How Gut Issues Can Cause Skin Issues


Gut dysbiosis, also known as an imbalance of microflora in the small intestine, can lead to systemic inflammation and digestive symptoms like bloating, gas, abdominal pain, distension, and diarrhoea.  

Inflammation in the gut can be linked to skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis and eczema. Thus, if you are experiencing gut inflammation, it is probable that you may also experience symptoms in other areas of your body, including your skin. However, addressing the root cause of gut inflammation can alleviate the aforementioned skin conditions.

The Connection Between The Gut and Our Skin

It is not uncommon for individuals with skin problems to also have underlying digestive issues that require attention. At the Dublin Centre for Functional Medicine, we prioritize identifying and addressing the root cause of digestive issues as a means of improving skin health.

The gut microbiota transmits signals to the skin, which can affect its composition, inflammation, and sebum production and a compromised gut microbiota or intestinal barrier can lead to poor gut health.

The gut-skin axis refers to the bidirectional communication pathway between the gut and skin.  Any disruption in the gut can have an impact on the skin. Inflammation is a significant contributor to this disruption and can be triggered by a combination of imbalances in the microbiome,, autoimmunity, and dietary factors,

Common Skin Problems Associated with Compromised Gut Health


The relationship between rosacea and gut health is multifaceted. Evidence suggests that imbalances in the gut microbiome can contribute to the development of rosacea, while the skin condition can also impact gut function. Research has found that individuals with rosacea often have a higher amount of harmful bacteria in their gut than those without the condition.

The gut microbiome plays a critical role in regulating the immune system, and imbalances in gut bacteria can prompt an immune response, leading to inflammation and irritation. Additionally, digestive issues such as Candida and other imbalances  can increase the production of toxic substances in the gut, known as endotoxins, which can also cause skin irritation and rosacea symptoms in addition to other systemic disease.

Therefore, maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is crucial for managing rosacea. This can be accomplished through a diet of high unprocessed foods, fibres, pre and probiotics whilst some of the more inflammatory foods such as alcohol, gluten and dairy. If there is an overgrowth, some types of fibre need to be avoided but the nuances can be discussed with your functional medicine doctor or practitioner.


Most conventional acne treatments are topical, which contrasts with the functional medicine approach of identifying and addressing the underlying imbalance. Topical treatments like steroids and antibiotics, which can further disrupt the balance, may provide temporary relief but can worsen an already unbalanced microbiome.

The relationship between gut health and acne is complex, and there is evidence to suggest that they may be related. Acne is a prevalent skin condition that affects millions of people, and while the exact cause of acne remains unclear, it is thought to be linked to a combination of hormonal imbalances, genetics, and lifestyle factors.

Similarly to other skin conditions previously discussed, there is a correlation between dysbiosis, SIBO, leaky gut, and acne. The same mechanisms, such as endotoxins entering the bloodstream causing inflammation, detoxification issues, and subsequent acne, are at play. While there are other factors involved, studies have shown that the gut-skin connection is an underlying factor that needs to be addressed.


Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin condition  that can be painful, itchy, and unsightly. Although the exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Western medicine has not yet fully understood the cause of psoriasis, and the treatment process involves identifying and avoiding triggers that lead to symptom flare-ups.

Research has shown that people with psoriasis have an imbalance in their gut microbiome. Additionally, individuals with psoriasis have higher concentrations of proinflammatory cytokines, which may be triggered by microorganisms leaving the intestine and entering the bloodstream, such as LPS. This can be very inflammatory for the skin. Therefore, addressing gut health may be an important factor in managing psoriasis in addition to avoiding foods that trigger inflammation, increasing fibre intake, and eating a diverse diet, can all play a role in improving gut health and managing psoriasis symptoms.

Stress and Skin Health

Stress can also have a significant impact on gut health. When we are under stress, the body produces cortisol, a hormone that can disrupt the balance of gut bacteria and lead to inflammation in the gut. Chronic stress can lead to chronic inflammation in the gut, which can contribute to a range of health problems.

The Role of Nutrients in Skin Health

When an individual suffers from gut imbalances, their gut may fail to absorb nutrients from food properly, leading to deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals that promote healthy skin including zinc, D, C and E. This deficiency can cause a number of symptoms due to not having the essential building blocks for skin health  increasing the risk of developing skin conditions such as those mentioned above.

How to Gut Imbalance to Improve Your Skin

In order to improve your digestive system and maintain healthy skin, it’s crucial to address any current infections, and identify the root cause of the issue. This can be done through various testing that can be done including the SIBO breath test and gut health tests such as the GI MAP. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that your body is obtaining the necessary vitamins and minerals, prebiotics and probiotics, and adopting more anti-inflammatory eating habits.. These measures can help alleviate symptoms and potentially resolve the underlying problem.

How We Can Help

The functional medicine approach to working with skin conditions is looking at the root cause rather than using band aids to mask symptoms.If you are having skin issues, reach out to us at the Dublin Centre for Functional Medicine and schedule a 15 minute discovery call to see how we can help.

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