Acne breakouts from natural probiotics?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 28, 2012 at 6:01 PM

I have acne, one of the many things I'm hoping to treat on my diet.

However, I'm concerned that probiotics can cause acne breakouts.

Ive read that natural sources like non-dairy kefir don't cause as many breakouts as supplement probiotics in a pill.

Does anybody have experience with this?

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2 Answers


on December 09, 2012
at 04:53 AM

There are a few ways in which natural probiotics might contribute to a skin issue.

For one thing, if you have an overgrowth of bacteria in your small intestine, probiotics (especially lactic acid bacteria) could exacerbate this. Of course, you should get tested for SIBO if you suspect that you have it.

Probiotic (i.e. fermented) foods often contain histamine and tyramine. These are most often implicated in migraine issues, but Chris Kresser has found in his practice that skin issues sometimes respond to restricting these two along with arginine. Probiotic pills probably don't contain much tyramine or histamine, but fermented foods certainly can.

Also, some fermented foods are simply made with ingredients that people are sensitive to. Dairy and soy, for example.

In the end, you should experiment and see what works for you!


on October 28, 2012
at 07:18 PM

I had acne for years and my dermatologist told me that study after study shows no connection between diet and acne. My own experience bears this out. I consume plenty of probiotics (mainly in yogurt but also in supplements) and my skin is very clear.

I found that my acne is triggered by my skin being too dry, i.e. from washing it too harshly. Probably my glands overproduce oil to compensate for the dryness. I only wash with a gentle cleanser once per day and use an AHA/BHA moisturizer at night.

A lot of this depends on the type of acne you have, so your best bet is to see a dermatologist.

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