Acne and gut health
Your gut and your skin are closely connected! Your gut microbiome regulates your skin microbiome, so disturbances in the gut can show up on your skin, as acne, eczema, rosacea or dermatitis. Inflammation in the gut will result in inflammation on the skin, leading to acne. Clinicians who work in this area say, “You must heal the gut, to heal the skin.”
This gut-skin axis also includes the brain, and can show up as mood disorder. Studies of acne in science have established that acne has a connection with anxiety, depression and gastrointestinal issues. Intestinal permeability (a.k.a. “leaky gut”) causes both systemic and local inflammation, which in turn contributes to skin disease and emotional disturbance.
A 2005 study showed that individuals with acne and mental health symptoms such as depression had low concentrations of Lactobacillus and bifidobacteria in their gastrointestinal tract and also had increased intestinal permeability.
Individuals with chronic and severe acne concerns are at a higher risk of having small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, leaky gut syndrome as well as mood changes. One study comparing patients with acne to others with normal skin health found that the introduction of E. coli into their gut’s caused an adverse response in 65% of patients with acne problems.
However, healthier patients did not exhibit any skin sensitivity to the bacteria. In another report, individuals with acne and rosacea were shown to have an even greater risk of developing SIBO, by up to 10 times the average health level.