Milk consumption and acne in teenaged boys

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008 May;58(5):787-93. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2007.08.049. Epub 2008 Jan 14.


Objective: We sought to examine the association between dietary dairy intake and teenaged acne among boys.

Methods: This was a prospective cohort study. We studied 4273 boys, members of a prospective cohort study of youths and of lifestyle factors, who reported dietary intake on up to 3 food frequency questionnaires from 1996 to 1998 and teenaged acne in 1999. We computed multivariate prevalence ratios and 95% confidence intervals for acne.

Results: After adjusting for age at baseline, height, and energy intake, the multivariate prevalence ratios (95% confidence interval; P value for test of trend) for acne comparing highest (>2 servings/d) with lowest (<1/wk) intake categories in 1996 were 1.16 (1.01, 1.34; 0.77) for total milk, 1.10 (0.94, 1.28; 0.83) for whole/2% milk, 1.17 (0.99, 1.39; 0.08) for low-fat (1%) milk, and 1.19 (1.01, 1.40; 0.02) for skim milk.

Limitations: Not all members of the cohort responded to the questionnaire. Acne assessment was by self-report and boys whose symptoms might have been part of an underlying disorder were not excluded. We did not adjust for steroid use and other lifestyle factors that may affect occurrence of acne.

Conclusion: We found a positive association between intake of skim milk and acne. This finding suggests that skim milk contains hormonal constituents, or factors that influence endogenous hormones, in sufficient quantities to have biological effects in consumers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / epidemiology
  • Acne Vulgaris / etiology*
  • Adolescent
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Milk / adverse effects*
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies