Can Allergies Cause Acne?

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Can Allergies Cause Acne?
Can Allergies Cause Acne? (Image: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images)

Allergies and Skin

Allergies, and food allergies in particular, can often manifest as skin problems. An allergy can cause inflammation, hives, and other skin outbreaks; itching and dryness; discoloration and other issues, which can be mistaken for acne. However, the link between food allergies and acne is not entirely clear.

Allergies, and food allergies in particular, can often manifest as skin problems.
Allergies, and food allergies in particular, can often manifest as skin problems. (Image: Flying Colours Ltd/Photodisc/Getty Images)

What Causes Acne?

Acne is caused by plugged pores in the skin, which can become inflamed. This can result in several types of skin problems, ranging from minor "blackheads" to large, deep cysts. Acne is often considered to be caused most commonly by overproductive oil glands, but the true causes of pimples and zits remain somewhat mysterious. What is known is that almost everyone suffers from some form of acne during their teenage years.

Acne is caused by plugged pores in the skin, which can become inflamed.
Acne is caused by plugged pores in the skin, which can become inflamed. (Image: Image Source/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Diet and Acne

It has long been claimed that certain foods such as chocolate and pizza can cause acne to develop. A recent study found that a healthy diet with plenty of raw vegetables can help improve the effects of acne; another study found possible links between high-glycemic foods and skin oiliness. However, it has not been proven that any food can cause acne directly.

A recent study found that a healthy diet with plenty of raw vegetables can help improve the effects of acne.
A recent study found that a healthy diet with plenty of raw vegetables can help improve the effects of acne. (Image: Noel Hendrickson/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Milk, Gluten and Acne

If you are experiencing severe skin problems accompanied by itching or other non-acne-related symptoms, you may wish to try changing your diet. Milk and gluten allergies have been found to create inflammation, which can make acne worse.

How to Diagnose Acne

Anyone with severe skin problems should consult a dermatologist for an official diagnosis. Most dermatologists are aware of the recent research linking foods, allergies and skin problems, and will be able to help you assess the root cause of your acne.

Anyone with severe skin problems should consult a dermatologist for an official diagnosis.
Anyone with severe skin problems should consult a dermatologist for an official diagnosis. (Image: Thinkstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Do I Have a Food Allergy?

If you think you might be allergic to certain foods but don't know for sure, you can visit an allergist or a dermatologist and request a skin test. They will expose you to various allergens, to see if you have a reaction. Alternatively, you can order tests online that can be performed at home. Knowing your allergies can help you to make smart choices about your diet, which will improve your health overall--not just your skin.

If you think you might be allergic to certain foods but don't know for sure, you can visit an allergist or a dermatologist and request a skin test.
If you think you might be allergic to certain foods but don't know for sure, you can visit an allergist or a dermatologist and request a skin test. (Image: Alexander Raths/iStock/Getty Images)

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