Corn allergy: Acne

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Even though corn allergy is not considered as a typical food allergy, it can trigger similar symptoms just like with other food-related allergies. It is important to note that corn is hard to avoid since it is present in various processed and pre-packed foods in the form of corn syrup which is a sweetener. Corn allergy can trigger skin inflammation that increases the risk for developing acne. If the individual suffers from undesirable side effects after eating products that contain corn, a doctor should be consulted if testing is required.

What is the exact cause?

Corn allergy is triggered by an erroneous response by the immune system. The proteins present in corn causes the immune system to react in a same way it would to a virus. The IgE antibodies are generated and released in the bloodstream to fight off the corn proteins. The antibodies cause the mast cells to produce various chemicals including histamine which is responsible for the common allergy symptoms. The hormone causes inflammation and irritation in different parts of the body.

What are the signs and symptoms?

The typical symptoms of corn allergy include irritation of the skin, nasal congestion, digestive issues and asthma. The skin irritation can cause an outbreak of hives or eczema which is a highly itchy rash that causes skin inflammation. The digestive issues include diarrhea, bloating, vomiting and nausea.

The nasal congestion can lead to sneezing, runny nose and sinus pressure. As for the asthma symptoms from corn allergy, it includes chest pain, shortness of breath and coughing.

An injection of epinephrine is required in order to counteract the symptoms.

Acne considerations

Food allergies might be one of the common triggers for increased acne. The connection between corn allergy and acne is the irritation, inflammation and increased toxins on the surface of the skin during an allergic reaction to corn. Remember that not all acne are triggered by an allergy to corn and requires proper evaluation by a dermatologist.


An effective way to manage corn-related allergy is to avoid consumption of corn products. It is important to note that corn is present in various items that might not be evident such as cornmeal, caramel coloring, maize, baking powder, sorbitol and confectioner’s sugar. Minor allergy symptoms from a corn allergy might be managed with antihistamines, but they are not effective in treating acne.

Corn allergy can lead to anaphylactic shock which is a severe allergic reaction can be life-threatening if not treated properly. If the individual experiences the common symptoms of anaphylactic shock such a drop in the blood pressure, mental confusion, lightheadedness, rapid heart rate or flushing of the skin, call for emergency assistance right away. An injection of epinephrine is required in order to counteract the symptoms. Once a shot is given, bring the individual to the nearest emergency department for further care.

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