Is there a link between dairy and teenage acne?

ArticleGeneral, Research

Article: Consumption of dairy in teenagers with and without acne
Authors: Caroline L. LaRosa; Kim A. Quach; Kirsten Koons; Allen R. Kunselman; Junjia Zhu; Diane M. Thiboutot; Andrea L. Zaenglein
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, April 2016


Recent literature has implicated dairy as having a potential acne-inducing effect.


The aim of this study was to investigate the link between dairy consumption and acne in teenagers. We tested the hypothesis that teenagers with facial acne consume more dairy than those without acne.

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A case-control study was conducted among 225 participants, ages 14 to 19 years, with either moderate acne or no acne. Moderate acne was determined by a dermatologist using the Global Acne Assessment Scale. Participants who met inclusion criteria then completed up to three 24-hour diet recall interviews using the Nutrition Data System for Research software and food and nutrient intake were compared between groups.


The amount of low-fat/skim milk consumed by participants with acne with significantly higher (P = .01) than those with no acne. No significant difference was found among total dairy intake, saturated fat or trans-fat, or glycemic load. No significant difference was found for total energy intake or body mass index.


Limitations include self-report of diet and portion size, and association does not determine causation.


Consumption of low-fat/skim milk, but not full-fat milk, was positively associated with acne.

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