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Gut health and how it affects your skin

An increasing body of research is starting to confirm a long-suspected link between the health of your digestive tract and your skin.

Many people know that their acne/dermatitis/eczema/rosacea/whichever will flare up if they start to experience gut trouble. Bloating and indigestion? Better get the steroid cream ready!

This relationship is due to the fact that the health of the immune system is closely linked to the gastrointestinal tract. Many skin diseases show this link but we are only now beginning to discover how close this relationship is.

For example, rosacea sufferers suffer small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) at 10 times the rate of the healthy population (1) but appropriate treatment of this problem leads to clinical improvement in their skin condition. This is remarkable considering how stubborn rosacea can be and how resistant it is to conventional treatments. Another study found that over half of the participants with acne had dysbacteriosis (an imbalance of healthy and unhealthy gut bacteria) and that their condition improved markedly once this imbalance was corrected (2). Of course, convincing a teenager to change their diet can present its own challenges!

A common treatment for gut disturbances and bacterial imbalances is the use of probiotics. Recent studies have shown that various strains of probiotics are beneficial in the prevention of juvenile eczema (3) and as a complementary therapy to antibiotics in acne treatment (4). As time progresses we will likely see further use of probiotics, prebiotics and dietary interventions being used more commonly by GPs and Dermatologists.

In the meantime, come in to Healthy Skin Solutions (or call us on 62956040), where we routinely use these treatments (as well as other effective methods) to ensure your skin is whole, healthy and beautiful!


1. Parodi, A et al., 2008, Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in rosacea: clinical effectiveness of its eradication, Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol., 6(7):759-64

2. Volkova LA, Khalif IL and Kabanova IN, 2001, [Impact of the impaired intestinal microflora on the course of acne vulgaris](Article in Russian), Klin Med (Mosk)., 79(6):39-41

3. Baquerizo Nole KL, Yim E and Keri JE, 2014, Probiotics and prebiotics in dermatology, J Am Acad Dermatol., 71(4):814-21

4. Jung GW et al., 2013, Prospective, randomized, open-label trial comparing the safety, efficacy, and tolerability of an acne treatment regimen with and without a probiotic supplement and minocycline in subjects with mild to moderate acne, J Cutan Med Surg., 17(2):114-22

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