It’s always a bumpy ride when skin issues surface. Particularly when it comes to children. Thinking about acne and eczema literally makes many parents’ skin crawl (myself included). My daughter Tamsin suffered from eczema throughout school and into university. When any signs of dryness or red bumps appear on your child’s skin and you've tried so many different products to ease the symptoms, but nothing seems to help it can be very frustrating.
Does your child often feel irritated? Do you both tend to suffer from skin issues? New research has come to light that may be the helping hand that we’ve all been waiting for.
The condition of your skin can say a lot about your health and common skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis can actually be a sign that your gut isn’t functioning properly.
I hear from many parents whose children are suffering from skin problems, two of the most common complaints are eczema and acne. Both can have a negative impact on quality of life both visually and with physical symptoms such as itchiness, pain and lack of sleep.
Fortunately the latest research that scientists are uncovering is the connection between the health of your microbiome and how it can directly affects and impacts your skin. This is welcome relief for many parents who are struggling to find answers that don’t involve hardcore steroid creams or medication.
It’s easy to forget that your skin is actually an organ; in fact, it’s your body’s largest organ. Your skin is part of the integumentary system, which also consists of your hair and nails and its main function is to act as a physical, chemical and antimicrobial barrier.
An important factor in keeping your skin healthy is sebum. Whilst the right amount of sebum protects the skin, too much can result in conditions such acne and too little can result in dry or cracked skin.
Your gut flora have been shown to influence sebum production (an oily secretion that reduces water loss from the skin surface and protects the skin from infection caused by bacteria or fungi) as well as the fatty acid composition of the sebum. Signals sent from your gut flora can communicate with the bacteria on your skin and research is beginning to show these interactions have a major influence on skin conditions such as dryness, collagen production and other skin issues such as atopic dermatitis.
This week I interviewed cell and molecular biologist Dr Peter French, Bioxyne’s Chief Scientist so that I could learn more about this condition that is affecting 10% of the population and find out more about the connections between atopic dermatitis and the gut. Over the years I made my own discoveries too such as the importance of gut health and the prevalence of staph infections in eczema cases. I had always been convinced that this was one of the missing links but it was never confirmed until now.
Even if this post only helps one family it will make my work worthwhile!
What is atopic dermatitis? What are the causes?
Atopic dermatitis (AD), also known as eczema, is a common inflammatory skin disease affecting 10% of the population, and posing a significant burden on healthcare resources and on the patients’ quality of life. The first signs of AD usually appear early in life (from 6 months of age) and often precede other allergic diseases such as asthma or allergic rhinitis. The majority of cases (at least 60%) arise within the first year of life.