Woman wearing mask with text on photo "Got maskne? Here's the Gut-Skin-Brain axis solution"

The Gut-Skin-Brain Axis Solution For Maskne

More than ever before, people are experiencing skin problems related to acne, especially around their faces, due to wearing masks, sometimes for extended periods throughout the day. This issue has become so common and chronic, people refer to it as maskne — mask + acne — and dermatologists take this problem just as seriously as their patients.

Living in the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t been easy, but you’ve been making the best of it by following the healthy steps to stay out of harm’s way and protecting your immune system.

Wearing a mask outdoors when running simple errands — going to the grocery store, taking a walk around your neighborhood or navigating situations where social distancing is not feasible — has become our new normal, and it’s likely to stay that way for a little while longer.

It’s nothing new

Maskne isn’t new. Way before the coronavirus pandemic, this issue arose more than you think, mostly with sweaty athletes who wear helmets with straps.

However, maskne has become such a thing that medical experts from Yale Medicine and John Hopkins Medicine to the American Academy of Dermatology have weighed in on treating it.

Most of the steps these institutions recommend are based on common sense.

  1. Keep your face clean with mild soaps (definitely no antibacterial soaps).
  2. Easy on the makeup and skincare products if you use them.
  3. On masks, be sure you’re using ones made from materials that don’t irritate your skin and wash fabric masks you’re regularly wearing.
  4. Men with facial hair or fair skin and extra hair follicles, pay attention to excess irritation and ingrown hairs.

Some professionals even believe probiotic cosmetic creams can be a good way to treat acne. Certainly, some creams may help but do they get to the heart of the problem?

Your gut’s role

When it comes to acne, the health of your gut really matters in several ways, demonstrating that the gut-skin-brain axis connection is a real thing.

For one, doctors prescribe lots of medications to treat acne. In moderate to severe cases, antibiotics are the go-to drugs that create all kinds of problems we’ve discussed a lot in this space.

Unmanaged stress is another concern that triggers acne. There’s certainly plenty of that to go around with having to deal with the coronavirus every day, not to mention poor Western diets full of sugar and a lack of exercise.

These challenges disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut, triggering inflammation that shows up on your body as acne or, in this case, maskne.

So what can you do about it?

An extensive report detailed in Frontiers in Microbiology points to a simple solution: Successful treatments of acne with varieties of beneficial bacteria from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families in the form of probiotics.

What’s more, we’ve seen over and over how probiotics formulated with multiple strains of beneficial bacteriathat promote a diverse, healthy gut microbiome make a big difference in the health of your gut which happens to be connected to your brain and skin too.

EndoMune Advanced Probiotic features a proprietary blend of 10 beneficial strains of bacteria, along with a very important prebiotic (FOS), to protect your gut-brain-skin axis and help ease the effects of maskne.




10 ways to treat acne naturally

Are you fighting acne without success? A survey of websites about acne lists countless ways to beat it. Unfortunately, many treatments involve taking drugs like the controversial Accutane or antibiotics that have been so overprescribed they often disrupt the healthy balance of gut bacteria that can lead to diarrhea.

The good news, however, is that there are many effective ways to treat and prevent the spread of acne. What follows are 10 completely safe natural acne treatments.

