The Hidden Source of Acne Surprising

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/30/2023

Let's talk about the hidden source of acne. I've talked to you guys before about how a high-carb diet can cause acne problems. However, for some of you, going on keto and eliminating carbs didn’t do the trick. So what else could the problem be? That's what we're going to talk about.

In this article, I'm going to cover:

Woman in towel inspecting face acne | The Hidden Source of Acne: Surprising


What is Acne?

As you probably know, acne is a very common skin condition. It happens when hair follicles (also known as skin pores) become plugged up. When oil, and dead skin cells, and bacteria plug up your pores, you can get blackheads, whiteheads, papules (small red bumps), nodules (painful lumps beneath the skin), and pimples.

Acne most often appears on the face, chest, shoulders, and back—although the occasional pimple can pop up elsewhere. While adults can experience acne, teenagers are most prone to severe acne problems.

Acne can be caused by many things: diet, oily skin, bacteria, hormone imbalances, and more. Blackheads, for instance, appear to be trapped dirt in your pores—but it's actually oil and bacteria that turn brown when exposed to oxygen.

While some cases of severe acne require the attention of a dermatologist, there are also natural remedies you can try at home. One of which is the ketogenic diet.


Why Keto Helps Clear Up Acne

A healthy keto diet can be fantastic for clearing up acne. But why? There are actually a couple of reasons.

1. Keto Helps Modulate Hormones

When your hormone levels are out of balance, you can develop some serious acne problems. High levels of androgens, in particular, can lead to skin problems. Androgens are male sex hormones, which include testosterone.

So how does keto help with keeping androgens under control? It has to do with Fat Storing Hormone. Fat Storing Hormone is a hormone that is produced in the pancreas. It helps control blood sugar levels and supply cells with energy. What many people don't know is that Fat Storing Hormone is also a precursor to androgens. If you have problems with high Fat Storing Hormone, you can also have problems with hormone imbalances.

What is the most common reason for high Fat Storing Hormone? Fat Storing Hormone resistance.

Fat Storing Hormone resistance is a situation where your cells block Fat Storing Hormone. This means they can get the energy they need. What your body does is it tries to compensate by making even more Fat Storing Hormone—which contributes to more Fat Storing Hormone resistance. This can even develop into pre-diabetes and type II diabetes.

This whole chain reaction is ultimately caused by carbohydrates. Carbs turn into blood sugars, which triggers Fat Storing Hormone, which triggers androgens, which triggers acne. The key is to fix Fat Storing Hormone resistance by cutting out the first domino in this chain reaction: carbohydrates.

A healthy keto diet removes virtually all carbs, including bread, pasta, cereal, crackers, biscuits, waffles, pancakes, juice, alcohol, and other sugars. Over time, this promotes the reversal of Fat Storing Hormone resistance.

2. Healthier Diet Choices

The healthy keto diet helps remove bad diet choices. Greasy fried foods, in particular, tend to promote acne. These foods are simply not compatible with keto.

Instead, a healthy ketogenic diet will focus on healthy vegetables, fats, and proteins. To top it off, healthy keto helps you avoid things like GMOs, pesticides, herbicides, and other chemical additives that may contribute to poor skin health and acne.

The question is if you are already doing healthy keto, but you're still having problems with acne, what should you try next? Well, there's a hidden source of acne that not many people know about. Take a look…

Dairy products on countertop | The Hidden Source of Acne: Surprising


The Hidden Source of Acne

What is the hidden source of stubborn acne? DAIRY!

I've talked about how you should avoid high-carb dairy products on keto. However, despite only consuming dairy products that are low in carbohydrates, many who are sensitive to dairy can have problems with acne. This has to do with a few different things:

1. Growth Factors and Hormones

As I've talked about before, hormones like androgens and estrogens (male and female sex hormones) can cause acne. Many dairy products—especially those from animals that aren't grass-fed—can throw off your hormone levels. In turn, this can enlarge sebaceous glands and become the source of your pimple and acne.

2. Lactose Intolerance

Many people have a lactose intolerance issue. An upset stomach isn't the only thing that can happen with lactose intolerance. It can also cause inflammation throughout the body. When your skin's pores are inflamed, it can lead to bacterial build-up. If you think you may be lactose intolerant, try avoiding high-lactose dairy products, like whole milk. Instead, stick to small amounts of cheese, butter, and ghee.

3. Casein Allergy

Casein is a protein found in dairy products. Some people are very sensitive to this protein. This can cause problems with skin inflammation, which can lead to acne problems. If you think you may have a casein allergy, avoid high-protein dairy products, including cheese, milk, and cream. Instead, stick to butter and ghee. Keep in mind that there are also two types of casein: type A1 and type A2. Type A2 tends to be far less inflammatory. You can actually find dairy products with type A2 instead of A1.

If you've tried keto, but your acne hasn't improved, you may want to cut out dairy. For many, this difficult to do. Personally, I'm from Wisconsin, and I love cheese. If you have a hard time eliminating dairy from your diet (like me), you want to at least limit your intake and try goat cheese or 100% grass-fed organic cheese. You can also switch over from A1 dairy products to A2 dairy products.


Acne Results: Before and After

I wanted to show you one last thing. Here are the results of one person who cut out dairy. Take a look:

Acne before cutting out dairy | The Hidden Source of Acne: Surprising

Acne after 1 week without dairy | The Hidden Source of Acne: Surprising

Acne after 2 weeks without dairy | The Hidden Source of Acne: Surprising

Acne after 3 weeks without dairy | The Hidden Source of Acne: Surprising

Key Takeaways

Many things contribute to acne, including hormones, diets, and inflammation. The ketogenic diet helps with many acne problems. However, some people still experience acne while on keto. One hidden reason for acne is dairy.

Dairy can trigger hormones, inflammation, and allergies. Try cutting back on dairy to see if it might be the cause of your acne problems. In particular, stay away from milk and cream. You should also eliminate or limit cheese and switch to A2 dairy products.

Give these tips a try and see if addressing this hidden source of acne helps eliminate your acne problems.

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Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.


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