The microbiome and the skin

Not all bugs are bad, some even keep you healthy and looking younger…

The “microbiome.”

Have you heard or seeing this term lately ?

— I bet you have…

It has become a very trendy word nowadays, although the subject was first brought up over 70 years ago by dermatologists Stokes and Pillsbury. They established the hypothesis of the connection between the gastrointestinal mechanism and skin conditions.

The human microbiome comprehends the army of micro-organisms living on and in the human body.  It plays a very important role and a vital part in our immune system, nutrition, metabolism and on the barrier function of the skin. It is directly affected by genetics and lifestyle choices which is why people respond differently to infections and illnesses.

The skin reflects what is happening inside our body. Imbalances are shown often as inflammatory conditions such as eczema or rashes.

It can also exacerbate or trigger an onset occurrence of rosacea and acne.

The root of many skin issues relies on the “microbiome.”

In our society the word “cleanliness” has been taken to the extreme, where we are obsessed and surrounded by chemicals that not only destroy dangerous pathogenic bacteria but also good bacteria, many of those chemicals can be absorbed by the skin and affect the environment of our gut, giving place to systemic inflammation.

Another common culprit of gut disturbances is the over use of antibiotics . Every time we take antibiotics we are changing the environment in our gut, and if good bacteria is not replaced once the antibiotics are finished, this can create a space for fungi to over grow  initiating other health issues such as yeast infections for example.

A good round of probiotics is a good idea to reestablish a healthy flora once you have finished with the antibiotic treatment, always under the approval and recommendation of your health professional.

Balancing the micro-flora brings many benefits to our health and skin like:

  • Reduction of oxidative stress
  • Better absorption of nutrients
  • Healthy glycemic levels
  • Improvement of lipids that protect the skin
  • Even influence our mood and state of mind.

So how to give your microbiome a healthy boost?

Increase Fiber rich foods in your diet

Eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and seeds.

They all contain high amounts of fiber which serves as fuel for good bacteria helping to maintain a healthy micro-flora.

Avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners and processed foods

These reduce gut diversity and increase inflammation.

Eat fermented foods containing live cultures of good bacteria

the microbiome and the skin

Great choices are Yogurt, kefir and kombucha

Avoid taking antibiotics unless very necessary

As mentioned previously, antibiotics kill good and bad bacteria leaving the gut vulnerable to disturbances which in turn can affect the immune system and the skin.

Have more contact with Mother Nature

Do some gardening and outdoor activities. This will help you have a broader diversity of gut flora which can strengthen your defenses.

Relax

The microbiome and the skin

Having peace of mind and taking control of your emotions contribute to a more stable and healthy microbiome leading to better health and  fortifying the skin’s protective barrier and improving inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea etc.

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Thank you for being here.

Until next time.

Dora Salazar

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REFERENCES

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3535073/

 

 

 

 

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