Ceramides Increase Skin Moisture and Help Psoriasis, Acne

September 11, 2017 | Linda J. Dobberstein, Chiropractor, Board Certified in Clinical Nutrition

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Ceramides Increase Skin Moisture and Help Psoriasis, Acne
Dry or scaly skin, cracks in the skin, red inflamed skin, and fine lines indicate your skin barrier could use some help. Acne, dry skin, psoriasis, allergic dermatitis, or skin infections with candida or staph may be present. Loss of the glue that holds the skin cells together is at the crux of the skin barrier breakdown. Protection of this barrier is essential and requires a special lipid, or fat, called ceramides.

Ceramides are types of fatty substances that are found in the skin. The epidermis and dermal layers of the skin produce and contain ceramides. Ceramides are crucial for the formation of the skin barrier and help skin cells stick together. This helps keep moisture in. Ceramides perform other diverse cellular roles, i.e. differentiation, signaling, and apoptosis within the skin and immunology. Ceramides are responsible for skin barrier function and are considered a fundamental backbone for skin. Natural forms of plant-based ceramides called phytoceramides help keep the skin barrier intact.

Ceramides Help Psoriasis, Dermatitis, Dry Skin


Skin disorders and aging cause a breakdown in the skin barrier and lead to skin dryness. Psoriasis, atopic or allergic dermatitis, aged skin, acne vulgaris, dermatitis, and Nimann-Pick disease, have decreased levels of ceramide. Supplementation of plant-based ceramides have been shown in animal and human studies to be safe and effective for skin hydration and skin barrier reinforcement.

Allergic Dermatitis, Skin Infections


Skin breakdown in allergic/atopic dermatitis and other skin disorders reflects a complex breakdown that involves an altered immune responses with inflammatory markers (IL-4, IL-13), imbalanced Th1, Th2, Th17 and Th22 immune cells, and an increased production of cytokines. Breakdown in the deeper skin layer occurs with loss of ceramides, other lipids, proteins, and/or genes. As the breakdown occurs, water loss occurs and there is an increase in allergen and germ exposure. The immune system triggers barrier breakdown and barrier breakdown triggers immune reactivity. It is a breakdown from the inside-out and outside-in. This can lead to problems with allergic dermatitis and even skin infections.

In more severe cases of atopic dermatitis, skin breakdown can result in a topical bacterial and candida infection. The British Journal of Dermatology showed that decreased ceramide levels correlated with Staph aureus colonization on the skin with allergic dermatitis. Medical treatment often focuses on oral antibiotics. However, this new finding suggests when ceramides and other lipids are compromised in the skin with allergic dermatitis, then staph colonization or infection is more likely. Fixing the source of the problem is crucial to get a deeper level of healing.

Candida infections of the skin represent a threat to young and old alike with compromised immune systems. A 1997 research study demonstrated that when healthy lipids like ceramides in the skin were lacking, candida on the skin doubled. When skin had healthy ceramide levels, candida adherence to the skin was blocked.

Dry Skin & Ceramides


In a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial, wheat phytoceramides showed significant improvement in dry skin. Fifty-one women age 20 to 63 with dry to very dry skin were given either placebo or phytoceramides for three months. Skin dryness was markedly improved in all perimeters measured. Participants tolerated the phytoceramides supplement with simultaneous appreciation for the improvement in dry skin.

If you tend to get dry skin in the winter months, support of skin ceramides is important. A study observed dramatic changes in skin ceramides in the winter months. Loss of considerable amounts of ceramides occurred during the cold winter months which changed the health of the skin. This led to increased susceptibility of skin xerosis or very dry skin in the winter. Replenishment of the special fats like ceramides in the skin was suggested to help heal the skin and improve the skin barrier.

Acne and Phytoceramides


Skin barrier dysfunction is believed to be one cause for acne. Research suggests that impaired water barrier function of the skin caused by decreased amounts of ceramide may be responsible for acne comedone formation. A number of studies show positive benefit for the use of phytoceramides to help improve acne. Phytoceramides are shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial support for the skin. Study results suggest that these compounds enhance and complement other acne therapies.

Ceramide Support


Ceramides extracted from wheat provide an excellent source of phytoceramides. Wellness Resources Skin Rejuvenator contains Ceramosides Wheat Extract, which is non-GMO and gluten free. It contains less than 3 parts per million gluten, an undetectable amount.

Ceramides work together with other lipids to keep the skin healthy. These include the omega-3 fish oil EPA/DHA and squalene. Just like lipids elsewhere in the body, these special fats work best together with antioxidants that help the skin. A diet rich in a rainbow color of fruits and vegetables is the backbone of health. Supplementation with grape seed extract, vitamins A, C, and E, green tea extract, beta carotene, lycopene, zinc, copper, and MSM sulfur provides more support for those who may have skin problems or want to provide additional protection.

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