Thanksgiving is around the corner followed by even more holidays. With the holiday season coming up just around the corner, everyone wants to make sure their skin is in optimal condition – clear, hydrated and photo-ready. But did you know that certain Thanksgiving foods can trigger acne? Our expert dermatologist in Boca Raton shares the 4 main Thanksgiving foods that can trigger acne.

Deep-Fried Turkey

Hold Up! Avoid that deep-fried turkey and your skin will thank you later! Deep-fried turkey is a greasy recipe for pimples because it is literally fried gallons of oil. Grease and other friend foods have been known to trigger hormones in the body, causing major breakouts to happen or clogged pores to appear. If you want to have clearer skin and keep your acne at bay around this time of year, why not bake the turkey on Thanksgiving instead? Not only will it be a lot healthier, but some of the nutrients in turkey help maintain firmness and elasticity.


It is no secret that alcohol is the culprit for many skin issues; it can dry it out and contributes to a dull complexion. While it may be hard to avoid alcohol on Thanksgiving Day, you can certainly try to limit how many drinks you have in between. Try to avoid sugary or overly sweet alcoholic drinks or other carb-heavy drinks such as beer. Instead, go for a glass or two of wine or a vodka-soda cocktail. Make sure to drink a lot of water to keep that skin hydrated and bright!


Potatoes are one of the most versatile foods because there are so many different ways to prepare them. Mashed potatoes and fried potatoes are popular Thanksgiving foods that trigger acne. Mashed potatoes are rich in carbohydrates which can exacerbate acne, especially with the added fatty foods they are normally prepared with like butter and heavy cream. Your skin will not be so pleased! But mashed potatoes and fried potatoes are usually the best side dishes of a Thanksgiving dinner. As an alternative, you can try an acne-safe Thanksgiving dish such as sweet potato mash or baked sweet potato fries! Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin C and can actually benefit your skin. They can help prevent any potential breakouts from happening during the holiday season. Our medical director, Dr Wassef suggests avoiding sweet potatoes with marshmallows or brown sugar. Keep it light and sugar-free.

Pecan Pie

Pecan pie, though a southern staple and absolutely delicious, is also really heavy on the sugar. This Thanksgiving food can trigger acne because of the massive amount of sugar necessary to bake this pie. Sugar is known to increase hormonal changes resulting in breakouts on your skin. An excess of sugar can also make your skin look aged and wrinkled in the long run. A Thanksgiving classic that won’t make acne worse is pumpkin pie. Our dermatologists in Wellington recommend homemade pumpkin pie so you have control over the ingredients, reducing the sugar if necessary.

Wishing You Clear Skin on Thanksgiving Day

Remember to avoid Thanksgiving foods that trigger acne and schedule a consultation to get your skin ready for the holidays if you do have a breakout. Our Delray dermatology cosmetic center wants to wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving Day.