Leaky Skin Syndrome: Is That Really a Thing?
You may have been sold on the latest skin cream, acne remedy and prescription topical, antibiotic or steroid indicated to cure acne, rosacea, psoriasis or other inflammatory skin condition. You may also have been baffled by the fact that these either didn’t work, or they slightly helped but caused other systemic symptoms that were both bothersome and problematic.
In order to finally rid yourself of cystic acne, rapidly aging skin, rashes, red spots, scaly skin and other skin conditions, you have to fully understand the root cause--and it’s not coming from deep down inside your pores! Your skin issues are directly linked to your gut health. If your skin isn’t clear and glowing, chances are, your gut is sick and needing help.
Your skin is the largest organ in the body and serves as a protective barrier between you and the outside world. Essentially, your gut has similar protective properties, being that it contains about 80% of your immune system. The digestive system serves as an interior barrier separating the digestive process from the rest of your circulatory system. Undigested food, contaminants, bacteria, pathogens, stomach acids, debris, toxins-- these are irritants that may cause inflammation if they leaked throughout your system. When your intestinal tract develops inflammation, the gut lining may perforate and allow digestive tract particulates into your system. This is called Leaky Gut Syndrome. And guess what? Leaky Gut Syndrome is linked to skin issues. Your “gut instinct” should tell you these two are related!
Your stomach and your skin are always having a conversation, and this is known as the gut-skin axis. Inflammation in your gut tells your skin that things are not going great in there. Being that your gut is also the home of other tasks, such as regulating and metabolizing hormones, detoxifying the system, warding off pathogens and stabilizing neurotransmitters such as serotonin, you better believe that this will throw your skin off kilter.
Gut inflammation “speaks to” the rest of your body through nerve signaling. This, in turn, triggers a fight response in your system to release the war guns, which may include increased cortisol to activate your immune system and throw all your hormones off balance, resulting in adrenal fatigue.
So, while Leaky Gut Syndrome is a thing, so is Leaky Skin Syndrome. Systemic inflammation can impact the skin’s protective barrier, as well, affecting the dermal microbiome which wards off skin infections, pathogenic invaders like fungus and candida and, in turn, causes skin inflammation.
Chronic stress and inflammatory toxins, pathogens, bacteria and other invaders can impact the microbiome of your skin in much the same way as it affects your gut lining. An imbalance in your skin microbiota decreases beneficial peptides produced by your skin that serve as a protective barrier, promoting skin healing, preventing infection and reducing skin inflammation.
The gut microbiome also influences the skin by altering the tissue fatty acid profiles. In other words, it affects sebum production. Gut flora imbalances were evident in 54% of study participants with acne. Other studies also support that those with seborrheic dermatitis have microbiome abnormalities.
Nutritional deficiencies due to malabsorption can also impact the skin. It starts in the gut with the malabsorption issue, common with Leaky Gut Syndrome, but eventually becomes evident in the skin. You might notice redness, inflammation, rashes, dry skin, oily skin, wounds that are slow to heal, cystic acne, blackheads, eczema, uneven complexion, psoriasis, dull complexion, texture issues, accelerated aging (fine lines and wrinkles) and much more.
A diet high in carbohydrates may increase sebum production and result in acne and other skin issues, particularly when coupled by gut inflammation and nutrient deficiencies caused by Leaky Gut Syndrome. Everything is connected and related. Choose foods that nourish your skin--green, leafy vegetables, organic berries and foods high in zinc, which helps quell inflamed skin and promote healing. If you notice the signs of nutrient deficiencies, you might need more than just healthy food. Consider supplementing with high quality vitamin A, D, B, zinc, magnesium, selenium---all of which are important for healthy, glowing skin.
Be sure to use only all-natural skin products too, rather than choosing harsh chemicals. Avocado oil, for example, is naturally high in vitamins A, D and E, all of which provide your skin with moisture and help protect you from UV rays. It’s a natural sunscreen! Avocado oil has up to a 15 SPF protection on its own. This makes it a great daytime oil to incorporate into your beauty routine.
