Ever ate a chocolate and then out of nowhere, you got a pimple? Sounds all too familiar? Well the science behind why this happens might shock you.
Your gut and skin are related. The “gut-skin axis” refers to all the connections between our skin and digestive system. The skin and digestive tract both interact with our inner and outer environments. This means they’re in constant communication with the world around us and the world inside of us. Much of this communication is done through our body’s microbiome. Our microbiome includes trillions of bacteria, fungi, and other living things. They live in and on our body, mainly in our gut and on our skin. These methods of communication occur in several ways:
The makeup of the microbiome starts from birth. There are a number of factors that influence the colonies that set up residence in your gut and on your skin. These include:
There’s no one single healthy microbiome. One healthy person will not have the same microbiome as another healthy person.
The skin effectively performs its functions – protection, temperature regulation, water retention, and more – when in a state of homeostasis. How does it perform these functions? Cell turnover!! This is where the skin regenerates itself by constantly replacing its ‘dead’ cells with new cells. Epidermal cells originate from stem cells in the basal layer of the epidermis and then undergo morphologic change while migrating to the skin surface. Cells differentiate into three cell types – basal cells, spinous cells, and granule cells – before ultimately becoming the corneocytes that make up the outermost layer of the epidermis, the stratum corneum. This process of epidermal differentiation, also referred to as keratinization, is under the control of transcriptional programs. Through its influence on the signalling pathways that coordinate this process essential to skin homeostasis, the gut microbiome impacts integumentary health.
Though not yet fully explored, the mechanisms by which intestinal microbiota exert their influence on skin homeostasis appear to be related to the modulatory effect of gut commensals on systemic immunity. Incases of disturbed intestinal barriers, intestinal bacteria as well as intestinal microbiota metabolites have been reported to gain access to the bloodstream, accumulate in the skin, and disrupt skin homeostasis, as identified in psoriasis patients.
SO you figured that you might have a skin condition that’s caused by this mechanism, but what can you do about it? Understanding these basic mechanisms of how the gut and the skin are related helps to identify if you may be having gut-related issues and figuring out ways to resolve these issues would be the very first step.
As we have said before, with the gut-brain axis, the same tips apply here. Check out our gut-brain blog for all the information, tips& tricks!!
NB: ALL IMAGES HAVE BEEN RETRIEVED FROM GOOGLE!!!