Milk Consumption May Be Linked to Severe Acne Risk

Researchers conducted at met-analysis to examine the association between milk consumption and acne risk.

Milk consumption may be linked to severe acne, according to meta-analysis results published in the Journal of The European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

Researchers performed a comprehensive database search of Pubmed, Embase, Medline, and Cochrane library and found 13 relevant studies that included 71,819 participants. Subgroup analysis was then performed to study milk forms and milk intake levels in relation to acne severity.

Results indicated that milk consumption may not play a role in mild acne (odds ratio [OR] 1.14; 95% CI, 0.86-1.51). However, a significant link was noted between milk consumption and moderate-to-severe acne (OR 1.18; 95% CI, 1.01-1.37). The pooled ORs were 1.13 (95% CI, 1.05-1.21) for participants who consumed full-fat milk, 1.14 (95% CI, 1.08-1.22) for those who consumed low-fat milk, and 1.24 (95% CI, 1.13-1.37) for individuals who consumed skim milk. 

Researchers noted no substantial heterogeneity among included studies (full-fat milk: P =.248, I2=24.8%; low-fat milk: P =.667, I2=0%; skim milk: P =.214, I2=33%). The estimated ORs were 1.08 (95% CI, 1.00-1.17) for medium intake of milk and 1.12 (95% CI, 1.01-1.24) for high intake of milk, respectively. Researchers noted no heterogeneity in the subgroup of medium intake of milk (P =.114, I2=49.6%), whereas substantial heterogeneity was found in the high intake subgroup (P =.04, I2=60.1%).

Researchers found no association between mild acne and milk consumption, but a positive association between moderate-to-severe acne and milk consumption. Researchers hypothesized that “milk played a role in the inflammatory process of acne, while the potential mechanism remained unclear.”

Related Articles


Dai R, Hua W, Chen W, Xiong L, Li L. The effect of milk consumption on acne: a meta‐analysis of observational studies [published August 6, 2018]. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. doi: 10.1111/jdv.15204