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Acne and Gut Health.. Are they related?

Posted by Melissa Finlay on July 17, 2023

If you are a sufferer of acne and breakouts, I know just how frustrated you probably are. Go to bed with clear(ish) skin and wakeup with a breakout on your chin! Not fun at all.

Modern research is showing that there is certainly a correlation between the way our gut is functioning and how healthy our skin is. In fact, the research shows that 54% of acne sufferers also show alterations in the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT.)

I mentioned in my last blog post about how stress can really affect the Microbiome (our gut environment made up of good and bad bacteria) and can loosen the junctures between the cells that line our gut. This is called intestinal permeability or "leaky gut" and can cause widespread inflammation in our body.This includes our skin. So it's not hard to see that the state of our gut would directly effect the state of our skin.

Inflammation and intestinal permeability can also occur when we consume a lot of highly inflammatory foods. Think processed foods like freezer meals and takeout foods, high sugar foods such as milk chocolate and cakes, as well as any foods that you have an intolerance to, causing an allergen reaction. This could be things like wheat and lactose in dairy products.

Inflammation can cause excess sebum secretion on the skins surface, thats the shiny clear oil that can coat the skin. This can cause an overgrowth of the bacteria on the skin that can cause eruptions of acne to occur. Chronic inflammation can also cause a weakening of the skins barrier cells which can make the skin appear dull, heals more slowly and allows for more breakouts to occur.

So what can you do about your breakouts?

By concentrating on your gut health you can only be doing good things for your skin.

-remove and reduce highly inflammatory foods from your diet such as the ones mentioned above. Replace these with whole food choices including lots of vegetables, some fruit, good quality meats and fish, in particular oily fish such as salmon.

-remove excess sugar from your diet. Sugar is highly inflammatory and will most definitely cause a breakout to occur.

- take care of your Microbiome by taking a daily probiotic to top up on the good bacteria that breeds a healthy environment.

- taking a glutamine supplement can be really helpful in helping to reverse the damage caused by intestinal permeability. If you have been indulging in a lot of inflammatory foods lately, taken antibiotics or been under a lot of stress chances are there has been some weakening of the gut lining, glutamine strengthens and restores the junctures to be strong and tightly knit again, preventing inflammation.

- a good skincare routine is also going to really help keep breakouts at bay. Washing away dirt and excess sebum morning and night is an absolute must.

*** need some help getting your skin condition under control? send me an email or a message to book an appointment with me to get nutritional and lifestyle advice tailored to your specific needs.***

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I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land that I work, live and raise my children on. This land belongs to the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nations, and I pay my respects the Wurundjeri elders, past, present and emerging.