Maintaining a balance between good and bad bacteria in the body has benefits beyond the digestive tract, it may also affect the health and appearance of the skin, researchers have found.
Consuming probiotics, or the "good bacteria," similar to the trillions of microorganisms that already live in the body, in foods or as dietary supplements, might help to prevent or treat certain skin conditions, some early studies suggest.
The benefit of probiotics is that they introduce healthy bacteria to the gut and create a barrier to reduce inflammation, which can trigger certain skin conditions, said Dr. Whitney Bowe, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, who has researched the effect of probiotics on acne. She said there is compelling evidence that probiotics hold promise for treating acne and rosacea.
Another exciting area of research is the development of topical probiotics, which can be applied directly to the skin, Bowe said. Several manufacturers are currently experimenting with adding strains or extracts of probiotics to their skin care products, including moisturizers, cleansers, peels and lotions, and some products are already on the market. [5 Ways Gut Bacteria Affect Your Health]
Still, further study is needed to determine which strains may work best and how many of the bacteria survive once the probiotics are spread onto the skin's surface.
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