Dairy and acne: Can milk be a cause of your acne problem?

Published on: 3 August 2022, 16:04 pm IST

All dairy products do not cause acne but what is it about milk that triggers the worst of acne? Let’s find out.

Manasvi Jain
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Foods that cause acne problems
Milk may not be suitable for everyone's skin. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Are you someone who starts and ends your day with a huge glass of milk? While that is a very healthy choice but if you have been suffering from severe acne breakouts, you may want to reconsider your milk or overall dairy intake.

There can be countless reasons why one goes through this horrid problem of acne. Especially if you are a teenager, this phase is basically a rite of passage for you. But if there is a possibility that you are getting breakouts because of milk consumption, Health Shots is here with information that will help decode the mystery that surrounds dairy and acne.

milk and acne
Love milk? You might want to reconsider. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

According to popular dermatologist Dr. Jaishree Sharad, it has been proven by various studies that milk can cause you to have acne. In her recent Instagram post, she explained how this happens:

1. Sometimes cows are administered with bovine growth hormones to increase the amount of milk they produce. Now, because of this growth hormone, the milk produced by these cows is high in IGF1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor) which causes us to have acne.

2. Drinking this milk leads to an increase in insulin and an increase in IGF1 in our blood.

3. These two leads to an increase in oil production, an increase in androgen (hormones responsible for puberty) production and an increase in absorption of male hormones which causes acne.

It has been found that skimmed milk—where all milk fat is removed from whole milk—is more likely to cause breakouts. According to studies cited by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD):

* Among more than 47,000 women in the US, those who drank at least two glasses of skim milk a day as teenagers were 44 percent more likely to have had acne.

milk and acne
Skimmed milk can cause breakouts! Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

* Among just over 6,000 girls between ages 9 and 15, those who drank the most cow’s milk were more likely to have acne, with no differences based on the fat content of the milk.

* Among more than 4,000 boys between ages 9 and 15, those who drank skim milk were more likely to have acne.

Dairy is a huge part of our lives and many people find it hard to even start their day without a cup of steaming hot milk based tea.

How to replace animal-based milk in your life?

1. Opt for plant-based milk. Plant milk is a plant beverage with a color resembling that of milk. Plant milks are non-dairy beverages made from a water-based plant extract for flavoring and aroma. Plant milks are consumed as alternatives to milk, and often provide a creamy mouthfeel.

2. You may also take yogurt, buttermilk, paneer and cheese but in moderation. Even though these are by-products of milk, still studies found them not guilty of causing acne.

Manasvi Jain Manasvi Jain

Manasvi Jain is a young, passionate writer exploring the world of health and wellness

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