I would like to discuss the topic of probiotics and share with you the information that can be found on the official website of American Dermatology.
Over recent years, probiotics have become synonymous with a healthy digestive system and aiding in the maintenance of such.
Be it that as live culture cells can be found in some yoghurts or probiotic preparations these «friendly» bacterias can in fact help to benefit one’s health.
At present, recent studies are moving towards or demonstrating that the benefits of probiotics are extending beyond that of the digestive tract and can, in fact, both act upon and benefit our skin. As a matter of fact a notable improvement has been registered in skin with a tendancy towards acne or rosacea with the daily use of probiotics. Being this as it is, dermatologists have important reasons to consider the use of probiotics and a daily dose of these beneficial bacterias as a complement to the traditional treatment of acne.
The majority of bacterial cells that live inside our body are harmless and studies have shown these bacterias to be indeed highly beneficial for the correct functioning of the body. Current investigations are investigating how these bacterias act upon the skin when applied topically or consumed orally. At present, based on these recent studies, some cosmetic manufacturers have already incorporated the use of probiotics into their formulas. Probiotic face masks, creams and corporal hygiene products are amongst other products to be found.
How can the use of probiotics benefit our skin?
- Amongst patients with acne and rosacea the microorganisms that live in the skin are identified as alien to the body’s immune system. This being so, the immune system enters into action to defend itself from this potential threat and this is what disembarks the onset of the inflammation, redness and pimples commonly associated with acne
- Probiotics applied topically to the skin protect skin cells against the bacterias and parasites that prompt an immune reaction.
- At times the substances produced by probiotics have antimicrobiotic properties which means that they are capable of attacking the harmful bacteria and furthermore destroy them altogether. The process works in much the same way as antibiotics work when used in the treatment of acne and rosacea.
- Researchers are now trying to determine precisely how probiotics work and the exact components responsible for the destruction of the malign bacterias. It is predicted that these strains will be identified in the near future and this will follow a commercialization of probiotic products given the antimicrobiotic properties inherent.
Oral probiotics sold in the form of dietary health supplements to be consumed on a daily basis contain Lactobacillus bifidobacterium or in yoghurts that contain live cultures may influence in skin conditions such as acne and rosacea due to the intestine-brain-skin concept.
With this theory, stress and the combination of processed food lacking in fibre may well delay digestion. This in turn changes the number and type of bacteria that inhabit the intestine. Last of all ‘leaks’ appear in the intestinal lining and the toxins are released into the bloodstream causing an inflamatory action in the entire body.People who suffer from acne may experiment outbreaks as a result of changes to intestinal bacterial flora. In order to counteract these outbreaks it is recommendable to try and control certain trigger factors such as stress, also a diet that is rich in fibre and the consumption of probiotics that aid intestinal health. The core concept of intestine, brain, skin and their interelation will help to solve the problems of those who suffer from acne or rosacea. Probiotics form a protective barrier in the intestine that prevent the onset of acne or rosacea type inflammation.
Some international studies have demonstrated the correlation between the use of oral probiotics and in the improvement of acne:
- A recent Korean study of 56 acne patients who consumed a daily beverage of fermented Lactobacillus effectively reduced the skin lesions associated with acne.
- In an Italian study one half of the patients were administered a probiotic oral supplement alongside their standard acne treatment compared with the other half who did not recieve any probiotic supplement whatsoever. Those patients who consumed probiotics registered a marked improvement in their symptoms of acne and rosacea.
Although more studies are needed to identify any further beneficial aspects of probiotics, and to determine the positive results of both oral and topical probiotic use, I believe it is a question of time before we begin to see avant garde probiotic products for the treatment of acne in the near future.