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  • Writer's pictureDr. Caroline Lewis

Leaky Gut, Leaky Skin...Say What?

Updated: May 27, 2021


 


B-12 Injections

Similar to your GUT, your SKIN also has a barrier that protects us from harmful threats that can cause inflammation or damage, such as UV rays, pollution, and all the chemicals in many SKINCARE PRODUCTS!

Our epidermis is our outer skin layer, which itself is divided into layers. The Stratum Corneum is the top layer of our epidermis, and largely what helps form our skin’s protective barrier.


Just like our guts have tight junction proteins that join together to prevent substances from crossing through the gut wall into our bloodstream, the stratum corneum has FILAGGRIN proteins - which cross-link together with other proteins to help support our skin barrier.

Our gut becomes “leaky”, when inflammation or bugs create spaces between the tight junction proteins in our gut lining allowing substances to leak into our bloodstream, and our skin barrier can become leaky, too.


This “leakiness” is BI-DIRECTIONAL: meaning pollutants & toxins can ENTER through the compromised barrier, but WATER is also LOST from our skin - increasing the risk for inflammatory skin conditions & dryness.



What can cause us to have Leaky SKIN?


  • Physical damage to our skin barrier

  • STRESS - this is where the GUT-BRAIN-AXIS comes into play, which is SO important!

  • Local Inflammation

  • Genetics: people with mutations of the Filaggrin protein are at risk for Atopic Dermatitis - an inflammatory condition with poor skin barrier integrity.

This is just one of the many reasons why managing our stress and doing whatever we can to support our mental-emotional wellness is so important. Stress can lead to increased inflammation in the gut, which can trigger systemic inflammation, and result in a compromised SKIN barrier (not to mention a compromised barrier of the gut lining, as well).


When approaching our health, it’s so important to look at the WHOLE picture & interconnectedness of our body organs & systems. Treating just one body system may help alleviate symptoms, but likely won’t facilitate complete resolution.


The Environmental Working Group (EWG) Skin Deep database has amazing resources about how “clean” your beauty products really are!


For a personalized approach to healing your own gut and skin barriers, book a free consult with me today!





 

References


Bowe, W., & Logan, A. (2011). Acne vulgaris, probiotics and the gut-brain-skin axis - back to the future?. Gut Pathogens, 3(1), 1. https://doi.org/10.1186/1757-4749-3-1


Kezic, S., & Jakasa, I. (2016). Filaggrin and Skin Barrier Function. Curr Probl Dermatol ., 49, 1-7. Retrieved 10 January 2021, from.

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