Brooklyn doctor examines reasons for aging skin and helpful ways to treat and prevent it
Did you know that the health and makeup of your intestinal bacteria plays a major role in the strength of your immune system? The bacteria that is located in your gut is like its own internal ecosystem and when there is a disruption to the balance of good and bad bacteria, it can contribute to a number of chronic conditions such as autoimmune disorders, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, metabolic syndrome, and more. So, what does this have to do with treating and preventing aging skin? Well, a lot. Chances are you you’ve heard of probiotics and the benefits of eating foods that contain probiotics such as yogurt, kefir, and kimchi. But what you may not know is that probiotics have many benefits for the skin as well. At Atlantic Gastroenterology in Brooklyn, NY, Dr. Shapsis and his team are committed to helping patients live happier, healthier lives. In the following article, we’ll look at the wide-ranging benefits of probiotics for both the body and the skin.
Probiotics and Microbiomes
Every individual has a distinct combination of trillions of microbes living in and on our body known as a microbiome. Recently, research has shown that our skin has its own distinct microbiome. While that sounds creepy, these organisms play a major role in our health and the look and feel of our skin. Both probiotics and microorganisms are an important part of staying youthful and feeling vibrant.
Reasons for aging skin
There are several reasons our skin will age. While we can’t change our body’s natural aging process, we can control certain influences that will accelerate the aging of our skin. Some of the most common causes of aging skin are:
Sun Exposure – Prolonged UV exposure can lead to discoloration and age spots. While Vitamin D does benefit the skin, after about 20 minutes in the sun, the positive effects of Vitamin D begin to be counteracted by UV Damage.
Diet – You are what you eat, right? A diet high in fats, refined sugars, processed foods, and even excessive dairy can lead to inflammation of the skin.
Lifestyle Factors – Smoking and drinking are not good for overall health and can dramatically age the skin. Smoking can cause discoloration of the skin and the development of fine lines around the mouth. Additionally, excess alcohol consumption can lead to discoloration, spider veins, and broken blood vessels.
Probiotics and the skin
The skin is composed of three layers – the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis. The top layer, the epidermis has no blood supply and is composed of a type of cell called keratinocytes. There are several layers of keratinocytes that continuously grow toward the surface as the top layer of cells dies and sloughs off. Still, within the skin there is an abundance of microflora which has a profound effect on the appearance of the skin. Probiotics help balance the skin’s microbiome, which helps maintain a youthful appearance.
Within the diverse microflora of the skin is good bacteria and bad bacteria, otherwise known as resident bacteria and transient bacteria. Without balance, the resident bacteria can become bad bacteria, and lead to common skin concerns such as acne.
The benefits of balance
When the skin’s microbiome is balanced with probiotics, it provides the following benefits:
- Greater protection from environmental issues such as sun damage, cold, and excessive moisture.
- Allows skin to retain proper hydration, diminishing signs of dryness.
- Restores pH balance to the skin surface.
In addition to balancing the skin’s microflora, when probiotics are used on the skin, they promote the creation of hyaluronic acid, vitamins, and ceramides, which all improve the tone and texture of the skin for a more youthful appearance.
Which probiotics are best for the skin?
If you want to start introducing probiotics into your life to address skin concerns, you can begin with foods and beverages that are rich in probiotics. Some examples are:
- Yogurt – Made from milk fermented with good bacteria.
- Kefir – Fermented probiotic drink.
- Sauerkraut – Shredded fermented cabbage.
- Kimchi – Spicy, fermented Korean dish made of cabbage or other vegetables.
- Kombucha – Black or green tea fermented with good bacteria.
To aid even more in the treatment and prevention of aging skin, you may also investigate specific skin care products that have a mix of probiotics, prebiotics, and lysates.
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