SIBO and Acne: Is your gut to blame for your acne? (2023)

  • Acne is one of the symptoms of an imbalanced gut microbiome.
  • SIBO can cause skin inflammation that is related to acne.
  • Treating SIBO with antibiotics can reduce the negative effects of acne.

SIBO and Acne: Is your gut to blame for your acne? (1)

Have you ever noticed that your skin seems to break out right after eating something greasy? Or maybe you've exhausted your acne treatment options and tried everything there is. The underlying cause of your acne may actually reside in your digestive system. In the case of SIBO, an excessive population of bacteria has established itself in the small intestine. This is related not only to gastrointestinal problems but also to skin conditions like acne. Inflammation and hormonal disruptions can occur when the gut is out of whack, leading to those pesky flare-ups. But don't be afraid; there are things you can do to treat SIBO and improve the health of your skin. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and acne have been linked, so in this article I'll show you how to lighten your skin from the inside out.

What is SIBO?

The condition known as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is characterized by an abnormally high number of bacteria in the small intestine. Most of the nutrients you eat are absorbed by your body in the small intestine. Bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain are just some of the symptoms caused by an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, preventing nutrients from being absorbed.

When bacteria that live in the large intestine move to the small intestine, a condition known as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) develops. Reduced gastric acid secretion, impaired small bowel motility, and underlying medical conditions such as celiac disease and Crohn's disease are potential causes of this. The symptoms of SIBO result from bacteria in the small intestine fermenting undigested carbohydrates and producing gas.

Up to 15% of the population can suffer from SIBO. Diabetes, scleroderma, and hypothyroidism are among the medical conditions in which this is most common. People with a history of chronic antibiotic use or who have recently had abdominal surgery are also at higher risk.

Understanding acne and its causes

Acne is a skin condition caused by the accumulation of oil and dead skin cells in the hair follicles. Inflammation and the development of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads are the result of bacterial overgrowth made possible by blocked pores. You can have acne anywhere on your body, not just your face.

Although acne is most common in adolescents, it can occur at any age. Acne can have multiple causes, including hormonal changes, stress, and genetics. However, new evidence suggests that the state of the gut microbiome may also be crucial to the development of acne.

Can SIBO cause acne? The link between SIBO and acne based on research.

Humans are home to a diverse microbial community known as the gut microbiome. These microorganisms are vital to our health in many ways. Acne is just one symptom of an imbalanced gut microbiome that can cause a wide range of other health problems.

People who suffer from acne have been found to have a different mix of gut bacteria than those without a problem with the skin condition. Acne sufferers, on the other hand, tend to harbor more harmful bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and less beneficial ones like Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus.(1).

Acne can be affected by SIBO in a number of ways. Inflammation of the skin is just one of many organs that can be affected by an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine. Acne is related to inflammation.(2). Second, an increase in androgens has been linked to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Androgens, a class of hormones, have been linked to the development of acne.(3). Finally, SIBO can prevent the body from absorbing nutrients, which can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies that can negatively affect skin health.

SIBO treatment can reduce the negative effects of acne. Antibiotic treatment for SIBO was associated with significant improvement in acne severity, study finds(4). Antibiotics are commonly used to treat SIBO, but they can upset the delicate microbial balance in the intestine, worsening the condition.

Alteration of the diet and the use of complementary medicines may also be effective in the treatment of SIBO. Eating a low FODMAP diet, which limits certain carbohydrates, has been shown to alleviate SIBO symptoms.(5). Taking probiotics and prebiotics can also help restore a healthy microbiome in the digestive tract.

How to test SIBO

It is crucial to confirm a diagnosis of SIBO if you suspect that you have it. To diagnose SIBO, the hydrogen breath test is used. Hydrogen gas production in the small intestine can be measured by having the test subject drink a sugar solution. Hydrogen gas production increases when there is an overabundance of bacteria. However, it must be emphasized that a positive hydrogen breath test result is not necessarily indicative of SIBO.

How to prevent SIBO and acne

The good news is that both SIBO and acne can be avoided with the right approach. Here are some suggestions:

change your diet

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) can be triggered by a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates. SIBO prevention can be helped by avoiding processed foods, sugar, and refined carbohydrates. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are excellent examples of high-fiber foods that can aid digestion when eaten regularly.

take probiotics

Intestinal bacterial imbalance is prevented with the help of probiotics. try to find aprobiotic supplementcontaining beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

Consider herbal remedies

Oregano, berberine, and neem are just a few examples of herbs that have been studied for their potential to kill bacteria in the small intestine due to their antimicrobial properties. Before starting any new supplement regimen, it is recommended that you speak with your doctor.

