Can Your Gut Health Impact Your Skin?

When you think of ways to keep your skin healthy, you probably think about improving it from the outside. What you eat and the quality of your gut microbiome can impact the health of your skin. Keep reading to learn more! 

What is Gut Health?

The gastrointestinal tract begins with your mouth and throat. Food moves into your stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. Your gut is responsible for processing all the nutrients you put into your body. It has the largest amount of bacteria found in the body. Generally, a healthy gut will have lots of good bacteria. If your gut has an imbalance or large quantities of bad bacteria, this can cause a variety of skin and health problems.

How Gut Health Affects Your Skin

Your body has what’s called a gut-skin axis. An unhealthy gut can cause irritation, breakouts, redness, aging signs, and skin sensitivity. Your gut plays a critical role in your immune system. When you have too much bad bacteria, your body releases cytokines, which are essential for your immune function. However, they also cause inflammation in the body, including your skin. 

The Research

The gut-skin axis has been confirmed with research. One study discovered that people with rosacea were 10 times more likely to have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth(SIBO), compared to those who didn’t have rosacea. When the SIBO was corrected, rosacea was eliminated.

Other studies have shown that people who have inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease are at a greater risk of skin conditions. In 2012, a study revealed that treating psoriasis with medication can also reduce the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.

Poor gut health and the inflammation it causes reduce the amount of naturally occurring peptides, which are antibacterial. This is the skin’s first defense against irritation and infection. This can exacerbate the problems triggered by inflammation in the skin.

Signs of Poor Gut Health

The most obvious signs of poor gut health are symptoms in the gut itself. An upset stomach, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or IBS can indicate a gut imbalance. Fatigue, particularly chronic fatigue, may also be caused by problems in your gut.

You may also have weight changes. Some people with poor gut health have unexplained weight loss, while others gain pounds that they find extremely difficult to lose.

Your skin can also reveal your gut health. If you have eczema, dry skin, acne, skin inelasticity, rapid aging, or other skin problems, the cause may be poor gut health.

Improving Skin Health Through Your Gut

Since your gut can cause skin problems, improving your gut health can also improve your skin.

Your early gut health is determined by genetics. However, as you age, the food you eat, antibiotics, environment, and lifestyle can all affect your gut health.

Probiotics are the most popular way to improve your gut health. Probiotics are the good bacteria that are found in your gut. Consuming probiotic-rich foods or taking probiotic supplements can increase the amount of good bacteria in your gut.

Lifestyle changes, including drinking water, getting enough sleep, and exercising can also improve your gut health. As one of the best dermatologists in Southampton, PA, we’re more than happy to make recommendations to improve your skin through your gut! 

Dermatology at Pennsylvania Dermatology Specialists

If you need dermatology services in Bucks County, PA, contact us at Pennsylvania Dermatology Specialists. We offer medical and cosmetic dermatology services to treat a wide variety of issues.

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