Your Skin and your Gut
I see lots of people with skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, eczema and contact dermatitis.
And not just teenagers, many people suffer with skin conditions in their 30s and 40s and beyond.
One of the key aspects I look at when looking at skin conditions is gut health.
Because the effects of your gut play major roles on your outer layer, your skin.
The cells of your skin are very similar to your digestive tract as it is considered on the outside of your body - food can pass right through (to some degree!). When your digestive tract is irritated and inflamed, it would make sense that your skin would be also and vice versa.
When your digestive system is inflamed or irritated from an infection, intolerance or an irritant, it causes food particles to pass through into the blood stream causing immune reactions throughout your body which can show on your skin.
When you are not passing a stool daily, the recirculating toxins in your body that are normally passed out with a stool begin to show on your skin.
Your liver clears hormones, chemicals and other substances ingested or absorbed into your body through the skin so when your liver is not working optimally there can be back flow into your body and on to your skin.
So what can you do to support your gut and in turn support your skin?
- ensuring you are looking after your gut and passing a bowel motion daily
- avoid known intolerances or allergens
- increase the fibre you consume to support stool formation
- increase your water consumption to 2L daily to clear the skin and digestive tract and support stool formation
- if you feel sluggish, heavy and are struggling to pass a bowel motion daily, squeeze half a lemon into warm water and consume 15 minutes before meals (don’t forget to rinse your mouth out afterwards!)
- reduce the burden on your liver: reduce alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, and other chemicals you may be absorbing through your skin
- increase your bitter green veggies to stimulate the liver - rocket, dandelion leaves, kale, beetroot leaves, endive, radicchio
- increase your overall veggie intake (we are talking abut over 5 serves of veggies daily) and ensure you are getting a minimum of one serve of the brassica family: broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy
- get moving. Your digestive system needs physical activity as much as your other systems and exercise is a great way to get things moving in the bowel motion region!
For further support for your gut, please speak to a naturopath as we can use herbs, supplementation and diet and lifestyle to support gut health and in turn skin health.