When I hit my forties, I started to suffer from a skin condition call Rosacea. Before forty my skin had always been pretty good and even as a teenager, I had not suffered badly with skin issues. But as soon as I hit forty, I had the double whammy of wrinkles and Rosacea flare-ups. Rosacea is a skin condition which causes redness, pus filled pimples, swelling and small dilated blood vessels. There were definite triggers for my Rosacea; too much sugar, alcohol and almonds and it always arrived on one side of my face. It was something I tried to manage. Cutting back on sugar and alcohol certainly helped and not being too greedy with nuts. But there was always a patch by the side of my mouth which was annoyingly persistent.
A couple of years ago my son had had multiple course of antibiotics which were taking a toll on his guts. I’d read that probiotics could help counteract the effects of antibiotics, so I went on a mission to find foods naturally rich in probiotics. Naturally fermented vegetables are rich in probiotics (good bacteria) so I started making these for him. This is how Bodkin’s got started. I made fermented vegetables for my son and then other members of the family and friends became interested and it snowballed. I too began eating a lot of fermented vegetables. It was a number of months later that I noticed my Rosacea had improved. It took me a while to join the dots but the improvement in my Rosacea seemed to coincide with me eating a lot of fermented vegetables. This is anecdotal and personal to me, but I have since read evidence and found on-going scientific interest in taking probiotics and foods rich in probiotics like naturally fermented vegetables to help Rosacea and acne.
There is a growing field of medicine and research looking into the effects of stress, gut bacteria and digestion on skin health. The working hypothesis seems to be that having good gut health with a diverse range of good bacteria helps to maintain good skin health.
Dr.Bowe, an American academy of dermatology expert, suggests stress alone or in combination with processed comfort foods that lack fibre can slow digestion. This in turn changes the type and number of bacteria that live in the gut to unhealthy bacteria. Eventually the gut lining becomes leaky and toxins are released into the bloodstream causing inflammation throughout the body. People who are predisposed to acne or Rosacea can experience flares as a result of this shift in gut bacteria and subsequent inflammation. To counteract flares of acne or Rosacea Dr.Bowe advises patients to find ways to help manage or cope with stress, fix their diet or introduce healthy bacteria to the gut in the form of probiotics. The probiotics will line the gut and create a healthy, sealed barrier that prevents inflammation that can trigger acne or Rosacea.
It may well be early days in this new field of dermatological medicine, but I think that eating fermented vegetables which are naturally rich in probiotics ( good bacteria) has helped my Rosacea.