Acne strikes just when clear skin is most coveted: the teen years when dating begins. Pimples are a normal rite of passage, some say, but a look across the globe disputes that.
In a new book titled 10% Human: How Your Body’s Microbes Hold the Key to Health and Happiness, author Alanna Collen writes that affluent countries encounter far more acne than those in less developed countries.
Indeed, a healthy glow is not only beautiful; clear skin is a clinical indicator of the level of health which lies within.
Acne results from:
- follicle hyperkeratinization
- excess sebum
- Propiobacterium acnes bacterial colonization
Most therapies interfere with skin barrier systems, often resulting in red, irritated skin.
Probiotics though may:
- Inhibit P. acnes through production of bacteriocins, according to research.
- Decrease inflammation: strains of S. salivarius and L. paracasei are two which have shown to be effective in preliminary research.
- Increase production of ceramides which trap moisture via topical creams containing probiotics.
- Exert antimicrobial activity against P. acnes on the skin surface.
Skin is fed by a healthy metabolism. Oral probiotics may add to the glow. In one study, stressed animals receiving strain of L. reuteri showed less perifollicle inflammation than controls. And since such inflammation leads to acne, it could one day prove to be a good preventative.
Newer studies are looking for the effects of combining antibiotics with probiotics on inflammatory acne.