Impact of microbiome on skin condition

Currently a lot of people suffers from dermatological diseases, beginning from common issues as  acne but also inflammatory skin diseases which are dangerous for patient’s health.  It’ s not only aesthetical problem but also serious clinical challenge. In addition treatment is often very difficult and symptoms tent to return. We can ask the question whether we are on the threshold of a breakthrough? Does the condition of our skin reflect the actual condition of the gut? We try to answer in this publication. 

How could that make any sense?

We may think of, hearing such as assumption. Gut and skin seem to be completely independent but they have much more in common then we expect. Hypothesis of brain- gut- skin axis which is unexplained connection between emotional stress, gut microbiome and skin condition was mentioned for the first time in 1930. Unfortunately as antibiotic therapy became more and more popular it was forgotten. Right now, facing antibiotic-resistance, we search for alternative solutions. Probiotic therapy turns out to be very promising and more cause oriented strategy.

How it works?

Intestinal bacteria produce a lot of substances every day, which because of very thin mucosa, can easily reach bloodstream. Then its transported to many  distant locations- including skin. When leaky gut occurs also toxins produced by bacteria and immunogenic substances may get there. Those substances may accumulate in skin cells and destroy barrier protecting skin against pathogens. It’s been proved that some metabolites of Clostrodium difficile, which causes antibiotic-related diarrhoea, may interfere skin metabolism and keratin production. We don’t know the exact mechanism yet, because many factors is involved here. For sure insulin level, glucose level, nutritional deficiencies, and external hormones play some part there. Interestingly just currently we found out that supplementation of certain bacterial strains may be beneficial in treatment of dermatological diseases. 

Allergic eczema

The hygiene level in our society is very high (it has some good sides #coronavirus) but also makes us more susceptible for development of allergies. Composition of gut microbiom may be very important in pathogenesis of allergies, because takes part in formation and development of immune system. Probiotic therapy turns out to be very successful in prevention and treatment of certain allergic diseases. Right now there is a lot of trials being conducted to assess impact of probiotic supplementation on Atopic dermatitis and results are promising. Scientist were able to find strains , that in some way are able to protect us against allergy development. To this group we can include among others: Lactococcus lactis W58, Bifidobacterium lactis W52, Bifidobacterium bifidum W23.


Few years back we thought that bacteria present on the surface of the skin are mainly responsible for skin’s condition and acne occurrence. Unfortunately everything is far more complicated. Current studies show that intestinal bacteria have impact on development of certain strains of bacteria on the surface of the skin and its protective abilities. There are some publications researching impact of probiotic therapy on acne treatment in comparison to standard procedure which is antibiotic therapy. One test shown that supplementation of certain probiotic strains turned out to be same as effective  as antibiotic treatment (minocycline) with less side effects. In another test probiotics were even more effective. These are still pioneering studies on small groups of participants, but the therapy showed no side effects, which may encourage the medical community to reach for this solution.

Insulin – microbiome – acne

Western diet (high sugar, rich in unhealthy saturated fatty acids) can cause acne. But how exactly does it work? In the past we thought that synthetic synthetic food additives and deficiencies that western diet could cause are responsible for this mechanism. Turns out that also there intestinal bacteria are far more important than expected. Western diet increases glucose and insulin level in the bloodstream, which causes development of certain strains of bacteria on the gut. To put it simply, these bacteria generate many unwanted substances that, after entering the blood, migrate to the skin and cause symptoms. 


Investigating human’s microbiome and individual probiotic strains we discover new mysteries. Seems that properly adjusted probiotic therapy can also prove to be an effective strategy in the treatment of dermatological diseases of various grounds. Remember that not all probiotic strains are able to help with this exact problem. To make this intervention effective and safe you must contact with specialist who can recommend suitable probiotic. It is also important to introduce lifestyle modifications, in particular  healthy diet, to support effects of therapy. 



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