN
Have high risk of diabetes, need advice
January 22, 2021 at 7:13 PM
dave
I have LADA. Any advice?
January 18, 2021 at 11:21 PM
freddie_57
1
January 18, 2021 at 11:21 PM
freddie_57
I have LADA. Any advice?
January 18, 2021 at 11:21 PM
freddie_57
Sugar numbers jump
January 16, 2021 at 8:11 PM
alexrod
1
January 16, 2021 at 8:11 PM
alexrod
Sugar numbers jump
January 16, 2021 at 8:11 PM
alexrod
High blood test results - what to do?
January 15, 2021 at 1:16 PM
mike22
1
January 15, 2021 at 1:16 PM
mike22
High blood test results - what to do?
January 15, 2021 at 1:16 PM
mike22
Why my sugar jumped so high?
January 14, 2021 at 8:03 AM
jack5
1
January 14, 2021 at 8:03 AM
jack5
Why my sugar jumped so high?
January 14, 2021 at 8:03 AM
jack5
How to push my sugar down?
January 14, 2021 at 5:28 PM
frankie_a
1
January 14, 2021 at 5:28 PM
frankie_a
How to push my sugar down?
January 14, 2021 at 5:28 PM
frankie_a
Explain my test results
January 13, 2021 at 7:51 AM
johnny11932
1
January 13, 2021 at 7:51 AM
johnny11932
Explain my test results
January 13, 2021 at 7:51 AM
johnny11932
What burning off insulin means?
January 13, 2021 at 4:14 PM
sammy_v
1
January 13, 2021 at 4:14 PM
sammy_v
What burning off insulin means?
January 13, 2021 at 4:14 PM
sammy_v
What's the experinece of using a pump?
January 13, 2021 at 11:51 PM
ali27
1
January 13, 2021 at 11:51 PM
ali27
What's the experinece of using a pump?
January 13, 2021 at 11:51 PM
ali27
When my blood sugar will start going down?
January 12, 2021 at 10:10 PM
a_lawrence
1
January 12, 2021 at 10:10 PM
a_lawrence
When my blood sugar will start going down?
January 12, 2021 at 10:10 PM
a_lawrence
Find Best Doctors Near You
Expert advice & latest treatment information!
Get FREE Diabetes Newsletter.
By subscribing to our newsletter, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Featured Products

Featured Products

LifeScan OneTouch Ultra Blue Test Strips, 100/bx

Sharps-A-Gator Tortuous Path Sharp Containers, 5 Quart, Red, 30/cs

Arkray Glucocard Vital Blood Glucose Meter Kit

Featured Diabetic-Friendly Recipes

Featured Diabetic-Friendly Recipes

Chicken and Zucchini Soup

Chicken and Zucchini Soup

Salmon Kebab with Honey

Salmon Kebab with Honey

Warm Tofu with Hot Garlic Sauce

Warm Tofu with Hot Garlic Sauce

Featured Articles

Featured Articles

Best Smoothies for People with Diabetes – Everything You Need to Know

Best Smoothies for People with Diabetes – Everything You Need to Know

Fire Icon 13,072
Best Shrimp Dishes for People with Diabetes – Everything You Need to Know

Best Shrimp Dishes for People with Diabetes – Everything You Need to Know

Fire Icon 16,207
Best Salads for People with Diabetes – Everything You Need to Know

Best Salads for People with Diabetes – Everything You Need to Know

Fire Icon 12,311

Featured Articles

Expert advice & latest treatment information!
Get FREE Diabetes Newsletter.
By subscribing to our newsletter, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
Go To Top