Many people think that skin issues can be fixed by finding the right cleanser or moisturiser. But the truth is that skin issues don’t start on the skin itself. They are a symptom of a deeper problem – and often, the root is in the gut.
Gut flora and inflammation
One of the most interesting parts about the gut is that it plays host to billions of bacteria and microbes. When in balance, these microbes support our overall health. But when they are out of balance, problems can occur.
When we eat poorly, are under a lot of stress or don’t sleep well, ‘bad’ bacteria can start to take over the gut. Some of these bacteria can cause inflammation, not just in the gut, but throughout the body. One species, dubbed p. acnes, is linked to flares in acne, as it is commonly found in infected acne sites.
The gut and the liver are closely tied. A functioning gut relies on the liver, and a functioning liver on the gut. So once one is out, the other will follow. Whenever we consume something that is not wanted in the body, the body will need to detoxify it and eliminate it. And that’s where the liver comes in.
The easiest way to explain how the liver works is this. There are two phases to liver detoxification. Phase 1 is like the garbage bins – you put rubbish into them to get them out of your immediate way. Phase 2 is when the garbage trucks empty the bins and take the trash away. But if you don’t have the right nutrients to support phase 2, the garbage bins full of toxins will start to smell, grow and even make you sick.
When there’s a heavy load on the liver, it gets backed up into the skin instead.
Skin as an elimination organ
Your skin is essentially an organ of elimination. Your body uses it to release anything that it doesn’t want, along with the urine and bowels. So it will often flare in response to a heavy load of toxins. This load could include alcohol, problematic foods, chemicals, hormones or even everyday medications.
If you do begin a treatment plan to balance your skin, it may come with skin flares. However, they will usually settle after a short time.
Autoimmunity is a gut issue
If you’re dealing with an autoimmune condition, your gut will be playing a role in it. Conditions such as eczema and psoriasis are not just triggered by the foods that you eat – they can originate in the gut itself.
If your gut is out of balance, you are likely to have a compromised gut lining (leaky gut) and an imbalance in gut bacteria (dysbiosis). Both of these can be triggers for autoimmune reactions in the body.
Leaky gut can allow particles into the bloodstream that shouldn’t be there and trigger autoimmune processes. Gut bacteria can also trigger autoimmune processes throughout the body, according to recent research findings.
Do you want a diet and lifestyle plan to support your skin and your gut? Book an appointment with Dr. Rebecca Farthing (osteopath & naturopath) to discuss and help solve your skin issues.