The gut and skin share many features, including acting as primary interfaces with the external environment. They both harbour an abundance of microbes, of which the number and type differ depending upon the site e.g. forehead vs. cheek and duodenum vs large intestine.
Cumulative evidence has shown that a bidirectional communication between the gut and the skin exists, with studies highlighting how composition and functional changes in the gut microbiome can impact skin homeostasis.
The gut microbiome appears to play a pivotal role in the development of several skin conditions and is considered a promising target for management.
Although the exact mechanisms by which the gut microbiome influences the skin have yet to be fully elucidated, it is thought that disturbances in gut barrier function, and alterations in inflammatory mediators (e.g. cytokines), metabolites (e.g. SCFAs), as well as neurotransmitters and hormones may be key drivers (Mahmud et al 2022).