Food Allergies and Acne

If you have clicked this link, you must be experiencing acne on your face, and you are not sure of the reason behind it. No one likes acne on their face for sure, but acne can be due to many reasons. It can be due to cosmetics, oily skin, stress, hormonal changes, or poor diet. Apart from all these, have you ever thought that your acne could also be a result of a food allergy?

What is Acne?

Acne is an inflammatory reaction on your skin. Inflammation can be due to many reasons, and inflammation will eventually lead to breakouts. This usually happens when your pores become clogged with oil or sebum.

What is a Food Allergy?

Food allergy is an immune response of the body, where your body does not accept a kind of food as a normal meal intake. Your body gives a reaction against that specific food termed as a food allergy. There is a different kind of symptoms which occur due to food allergy, and to your surprise, one of them could be acne.

How to know if the acne is due to food allergy?

It is difficult to know the exact cause as the sign and symptoms are not very obvious, but there are surely some signs that you can consider if you think your breakout is due to food allergy:

  • Do you feel any other symptoms related to allergy-like increase heart rate, flushing, or itching?
  • Are you intolerant to certain food items? Do you feel digestive symptoms like flatulence or cramps after taking certain foods, followed by acne later?
  • You can have a food allergy test to be sure of it.
  • Your body will tell you the basic reason for food or cosmetics, or hormonal changes. You need to pay attention to.

Which food items can trigger acne?

You can be allergic to any food item, but some of the food allergies can cause acne. These items which are linked with food-related allergies include:

1.  Refined Carbohydrates:

Studies show that people who take more refined sugar present more with acne outbreaks. Food items which have refined carbohydrates in it include:

  • Food items made up of white flour
  • Pasta
  • Rice noodles
  • Sweet beverages
  • Soda drinks
  • Sweeteners

Risk of acne: refined carbs in the diet increase the risk of acne by 20 to 30%.

Reason for acne: refined sugar will be readily absorbed in the blood, raising the glucose level, raising the insulin level. High insulin levels are linked with some hormonal changes, which causes acne.

2.  Milk and its related products:

Milk and dairy products also show a relation with the acne outbreak. The researches are still ongoing, and we don’t know the exact cause. We still know that there is some correlation between the two.

Risk of acne: a risk of acne increases four times with milk intake.

3.  High caloric fatty diet:

Fats and high calories as in fast food like burgers, French fries, milkshakes, etc., are known to have a strong acne association. The cause is still unknown; some people think that it is a relation to the hormonal imbalance, but it is still a theory.

Risk of acne: a Chinese study suggests that fast food increases acne risk by 43%.

4.  High omega-six diets:

Diets with a high omega six and low level of omega-three are linked to lead to acne. Research is still in progress, but there is an association for sure.

5.  Chocolate:

Everyone must have experienced this thing in their life that increase chocolate intake can cause acne. Although it is a common thing, the researchers have still not figure out the exact reason behind it. There is some relation with the immune system’s reactivity, and acne comes out as a response to that.

Symptoms of food allergies that cause acne:

If your acne is due to a food allergy, you might feel:

  • Tingling sensation in the mouth and around lips.
  • Itching and eczema
  • Swelling of the body parts, which might include lips or tongue
  • Nasal congestion or wheezing
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea or bloating
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Anaphylactic reactions can include a decrease in blood pressure, shortness of breath, and in extreme cases, shock or loss of consciousness.

Test for food allergies:

If you think you have a food allergy, you can go for a diagnostic test. It is a skin prick test where the allergist will put the allergen in your skin in a small amount and prick it in. if you are allergic to that, a reaction will occur on your skin.

Another option is to check the antibodies against a specific antigen in your blood.

How to treat acne?

If your acne is due to a food allergy, then treat that cause and avoid that food. Apart from this, you can:

  • Take proper rest. It’s time to repair.
  • Exercise to improve your immunity and body defense
  • Antibiotics for a temporary cure
  • Topical medications
  • Drink a lot of water
  • Use good skin products.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Which food item can cause pimple?
It is usually seen that sugary food items or high carbs food will cause pimples on your skin. If your skin is acne-prone, avoid sugars, high carbs, and excessive fatty meal intake.
Is there any food item that helps with acne cure?
You can eat healthy food to help with your acne. Brown rice, fennel, and garlic give a good outcome in terms of acne cure.
Why do I have itchy bumps on my face?
Itchy skin is usually due to allergies. It can be because of any allergy. A condition known as allergic contact dermatitis can also cause acne with itching due to the allergen’s direct contact with the skin.
What is the difference between acne and pimples?
Acne is a disease, and pimple comes out as a symptom of acne. In acne, your hair follicles and pores will become clogged with the oil and dead skin leading to the pimple.


I hope that by now, you know if your acne is because of any food allergy or not. Pick the cause and then treat it to get clear acne-free skin. If you are still unsure, get your test done and then move accordingly.

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