This Is How Eating Shellfish Can Cause Acne

If your skin has been breaking out, and you've already tried all kinds of cleansers and remedies, it may not be a matter of what you're putting on your face — it could actually be what you're putting in your body. You might want to start by looking at your diet. Sure, there are some foods that we all know can cause breakouts. You may already be staying away from saturated fats and refined sugars. But did you know that shellfish can also be the culprit? 

According to PRIIA Cosmetics, foods containing iodides are one of "the biggest nutritional culprits for triggering acne breakouts." The iodides (compounds with iodine) in these foods can irritate your skin, causing inflammation and clogging your pores.

Shrimp, lobster, crab, crayfish, mussels, and clams are all high in iodine, which, in addition to causing breakouts, can also create "the appearance of red splotchy skin," nutrition writer Judith Brown explains to Healthfully

How much shellfish is too much?

If you're having shellfish once every few weeks, it shouldn't be a problem. ClassPass's health blog The Warm-Up explains that it'll only be an issue if you're eating a lot of shellfish a few times a week. Not a problem for most of us, but if you're on a beach vacation in Florida or if you're staying in a New England fishing town, just be sure not to have shellfish every time you go get food. You can only have so many lobsters before your face starts to look like one. 

If you have been eating too much shellfish for your skin, you might not realize it right away. Neal B. Schultz, a New York-based dermatologist, explains to Shape, "These breakouts are based on an accumulated amount of iodine over time, so there's no relationship between eating high iodine foods one day and breaking out the next." 

Basically, you're not going to know if your shrimp-eating has gone too far until it's too late. As long as you just eat your shellfish in moderation though, your skin's going to be okay.