I've been gluten free for a little over a month now and have noticed over the past few weeks that I'm having some acne issues that I didn't have before. Anyone else experience this after going gluten free? I haven't used any new soaps or moisturizers so I'm not sure what's going on....I would think if anything being gluten-free would not cause the acne, but I didn't have issues when I was eating gluten. Maybe it's just a coincidence? I'm too old to be having acne! Ugh.
Are you certain it's acne? Sometimes when we go gluten free, the slightest cross-comtamination will then cause Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH) to occur. When it occurs on the face, it's oftentimes mistaken for acne. I recently got glutened and noticed that I was beginning to get "acne," only to discover after 10 days that what I actually had was DH (like in the old days). It's going to take months for it to go away because the blisters like to peel and peel until dime-size purple scars are left behind.
I would suggest eliminating iodine for a while to see if it's encouraging an outbreak of DH (many of us who suffer from DH have to eliminate both gluten and iodine to become DH free, but then you can add the iodine back in later). If it's acne you have, though, the elimination of iodine might help, too, since it can exacerbate acne. Iodine is found in iodized salt, seafood, dairy in certain parts of the US, and asparagus, but it can be found in a lot of other foods, too.
I'm pretty sure it's acne and not DH since DH wasn't an issue before. I was wondering if eating gluten free foods were contributing to it even though I didn't seem to have acne before due to food related reactions. I guess I could try sticking to whole foods for a while to see...it will be tough though since I'm already struggling to find things to eat now and I hate cooking so the gluten-free foods have been helpful for a meal or snack. I'm already pretty much eating a vegan gluten-free diet, which is difficult enough and I'd hate to eliminate even more food at this point.
For those who are not used to cooking, the gluten free diet can really seem a bit of a chore. The one thing you are going to have to learn to like is cooking if you are going to have a healthy diet. Sure, you can live on boxed gluten-free foods, but most of those foods provide you with a lot of new starches you are not used to, a lot of soy which you are probably not used to (and to which you may well be intolerant) and a lot of sugars and high glycemic foods.
I speak as one who never had acne, even as a teen, and never DH (I do have psoriasis and a lot of other skin-related conditions). I have suffered from acne twice since going gluten free, once when I took a sublingual B12 (still don't know why this was, I take B12 injections now) and once when I took a bioflavonaid supplement whilst eating a lot of strawberries and blueberries and that was obviously just too much bioflavonoids for my system. I wouldn't be surprised if the reaction is coming from something you are either not normally used to eating, or something you are eating a lot more of than you are used to.
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Caffeine free 1973
Lactose free 1990
(Mis)diagnosed IBS, fibromyalgia '80's and '90's
Diagnosed psoriatic arthritis 2004
Self-diagnosed gluten intolerant, gluten-free Nov. 2007
Soy free March 2008
Nightshade free Feb 2009
Citric acid free June 2009
Potato starch free July 2009
(Totally) corn free Nov. 2009
Legume free March 2010
Now tolerant of lactose
What other sad could be the truth, but I have one personal experience. My culprit was milk. I donít know what in the milk was causing acne (casein, some chemical, preserves), but it did. Others around me had acne too. When I told them to avoid milk and they listened, their acne had disappeared. I know about 5 people that it worked: me, my son, my sister, daughter of my friend and currently my nephew.
Other thing that can cause acne in adulthood is hormonal imbalance. You might want to ask your doctor to check your hormones.
I had a phase of acne after going gluten free -- it passed within about 3 weeks. It was worse than it had been since I was a teenager...I chose to look at it as my body freaking out in one more way. Now, after 7.5 months gluten free my skin is looking better than it has in a couple of years -- I've actually had people comment on it and that NEVER used to happen before.
So after a few more weeks it seems to be getting worse and I can't figure it out what is going on. I am following the gluten-free diet and am being super careful with everything I eat (I rarely eat out) so I'm not sure what else I should be doing. According to my GI, I have mild celiac (whatever that means) so I'd be surprised if I'm reacting to anything that I'm eating.
I now have these white bumps on my forehead with some reddish pimples mixed in.... As I said in my previous posts, I didn't have any skin issues before being diagnosed, but since going gluten free I seemed to have developed this issue. It's so frustrating, UGH. Do I go see my GI or a dermatologist or an allergist? Or just skip all of that because they probably won't be able to tell me anything?
If you want a definitive answer, you might try seeing a dermatologist. However, MOST dermatologists have never learned how to correctly biopsy Dermatitis Herpetiformis. Be sure to tell the doctor that you have been diagnosed with celiac and that you suspect that it "might" be DH. The doctor will want to diagnose you with acne without looking any further, but you should try to get that definitive answer. Ask that he/she biopsy fresh skin ADJACENT to an active lesion. If the lesion itself is biopsied (which is the way the doctor will probably want to do it), the biopsy will be negative. You'll need to stand firm and insist that clear, fresh skin NEXT to an active lesion must be the area biopsied. You might bring some information with you to ensure that the biopsy is done correctly.
Also, there is no such thing as a mild case of celiac. Either you have it or you don't. Some people don't exhibit any symptoms, but that doesn't mean that they have "mild" case. It's really not uncommon for DH to occur after a person has gone gluten free. Even the smallest amount of contamination can activate it after you've gone gluten free. If you DO have DH, you'll need to cut back on iodine for a while to give your skin time to heal. For many (if not all) of us, the body needs both gluten and iodine to cause a DH breakout, and iodine can cause the condition to linger way beyond the exposure to gluten.