Our bodies contain millions of health-promoting bacteria, mostly in our gastrointestinal tract. Our microflora (the natural environment for bacteria) needs to balance out the beneficial bacteria and the bad bacteria so that we can achieve optimal health in our bodies.
The beneficial bacteria in our guts help us to digest food, strengthen our immune systems and produce vitamins and nutrients. Depending on your diet, they are commonly found in dairy products such as yoghurt and kefir, fermented foods and dark chocolate. In recent studies, probiotics shown that they can help more than our digestive systems. Consuming probiotics could be beneficial for our skin microflora as well.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) — also known as eczema– is a common, recurrent, non-contagious and chronic inflammatory disease of skin. The underlying mechanism of the disease is complicated and current treatments include topical treatments or glucocorticosteroids and calcineurin inhibitors. As an alternative, probiotics can be efficient in the treatment and prevention of AD. Probiotic bacteria strains such as Lactobacillus paracasei, Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus sakei have been studied and showed that regular consuming of probiotics might be beneficial in preventing and treating eczema, even in children.
It is important to consult with your physician before taking probiotics. There are some adverse reactions to probiotics such as, skin rash, bloating, increased gas or diarrhoea.
- Rather, I. A., Bajpai, V. K., Kumar, S., Lim, J., Paek, W. K., & Park, Y. H. (2016). Probiotics and atopic dermatitis: an overview. Frontiers in microbiology, 7, 507.
- Kim, J., Lee, B. S., Kim, B., Na, I., Lee, J., Lee, J. Y., … & Ahn, K. (2017). Identification of atopic dermatitis phenotypes with good responses to probiotics (Lactobacillus plantarum CJLP133) in children. Beneficial microbes, 8(5), 755-761.
- Lynde, C. W., Andriessen, A., Bertucci, V., McCuaig, C., Skotnicki, S., Weinstein, M., … & Zip, C. (2016). The skin microbiome in atopic dermatitis and its relationship to emollients. Journal of cutaneous medicine and surgery, 20(1), 21-28.