Does eating chocolate cause acne or make it worse?

Repeated studies have failed to find any link between eating chocolate (or anything else) and teenage breakouts.

As long ago as 1950, a study by a dermatologist compared the results of giving teenagers with acne candy bars that just tasted like chocolate and those made with real chocolate. Photographs showed no difference in new breakouts.

In another study, 65 acne sufferers ate large amounts of chocolate daily; 46 showed no change in their acne, 10 got better, and 9 got worse. When the same patients received look-alike candy containing no chocolate, 53 showed no change, 5 got better, and 7 got worse.

In still another study, of Navy midshipmen with acne, four weeks of eating at least three bars of chocolate daily had no effect on skin lesions.

Some doctors suggest that an individual who observes breakouts after eating certain foods should avoid those foods, but allergists say chocolate is rarely if ever a factor in food allergies.

Some people fear the caffeine content of chocolate will keep them awake, but it is minimal, chocolate makers say.

An ounce of milk chocolate has 5 milligrams of caffeine, an ounce of bittersweet chocolate has 5 to 10 milligrams and a 6-ounce cup of cocoa has about 10 milligrams, as against 100 to 150 milligrams in a cup of brewed coffee.