Could Your Acne and Gut Health Be Related?
Have you been fighting adult acne?
Are you tired of spending on creams, face masks and ointments?
Do you think you need to dig deeper into the reasons for your acne and rule them out once and for all?
Before you continue, know that adult acne or cystic acne on the skin is not just skin deep. You may have several reasons to give, like your hormones, end of the monthly cycle, menopause, gastric reflux, oily skin, dirty workplace, exposure to sunlight etc.; it all comes down to what you feed your skin.
That is where the gut-skin axis comes into view.
Several studies confirm the gut-skin connection and gut-brain-skin connection. The proven solution has been that when you optimize your gut health, your skin health improves.
In this article, I’ll explain how your acne and gut bacteria go hand in hand to reveal your real beauty.
Acne and Gut Microbiome
The microbiome is the collection of bacteria, viruses, and yeasts in your small and large intestines. These microorganisms are responsible for your digestion, creation and absorption of vitamins, regulating weight, immunity, and other functions.
The microbiome is the result of an intricate balance between the gut and bad bacteria. When this balance is out, it is called “dysbiosis.”
On the other hand, there is the skin microbiome
Useful Resource: Here is a useful link to see the Dietary Recommendations for Americans Issued by dietaryguidelines.gov to review how an ideal diet should be according to every age group.
Acne and Skin Microbiome
Skin, like our gut, also hosts a plethora of microorganisms. These good and bad bacteria are responsible for strengthening our skin’s barriers and interacting with our skin’s immune cells.
One of these organisms is called Corynebacterium acnes or C. acnes. It is present in everyone’s skin, but when certain strains of C. acnes overgrow on your skin and interact with the immune system, they cause inflammation, which results in acne on the face, chin, back or any other part of the body.
Acne and Gut Problems: The Gut-Skin Axis
Just like skin creates a barrier for our body against microscopic foreign invaders, our gut is the barrier inside our body to protect the toxins, bad bacteria or pathogens from entering our bloodstream. The gut walls are single-cell thin walls that allow only nutrients to pass through. Dysbiosis, or an imbalanced gut microbiome, results in the broadening of the gut cells, creating space for larger molecules to pass through into the bloodstream. This is called ‘intestinal permeability’, ‘intestinal hyperpermeability’ or the ‘Leaky Gut’.
A leaky gut is the main culprit that compromises your gut barrier function and lets the bad bacteria pass into your body. Your immune system gets into action to fight these pathogens. This immune response is called systemic inflammation, which causes inflammation in many organs, including your skin.
Moreover, a leaky gut can directly deposit bad bacteria onto your skin that may destroy the skin microbiome and cause acne.
Whether you are dealing with cheek acne, back acne, chin acne, body acne or fungal acne, your gut health is the primary place where all the treatment should start.
Hormonal Acne and Gut Health
The acne often results from hormonal imbalance or sensitivity to a specific hormone like testosterone or cortisol. This increases the sebum production (oil secreted by skin glands) in the skin, which clogs the skin pores and causes acne. This type of acne is called cystic acne. It commonly surfaces during teenage. However, adult women may also face such a problem during their menstrual cycle because their hormones shift. The fluctuation of estrogen levels leads to adult acne and is more prevalent in women with PCOS or those nearing menopause.
Cystic acne and gut health are also closely linked. When our gut health is optimized, it regulates the estrogen absorption in the body and other hormonal shifts. This leads to improved acne and skin inflammation.
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Digestive Acne and Gut Health
Our digestive system is responsible for removing toxins and unwanted hormones like extra estrogen from our body. When gut health is compromised, hormonal imbalances, leaky gut, food allergies or other gut disorders like small intestinal bacterial overgrowth(SIBO) may slow down the digestive system and lead to inflammation on the skin, called ‘digestive acne’.
Digestive acne is directly linked with problems in the gut. Optimized gut health can rule out digestive acne.
How to Get Rid of Acne
- Increase probiotic intake: Probiotics are proven to improve acne and gut biome.
- Eat healthy fibers: Fibers support the digestive tract in removing all unwanted pathogens from the body, thereby improving our gut health.
- De-stress: Stress hormones like cortisol cause cystic acne and many other problems. Meditate, take therapy or simply exercise to release your stress.
- Move & exercise: Healthy activity and exercise are necessary to keep your body balanced. It improves digestive function, hormonal imbalances and mental health.
- Improve lymphatic flow: Lymphatic fluid exists just below the skin. When the lymphatic and digestive systems are sluggish or unable to rid themselves of toxins, acne arises. Drink lots of water, start dry body brushing, walk, jog, swim or cycle to improve your lymphatic flow.
Is There An Acne Diet?
If you are wondering what to eat to improve your acne, you must know what supports the healthy gut and hormonal functions. The acne diet must contain:
- Prebiotics and probiotics
So add more fruits, vegetables, healthy beans and grains into your diet and eliminate junk and processed food to get rid of your acne for good.
Add prebiotics and probiotics for acne and gut support. The best probiotic for gut health is L. acidophilus, naturally found in fermented foods like sauerkraut, miso and tempeh. It is sometimes added to cheese and yogurt too.
Best Vitamins for Acne and Gut Health
Mineral supplements of vitamin D, zinc, vitamin C, fish oil, probiotics, gut support, and B vitamins are recommended for supporting healthy gut flora, skin flora and immune system.
However, everybody has a unique imbalance and requires a different type of supplement to support their gut health and immune system. It is best to discuss with a professional to assist your purchasing decision of supplements. My free 20-minutes consultation can help you find the best supplement for your acne and gut health.
Acne on any part of our body, whether cheek, body, back or chin, results from skin inflammation. The skin’s inflammatory response is triggered by hormonal imbalances or a leaky gut. Both of these are actually a result of our gut health.
When we start optimizing our gut health, we do not just support the gut function but improve the hormonal imbalance, digestive health and several other problems, including skin inflammation and acne.
When you start feeding your skin what it requires, you are good to flaunt your beauty inside out.