The evidence suggests that acne is triggered in many individuals by the consumption of milk and other dairy products. There have been a few scientific studies that have confirmed a statistically significant increase in acne symptoms among people who drink milk. To date there have been no double-blind studies conducted to confirm these findings, in the because of the lack of a suitable placebo for milk.
Most of the evidence is anecdotal, though it is very compelling. Doctors have noted a link between milk and acne in their patients and will often make a recommendation that the patient stop ingesting milk and other dairy products for a specified period of time in order to see if their acne symptoms react to this.
Acne has the dubious distinction of being especially troublesome to determine the exact cause. There are many different causes of acne, and what one suffer responds to another may not. So it is often a game of trial and error to determine what works in reducing acne symptoms.
If you have acne and you want to test this out on yourself, it is recommended that you cease ingesting milk and other dairy products for a few weeks and see if your symptoms start to disappear. Many people choose to substitute soy milk and other sore products in their diet to replace milk during this time.
Why are acne and milk connected?
The exact reasons why acne symptoms are sometimes exacerbated by milk has not been definitively determined yet. One leading theory is that the hormones present in cow milk are what triggers the acne inflammations.
It is true that most commercially available milk comes from cows who are pregnant, and therefore are full of hormones associated with pregnancy. In addition, dairy cows on commercial farms are often injected with and fed growth and fertility hormones to improve yield.
Another dairy product that seems to give acne sufferers problems is cheese. But many other dairy products seemly do not have such a high correlation, such as ice cream and yogurt. And skim milk does not seem to make any difference as compared to whole milk.
It is best to test your acne by eliminating all dairy products from your diet initially and then reintroducing them into your diet individually to test how your acne responds.