“If you want to heal your skin, you have to heal your gut.”- Chris Kresser
Many people are unaware of the gut and skin connection, but most dermatologists have observed that skin and gut problems frequently occur together.
The Gut-Skin Relationship
A study involving 13,000 adolescents discovered that those with acne were more likely to experience gut distress conditions like abdominal bloating, constipation and heartburn.
According to a study report people with acne rosacea were found to have 10 times more small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), a condition involving the inappropriate growth of bacteria in the small intestine. Treating and correcting SIBO in these individuals led to marked improvement in their acne. One fourth of the people suffering from this disease has skin problems, such as dermatitis herpetiformis. Celiac disease sufferers face an increased risk of skin issues such as oral mucosal lesions, alopecia, and vitiligo.
What The Studies Discovered
Another study revealed that an antibody normally used to treat psoriasis has shown positive results in reducing the debilitating effects of Crohn’s Disease.
The test was conducted by the University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. 526 patients were part of the randomized trial and they were given an intravenous dose of the antibody, ustekinumab at the beginning of the study. They were treated for 36 weeks and were given a subcutaneous dose every eight weeks in the placebo-controlled study. Positive responses were noted from the patients as early as six weeks of therapy. There were serious skin infections in some of the patients and this included a patient with basal-cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer. Sandborn, the director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at UC San Diego Health System says “Our goal is to increase clinical response and put the disease in remission to improve the patient’s quality of life.”
Leaky gut or intestinal permeability can create both local and systemic inflammation and this can result in skin disease. The skin functions as a physical, chemical and antimicrobial defense system of the body. Antimicrobial peptides produced in the skin form a protective barrier – gut inflammation and stress are two known factors that can wreck havoc on your skin by impairing this protective function of the epidermal barrier. This, in turn, results in an increase in the severity of infection and inflammation in the skin.
If you are suffering from acne or other skin diseases, you need to consider treating your gut first. Treating the cause is always a better and lasting solution than treating the symptoms.