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Is it a Myth that Milk Causes Acne?

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Is it a Myth that Milk Causes Acne?

If you have problems with acne, you know just how frustrating and embarrassing this condition can be, especially if it proves to be a stubborn form of it. You have probably also heard that some foods such as milk and dairy products can make acne problems better or worse, depending on the expert you talk to.

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The Argument for Dairy

Milk is often used in natural skin products such as soaps and lotions because it is naturally fatty and can moisturize the skin and also because it can help to soothe inflammation such as the inflammation caused by acne.

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The Argument Against Dairy

There is a an argument against having dairy in the diet, however.  Dermatologist Dr. F. William Danly believes that eating dairy products might make acne cases worse. This is because milk contains compounds that are similar in structure to the hormone testosterone. Testosterone stimulates the sebaceous glands in the skin to produce more oil and this increase in oil production can often lead to an increase in breakouts.

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What to Do

It is important to understand that while there have been some studies which show associations between eating dairy and acne breakouts, other studies have found no association at all and the link remains unproven. Moreover, cutting out dairy from the diet can cause problems like weakened bones and an increased risk of fracture.  Here are some suggestions for deciding whether or not to go dairy-free:

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  • Try cutting out dairy for a few weeks.  If there is no improvement in your acne, chances are milk is not the culprit in your particular case and there is no reason why you should not add it back into your diet.
  • If you find you are sensitive to dairy, then try to consume it only in moderate amounts. Some people can get by with eating small amounts of dairy without triggering a skin flare-up.  This can help you to get the calcium you need while still controlling your skin condition.
  • You should not give up on all kinds of dairy right away. Some people who are sensitive to cow’s milk might not be sensitive to milk from other sources such as goats or sheep. Again, this is a good compromise between skin health and the health of the bones.
  • If you do find that a completely dairy-free diet is the best way to control your acne, make sure to eat a high-calcium diet with sources such as sardines or leafy green vegetables.

Following these suggestions can help you to achieve clear skin while still getting the calcium you need to stay healthy.

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Featured photo credit: Freepik via freepik.com

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