You might have heard that probiotics are great for your gut health, but did you know that some people experience skin problems when taking them? So knowing whether probiotics cause skin problems is essential to determine whether they will help in the long term or not.

We all want to be healthy and look good, so it’s no surprise many of us take probiotic supplements to improve our digestive system. But what if this supplement is causing other issues like acne or eczema flare-ups?

The answer to this question depends on which particular brand of probiotic supplement was being used by the person who experienced side effects. If the product contains Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum bacteria strains then yes, it could potentially cause skin issues such as rashes and acne breakouts in sensitive individuals.

However, if it contains other types of live cultures (such as Saccharomyces boulardii) then it would be unlikely to cause any negative symptoms whatsoever.

Probiotics cause skin problems, but it’s not common

According to a study published in 2009, the use of probiotics can help reduce the effect of skin conditions like acne and eczema.

The study was performed by using the probiotics Lactobacillus rhamnosus. The results showed that there is a reduction in acne lesions for up to six months after treatment with the probiotics had begun. According to dermatologist Dr Ruthie Harper, it is believed that this health benefit comes from the fact that bacteria on the skin produce antimicrobial substances like hydrogen peroxide and bacteriocins which help maintain the skin’s normal flora.

It is believed that when the bacteria are disrupted, the number of acne producing  (P. acnes)  bacteria can increase leading to an outbreak of blemishes on the face, neck, chest, and back.

Dr Harper also explains that the use of antibiotics for acne is becoming less effective due to the rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria like MRSA which can cause serious infections, especially when they are used to treat acne. Because of this, there has been an increase in prescription treatments for acne aimed at altering or messing with certain bacterial functions.

Probiotics can cause skin problems, but it is not common

How probiotics affect your skin

Acne and eczema are two skin conditions that can be difficult to treat. There are a number of factors that contribute to these disorders, but one common cause is an overgrowth of bacteria on the skin. This can be due to many different things, including poor hygiene or certain medications.

Antibiotics have been the standard treatment for both acne and eczema for a long time now with some success, but they come with side effects such as yeast infections which is why there has been interested in finding new treatments.

Probiotics have been shown to reduce inflammation in people with acne by balancing out the level of good versus bad bacteria on their skin so it seems like probiotics could also help ease symptoms associated with eczema by reducing inflammation.

To test this theory, researchers in Korea recruited 32 people with eczema who were not receiving any other medications for their skin condition. The subjects were assigned either a daily dose of probiotics or a placebo to take over the course of six weeks. At the end of that time period, those taking the probiotics had shown improvement in their symptoms. Their skin was less red and the number of inflamed pimples had decreased.

The researchers hypothesized that probiotics work by helping to produce antimicrobial substances; this is what often happens in people with healthy digestive tracts where probiotics are already present. However, more research needs to be done to confirm these results and determine whether or not other strains of bacteria would have the same effect as those found in this study.

For people with acne, probiotics have also been shown to be an effective treatment for reducing inflammation and balancing out the skin’s bacterial population so more studies will need to be done on their effects specifically on acne vulgaris before a recommendation can be made as far as whether or not they should be added to a treatment regimen.

Probiotic skincare products

One of the most popular treatments on the market today is benzoyl peroxide, which works by killing P. acnes bacteria on the skin—therefore decreasing the number of blemishes that can be visible on the surface of your skin.

With this in mind, Dr Harper suggests that taking probiotics containing lactobacillus bacteria is a great preventative measure and will not lead to antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria.

When looking for good probiotics, you should choose those that contain the lactobacillus genus as well as bifidobacterium because these strains are most likely able to survive the harsh environment found in your digestive system, which means that they are more likely to find their way to where they are needed most, the colon.

How to use probiotics for skin health

The good news is there are ways to make sure you’re getting the benefits of a probiotic without having any negative side effects. Make sure you’re not sensitive by seeing your doctor before starting on a new regimen. Also, consider eating fermented foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut because they contain similar bacteria strains found in most probiotics. If you do decide to try out a supplement, start with just one pill daily until your body adjusts then slowly increase the dosage from there if needed.

Finally, remember that each person reacts differently so don’t give up if something doesn’t work. If you’re determined, you’ll be able to find something with the right combination of bacteria strains and ingredients for you.

Reducing acne by adding probiotics into your diet

In the meantime, it wouldn’t hurt for anyone with acne or eczema to consider adding a probiotic supplement to their diet which can also help improve digestive health among other things. In fact, there has been some evidence that consuming yogurt may reduce the severity of acne but not enough studies have been done to say for sure.

A healthy diet is also important because it can help balance out the skin’s bacterial population so adding whole foods that are naturally high in probiotics could have beneficial effects too.

In conclusion

As mentioned earlier in this article, you can reduce acne outbreaks by taking probiotics containing lactobacillus bacteria. Not only will the presence of these bacteria help prevent future outbreaks, but it will also help to treat current ones.

The unique thing about probiotics is that they are not only beneficial to your gut, but can also benefit your skin. By taking supplements containing lactobacillus bacteria you will give acne producing bacteria less of an opportunity to grow on your skin and cause future outbreaks.


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