Can Gluten Cause Cystic Acne?

by Nina K.

Mixing bowl, dough and a rolling pin on a table

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Gluten may be blamed for a plethora of medical ailments, but the truth is that this protein -- found in wheat, rye and barley -- does not produce ill effects in people who are not gluten-sensitive or have celiac disease. Even in these cases, no clinical trials show gluten to cause acne, cystic or otherwise.

Food and Acne

Despite widespread speculation that certain ingredients can cause acne, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that no food is scientifically linked to breakouts. Therefore, gluten is probably not the culprit for your skin concerns. Gluten-sensitive people may experience a skin rash, however, which could conceivably be mistaken for acne. No matter what the roots of your skin condition, the best plan is to see a dermatologist who can offer an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment options.

Photo Credits

  • Siri Stafford/DigitalVision/Getty Images

About the Author

Nina K. is a Los Angeles-based journalist who has been published by,, Healthy Living Magazine, Organic Authority and numerous other print and web publications. She has a philosophy degree from the University of Colorado and a journalism certificate from UCLA.