  1. Keep your hair cut and off your face. Because your hair contains oils that contribute to acne breakouts, keep your hair off your face. Washing your hair every day and after workouts is also recommended.
  2. Apply honey on acne for a quick fix. Honey is a natural antibacterial that’s used in many facial products. But, if you want to eliminate a pimple in a hurry, there’s nothing like applying a dab of real honey on it then putting on a Band-Aid before going to bed. By the following morning, the pimple should be a lot smaller, if it isn’t gone.
  3. Don’t touch your face. You probably aren’t aware how often you touch your face, scratch your nose or lick your fingertips with your lips before turning the page of a book. This doesn’t account for the all the unclean surfaces you touch, including germs on your cell phone, either. Since touching your face at some point during the day is unavoidable, washing your hands often with soap (a non-antimicrobial product is better for your health), and hot water is a safe and easy solution.
  4. Wash your pillowcases regularly. You spend a good portion of your day in a resting position with your face planted on a pillowcase that absorbs the oils and dirt your face has accumulated. Give your face a rest by changing the pillowcases on your bed at least every other day.
  5. Ice it down. When you first notice a pimple, put an ice cube in a plastic bag and place it on the infected area at least twice each day for no more than five minutes at a time. The icy cold reduces inflammation and eases the redness.
  6. Don’t squeeze! Probably the worst thing you can do – picking at or squeezing your pimples – breaks membranes below the skin, thus increasing sebum production and spreading it underneath your skin.
  7. Do you need all that makeup? Using makeup is one more way to clog your pores. If wearing makeup is important to you, be sure to use water-based products, and wash them off your face when your day is done.
  8. Reduce the extra rubbing of your skin with plastic or synthetic fibers. Although we assume acne as being just a problem on your face, it can creep up anywhere. One form, acne mechanica, is caused by friction, pressure or heat applied to the skin or when skin isn’t exposed to air (playing an musical instrument, carrying a backpack or wearing athletic equipment are good examples). What we assume is a rash due to constantly rubbed skin is really acne.
  9. Sweating cleans the pores of your face. Have you incorporated exercise into your daily routine? Working up a good sweat improves your emotional health, and beats the stress that can disturb the healthy balance of intestinal bacteria. This imbalance over-stimulates the immune system that can contribute to skin inflammation and trigger acne.
  10. Take a multi-species probiotic every day. When people experience acne due to the aforementioned imbalance that over-stimulates the immune system, many doctors prescribe a topical or oral antibiotic. However, the overprescribing of antibiotics have led to undesirable side effects, including a disruption in the body’s healthy balance of good and bad bacteria causing unwelcome side effects like diarrhea. Not only can taking a multi-species probiotic replenish the healthy balance of bacteria in your body, it can lessen gastrointestinal problems and reduce the inflammation that triggers acne safely and naturally.

We hope these 10 tips help you cure acne naturally!

The Gut-Brain-Skin Connection and the Benefits of Probiotics

Greetings EndoMune Subscribers!

March is the month we shake off the winter blues and start thinking about spring flowers and beautiful days. On the flip side, it is also the time we must complete taxes; or for students, prepare for midterm exams. Basically, March is a happy month mixed with some stress.

This month I want to discuss two common chronic skin conditions affected by stress: Acne vulgarus and Acne Roseaca.

Emotional Stress Leads To Bodily Stress

A well-respected medical journal, Gut Pathogens, published an interesting article last year that outlined how emotional stress has an impact upon common skin conditions like acne and rosacea.

Consider these four cases:

1.) Emotional stress can disturb the healthy balance of intestinal bacteria.
2.) Overgrowth of harmful bacteria break down the intestinal barrier and stimulates the immune system
3.) The immune system can contribute to the skin inflammation that causes acne and rosacea.
4.) Re-establishing the healthy balance of intestinal bacteria helps to improve these skin conditions.

Where There’s A Probiotic, There’s A Cure

Acne or pimples occur when hair follicles become infected. The exact cause is still unknown, but the hair follicles become blocked which allows the bacteria, Probionibacterium acnes, to proliferate and cause inflammation resulting in pimples. A very common form of therapy is to prescribe antibiotics either topically or orally to clear the infection and control flares of acne. Unfortunately, this form of therapy is also associated with intestinal side effects and doesn’t always work. Scientific studies have shown that adding probiotics to standard acne treatment therapy can improve the inflammation and also lessen GI symptoms.

Acne Rosacea or rosacea is a common chronic skin condition that occurs in adults. It causes redness of the face and nose and pimples. In advanced cases, the nose becomes bulbous. President Bill Clinton and Prince Charles are among the millions of people who suffer from this condition.

Stress is a factor that can aggravate rosacea. Excess build up of bacteria in the intestines also plays a role. Taking antibiotics can help to control the skin inflammation. There are several scientific reports that also adding probiotics can help.

Over the years, a number of readers have written in, letting us know how much EndoMune has helped them manage teenage acne and adult rosacea…especially during stressful times!

Take Home Message

Bottom line: If you or your loved ones have these skin conditions, consider taking EndoMune to lessen skin flares – especially if March brings you stress.

Eat healthy, exercise, take EndoMune and live well!

Best Wishes,
Lawrence Hoberman MD

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