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Tag: Acne

Gut-Skin Axis

What is gut health and how can it affect your skin?
A lot of the time we treat skin concerns from the outside, but your gut health could be the true key to having flawless skin. When your gut is unhealthy, it can have a huge impact on your skin, this connection is known as the gut-skin axis. There is scientific evidence that suggests a close bidirectional connection between your gut and your skin. This is linked to three common skin disorders: acne, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis.

The Gut-Skin Axis
Many skin conditions are caused by gut issues and vice versa. A study found that a higher number of patients with rosacea also tested positive for a gut condition called small intestine bacterial overgrowth. When treating small intestine bacterial overgrowth, 70% of the patients was an improvement in their rosacea, demonstrating a strong association between the two: treating small intestine bacterial overgrowth alone improved the skin. Inflammatory bowel disease is also associated with a greater risk of inflaming the skin in conditions such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, or rosacea. This relationship is likely due to the fact that both inflammatory bowel disease and skin conditions like psoriasis have similar inflammatory pathways that may begin in the gut. Research has also found that there is a strong association between gut health and acne with several studies linking an imbalance in gut bacteria with a high prevalence of acne. Therefore, healing the gut is one of the best ways to treat chronic inflammatory skin issues.

Diet and Gut Health
The imbalance of the gut microbiome is known as dysbiosis and can cause the immune system to suffer while also increasing skin inflammation. Gut bacteria regulate many functions in the body including fat metabolism, intracellular signaling, and cell growth. When bad bacteria outweigh the good, it can disrupt these pathways and cause inflammation. Diet is the major culprit in a poor microbiome, processed foods, sugar, alcohol artificial sweeteners, and low fiber can all negatively impact the gut. Stress, poor sleep, and environmental toxins also play a role in disturbing the gut-skin axis.

Improving the Gut
For improving skin health, focus on a fiber-rich diet. Research shows that a wide variety of plant-based foods, like whole grains, fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds can improve the diversity of your gut bacteria. For additional support, probiotics can be used to help balance the gut-skin connection, 80% of participants showed clinical improvement after using probiotics as they help boost the immune system and reduce oxidative stress and reduce inflammation. In addition to probiotics, prebiotics is also key for a healthy gut. Prebiotics are foods for the probiotics in your guy; for healthy skin, both are key. Prebiotic foods are rich in fibers your gut bacteria ferments. Bananas, onion, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, apple skins, and beans are all great prebiotics.

To treat chronic inflammatory skin issues, healing the gut is one of the best ways to do that. Follow these simple guidelines and you should see an improvement in your skin, however, this is subjective to each person depending on the severity of their skin concern.

Misconceptions About Acne

  • You need to dry out your skin
    • Drying out your skin to get rid of your pimples will do nothing but scar. There is a balance that must be met. When trying to dry out your acne, you need to moisturize after to prevent scabbing and scaring.
  • Your skin will clear up if you stop stressing
    • Though stress can cause the body to produce more hormones that stimulate oil production, there are plenty of other causes of breakouts including genetics and hormone fluctuations.
  • Your diet doesn’t affect your acne
    • Foods that are high in glycemic loads, a measure of the amount of carbohydrate a food contains and how it impacts blood sugar, are associated with more pimple problems, especially when it comes to moderate or severe acne. Foods that are low on the glycemic index may help reduce inflammation. Try eating a diet that’s full of whole grains, fruits, veggies, healthy fats, and lean protein, ad avoid highly processed and fast foods.
  • Tanning dries up pimples
    • The only good tanning is going to do for your is increase your risk of skin cancer. Tanning and overexposure to harmful UV radiation is one of the worst things you can do to your skin. If you are taking medication for your skin, keep in mind some acne drugs can cause your skin to be even more sensitive to the sun.
  • There is a right way to pop a pimple
    • Popping pimples can leave scars and spread bacteria. Popping pimples can make them more inflamed, linger on your face longer, or cause more to pop up in the surrounding area.
  • You only need one acne medication in your skin care regimen
    • There isn’t going to be a one solves all medication. For example, you may want to pair a prescription topical cream with an over the count benzoyl peroxide product. It may take one or two months to find a formula that addresses your skin’s need.
  • Washing your face more often prevents acne
    • Just because you have acne does not meet your face isn’t clean when you are washing it and washing it more might not be helpful. Washing your face excessively can cause the skin to become more sensitive and more susceptible depending on how strong your facial wash is. Once in the morning and once before you go to bed may be enough but if your skin is super sensitive or you are using a strong face wash, use your best judgement.
  • Sunscreen clogs pores
    • There are actually two types of sunscreen; chemical and psychical. Chemical sunscreens absorb UV light and psychical sunscreens reflect UV rays. Some chemical sunscreens may irritate the skin, causing breakouts, physical sunscreens may actually help kill acne causing bacteria. Look for zinc oxide on the sunscreen label. No more SPF excuses!
  • Stronger products are better
    • The stronger the product the more irrated your skin may become. Be mindful when choosing over the counter products. Depending on your skin type, sensitive products may be a better fit for you.
  • Treat your body acne as you would your face acne
    • Topical products aren’t absorbed as well by your body as they are by your face. This is because the follicles on your body are futher apart from each other than they are on your face. Even the best bacteria blasting products may not do the trick so talk to your dermatologist and watch your diet.