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I seem to be reading more and more about how work, diet and modern living in general can effect acne. Personally, I feel like I have a varied, balanced diet. Sure I eat chocolate, some fatty and sugary foods and milk but only in moderation and compared with the rest of my diet it probably only makes up 10% of what I eat. The majority of food I eat is fresh fruit and vegetables (at least 10 portions a day), fish, wholemeal bread, nuts etc. I only drink water or tea (without milk) and I don't drink alcohol, coffee or smoke.

Another factor I've been reading about is how your work/job can effect your acne. I'm a chef, on average I do roughly 60 hours a week, the work's hard, stressful at times and the days I do split shifts I get about 5 hours sleep on a night. The atmosphere in the kitchen is hot, greasy, steamy, sweaty, then you walk into the fridge and you get blasted with cold air. Needless to say I get really bad dry skin on my face from the constant changes in temperature but only get acne around my mouth.

Last year I took a 2 week holiday and I didn't get one spot the whole 2 weeks I was away, not one, which led me to believe that it must be working in the kitchen that contributed to my acne. During the 2 weeks I was away I also ate everything that I wouldn't normally eat, (ie. Dairy foods, sugary foods, red meat etc etc) I just thought sod it, i'll eat exactly what I want and I did! I did put on over a stone in those 2 weeks though!

What i'm basically trying to find out is how much people think their work+diet is effecting their acne??

My personal opinion is that my acne is effected more by my job than my diet but it'd good to hear some other peoples opinions on this matter.

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Ever notice how athletes don't have acne problems? I mean sure, you might see the odd spot here and there but that's normal. No pro athlete has a continuing problem with acne - even the young 17-18 year old rookies. They have pads, helmet/helmet straps - that coupled with sweat - should irritate the skin like crazy. Yet they're still remarkably clear. I have a feeling that exercise and diet play a very important role in acne.

Of course, it's also possible that with their million dollar paycheques, they've used state of the art technology/products to rid themselves of acne, but I still think lack of exercise and poor diet does affect acne in some people.

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I did put on over a stone in those 2 weeks though!

A stone in 2 weeks? That's a good holiday!!

I think everyone's acne is different, unfortunately. I wish there was one answer to cure everyone's, but that is never going to happen. It seems to me that your working environment and how your physiology changes to reflect that environment are your biggest cause of outbreaks. Your stressful job, combined with the long hours must affect your body's chemistry, which may lead to you having acne. I know I had a stressful week at work last week and I'm suffering now. By being away from both the kitchen, and the stress and busy-ness, you removed the factors which seem to trigger your acne. But I guess the only way to totally prove that is to get out of the kitchen and into a stress free job, which I doubt will happen!

I know what MrMildMan says about athletes, and I can't think of one acne suffering one!, but I don't find that diet affects my acne at all. Certainly by no pattern I can figure out. Maybe I need to write a food diary to check. Perhaps you could try that too, and see if you are getting any sort of cycle after eating certain types of foods?

Helen

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