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Probiotics and Acne

DISCLAIMER: This article has been written for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.


DISCLAIMER: This article has been written for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

You will definitely not like your skin broke out when you awake in the morning. Probably, you have tried different treatments and “miracle cures” to get rid of these frustrating bumpy pimples but they come back again. Acne breakout is not a skin problem that goes after a teenage but may persist for years and get worse.

Research showed that there are various triggers that aggravate acne breakouts and led to a search for a good solution to this skin problem. Probiotic is one of these solutions which not only boost general health but also improve skin health.

There is a close association between acne and probiotics as an imbalance in the skin microbiome leads to the development of acne. Our skin contains both good and bad bacteria similar to the gut microbiome, and the right balance between both of them results in improving skin health.

For years, Propionibacterium acne has been regarded as responsible for the development of acne but recent research revealed that this is not always the case. Acne is not always caused by a single strain of bacteria but it is about the imbalance between good and bad bacteria.

What is Acne?

Acne is a skin condition in which blemishes appear on the skin due to clogging of pores. There is not a single type of blemish but different types are grouped in acne. These skin blemishes may include pimples, nodules, white head, black head, cystic acne, and papules. Acne may occur at different sites and places on the body. For instance, white and blackheads appear on the nose and inside the ears. Papules and pimples occur on the chest, neck, back, and face while cystic acne and painful nodules can occur at any place on the body.

Causes of Acne and Spots

Acne is caused by excessive sebum production, clogging of pores, and inflammation of skin. Increased sebum clogs the pores and aggravates inflammation and infections. For years, Propionibacterium acne was considered responsible for the development of acne but research revealed that there are other factors involved in it. These factors may include hormonal changes, diet, environmental factors, and gut health.

Probiotics and Acne

Probiotics are living organisms which may be bacteria or yeast that are beneficial to the body. Research showed that probiotics help the body to relieve various health conditions like diarrhea, constipation, digestive problems, and dermatological issues including acne. The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology revealed that probiotics have potent abilities to relieve chronic acne.

What does Research say?

There is a lot of research suggesting the use of probiotics and prebiotics for acne. The development of antibiotic resistance led to a move toward the probiotic treatment model. Probiotics are considered to be effective and used for the treatment of acne and rosacea. These supplements can be used both internally and topically for relieving various health conditions.

Studies showed that consumption of probiotics changes skin microflora, relieves inflammation, fights toxins and bacteria, and prevents acne breakouts. Recent studies greatly favor the use of probiotics and conclude that probiotics are more effective than modern medical drugs. The addition of more beneficial bacteria to the body reduces the burden on the immune system to fight off toxins and harmful organisms.

How Do they Work?

Various pieces of research were conducted to examine the effects of probiotics and acne. According to a study declared in an official press release, probiotics and prebiotics would be the highly effective treatment for acne and rosacea. The exact mechanism is not known but there are various possible ways they can help relieve acne breakouts.

May Relieve Inflammation

Addition of probiotics in your food help protect the lining of the digestive tract. Propionibacterium acne causes inflammation on the skin and results in acne breakouts. They work by balancing the level of good bacteria on the skin and reducing inflammation.

Restrict the Growth of Acne Causing Bacteria

Probiotics when applied topically to the skin or taken orally, they kill harmful bacteria. These supplements fight micro-organisms, restrict growth and kill the organisms responsible for skin inflammation and the development of acne.

Provide Protection from Environmental Damage

Probiotics possess antimicrobial abilities which kill harmful organisms and fight off toxins and environmental pollutants. Some experts say that just like antibiotics work against microorganisms, probiotics also work the same way to fight toxins and prevent acne.

Restore Skin’s Natural Barrier

Vigorous scrubbing and cleansing may damage your skin’s natural moisture barrier and results in redness, irritation, and breakouts. Probiotics help restore and maintain this natural barrier and prevent blemishes, redness, irritation, and skin sensitivity.

Improve Gut, Brain, and Skin Health

Various studies showed that there is a connection between what happens in the gut and brain affects the skin. Harmful toxins and microorganisms present in the body may stimulate the immune system to fight against these toxins. This immune response to harmful microbes produces inflammation and other skin conditions. Probiotics when used topically, internally or both help relieve inflammation and decrease the incidence of acne breakouts.

Help Manage Effects of Stress

Did you hear about the gut-skin-brain axis? There is a link between gut, brain and skin health. Mental health conditions like stress, anxiety, and depression contribute to the development of acne. In response to stress, cortisol levels are increased which bind to receptors in the skin and increase sebum production.

Chronic stress also affects digestive health, increases intestinal permeability, and causes inflammation leading to the development of acne. Consumption of probiotics reduces stress and improves gut health which lowers the incidence of skin problems including acne, eczema, and dermatitis.

How To Use Probiotics?

We know that there are two ways of using probiotics for improving skin health. These methods include oral intake and topical application to the skin. You can eat or drink probiotic supplements which may help relieve inflammation in the gut as well as skin.

Another effective way to use probiotics is to use them in your skincare routine. Most cleansers, moisturizers, serums, oil, and face masks contain probiotics that balance the skin microflora and prevent acne.

Bottom Line

Probiotics are live organism including bacteria and yeast which benefits the body’s general health.  They can be used internally or topically to improve skin health. Probiotics balance the normal microflora of the body, reduce inflammation and prevent acne and eczema. Studies showed that probiotic supplements are more effective than antibiotics in treating skin conditions.

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