pimples linked to inflammation

Photo: Squaredpixels/iStock

1 of 5
You break out in pimples

You've always been taught that it's a combo of dead skin cells and oil that plugs a pore, mixes with P. acnes bacteria and—wham!—you've got yourself a honking zit. But evidence shows that inflammation plays a key role in acne. Researchers have found increased levels of inflammation at the cellular level of patients' skin even before spots appeared. "The skin is our largest organ, and anything happening on your skin is an outward manifestation of something going on deeper within," says Amy Myers, MD, author of The Autoimmune Solution. If you're dealing with acne, she suggests taking a close look at your diet. Often, an intolerance to some dairy may spur inflammation that can lead to breakouts, says Myers. She also notices in some of her patients that gluten may be a culprit.