Reduce stress

The microbiota-host interaction pathway (SIBO) can be compromised by stress. Meditation, yoga, and deep breathing are just a few of the stress-reducing techniques that can help you avoid SIBO and care for your skin.

Natural remedies to combat SIBO and acne

Fortunately, both SIBO and acne can be treated with a variety of all-natural options.

The Low FODMAP diet is one of the best all-natural treatments for SIBO. Short-chain carbohydrates that are poorly fermented in the small intestine (FODMAPs) can cause an overgrowth of bacteria in the intestine. To starve the bacteria in the gut, the low-FODMAP diet requires a period of time during which certain high-FODMAP foods are avoided.

Herbal antibiotics like oil of oregano, berberine, and garlic are also helpful in treating SIBO naturally. These herbs can be used to fight harmful intestinal bacteria due to their antibacterial properties.

Natural acne treatments include tea tree oil, aloe vera, and honey. Acne-causing bacteria can be killed by using tea tree oil, which has antibacterial properties. The anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera make it useful for treating skin inflammation. The antimicrobial and anti-clogging properties of honey make it a useful beauty tool.

Foods to Avoid When Treating SIBO and Acne

Foods that can worsen SIBO and acne should be avoided during treatment.

When treating SIBO, it is important to avoid high FODMAP foods like garlic, onion, and wheat. These foods promote an overabundance of gut bacteria by providing fuel for existing bacteria.

When trying to treat acne, it's also a good idea to cut out sugar and processed foods. Acne-inducing sebum production increases in response to sugar consumption. Inflammation in the body from eating processed foods has been linked to acne.

When it comes to getting rid of acne, dairy products should also be avoided. Hormones in dairy have been linked to hormonal imbalances and increased acne.

frequent questions

1. Can Leaky Gut Cause Acne?

leaky gut, also known as intestinal permeability, is a condition in which harmful substances and bacteria can pass through the intestinal lining and enter the bloodstream. Acne can be exacerbated by the inflammation caused by it. Overloading the liver with bacteria and toxins that have seeped into the bloodstream can exacerbate skin problems.

2. Is acne a sign of poor intestinal health?

Since the gut and skin are so intimately connected, acne can be an indicator of gastrointestinal upset. Acne can develop as a result of increased sebum production due to inflammation and hormonal imbalances caused by SIBO. Inflammation and its consequences for the skin can also be caused by toxins produced by intestinal bacteria.

3. Can IBS cause acne?

Abdominal pain, bloating, and a change in bowel habits are just some of the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a disorder of the large intestine. Although irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may not be the direct cause of acne, stress and the inflammation it causes can play a role in skin problems.


In conclusion, the health of our gut microbiome has a huge impact on whether or not we experience acne. The overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, known as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), is associated with a number of dermatological conditions, including acne. Acne symptoms can be reduced if SIBO is treated with a change in diet and natural supplements. Acne sufferers would do well to investigate the state of their gut microbiome. A glowing complexion starts in the gut, so taking care of it is important for overall health.


  1. Chilicka, K., Dziora-Urbińska, I., Szyguła, R., Asanova, B. & Nowicka, D. (2022). Microbiome and probiotics in acne vulgaris: a narrative review. Life, 12(3), 422.‌
  2. Inflammatory acne: symptoms, types, causes, treatment. (North Dakota.). Cleveland Clinic.é ‌
  3. Cleveland Clinic. (2021, October 24). Androgens: function, measurement, and related disorders. Cleveland Clinic. ‌
  4. Thompson, K., Rainer, B.M., Antonescu, C., Florea, L., Mongodin, E.F., Kang, S., & Chien, A.L. (2020). Minocycline and its impact on microbial dysbiosis in the skin and gastrointestinal tract of acne patients. 32(1), 21–30. ‌
  5. Magge, S. & Lembo, A. (2012). Low FODMAP diet for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 8(11), 739–745. ‌


All content on this blog, including medical opinion and any other health related information, is for informational purposes only. Any information/statements on this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, and should NOT be a substitute for health and medical advice that may be provided by your own physician. At Nano Singapore Shop, we encourage you to consult a doctor before making any health or dietary changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition.

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