Why Does Eating Dairy Cause Cystic Acne?

Does dairy cause cystic acne and blemishes?

Updated 12/1/17. Your skin acts as an excretory system to get rid of substances that don’t agree with your body. For example, if someone is allergic to shellfish, they will break out in hives all over the body but it’s not like they rubbed shellfish topically over the skin. The hives is the symptom of your body trying to rid itself of this allergen.

In the case of eating dairy, it is mucous forming and can be difficult for the body digest—which is why many people are lactose intolerant. For certain people, when they get too much dairy for their body to digest, it may come out in the form of cystic acne (hard, painful bumps under the skin) on the chin and jaw line area.

Why the chin and jaw line area? The hypothesis is that since the majority of milk in the U.S. comes from pregnant cows (and some cows are given growth hormones), the hormone levels in milk may play a role in excess sebum production, which promotes acne. Sebum production is influenced by androgens and hormonal mediators, such as insulin-like growth factors found in milk and other animal products. The consumption of milk, cheese and yogurt may become factors that influence endogenous hormones and mimic the hormones that trigger oil production in the skin to ignite the acne process.

The body may use the chin and jawline area to remove these excess hormones. There are a greater number of sebaceous glands in the face and since hormones are fat soluble, the body will use these glands as an avenue of excretion for fat-based hormones. Read theses 8 tips for preventing chin and jawline breakouts.

For cystic acne, you really only have four options available…

1. Get a cortisone shot injected into the cyst by a dermatologist. It definitely works, but you run the risk of a possible skin indentation. Read more about cortisone injections.

2. Start taking oral medications such as antibiotics or what is formerly known as Accutane.  I personally believe that medication should be the last resort. After all, for some, it can act as a band-aid in that it can temporarily help, but when you go off of it, it may come right back. It’s always best to see if you can find out the underlying cause. Here’s 11 common causes of blemishes.

3. Dab on Anti Cyst Treatment immediately when the cyst forms. This can dramatically flatten the visible appearance of the bump by about 50% more quickly than when using nothing at all. It has been truly a miraculous product for thousands of our customers since I developed it it 20 years ago. Along with Anti Cyst Treatment, you can get three other of my best blemish spot treatments in this Zit Care Kit.

4. Try cutting out your dairy completely for two weeks and and see if that improves the condition. In my 30 years of being a esthetician and skin care expert and working with clients hands-on, I have literally “cured” many of my clients cystic acne condition simply by suggesting they reduce or cut out their dairy intake. I recommend cutting it out for at least three weeks to see if dairy may be the underlying cause.

Renée Rouleau

Celebrity Esthetician & Skincare Expert
As an esthetician trained in cosmetic chemistry, Renée Rouleau has spent 30 years researching skin, educating her audience, and building an award-winning line of products. Trusted by celebrities, editors, bloggers, and skincare obsessives around the globe, her vast real-world knowledge and constant research are why Marie Claire calls her “the most passionate skin practitioner we know.”