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"Is eating too much red meat causing my pimples?"

ZocdocAnswersIs eating too much red meat causing my pimples?


I eat a lot of red meat for the protein because I work out a lot. But now I'm getting pimples on my face, my neck, and back. Is the red meat causing this?


Acne or pimples are caused when pores in the skin become clogged by dead skin debris, bacterial, and the skin's own natural oils. The pores may either be clogged open (black heads, open comedones), or completely closed off (white heads, closed comedones). Regardless, the two mechanisms that primarily contribute to the formation of acne are local skin factors (amount of debris on the skin) and hormonal factors (which may increase the amount of skin oils produced or stimulate the growth of the bacteria). As you can see just from a description of the mechanisms of how acne forms, there is basically no clear way that a food product could influence acne. In other words, most of the information that is out there about how certain foods, including red meat, are bad for acne is basically not true. Dietary changes are not a significant part of effectively treating acne. However the fact that you say you are working out suggests two possible causes for your increased acne. The first is that increases sweating is clogging pores; in this case a better skin cleansing regimen should help. The other is that you are taking a work out supplement (like something containing steroids or testosterone) that is increasing your hormone production and causing acne. Most of these supplements are dangerous and shouldn't be taking without talking to your doctor. I would set up an appointment with your primary care doctor to discuss this issue.

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