Acne after going vegetarian - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 12-10-2016, 10:56 PM
Join Date: Dec 2016
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Acne after going vegetarian

Hello everyone!

So, I have had moderate to severe acne since I quit meat. It was, like, a right-after effect. Three weeks without meat and BAM, zits and pimples everywhere on my face. EVERYWHERE. Got my skin more oily than EVER, Eating soy didn't help, it made it worse.

So I went to derms, nutritionists, homeopathic doctors and nothing ever seemed to work until I went on accutane and then, only then it worked. But after a year it's all back. I did an experiment where I ate chicken and fish and during that time not even ONE breakout (that after FOUR years of not consuming meat (at all) and milk and eggs (directly)).

Any ideas about what might be the case here?
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#2 Old 12-11-2016, 12:11 AM
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Do you eat a lot of dairy (cheese)? I've heard it can cause acne. Maybe too many processed foods and not enough vegetables? Not drinking enough water?

I have never had any acne problems, and I eat soy regularly, so hard for me to guess.

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#3 Old 12-11-2016, 02:54 AM
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I have bad acne too, I don't know if it's related to me being vegetarian (as I am vegetarian since I am 11 years old so I didn't have acne at that point) but I have also heard about dairy products causing skin problems/acne because of the growth hormones they contain.
I started a few days ago with cutting dairy products out of my diet just to try out if my skin gets better from that - maybe you should try that too!

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#4 Old 12-12-2016, 12:10 PM
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I have terrible acne and I don't eat cow's milk (allergy), only goat's milk. I find using a mix of animal-friendly skin care products to be helpful. Pacifica's products and Alba's Acnedote line are good.
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#5 Old 01-17-2017, 12:11 AM
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Do you consume loads of products from peanuts? They can cause ances. Or high salt intake may be your reason. Limiting your salt intake (iodized) is a good idea as studies indicate that many people suffering from acne have increased iodine levels in their blood during acne break-outs. Dairy should also be stayed away.
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#6 Old 01-17-2017, 04:01 AM
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Could soy cause an extreme bout of acne after turning vegetarian/vegan? Especially on the jaw/neckline?
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#7 Old 01-18-2017, 08:55 AM
Join Date: Oct 2016
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Originally Posted by KayeMelanson View Post
Could soy cause an extreme bout of acne after turning vegetarian/vegan? Especially on the jaw/neckline?
To me that seems very unlikely. I do not consume soy at all and I am currently battling a very extreme case of acne on the jaw/neckline which started about a month ago. But who knows, maybe you have an allergy to it, if so, then eliminating the soy from your diet would give you a chance to see if your face clears up.
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#8 Old 01-18-2017, 09:08 AM
Join Date: Oct 2016
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Ever since I became a vegetarian the acne on my cheeks has just about disappeared. However, I started getting acne on my forehead and on my jaw and it got really bad about a month ago, but it is getting better. Despite that, my face has become SO oily that it is shiny all day! My skin was never as oily as it is now, as in I will exfoliate my face while in the shower, and even while just cleaned, my face will be shiny but dry and then throughout the day the oil just shows up.

You've been experiencing this for years, but for me it's only been 6 months since I became a vegetarian so this really is a big mystery to me especially since soy has made it worse for you and for others soy is not an issue. There has to be something we all have in common that is causing the increase in acne and oil production on our faces.
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#9 Old 01-19-2017, 03:40 AM
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Thank you.....I will try that.


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#10 Old 01-19-2017, 11:57 AM
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The American Academy of Dermatology has specifically addressed the link between diet and acne. Please see this press release from them, dated Februrary 5, 2013:

The American Academy of Dermatology states that:

1. There is evidence that high glycemic-index foods (white bread, chips, white potatoes, refined grain foods) contribute to acne risk / severity.

2. There is weaker evidence that dairy products contribute to acne risk / severity.

The American Academy of Dermatology hasn't made any statement linking acne with vegetarian / vegan diets, meat, or soy foods.

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Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization

Last edited by David3; 01-19-2017 at 12:00 PM.
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#11 Old 01-19-2017, 12:11 PM
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Very useful post David.
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