IS THERE A LINK BETWEEN GUT HEALTH AND SKIN CONDITIONS?
Did you know that common ailments such as eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and acne are all being found to be linked to the health of your gut?
Does bad gut health always cause skin inflammation?
Not always, but the link is strong. It has long been known that coeliac disease often exists with dermatitis herpetiformis, a condition of blistering rashes, affecting almost 25% of people diagnosed with coeliac disease.
And less well-known, urticaria, also referred to as hives or nettle rash, is seen in up to 50% of patients with autoimmune conditions, including those with irritable bowel disease (2).
Fourteen percent of patients with ulcerative colitis have skin conditions, while the percentage is consistently even higher (24%) with Crohn’s disease. Psoriasis is also more frequently encountered in patients with Crohn’s disease than in healthy controls (3).
Does everyone with a skin condition have bad gut health?
There are plenty of people who don’t have a diagnosed gut condition but have intermittent or long-term skin conditions. Research tells us that there is a significant prevalence of an underlying dysbiotic gut environment in almost all cases of atopic dermatitis - eczema (4), rosacea, psoriasis, and acne (5), compared to healthy subjects.
Do food allergies cause skin inflammation?
Food allergies are not consistent in all skin conditions.
Triggers for skin inflammation come from a number of places including food, stress, and the environment around us. In almost all cases, we know that the immune system is being activated by dysbiosis in the gut, which causes these sensitivities and wider inflammatory responses (7).
The link between depression, the gut, and skin conditions
In the 1930’s dermatologists Stokes and Pillsbury first documented a link between depression, worry and anxiety, and skin conditions. And more recent studies have built on this thinking. Our bodies respond to changes in psychological state. The nervous system can produce certain hormones related to stress, which can increase oil production or cause our immune systems to overreact and send out inflammatory responses, all resulting in a negative impact on our skin.
If you’re struggling with a skin condition which you suspect is linked to your gut health, check out our other blog post which explores how to reduce skin inflammation. [LINK NEEDED HERE]
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The information contained in this article is for informational purposes and not intended as a substitute for advice from your GP.