What is the Relationship Between Iodine and Acne?

What is the Relationship Between Iodine and Acne?Because acne has many different causes, ruling out which one is behind your breakouts can be tough. What is even tougher is when you are troubled with iodine concerns. It is known that diet plays a role in having clear skin. When it comes to whether or not iodine causes acne though, there is quite a bit of confusion.

Importance of Iodine in the Body

Iodine is a mineral which the body needs especially for maintaining healthy thyroid function. Because of this, it has an effect on some of the hormones in your body since the thyroid gland is behind the production of certain hormones that control metabolism, growth, and energy use of the body.

The line “take everything in moderation” applies especially to iodine since there are two very contradicting claims when it comes to how it affects acne. The beliefs are:

  • Iodine deficiency causes acne
  • Too much iodine causes acne

This very rarely happens—a mineral having two very opposite effects on the same skin condition. So what’s the deal?

Iodine Deficiency and Acne

The more popular belief is that lack of iodine causes acne. When a person lacks the right amount of iodine in his system, a health condition called hypothyroidism develops. Iodine is the primary mineral needed to have a healthy thyroid gland, and deficiency in iodine can cause this disease. Some individuals notice acne breakouts caused by their hypothyroidisim—which is caused by lack of iodine. Because of this relationship, it is believed that lack of iodine may cause acne although not directly.

Too Much Iodine Causes Acne

This second belief which is the exact opposite of the first one claims how too much iodine in one’s system may lead to more acne breakouts. This is a theory which was brought to life by a professor from the University of Buffalo who claimed that intake of iodine can worsen acne. The problem with this theory is that most researchers disagree with it because the study that the professor cited was a poorly-conducted study from the 1960s which used no control group, a small group to begin with, went on only for a week up to a month, and wasn’t replicated.

One finding from that poorly-conducted study though was that those who had high iodine intake and those who had less had about the same rates of acne breakouts.

So, Does Iodine Cause Acne?

Because of the highly conflicting beliefs and since there are not enough findings to back up either of the claims yet, there is no reason to believe that too much or too little iodine causes acne. What is established, however, is that lack of iodine may cause thyroid disease.

The age old rule to have a balanced diet to in order to have sound health as well as clear skin is what would apply when it comes to iodine intake. While there is little evidence to prove that iodine can cause acne, it is not entirely fair to say that it does not cause acne at all either until further conclusive evidence is collected.

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