Diet and Acne: Is There a Link?

Eileen Bailey Health Guide February 21, 2013
  • There have been numerous theories regarding the role diet plays in causing or worsening acne. It was once thought that chocolate and greasy foods were the main culprits behind break-outs but recent studies point toward foods high on the glycemic index, such as pasta, bread and potatoes and dairy as, ...

1 Comments
  • Anonymous
    CinnamonFox
    Feb. 23, 2013

    I've had acne since I was 15 when it was kick started due to a bout of depression, and since then I've been struggling with trying to hide the blemishes and boils. I'm now 21 and I've finally realised that it isn't just ONE single cause that triggers my acne and that could be the same for thousands of people who haven't noticed that it could be more than one...

    RHMLucky777

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    I've had acne since I was 15 when it was kick started due to a bout of depression, and since then I've been struggling with trying to hide the blemishes and boils. I'm now 21 and I've finally realised that it isn't just ONE single cause that triggers my acne and that could be the same for thousands of people who haven't noticed that it could be more than one issue. My triggers ARE dairy and when my hormones levels change. The silly story is that for years I believed all those articles and writers who were arrogant enough to claim that dairy and diet don't trigger acne breakouts, who has the right to even make this assumption?! Everyone has different body types and different reactions to things. In a silly twist of fate I was reading up on Woody Harrelson and he said that he used to suffer from really bad acne and used to have "snotting" problems and things, and one day this girl saw him and said to him "You're allergic to dairy, if you cut it out for 3 days then you'll see a big difference". He claimed it cleared him up and he's now a vegan. It's not a reason to jump on a bandwagon and assume it works, but seeing as my mother is allergic to dairy, I decided to cut it from my diet. I even tried to work out whether it was lactose intolerance or a dairy allergy, and sadly it's the allergy because lactose free milk - which is still dairy but it's had the lactose removed - still caused me to break out in those painful spots that acne sufferers are familiar with. 

     

    This might not be the best sourced reply and some of it might be quite poorly structured but I'm just trying to get across that you can't assume it is one thing that causes the break out. Mine is hormones whether the hormones in dairy is the reason my skin doesn't like it or it could be another factor, I know that dairy and hormone balance effects my skin. 

    I've read up that some people could be allergic to gluten and I also know people who are Celiacs and they have various reactions to gluten; one of them being acne break outs. 

     

    It might not be a diet issue, acne can be caused from stress, lack of drinking enough water to help flush out toxins, not washing oils away as frequently as necessary for your skin type, washing your skin too much and making it sensitive. It's taken me 6 years to work out what's caused my acne, it isn't easy but I was lucky enough to stumble on a possible rumour that kickstarted a brain storm relating to my diet history (stuffing my face with pizzas and chugging glasses of milk) to realising that since I started university I've been cutting back on dairy because you do tend to stick to the easier and cheaper foods, mainly pasta for me and stir frys. 

    I'm rambling.. so anyway start taking note whether it's mentally or with a pen and paper, and start picking up on little things that could be causing the breakouts. Seriously notice EVERYTHING you do whether it's touching your face a lot during the day, what you eat, your washing routine, make-up, or pets that could cause an allergy. 

     

    Good luck :) I'm not a GP and I'll just throw in that my GP didn't help at all in diagnosing it (they had me on 8 antibiotic tablets a day over the course of several years switching different meds and none of them improved it) But that's just my body type, meds could help if it's a bacterial related breakout :)