BY YAZMIN TORRES
CHRONICLE STAFF WRITER
Probiotics, amongst other factors, are known to help improve not only digestion and gut health but even painful cystic acne in adults.
For years, there has been speculation that probiotics can help people who struggle with acne. In particular, people who may suffer from cystic, digestive, hormonal and stress-related acne. An individual may end up visiting many dermatologists, spending hundreds on treatments and antibiotics. In term, these circumstances can all end up irritating the skin more than it is healing it.
Acne is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles plug up with oil and dead skin cells, causing a bumpy texture on the skin. The rooted cause may come from digestion, poor gut health, stress, and hormones, however, probiotics might be the first step to take when looking to clear acne. In 2014, the American Academy of Dermatology said via their website that probiotics might be the most promising treatment for acne.
Probiotics are supplements that help balance out the bacteria that live in your digestive system. The human microbiome plays a role in controlling digestion and supporting the body’s immune system. In relation to acne, when the gut is imbalanced, it may increase inflammation on the skin and cause disruptions with oil production in sebaceous glands. According to Cassandra Bankson, a Youtuber and medical esthetician, taking probiotics with strains such as Lactobacillus Paracasei and Bifidobacterium, have been shown to reduce inflammation, while cleaning out the gut and offering more room for the good bacteria.
Probiotics can be found naturally in certain foods such as yogurt, kimchi, pickles, miso soup, and kombucha. These foods have various forms of lactobacillus, which will help increase the production of good bacteria and help support overall health. If taking daily supplements seems like a risky endeavor, it is recommended to increase intake of foods like these, or foods saturated with fiber.
There are certain aspects to look for when purchasing the right probiotics for acne. The number one thing to do is checking the label for the listed ingredients. It is recommended that the probiotics purchased have at least 16 different strains of lactobacillus. Because the human microbiome is made up of thousands of healthy bacteria that live in our bodies, increasing the number of strains ingested in these pills will help your body produce the bacteria that is needed.
CFU stands for colony-forming units, and is used to measure how potent a probiotic is. Probiotic CFUs can be found ranging from two billion to 100 billion, however, it is necessary to look for a capsule that guarantees CFU at expiry. This means that it will contain at least the amount of bacteria promised on the label.
It is important to dive into health in order to figure out what is causing acne. Figuring out what is wrong on the inside, will inherently help the body on the outside. Cleaning out your gut is a step that can be taken to help acne subside.