Do You Have Wheat Face?
Chocolate, potato chips, pizza, and greasy foods in general have been blamed for skin conditions for decades. Acne, in particular, is often chalked up to fatty foods, or to people touching their faces with unwashed hands. Other skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, are sometimes considered spontaneous, even though a strong body of evidence suggests they are autoimmune in nature. And if they are primarily autoimmune in nature, then an elimination diet that removes the most common dietary allergens may be beneficial.
Individuals with sensitivity to particular foods might not consider themselves to be “allergic” in the sense of sneezing or going into anaphylaxis. Rather, their sensitivity might manifest primarily via the skin. For some people, acne breakouts, redness, or dry, flaky skin may be the only indicator that they are sensitive to certain foods. There’s runner’s knee, tennis elbow, and now…gluten face?
A significant amount of research points to a connection between what goes on in the gut and what is displayed on the face. Foods that result in inflammation may have their primary manifestation as inflammation playing out through the skin, visible as redness and puffiness of the face. With the plethora of research being conducted on the gut microbiome, it seems there is no body system that is unaffected by a gut that is out of balance in it’s flora.
The presumed connection between oily food and oily skin may not be as strong as some are led to believe. Additional contributing factors appear to be gluten sensitivity and/or disrupted gut flora. And interestingly, supplementation with probiotics in mice has been shown to reduce skin inflammation as well as hair loss.
The role of gluten may be underestimated in unpleasant skin conditions. Individuals with non-celiac gluten sensitivity may have manifestations of this food intolerance outside the gut. Therefore, for some individuals, removing gluten/wheat products from the diet results in such positive effects, it almost seems only a few steps removed from magic!