The Clear Skin and Gut Health Connection

Acne is a common disease of the modern world, whether it be on your face, neck, chest, or back. There has been a recent uprising in acne complaints since the start of mask-mandates, and sometimes hygiene just doesn’t cut it. Acne is a multifactorial disease involving excessive sebum production, follicular hyperkeratinization, an increase in inflammation, and opportunistic bacteria. Often, we focus on keeping our face clean and using topical products, but what if our skin isn’t where the acne is stemming from? There has been an increase in research involving the gut and skin connection, especially in the case of acne.

Our gut is full of bacteria, unique to each person based on their genetics, diet, and environment. Our gut bacteria perform multiple functions and play a role in immune system regulation, food breakdown, and preventing growth of harmful bacteria. Orally consumed probiotics have been shown to reduce systemic markers of inflammation and oxidative stress. By decreasing systemic inflammation, we see a decrease in inflammation of the skin that plays a role in the pathogenesis of acne. Unfortunately, one of the most common treatments for acne is oral antibiotics, which can impact the gut microbiome. There are many ways to support your microbiome, and in turn, your skin health. Fermented foods like kimchi, yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, and kombucha all provide both pre- and probiotics. These foods are teeming with beneficial bacteria and also provide a food source for them. A recent study involving 56 patients with acne showed that the consumption of a Lactobacillus-fermented dairy beverage improved clinical aspects of acne over 12 weeks. Specifically, the probiotic drink consumption led to significant reductions in total lesion count in association with a marked reduction in sebum production. Probiotics can also be consumed in capsules or powders in higher doses to help seed the gut with good bacteria.

Prebiotics are indigestible fibers that are fermented along the GI tract by bacteria. This fermentation process of prebiotic foods feeds the friendly bacteria in your gut, helping them to produce essential nutrients, including short-chain fatty acids such as butyrate, acetate, and propionate, which nourish your digestive system. Some great examples of prebiotic foods to incorporate are dandelion greens, asparagus, bananas, apples, onions, garlic, leeks, chicory root, and jicama. While your skin may seem to be the organ that needs treatment, remember it might actually be your gut that is contributing to your acne issues!

Read More

8 Ways Modern Living is Degrading Our Health

Dr. Beth DiDomenico

Craniosacral Therapy as Holistic Healing

Dr. Colleen Hart

Relax Restore Renew

Dr. Colleen Hart