If you have an inflammatory skin condition like psoriasis, dermatitis, acne, eczema or rosacea, you have probably visited or have considered visiting the dermatologist. What if the real solution to your skin issues was found in your gut? Compelling new research illustrates the real solution for your skin begins by improving your digestive health.

A 2008 study of acne sufferers showed a significant increase in digestive concerns like constipation, bloating and IBS. Science is starting to emerge explaining the connection between your gut and the largest organ of your body – the skin – and it has everything to do with bacteria.

Both your digestive tract and your skin are host to trillions of bacteria. In fact, the number of bacteria in your gut outnumbers the number of cells in your body by about 10:1. These bacteria, often called flora, communicate with your body’s cells, and these messages often manifest in the skin.

Also, bad bacteria can damage the intestinal lining leading to a condition known as leaky gut. Leaky gut causes small junctions between the protective cells of the digestive tract, which allows tiny food particles to enter the blood stream directly. This provokes an inflammatory immune response that can affect the skin with inflammatory skin conditions.

Improve Your Gut Health to Clear Your Skin

Reduce Hostile Germ Gangs
Gut flora can become imbalanced when there is not enough beneficial bacteria to keep the bad bacteria in check. These bad bacteria can grow rapidly in numbers and create germ gangs that can significantly change the digestive habitat.  This situation is made worse by overprescribed antibiotics, antibiotic use in the food supply, alcohol consumption, the Standard American Diet (SAD), which is high in sugar and processed foods but low in fiber, and high-stress lifestyles.  The best nutrients to reduce hostile germ gangs in the gut include oregano oil, monolaurin, olive leaf extract and noni.

Increase Good Bacteria
To replenish good bacteria in the gut add more fermented foods into your diet and take a high quality probiotic daily. Supplementing with friendly flora helps heal the digestive tract and keep the immune system from malfunctioning.

Another basic way to increase good flora is to eat a diet rich in fiber, also known as prebiotics. Fibrous fruits and vegetables like dark green leafy vegetables, artichokes, asparagus, onions, garlic and jicama are all good options for improving flora balance.  If you want to give your diet a fiber boost, also consider adding a fiber supplement.

Heal a Leaky Gut
Some of the most important nutrients that help to heal a leaky gut include L-glutamine and N-acetyl-d-glucosamine (NAG). Research also highlights a number of other nutrients that support healthy gut lining and reduce permeability. These include quercetin, arginine, lactoferrin and whey immunoglobulins.

Build Your Defenses Up
Vitamin D is very important for improving gut and skin health.  If vitamin D levels are low, bacteria will be allowed to grow unchecked. The sunshine hormone also improves immune function and reduces general inflammation in your gut. Other nutrients that help protect the gut’s immune system and mucosal lining include vitamins A and C, DGL licorice, NAC, omega-3 fish oil, zinc, rhodiola, and digestive enzymes.

While there is often more than one cause of a skin disorder, anyone struggling with the symptoms of an inflammatory skin disorder should improve their gut health and balance microflora.  The connection between your gut and skin is real. It is crucial to take steps to fix the imbalance, as the skin may be just the first symptom of a significant digestive imbalance.