Yes, food allergies can affect acne. They won’t cause acne, but they can trigger acne or aggravate existing acne.
In the what causes acne page I explained that acne is a result of insulin resistance and chronic, low-intensity inflammation. Please read it, if you haven’t already.
Inflammation is an immune system response. Food allergies activate the immune system and increase inflammation.
Note, I’m using the word food allergies here. But this same applies to food intolerances and sensitivities also. They all trigger an immune system response. Food allergies are just more severe than sensitivities and intolerances are. Most people are unaware of their food sensitivities because they don’t produce noticeable symptoms.
You get an allergic reaction when undigested (or incompletely digested) food particles enter the bloodstream. Your body doesn’t recognize these particles as food (since they are undigested instead of individual nutrients) and treats them as invaders (like bacteria and virus). The immune system attacks, which increases inflammation.
When you eat foods you are allergic often (most people do so at every meal) the immune system is activated all the time and the levels of inflammatory hormones go through the roof. For acne-prone individuals this can cause acne.
As an acne victims you should avoid the foods you are allergic or sensitive to. This can help you to cure your acne much faster.
This video talks more about food allegies and how they might ‘prime’ your immune system to be overactive. This is because allergies increase the levels of proinflammatory hormones.
How do you know which foods you are allergic to?
Good question. Here are few suggestions.
- Avoid the common food allergies
- Do a pulse test
- Do a food allergy test
Common food allergens
Here’s the big eight of food allergies. They account for 90% of the food allergies in the US
- Milk and dairy products
- Egg allergy
- Peanut allergy
- Tree nuts
- Seafood allergy
- Shellfish allergy
From a physiological point of view all humans are allergic to at least milk and wheat. We do not have the enzymes to completely digest those foods. Hence whether you have been diagnosed with allergy or not, you are sensitive to those foods. It’s simply a physiological fact.