There isn’t just one simple answer. The great debate on what causes acne is still in progress. Some say it’s clogged pores, others swear it’s food, while many believe hormones are to blame. I say any of these can contribute to acne. But one thing I know to be true is that you should never discount what you eat as having an effect on your skin.
I'm not a doctor, so I'm in no position to give medical advice, but what I can offer is the idea that even if gluten isn't causing your acne, it might be worsening it thanks to a little something called gliadin.
Gliadin is a component of gluten and is found in wheat and other cereals. It's essential for giving bread the ability to rise properly, and it's also the culprit behind celiac disease: the proteins activate the disease and the body responds via intolerance and rejection of gliadin (and in turn, gluten).
The reaction? Inflammation.
Distress in one organ or area of the body triggers inflammation somewhere else in the body but becomes most apparent in the skin. In fact, studies have found that more than half of all acne sufferers have gut issues. Digestive conditions like celiac disease have accompanying skin manifestations that only resolve when the underlying inflammation is treated.
The bottom line is that inflammation causes irritation. Any product deemed inflammatory, whether it goes directly on the skin or is ingested, is something you should stay away from if you want to avoid worsening skin issues. If you’re sensitive to gluten and consume it anyway, you’re putting yourself at risk for not only an inflamed small intestine but also inflamed and irritated skin.
Before my own experience with omitting gluten, I didn't know how inflammatory it was in terms of my skin. It wasn't until after I noticed some serious results on my face that I realized the havoc gluten can wreak on a complexion.