No one likes dealing with acne. While a good skincare routine helps most people who struggle with acne, some people need help finding a solution no matter how well they take care of their skin. There are many things that can contribute to acne, but one thing that is often overlooked is food allergies and seasonal allergies. In this article, we will explore the connection between acne and allergies.
Can Allergies Cause Acne?
In general, there is no evidence that seasonal allergies directly cause acne. There is, however, an interesting connection between seasonal allergies and acne. Whenever you are allergic to a substance—whether that is pollen, pet dander, food, or anything else—your body’s immune system produces antibodies to attack and protect you from that allergen.
This can result in sneezing, runny nose, eye-watering, itching and other allergy symptoms. Blowing your nose, wiping your face, and itching your skin can all dry out your skin, which can make it more prone to breakouts.
When your skin is dry, it is stripped of its natural oils. To compensate for this, your skin produces more oil (called sebum). If there is an overproduction of sebum, it can clog your pores and result in pimples and cysts.
So, while there is no direct evidence to suggest a connection between allergies and cystic acne, or any form of acne, there is an indirect connection. Allergies impact your immune system, which can result in allergy symptoms, dry skin, and the overproduction of sebum. This can lead to breakouts and acne.
Can Food Allergies Cause Acne?
As mentioned, any substance that triggers an immune response in your body may indirectly result in acne. There seems to be a stronger connection, however, between acne and food allergies than between seasonal allergies and acne.
A food allergy is a food that causes an allergic response in your body. Food allergies are not universal, but are specific to certain individuals. There are, however, some foods that are common food allergens for people. Peanuts, for example, is a common food allergen for many people.
Some other common food allergens include:
- Tree nuts
When someone has a food allergy or food sensitivity, their immune system mistakenly identifies that food as a pathogen and triggers an immune attack against it. This can cause high levels of pro-inflammatory molecules to circulate throughout the body that may aggravate the skin and lead to breakouts, or may further aggravate an already existing case of acne.
How Do You Treat Allergy-Related Acne?
It is important to understand that allergies may only be a contributing factor to your allergies and may not be the fundamental cause. Still, if you suffer from severe acne and allergies, your body will benefit from getting to the root of your allergies and treating them.
In the case of seasonal allergies, there may not be much you can do. You cannot stop the pollen from spreading in the air when it is its time. You can, however, take some extra precautions during allergy season to spend more time indoors, invest in a high-quality HEPA air filter, and focus on strengthening your immune system. If you are allergic to dust and pet dander, keeping your house clean can also help out your allergies.
In the case of food allergies, you need to find out what foods you have allergies or sensitivities to and remove these foods from your diet. You can start by doing an elimination diet. An elimination diet is a diet that helps you test yourself for food sensitivities.
The basic premise of an elimination diet is to completely avoid common foods that are known to cause sensitivities, then to reintroduce the eliminated foods into your diet one at a time and carefully observe the effects they have on you. To learn more about an elimination diet, read our article “How to Do an Elimination Diet.”
Other Ways to Naturally Treat Acne
Getting control of your allergies and eliminating food allergens from your diet can help to alleviate inflammation and may reduce or even treat your acne. Still, acne can have many other causes that are unrelated to allergies. Below, we’ll explore some common acne causes and offer some simple solutions for treating acne naturally.
1. Have A Good Face Care Routine
One of the best things you can do for your acne is to have a good skincare routine. This primarily involves cleansing your face of dirt and excess oil, and moisturizing your face so it stays hydrated and protected.
Cleansers tend to be drying to the skin. While they do clean it, they can leave your skin dry if you don’t moisturize it after cleansing. This is especially true for the face cleansers that use harsh chemical ingredients in their products.
Our Organic Shampoo is an organic hypoallergenic soap made from soap nuts, artesian spring water, and a blend of exotic fruits and herbal extracts. It works great as a gentle and natural face cleanser, and is completely free of toxic chemicals.
Both our Glow & Protect Day Cream and our Moisturize and Repair Night Cream offer moisturizing and skin protecting benefits and can be applied to your face after cleansing. Our Biodynamic Face Mist can also help your skin stay hydrated, especially when you’re on the go.
A good skincare routine can make a world of difference in your acne.
2. Improve Gut Health
Your gut health also plays a major role in the health of your skin. Leaky gut, for example, is a common digestive issue that can create an autoimmune response that may result in breakouts and rashes on the surface of the skin. People that have leaky gut often have visual signs you can see in their face. By restoring underlying digestive issues, you may be able to treat your acne.
3. Improve Liver Health
Liver health and skin health are also strongly connected. The liver is the hardest working organ in your body, performing more than 500 tasks on a daily basis. One of the primary jobs of the liver is to purify the blood of toxins. When the liver is overloaded with toxins, however, it can result in skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea. Poor liver function, or liver disease and acne have a strong connection. To learn more about this, read our article “Liver Health and Acne Connection.”
4. Reduce Stress
Stress is another common cause of breakouts. Essentially, when your stress response is activated, your body releases stress hormones like cortisol and androgens. These hormones increase your skin's oil production, which can aggravate your skin and result in breakouts. If you are suffering from acne and nothing seems to be helping it, you may want to consider the role that stress could be playing and focus on ways to keep your stress levels low.
5. Cultivate Healthy Lifestyle Habits
Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and the health of your skin is a reflection of the health of your body. By taking good care of your body and cultivating healthy lifestyle habits, you will naturally benefit your skin. Foundational to a healthy lifestyle is a nutritious diet, good hygiene, regular exercise, good quality sleep, and proper stress management. By focusing on these core aspects of health, you can benefit your body significantly, and your skin will likely thrive as a result.
Acne can have many underlying causes. It can be frustrating trying to get rid of acne, especially when nothing seems to be working. While the first steps in treating acne are usually around a good skincare routine, healthy diet, and healthy lifestyle habits, some cases of acne are more difficult to treat.
While there is no evidence that seasonal allergies can directly cause acne. There is an interesting connection between the two. Allergies can cause your body’s immune system to produce antibodies to attack and protect you from that allergen. This can cause your body to become inflamed and can aggravate acne.
Allergy symptoms may also dry out your skin, which could lead to the overproduction of sebum, which can clog your pores and result in pimples and cysts.
So, while there is no direct evidence to suggest a connection between allergies and acne, they may still be connected via allergies impact on the immune system. If you suffer from acne and allergies, it may be helpful to get to the root of your allergies and to avoid common allergens. Once your allergies are under control, you’ll have a much better chance at getting rid of your acne.