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Can a food allergy cause acne?

April 20, 2015 by Works with Water

When you hear the world allergy, you probably associate it with sneezing, coughing, sore eyes and skin rashes, but did you know it can also be an underlying cause of acne?

As it is National Allergy Week (20th-26th April), we have compiled a useful guide to help you figure out whether or not food is behind your blemishes.

  • How do food allergies cause acne?
    When you are allergic or intolerant to certain foods you may experience symptoms such as hives, bloating, wind or vomiting. Eating a food that the body is allergic to leads to a continuous toxic reaction. The immune system fights the food as if it were an invading organism, and this is what can contribute to inflammation of the skin and acne.
  • How do I know that it is food allergy causing my acne?
    It can be difficult to diagnose a food allergy as being the root cause of acne due to the delay between what you eat and your skin issues. Allergy symptoms can show up days after eating a particular type of food. By then, people often do not even consider the issue being linked to their diet. It doesn’t help that certain foods, such as dairy and wheat, are so predominant in our diet that most people eat them every day. Therefore, it is almost impossible to see a clear pattern emerge that links the symptom – acne – to the cause – an allergy to a particular type of food.
    The best way to determine the cause of your acne is to try changing or eliminating certain things from your lifestyle to see if there are any notable changes in your skin.
    Are you a night owl? Try going to bed an hour early for the next two weeks, you may find that this will give your skin the boost it needs. Enjoy one too many cocktails? Try swapping them for Mocktails… Deciphering the cause of your acne is all about trial and error.
  • What is the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance?
    A food allergy causes an immune system reaction that affects numerous organs in the body, causing a range of symptoms, and in some cases a reaction to food can be severe or life-threatening. Whereas food intolerance symptoms are generally less serious.
  • How Do I Determine if I Have a Food Allergy or Intolerance? 
    • Allergy
      If you think you may have an allergy, you should consult your doctor. He may do a skin prick test, applying a small amount of the allergen to your skin, or an Immunoglobulin E (IgE) test to check for antibodies in your blood.
    • Food Intolerance
      There is only one sure way of sussing out a food intolerance and this is by keeping a food diary while following a food exclusion diet. Try eliminating one food at a time and foods will need to be avoided for at least a two week period. If your symptoms improve during this time it is likely that the food you have eliminated is responsible for your less than perfect skin. The second part of the test is the reintroduction – eat a small portion of the food that you have been avoiding and look for your any symptoms developing over the next 24 hours. If nothing happens, try the same food the following day and re-assess. If symptoms flare up, then it is suggested that you avoid this food.

Every now and then you may slip up and find it hard to resist the food you love…if you suffer from a break out as a result you may want to try our daily supplement help: clear skin and help: clear skin MEN, which is formulated to reduce blemishes and leave skin looking radiant. Help: clear skin is suitable for vegetarians and those who ware lactose intolerant.

For more information on National Allergy Week please visit:

6 thoughts on “Can a food allergy cause acne?”

  1. Cara says:

    Hi Im 36 years old and for the past 2 months my skin has broken out with acne. this has not happened to me since I was 14 years old and Im desperate for answers, I dont know what Ive eaten to have triggered all this but the acne keeps coming and it isnt going away

    1. Lisa Cox says:


      My daughter is 14 and starting developing severe acne, headaches, bloating and her eye tic became increasing worse. No topical treatment was helping the acne and she was just ready to give up and took the mindset of just having to cover it up. Since nothing topical was working, and she has always practiced good hygiene, I thought it must be coming from the inside, even though she had what most nutritionist would consider a healthy diet. We suspected she was lactose intolerant so we removed milk, and she started to feel a little better, but not a major improvement outside of avoiding an upset stomach. Then after having to go to the school nurse for stomach pain after eating a peanut butter sandwich on wheat during lunch, we thought ….gluten. Consequently, we removed gluten from her diet, so far we have only removed it for a week, and WOW WHAT A IMPROVEMENT! Her acne has decreased about 50% and the redness from the acne is gone. I have not seen an eye tic in about three days and she feels so much better, no headaches or bloating. All around she looks, and feels so much healthier and it has only been a week. Every morning she wakes ups looking healthier and it is so exciting. Good luck and I hope this posts helps you.

  2. Kens says:

    Cara try to pick out anything new that has been introduced into your life since 2 months ago. It could be environmental (e.g. allergy to dust if you’ve moved), food-related (e.g. anything at all new in your diet), stress-related (e.g. new job that’s very stressful), or even heat-related (excessive sweat can cause acne; for example, new bed sheets that keep you too warm at night so that you oversweat while you sleep). If there are a few new things that have been introduced into your life, try eliminating one factor at a time to see if the acne improves. Otherwise, perhaps consider consulting a doctor if the situation does not improve on its own. Good luck!

  3. faderera says:

    Hello I’m faderera and I’m battling with alot of acne. Infact i have abused drugs trying to cure my acne. And its four months old now have seen alot of doc’s and i was told its normal. Have used doxycline and codliver neutrogena,cleasil…. buh my problem is the more I try new things the more it wosen it. Can staph cause acne and can emotional stress cause it or can food reaction cause it too ? Pls i need and answer do bad. Thanks and old if ure a dermatologist or gyneacologist pls signify I need help. I’m. So tired of my acne. Thanks

  4. Destiny says:

    I have dark spot and I don’t know the cause of it..I have tried a lot of things but it doesn’t help.

  5. Millie Hue says:

    Thanks for helping me understand that being allergic to a food can also cause acne because the body will have a toxic reaction due to that food. I guess I have to seek a doctor for my teenage daughter because she has been having breakouts lately. Knowing that she has an allergy to nuts, I am wondering if it might also be the cause of the acne since she accidentally ate a whole slice of cake which has nuts in it.

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