Many people think that acne is a teenage problem only, but as a grown adult, acne is a real, chronic issue.
The main difference is that as we age, we are more susceptible to changing hormones and can become acne-prone at any age.
There are also lots of other things than hormones that can cause acne. One of the less-known causes of acne is a food allergy.
So, the important question, can allergies cause acne breakouts?
Why allergies can cause acne
Allergies can cause your immune system to misfire and produce more histamine than usual, which can lead to the body producing more sebum, and if you have an acne-triggering food allergy, you could have an allergic reaction that ends up with your acne, says Johannes Wald, MD, director of Dermatology and Inflammatory Diseases at Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles.
Allergic reactions can happen when there’s a combination of a food protein with pollen or a pet hair or any combination of these triggers. The food protein can be an egg, cow’s milk, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, milk, or wheat.
If you’re allergic to these foods, you might develop hives, flushing, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, or feel ill or even faint, he says.
Acne or acne-like breakouts are not always caused by something actually found in the foods you eat. Some people develop acne because the body mistakenly believes that certain food items, such as nuts or fish, are a cause of the inflammation.
If you’ve had acne on your face for a while and then start eating foods that you thought would be healthy, you may notice that your skin suddenly starts to break out.
What are the symptoms of food allergy?
Most food allergies can have symptoms. People who are allergic to peanuts may have skin rash or hives; the anaphylactic shock is the result of exposure to small amounts of peanut protein.
Food allergy symptoms can appear abruptly. You may notice a pimple forming, which then grows and changes shape and size.
People who are allergic to one of the main food groups – such as milk, eggs, wheat, or peanuts – experience allergic reactions in their skin, such as breaking out, redness, bumps, or blisters, with itching and burning sensations.
Some people who are allergic to milk even experience mouth and throat itchiness. These skin reactions are usually worse on the face and chest but can show up anywhere on your body.
Some of the most common symptoms of food allergy include skin rashes, wheezing, swelling, itchiness, facial flushing, and inflammation of the eyelids and lips.
What can I do to treat an allergy? There is no cure for food allergies. All people with an allergy should carry an emergency epinephrine autoinjector with them at all times. If you suspect you are allergic to certain foods, talk to your doctor about avoiding foods and carrying an epinephrine autoinjector in case of an allergic reaction.
Which Food Is Causing Acne?
It’s difficult to pin down which foods are the most likely causes of acne, since many of the foods that trigger flare-ups of acne are also linked with food allergy.
Some people have mild food allergies that can be easily remedied with a little more caution. These mild food allergies tend to get ignored by most people because they don’t really seem to make people sick – they just make them break out.
One of the more popular food allergies that people have diagnosed with acne is celiac disease. If you have a problem with gluten or gluten-containing foods, you probably have acne, too.
Other food allergies that are thought to cause acne include lactose intolerance and some kinds of allergies to fish, shellfish, peanuts, soy, and wheat.
How to treat food-induced acne
In order to treat food allergies, follow a special treatment protocol for them. First, consult your doctor and get a proper diagnosis. The doctor can then tell you how to approach the situation.
At the moment, there’s no cure for food allergy.
All that is required is a strict food regimen that can help you control the symptoms. The doctor might suggest that you only eat certain foods on a particular day. Such a routine will help your body get used to the food so that the allergy doesn’t cause as much damage.
The exact causes of food allergies are not yet fully understood. The way the immune system reacts to allergens is thought to be different than the immune response that happens when the body is fighting off an infection.
Some people, such as asthmatics, may be more at risk for food allergies than the average person.
If you have persistent acne, seeing your doctor is essential. Before you try any medications, however, it’s best to rule out other causes of your acne.
But what exactly is food-induced acne, anyway? This condition refers to inflammatory acne – acne that occurs from eating certain foods.
According to WebMD, food allergies can trigger inflammation of the skin, which leads to acne.
It’s a good idea to contact your doctor if you have had symptoms of these sorts of skin problems in the past and if you don’t feel well or are tired during the day.
There are a few things that you can do to prevent food allergy-induced acne, but there’s not a lot you can do about it once you’ve had an outbreak. You can eat only a limited number of foods that are deemed safe for you to eat, and you should avoid eating any products that are known to cause an allergic reaction.
These days, many people are focusing on what’s going on in their stomachs, and less on what’s going on in their heads. The truth is, there are a lot of things that affect our bodies that we’re not even aware of. If you have any concerns about your acne or skin in general, it’s a good idea to see your doctor determine if there’s something else going on that should be taken into consideration.
One more thing. Swollen or red pimples on the face or other parts of the body are generally caused by a pimple-causing virus or bacteria, but not by an allergy. You can use an over-the-counter (OTC) anti-itch cream to relieve the inflammation and any pain from the pimple.