Love your gut, love your skin


The skin and the gut have a lot in common. They are both body parts that come into contact with the outside world, and are therefore our key defenders against outside ills, and they both have their own microbiome (population of microbes). They also have a bidirectio­nal relationsh­ip with each other – changes in the gut affect the skin, and vice versa. This is known as the gut–skin axis. The skin also accommodat­es bacteria, fungi and viruses, with every square centimetre housing more than a million microorgan­isms. This is called the skin microbiome. The microbes live on the surface of our skin and also below it, in the dermal layer. Similar to how the microbes in our gut play a major role in our body, our skin microbes have an important role too. They activate and communicat­e with our internal immune system to protect against invading pathogens, and they fight off infections, modulate inflammati­on and protect us from outside harm.

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