Can Probiotics Cause Acne?


Without a doubt, there have been various contradictory reports about the relationship between probiotics and acne. Some of these reports indicated that probiotics can cause acne while others suggested that probiotics can improve acne. However, what is the truth about the relationship between acne and probiotics? Can probiotics truly cause acne? Or do probiotics help acne condition?


Basically, if you have only started using probiotics recently, it is likely that the digestive tract will react and lead to more breakouts. Therefore, in simple terms, probiotics can cause acne. Nevertheless, the use of probiotics over a period will help in reducing the breakouts and treating the acne. To have a full understanding of the complex relationship between these two, it is important to know what probiotics are and how they function in the body.

What Are Probiotics And What Are Their Functions In The Body?

Simply put, probiotics are live microorganisms that are known to have various beneficial effects on the body. Studies have shown that they are capable of preventing and treating illnesses; thereby, promoting the overall health of the body.


It helps the body in absorbing and digesting the important nutrients that are needed to stay healthy and grow, and also excrete toxins and wastes that are capable of causing harm to our skin.


From dietary supplements to foods and beverages, probiotics can be gotten from different sources. Irrespective of the source, these microorganisms are helpful in improving the health of the gut and the body in general.


Probiotics function in the body through its ability to improve the overall performance of the digestive tract. Notably, the digestive tract has both good and bad bacteria, and it is important to ensure that there is a balance between these two kinds of bacteria found in the digestive tract.


However, due to our lifestyle and several other factors, most individuals do not maintain a healthy balance between these two kinds of bacteria. Some of the lifestyles that disrupt a healthy balance between the good and bad bacteria include sleep deprivation, poor dietary intake, environmental factors, overuse of antibiotics and other drugs, emotional stress and lots more.


These lifestyles make the bad bacteria to outnumber and overpower the good ones. By taking probiotics, the digestive tract is aided to maintain a healthy balance between the good and bad bacteria so that the body can function properly.


There are various types of probiotics and each performs a specific function in the body. These types include:


  • Lactobacilli

There are different kinds of lactobacilli that can be found in various dietary supplements and foods such as yogurt. These probiotics are known to be capable of treating skin conditions like acne and eczema. Other conditions that they can help include urinary tract infection, diarrhea, bacterial vaginosis, and lactose intolerance.



  • Saccharomyces boulardii


There are various reports on the ability of Saccharomyces boulardii to improve acne as it works against the bad bacteria in the digestive tract.



  • Bifidobacteria


These probiotics are important for the improvement of the intestinal health as they reduce the effects of the bad bacteria in the guts. On account of its effects on the bad bacteria, it reduces their influence on the skin and improves acne condition.


Other major types of probiotics that have effects on acne are Enterococcus faecium, Leuconostoc, and Streptococcus thermophilus.

How Do Probiotics Cause Acne?

As early stated, when you have only started using probiotics recently, it is possible for you to experience more breakouts. Once you have started taking probiotics for whatever reasons, the healing process (also called gut healing) will start in the body.


However, this healing process is usually unexpected by the living microorganisms found in the body. Consequently, the unhealthy bacteria and yeasts found in the digestive tract can feel threatened by the presence of these new living microorganisms called probiotics.


In reactions to the supposed invasions by the probiotics, the unhealthy, inflammatory bacteria are sent out to the skin surface; thus, there will be acne. So, at the onset of the use of probiotics, it is likely that you will experience an increase in the acne breakouts on your skin.


Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to note that these breakouts are only going to be for a short time. After experiencing acne for a short time, probiotics will clear out all the unhealthy microorganisms and bring about an improvement in the skin condition. So if you can make sacrifices at the beginning of using probiotics to improve acne, you may be able to enjoy a long-term improvement in your skin condition.

How Do Probiotics Improve Acne?

Having mentioned that probiotics can improve acne, it is important to understand how these living organisms help in improving this skin condition. Foremost, probiotics are known to be capable of lowering the number of systemic markers of oxidative stress and inflammation.


Resultantly, they lower the chances of having acne as these markers are reduced in the body. Also, these living microorganisms can reduce skin inflammation that is mediated by the T-cell.


Furthermore, probiotics lower the levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). If the IGF-1 is produced in the body in excess quantity, it can lead to an increase in the production of sebum as well as inflammation. This, in turn, leads to acne breakouts on the body. So, we can conclude that probiotics reduce or get rid of acne indirectly by reducing the levels of IGF-1 in the body.


Also, probiotics can improve acne through its ability to enhance the way the body uses foods. Food allergies can lead to acne, and probiotics are known to reduce food allergies. In addition, probiotics aid the process involved in the absorption of the nutrients such as minerals and vitamins by the skin. Thus, most of the acne breakouts that are related to nutrient deficiency are prevented effectively by probiotics.


Similarly, there are several organisms in the body that are harmful to the skin and gut; hence, leading to acne breakouts. Probiotics strengthen the immune system against these microorganisms; thus, ensuring that the acne that could have been caused by these microbes are prevented.


Disruption in the glycemic levels can sometimes cause acne too. Probiotics are important to the regulation of glycemic levels. So, whenever probiotics regulate glycemic levels, they are improving acne condition indirectly.


Another important way through which probiotics improve acne is through the reduction of chronic psychological stress. Chronic psychological stress has been also identified as one of the major lifestyle factors that worsen acne. Therefore, by reducing the chronic psychological stress, probiotics militate against acne that the stress could have triggered.

How Can You Use Probiotics To Get The Best Results In Helping Acne?

Just as it has been stated earlier, probiotics can have contrasting effects on acne – they can cause acne and can also improve it. So, it is important to understand the best ways to use probiotics to prevent them from causing more acne breakouts.


  • The most important thing to note when taking probiotics is that you should take various types of probiotics rather than a particular type. By taking varieties of probiotics, you will get various healthy living microorganisms that can be helpful in ensuring that there is a healthy balance between the healthy and unhealthy bacteria in the guts.


  • While still using probiotics, you should also endeavor to detoxify your body so that harmful substances that can affect the performance of the probiotics are not allowed to thrive.


Take enough water, detoxify your body system, and rest for at least seven hours each day to ensure that your body gets rid of harmful substances that can reduce the beneficial effects of probiotics. By improving your lifestyle, you can also maximize the benefits of probiotics on your body.


  • Perhaps you are taking antibiotics, you should bear it in mind that some of the healthy bacteria may be killed in the process. You can replace these lost bacteria by taking probiotics. The bacteria will improve the guts which, in turn, ensure that the skin gets enough nutrients that can promote its growth.


  • You can also get more out of using probiotics by treating the underlying causes of your acne. So while you are still taking probiotics, you can treat acne-causing bacteria, parasites and other microbes responsible for your breakouts.


In some cases, an unhealthy lifestyle such as poor eating habit, stress and sleep deprivation can be the underlying causes of the acne, and unless you have treated these causes, the use of probiotics for treating acne will not be as effective as it ought to be.


In a nutshell, probiotics can truly cause acne, but this is usually at the beginning of its use when the body is still undergoing the process of gut healing. Nonetheless, these same probiotics can help in improving acne and other related skin conditions as these beneficial microorganisms get rid of the pathogens in the body.


Since they are usually available in foods, avoid taking probiotics in form of supplements to protect yourself against any of their side effects. You can also consult your dermatologist before taking any supplement that contains probiotics.



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