An app to help your acne?

An app to help your acne?

Acne is a common condition that doesn’t affect just teens and is popping up on men and women at all ages, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).

Now Northwestern University in Chicago has unveiled an app for smartphone and tablet users that says it can help acne sufferers stop the problem before it starts. News about the app was published last month online in the journal JAMA Dermatology.

“diet & acne” is the name of the application available in your app store. The app is backed by research from multiple scientific studies linking the foods we eat to acne.

According to the AAD, several recent studies have shown looked into the link between diet and acne, including carbs and dairy. They have found that more proof is giving dermatologists additional reasoning to look into how particular foods can cause or worsen acne.

“Users may be surprised to learn that there is no conclusive evidence from large randomized controlled trials that have linked chocolate and acne,” said app creator, Dr. Diana Cohen, in a statement. “Although one small study found that eating 100 percent cocoa could worsen acne symptoms.”

The app provides research on the effects of dairy, whey protein, omega-6 fatty acids and high sugar foods have been linked to acne appearance. Antioxidant-rich foods and fiber were found to actually improve the risk for acne.

Creators believe that the app is a great way to educate consumers and publicize information in a technology-driven, easy way to large groups.

“People all over the world are turning to mobile apps as a source of information regarding health issues, but most of the apps out there are not evidence-based, and some exist to just sell a product,” Cohen said in a statement. “This app is different because it uses evidence from a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature and puts it at a patient’s fingertips.”

Dr. Andrea Kane, pediatrician with Advocate Medical Group in Bloomington, Ill., offers the following tips to reduce the onset of acne:

1. Try not to pop or pick at pimples. This can make the acne worse and lead to scarring.

2. Don’t scrub your face hard with washcloths, loofahs or sponges.  Also, try not to rest your head on your hand or rub your face with your hands too often.

3. Cleanse your skin gently with your hands and mild soap twice daily and after hard exercise.

4. Only use fresh, sharp razors and shave gently. Select oil-free, noncomedogenic (non- pore clogging) types of makeup.

5. Over-the-counter treatments that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid can be quite effective for mild cases of acne. Using one product line is important. This ensures that the various steps do not interfere with each other and lead to irritation or worsening acne.

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  1. Katie Renz

    I wish they would have had this when I was in high school! This is sounds really neat.

  2. This app does not exist in the Android Play Store.

  3. I have to wonder if there a charge for this app? Does it include sending pictures of the acne to a dermatologist to comment on?

  4. Just checked iPhone app store — the app is free!

  5. Great tips, Sarah. Is the app available in Windows store?

About the Author

Sarah Scroggins
Sarah Scroggins

Sarah Scroggins, health enews contributor, is the director of social media at Advocate Aurora Health. She has a BA and MA in Communications. When not on social media, she loves reading a good book (or audiobook), watching the latest Netflix series and teaching a college night class.