Fact Or Fiction: Does Pizza Cause Acne?

Fact Or Fiction: Does Pizza Cause Acne?

Junk food are believed to trigger skin breakouts, but does pizza cause acne, too?

If you are a food enthusiast who’s been seeing a lot of zits on your face lately, you’ve probably asked yourself this question a couple of times already. Today, this article will help you get the answer.

The Hidden Acne Triggers In Your Pizza

With all the good things you sprinkle on top of your pizza, it can be quite difficult to pinpoint the exact ingredient that can be causing your skin breakouts.

But let me give you a hint. It’s typically the ingredient that’s best when melted and gooey.

Yes, you guessed it right. It’s the cheese!

Cheese, like any other type of dairy, can potentially cause breakouts because of its high testosterone and androgen content. Aside from this, dairy also has an effect on your insulin level.

Both of these conditions can enhance your skin’s oil production which can lead to clogged pores. With clogged pores, you get irritation, inflammation and acne.

Other than the cheese, there are also people who react negatively to gluten. It’s the protein that makes your pizza dough stretchy and sticky.

Gluten sensitivity doesn’t always present itself as a full-blown allergy. In certain cases, it manifests as rashes and bumps on the skin which can easily be mistaken for acne.

Ever heard of the Glycemic Index?

Glycemic Index is a system or ranking used to categorize a variety of food based on their effects on your blood sugar level.

A score of 55 and less categorizes a food as low GI while a score of 70 and up means a food has a high Glycemic Index. A pizza with the basic ingredients of tomato sauce, parmesan cheese and plain dough has a rough score of 80, which means that it’s a high GI food.

Now, what does that mean?

The idea is that the higher the GI, the higher your blood sugar is raised. And the higher your blood sugar, the higher the potential for acne.

This is because your blood sugar has a direct effect on your skin’s sebum production. Once your sugar becomes excessive, your skin produces too much oil which can clog your pores.

Does it happen to everyone?

Well, not really.

Not all people who eat pizza breaks out right away. I’d say there are just a few unlucky ones.

So, how’d you know if pizza is one of your acne triggers?

The best way to validate it is to take note of your skin’s response after eating it. You can also write down the ingredients in your pizza and your emotions while you’re indulging in your slice.

Stress can make you crave for junk foods and it’s also one of the things that can cause acne. So, if you’ve been stress eating, there’s a good chance that it’s not just pizza you need to blame.


Pizza belongs to what we call as “greasy foods”. Although it’s greasy and oily, it doesn’t readily mean that it can increase your chances of developing acne right away.

But, it can still cause breakouts, particularly if you are extra sensitive to dairy or if your skin gets easily affected by your blood sugar level. It can also cause reactions if you have gluten sensitivity.

Not sure if your breakouts are food related? I suggest you try starting a food diary.

It will give you a clearer idea of how your skin responds to what

Fact Or Fiction: Does Pizza Cause Acne?

Dr Kathleen May Eusebio-Alpapara

A board-certified dermatologist who practices both medical and cosmetic dermatology

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