Do Eggs Cause Acne?

In this blog, we will closely examine acne, a prevalent skin condition. The causes of acne, including the role of sebaceous glands and hormonal fluctuations, will be mentioned. The blog also explores the controversial link between diet and acne, and specifically addresses the question: Do eggs cause acne?
Greta Daniskova

Greta Daniskova

Greta is a BSc Biomedical Science student at the University of Westminster, London.

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What is Acne?

Acne is a skin condition that primarily afflicts youths in adolescence and early adulthood, but can appear at any age. It is identified by pimples – small red culminations of skin that develop when pores on a person’s skin become clogged by excessive oil. Pimples often appear on a person’s face, neck, back, chest and shoulders. Although not dangerous, acne can cause scarring and damage a person’s emotional well-being [1].

Causes of Acne

What leads to acne, however, is not fully understood, but it is believed to be a mix of factors. When too much oil is produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin, dead skin cells get trapped in the pore, and a combination of the overstimulation of oil together with the dead skin cells creates a breeding ground for the overgrowth of balancing bacteria in this case, Propionibacterium acnes. This bacteria, in turn, exfoliates the dead skin and causes the inflammation that leads to pimples. It is simply a group of poor conditions that happen to the skin [2, 3, 4, 5, 6].

The hormonal fluctuations underlying pubertal and maternal acne, as well as acne related to menopause, prompt overproduction of oil by the sebaceous glands. The altered reproductive hormone levels that can arise from taking hormonal birth control are also thought to further influence acne symptoms [2, 4, 5].

Genetic factors are considered partly responsible, and data indicate that a first-degree relative with acne increases risk among individuals by 50% [7].

Environmental factors such as diet, stress, and skin products can also trigger or worsen symptoms, but contrary to popular thinking, there is little or no evidence that chocolate, greasy foods, and dirty skin are to blame in most acne sufferers [4, 1].

Diet and Acne

Whether diet influences acne or not has been controversial amongst scientists for years, but research over the last couple of decades indicates that diet plays a role, and how it does so is still unclear [8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19].

Diets high in glycemic load – that is, containing mainly foods that cause the body to absorb glucose quickly, raising blood sugar levels – have been linked to the worsening of acne. High glycemic load foods include pasta, white rice, white bread, and sugar – foods containing refined carbohydrates will increase blood sugar levels.

Elevated blood sugar triggers insulin-like growth factor 1 hormone secretion that increases oil glands’ sebum production, thus increasing the risk of acne and inflammation [10, 17, 18].

Dairy consumption has also been linked weakly to acne, possibly because of whey proteins in milk with insulinotropic effects, contributing more to acne than fat or dairy content [10, 14, 18].

Moreover, omega-3 fatty acids – both in fish and healthy oils – help all those with acne increase their intake of healthy fatty acids [14].

Do Eggs Cause Acne?

The relationship between diet and acne is a topic of ongoing research and debate. However, none of the provided studies specifically mention eggs as a potential trigger for acne. Therefore, there may not be sufficient evidence to definitively answer whether eggs cause acne.

Nevertheless, some modifiable factors in one’s diet can trigger an acne outbreak. High glycemic index diets, for example, are thought to promote acne, as suggested by the evidence of their effect on insulin in the blood, which has been linked to the development of this disease [8, 10, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22].

Dairy products (notably skim milk) have also been implicated, with one study showing that girls who drank two or more servings of nonfat milk daily were 22% more likely to have severe acne and 44% more likely to have cystic or nodular acne than girls who drank one glass of nonfat milk daily [20]. However, the relationship between dairy and acne is not straightforward, and more well-designed studies are needed [23].


Overall, while dietary factors can affect acne, no evidence links egg intake to acne. As with all foods and health conditions, eating a balanced diet and talking to your health care provider or a dermatologist are your best options.

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Greta Daniskova

Greta Daniskova

Greta is a 2nd-year student currently pursuing her Bachelor's Degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Westminster in London. Currently, in her second year of undergraduate studies, she exhibits a keen interest in the dynamic field of healthcare. With a focus on understanding the intricacies of human biology and disease mechanisms, Greta is driven by a desire to contribute to advancements in medical research and patient care.