What if Ibuprofen or Aspirin is Causing Your Acne?

Research has shown that ibuprofen specifically causes gut permeability, meaning that the drug causes inflammation in the intestines. Gut permeability in turn leads to “leaky gut syndrome” that allows toxins to leak into the bloodstream. The U.S. National Institutes of Health recently released a report showing that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can cause intestinal inflammation and increase the permeability of the intestines:

All the conventional NSAIDs studied were equally associated with small intestinal inflammation apart from aspirin and nabumetone which seem to spare the small bowel.

Think about that phenomenal observation: All NSAIDs studied have been linked to intestinal inflammation. Another study from the New England Journal of Medicine investigated the frequency and nature of NSAID-associated damage to the small intestine, examining deceased patients. The findings were startling–researchers found that patients who take NSAIDs have an increased risk of nonspecific ulceration of the small-intestinal mucosa.

Three patients who were long-term users of NSAIDs were found to have died of perforated nonspecific small-intestinal ulcers. Ulcers of the stomach or duodenum were found in 54 (21.7 percent) of the patients who used these drugs and 57 (12.3 percent) of those who had not.

How is this revelation related to acne? Research has shown that inflammation is involved in the early formation of acne vulgaris. Here’s an excerpt from the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology study “The Role of Inflammation in the Pathology of Acne”:

Clinical evidence for inflammation during early acne development is derived from an investigation by Do et al who conducted a serial photographic study of 25 acne patients. Patients were photographed every two weeks, and the digital photographs were spatially aligned and analyzed for acne lesions….

Notably, although 72 percent of these lesions were preceded by another acne lesion type or scar, 28 percent were preceded by normal-appearing skin. Thus, comedones were not detected at 28 percent of lesion sites before the appearance of the inflammatory lesions. These data support a model of acne pathogenesis in which the initiation of inflammatory events occurs early in the pathogenic process and before clinical detection of the acne lesion. However, although these studies have documented the occurrence of inflammation at the microcomedo stage and before any hyperproliferative changes, a definitive causal relationship between inflammation and the development of microcomedones from apparently normal skin still remains to be established. [Source]

What can we learn about the research on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs? First, avoid using those substances, as they damage the lining of your intestinal wall. Next, work to strengthen your intestinal wall and decrease inflammation in the body. How do you do that? Simple steps to clear skin are detailed in Clear Skin Weekend, the bestselling educational acne guidebook.