Between them, our gut and skin contain trillions of bacteria, yeasts and moulds. The make-up of these microbes is immensely complex; they consist of thousands of different varieties and strains. All of these live alongside one another in both the gut and on the skin in a harmonious relationship. When functioning correctly, our microbes regulate our body processes and prevent disease.
There is a clear connection between the condition of our skin and the presence of harmful bacteria in the gut. Many scientific studies indicate that those with atopic dermatitis, eczema and other skin conditions have large populations of harmful gut bacteria. It is clear that the skin and the gut are in active communication with each other.
What is surprising is that identical strains of harmful bacteria appear on our skin AND in our gut. We have known for a long time that good bacteria in the gut are essential for such things as controlling depression and mood fluctuations but we now know how essential it is to similarly feed and improve the condition of the microbiome. The best way to do this would be to apply live organisms to the skin – just as we would probiotic food supplements to the gut. In practice, prebiotic and postbiotic ingredients bring to the skin an identical microbiome boost as if live organisms were applied.
Dr Brian O'Rourke