Avocado oil also contains potassium, lecithin and other nutrients that nourish skin. Oleic acid, for example, helps stimulate collagen production.
You may also want to research the power of lychee fruit! Aging increases your exposure to free radicals, which raises oxidative stress and can impact your skin, causing wrinkles and telltale signs of aging. Because the lychee fruit is rich in antioxidants, it helps prevent skin damage. In addition, their high vitamin C content helps reduce signs of hyperpigmentation such as acne scars, melasma and age spots and promotes skin healing.
Gut conditions such as SIBO, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Leaky Gut Syndrome, Crohn’s all are linked with skin issues, according to research.
Rosacea patients are more apt to test positive for SIBO, according to research. In fact, the statistics from the study show that nearly half of rosacea patients tested positive for SIBO.
So, what exactly is the connection between the small intestine bacterial overgrowth in the gut and your complexion? SIBO may be the root cause of Leaky Gut Syndrome, and once this inflammation proliferates, the cytokine response escalates in a domino-effect, resulting in inflammatory skin conditions, according to research.
Autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's are also associated with inflammatory skin issues. Gut disease and skin disease go together. A 2012 study shows this relationship, where a pharmaceutical drug intended for the treatment of psoriasis also reduced the digestive symptoms in participants in the study who had Crohn’s disease.
Intestinal candida overgrowth can also impact the skin, as it frequently is one of the root causes of Leaky Gut Syndrome. Candida colonies can eat through the wall of the intestine and then penetrate the bloodstream, wreaking havoc with their toxic byproducts which create systemic inflammation. This may, in turn, create inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, cystic acne and more.
Are you plagued with chronic toenail fungus, yeast infections, dandruff, scaly skin, athlete’s foot or jock itch? These are not just local infections. Chances are, you have a systemic candida infection and are not addressing the root cause if you’re just tackling the “itch.”
Pharmaceuticals are not the answer to addressing gut and systemic inflammation. Natural remedies exist that are gentler on the body, however, they may take time and effort in order to experience results.
If systemic candida is the root cause, it is recommended to follow a “starve it, kill it, replenish it” approach with diet, herbs and supplements, stress management and probiotics to rebalance the gut microbiome.
Removing gut-irritating foods and inflammation triggers is essential-- reduce your toxic load, which includes evaluating your medications, cleaning products, food, water, environment, even the people in your life--people can be toxic, too, creating stress and resulting in hormonal imbalances and systemic inflammation.
Saccharomyces boulardii helps fight off pathogenic strains of bacteria and reduce inflammation. It’s important to remember that as a beneficial yeast, it is transient and does not colonize in the gut. This is why many with inflammatory gut issues such as SIBO, candida overgrowth and Leaky Gut Syndrome may need to take Saccharomyces boulardii coupled with a probiotic.
Probiotics are not a one size fits all. What works for one person may not work for another. Be sure to read labels carefully and choose probiotics that are free from fillers (lactose, starches, soy), flow agents, colorings, additives and preservatives and junk that may interfere with absorption and cause further gut issues.
It is always best to start a probiotic supplement regimen “low and slow” and one supplement at a time. All of our capsuled products may be opened and ¼ to ½ of the contents dumped into juice or a smoothie and taken that way, if needed, such as reducing the initial amount that you are taking. This allows for an easy way to slowly introduce a product to your body while reducing any detoxification side effects.
Our Leaky Gut Defense is also vital for managing gut issues that can impact your skin. This might be a good starting point for most, along with a Leaky Gut diet plan that eliminates inflammatory-causing foods and chemicals. Adding the Saccharomyces 10B (low and slow), followed by long-term use of a probiotic that takes residence in the gut, such as our Power Probiotics, has demonstrated successful outcomes with many of our customers.