Acne and rosacea – where the skin becomes inflamed due to bacterial activity – are the bane of many people’s lives. Traditionally, antibiotics have been used to treat the worst cases. But new research suggests probiotics may have a valuable role to play.
Dr Whitney P. Bowe has been looking at the way probiotics can subdue the inflammatory response that leads to the redness and disfiguration of acne and rosacea.
When certain types of probiotics are placed in contact with skin cells, they calm the parts of the cells that may want to react to the presence of bad bacteria that they see as a threat. These healthy signals produced by the probiotics stop the skin cells from sending “attack” messages to the immune system that result in flares of acne or rosacea.
As far as we know, there are no commercial products containing probiotic ingredients that work in the manner described. Some people have resorted to applying homemade concoctions of Greek yogurt to their skin to combat breakouts. But you can be sure that cosmetics manufacturers will be looking into the possibilities.