Answer: From what I’ve seen, no.
If you’re new to my blog or are a newcomer to the science of the clinically therapeutic effects of dietary carbohydrate restriction, you might think of insulin mostly as a blood sugar hormone. People with diabetes have blood sugar that’s too high, so they take insulin to bring it down. Simple, right? Not quite.
I’ve written in past posts that reading and learning I’ve done over the past few years has led to me to the perspective that lowering blood sugar is among insulin’s least important effects. (In fact, insulin isn’t even required to lower blood sugar at all. Your body can do that just fine without insulin…even in someone with type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetics do need insulin, just not solely for the purpose of lowering blood sugar. Details on all this here.)
I’ve written articles about insulin as a major factor in the development of gout, migraines, Alzheimer’s disease, PCOS, erectile dysfunction, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, a.k.a. enlarged prostate), Parkinson’s disease, and more. The short list of things we know for certain are damaged by chronically elevated insulin and/or blood glucose (BG) includes the liver, kidneys, eyes, cardiovascular system (heart muscle and blood vessels), ovaries, the brain and nervous system. At this point, knowing what I now know about insulin, I don’t need someone to explain to me why insulin would affect any particular organ, gland, or tissue system; I need them to explain why it wouldn’t.
With this in mind, is it possible insulin is affecting your skin? You can’t see a fatty liver, polycystic ovaries or an enlarged prostate gland from the outside; you need special tests to determine for sure whether you have those. But what about acne, skin tags, psoriasis, and other things we can see just by looking at someone? Could insulin be playing a role here, too?
Tl;dr: If you want a brief summary of this article, read this. And if you have a few extra minutes and want to read one paper that will give you an enormous amount of insight into this topic, read this one. But if you come to my blog because you enjoy digging into the meaty details, stay here and keep reading.