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Food Allergies And Adult Acne?

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#1 chrisrieom


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Posted 20 February 2014 - 06:49 PM

I recently found out after being tested that I am allegic to SOY (4mm reaction) and Sunflower Seeds (16mm reaction) -and minor reactions to apricot, sultanas, mold, dust and horse. 

In the last 6 years I have noticed that my skin is very prone to cyst like pimples on my face, that are extremely painful, hard to great rid of and stick around for ages. I very rarely had pimples as a teen, but I do now in my mid 20s, can anyone offer any insight or experience into food allergies and there links to adult acne? Reading alot of conflicting opinions online, and id like to get it cleared up (excuse the pun ;))

#2 Michelle Reece

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 07:35 PM

Food allergies causing acne doesn't make sense if you know anything about allergic reactions. Hives, rashes and eczema flares when you're exposed to an allergen. The similarities among those three? Redness. If acne was an allergy, why does it have pus when the other diseases don't? The pus is there because of bacteria/"infection", P. acnes or not. What, do allergens suddenly give the P. acnes and other bacteria food? Why does acne last far longer than the allergic reactions, which normally subsides within a few hours? How does acne have anything to do with mast cells?


There might be some distant connection, but I haven't seen any good theories/biological basis as to why that would be.

Edited by Michelle Reece, 20 February 2014 - 08:55 PM.

#3 mrsrobinson



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Posted 20 February 2014 - 08:49 PM

yep, that is what my dermatologists told me too...but after a failed 7 month accutane round (with two doctors who were both stumped) I took matters into my own hands


I kept a journal and started with gluten, no wheat and the results were quick for me...but I was still getting some cysts, and then I gave up dairy and that helped...I still get a cyst every two or three months but nothing like it was before the diet changes


and my dermatologist still says that can't be it, but let me tell you that is it.....and I have changed my diet in general, I try to limit sugar (I just can't eliminate that!) and I watch carbs and do not eat processed food, ever....so I'm eating much better all the way around...


so for me, DIET MATTERS, and it was my salvation

#4 sallysa


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Posted 14 April 2014 - 11:33 AM

I am wondering if that's what I need to do as well.  I've struggled with mild acne - enough to make me self conscious all the time - especially in the summer with tank tops, etc.  I get it on my chest and back.  I have tried everything including Accutane.  It cleared me for about a year and has been creeping back.  I'm 35.  I'm currently TRYING to give up dairy and thinking about eating a low glycemic diet.  Since nothing topical has worked I'm thinking the problem might be from within... 

#5 Talon


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Posted 14 April 2014 - 04:51 PM

I am getting ready to try a dairy free diet - going to give up my beloved glass of milk in the morning and evenings.  I've read good results with some who have given it up - so this 47 year old is willing to give it a go.

#6 cvd



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Posted 25 April 2014 - 04:37 PM

Acne is made worse by inflammation.  There is surface inflammation such as washing roughly and harsh topicals, etc.  There is also systemic inflammation which can be affected by allergies which inflame the body if out of control.  The systemic response can affect the gut and the skin.  Some people have a higher inflammatory response to things and inflame more easily.  By lowering sources of inflammation the skin and gut calm down.  Redness and inflammation in the skin cause a host of responses that can add to oiliness, which leads to more blocked pores and then acne bacteria (always present on the skin) has a perfect feeding place to multiply and cause deep pimples/cysts.


My skin was definitely helped by avoiding foods I was allergic to (had formal testing).  I didn't get totally clear but it helped to lower the redness and general inflammation so my skin could heal better.  


Avoiding dairy is something different.  Yes - some people are lactose intolerant but even if you are not, there are naturally occurring hormones in milk (cows are lactating so lots of hormones present) that can cause problems for people sensitive to hormones such as acne-prone people.


Avoiding flour products is also something different.  Yes - you can be gluten intolerant but even if you aren't, most flour products cause a sharp rise in sugars which in turn affects insulin, and also causes inflammation.


The best idea for clearer skin is to follow a more primitive diet like people do in cultures that don't get acne.  Avoid processed foods, processed oils, sugary foods, foods with lots of hormones (dairy, red meat, etc).  Eat as simply and naturally as you can --- whole foods.  Avoid foods you test positive for with allergies.


This will help your whole body...which in turn will help your body cope with acne.  Some people can get totally clear doing this.  Others (like myself) also have to do some mainstream acne treatments to stay clear.  But I can tell you positively that when I was only using the meds I still broke out.  It was the addition of a good anti-inflammatory, whole unprocessed foods diet that finally got me clear.

Diagnosis - Cystic acne and papulopustular rosacea
Status - 98% clear 

Morning - Panoxyl 10% Cleanser (BP), Cleocin-T, DML Lotion, Physician's Formula SPF 30 Mineral Pressed Powder, Spiro 50 mg (weaning off)

Night - Panoxyl 4% Cleanser, DML Lotion

Monthly - Professional microdermabrasion

Diet - Whole high nutrient unprocessed foods.  Avoid oils, dairy, sugars, bread, nuts, alcohol, caffeine, spicy and fermented foods.

Supplements - Opti l-zinc, Citrical + D3, selenium, D

Daily - Walk, breath deeply, meditate and do yoga daily, wear hats for sun protection 



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