WASHINGTON -- There's a new tool for the war on acne -- and it is as close as your smartphone.
Researchers at Northwestern University have created an app that enables acne patients to enter certain foods and get all kinds of information on the possible impact on their skin.
Dr. Howard Brooks, a dermatologist in D.C's Glover Park neighborhood, checked it out and says "it's a very interesting app, actually."
Brooks says many of his acne patients come in with questions about diet, and this app provides the answers.
"The app doesn't really contain anything dermatologists haven't known for years," he says, but the beauty of the app is it takes all that information and makes it easily accessible for patients.
The usual dietary culprits mentioned by patients are chocolate and greasy foods.
Brooks says there is little evidence that either can trigger acne --- although any grease from, say, a piece of fried chicken that gets on the face of an acne sufferer, won't help.
Brooks says he has seen one study linking dairy products to acne, and some researchers believe that diets with a high glycemic index might cause problems.
Still, the major triggers are not dietary. "Acne is muti-bacterial so I do believe that hormones and oil play a greater role than foods do," Brooks says.
All the same, Brooks praises the new free app called diet&acne because it tackles a lot of acne myths and gets more information out to the public.
He says a good dermatologist is still the best source of treatment for acne, but some extra information about this condition "certainly can't hurt."
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