Potatoes and zits-- is this a THING?

January 27, 2021

Potatoes and zits-- is this a THING?

A recent trend is tapping a zit with a potato to potentially relieve inflammation, specifically the large cystic acne spots. IS THIS EVEN A THING? 

If we look at the properties of potatoes, there could be some truth to this, however it’s not clinically proven. Potatoes are rich in vitamins and nutrients such as vitamins c and b6, potassium, and iron. Potatoes are full of starch. Starches are known to soothe inflammation while also absorbing excess oil. 

Potatoes contain catecholase, which is a bleaching enzyme that can brighten the skin and lift hyperpigmentation. Believers claim potatoes can help skin conditions such as melasma, sun spots, and age spots. Some believe that potato juice can lessen the appearance of dark under eye circles. 

Potato glycoalkaloids are also compounds that may decrease inflammation and cytokine formation. Glycoalkaoids are nitrogen-containing plants metabolites found in potatoes, eggplant and tomatoes. The specific glycoalkaloid in the potato is Solanine. Studies have shown that exposure to cancer cells, both in vivo and in vitro, inhibits growth of these cells. However, cream formulations of solanine to prevent skin cancers was banned by the FDA in 2004. 

Cytokines regulate inflammation, immunity and blood cell formation. Depending on the cytokines type, they can increase or decrease inflammation. 

It is very important to understand that this is a fad that was seen on social media platforms and not tested by medical professionals. That means you shouldn’t get rid of your acne serums and treatments. These are clinically tested and proven to be effective against acne and inflammation.  

Some important things to consider if you are going to try the potato…

Wash it FIRST then peel it. If you wash it after, it rinses away all the noteworthy ingredients.  Without rinsing, cut the potato into slices and rub it onto the skin in circular motions, always going upwards of course. 

Beware of a potato allergy, which is rare, but can happen due to the protein Palatin that is a major cause of potato allergies.   

There was a study that demonstrated a connection between potato allergy/sensitivity and latex allergy, known as the “latex-fruit syndrome.” 30-50% of people that have a latex allergy will have a sensitivity or allergy to a fruit or vegetable, termed a “latex cross-reactive food.” This is due to similarly structured proteins that the body falsely recognizes as latex, and when one of these foods is eaten, you can develop an allergic reaction. 

Some examples of low cross-reactive foods are coconuts, grapes, mango, strawberry and lychee.

Some examples of moderate cross-reactive foods are potato, apple, carrot, tomato and celery. 

Some examples of high cross-reactive foods are avocado, banana, chestnut and kiwi.




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