Acne

Series 2: Adam, 18

Picture of Adam

Backstory:

Adam was diagnosed with acne two years ago. It particularly affects his face where he has red swollen spots, often with discharge. The condition severely impacts all aspects of Adam’s life. He lacks confidence, feels stressed by social situations and gets upset as sometimes people stare at him.

Adam has used lots of different face washes and has been prescribed various different tablets. However, these have so far proven to be ineffective at reducing his spots.

Overview of the treatment

The Food Hospital recommended that Adam try a low glycaemic index (GI) diet. The GI index is a way of measuring how quickly foods affect your blood sugar level and their potential for increasing insulin levels. Having high levels of insulin in the blood is thought to increase sensitivity to testosterone, which can aggravate symptoms of acne. Foods that have a low GI cause a more gradual increase in blood sugar and so help lower insulin levels which, in theory, could improve acne symptoms.

The recommended diet for Adam consisted of 25% protein, 45% carbohydrates and 30% fat. Features of the diet included choosing wholegrain versions of pasta and rice; eating more protein and lots of vegetables; and decreasing sugar and saturated fat.

Outcome

• Adam’s skin looks much clearer – his acne has greatly improved after only four weeks on the diet!

• Adam is going to continue on his healthy low GI diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables to maximise his skin health throughout university and beyond.

Adam’s story was featured in Episode 3.