The link between gut health and psoriasis as Beyonce reveals condition

Beyoncé revealed that she has had psoriasis since childhood. (Getty Images)
Beyoncé revealed that she has had psoriasis since childhood. (Getty Images)

Beyonce Knowles Carter has psoriasis. The singer, 42, revealed that she has suffered with the skin condition since childhood.

Speaking about the inspiration behind her new haircare line Cécred, the singer told Essence: “I have many beautiful memories attached to my hair. The relationship we have with our hair is such a deeply personal journey. From spending my childhood in my mother’s salon to my father applying oil on my scalp to treat my psoriasis— these moments have been sacred to me.”

Psoriasis is a skin condition that can cause flaky patches of skin in a reddish hue, which can also look purple or dark brown on black and brown skin tones.

The most common places for these patches to appear are knees, scalp, elbows and lower back, but they can appear anywhere on the body.

According to the NHS, around 2%, or 2 in 100, of the British population have the condition, and its symptoms often first present themselves either between the ages of 20 and 30, or 50 and 60.

The link between gut health and psoriasis

Psoriasis is caused by an increased production of skin cells – but it also has links to gut health.

One study from 2018 found that psoriasis “is a disease characterised by a leaky gut”, and that some of the bacteria absorbed from the gut can have a toxic effect on the liver and skin. A separate study from 2020 said that the gut microbiome for people with the condition differed from that of healthy subjects, suggesting that gut health could play a pivotal role.

psoriasis elbows
Elbows are one of the more common areas for psoriasis patches to occur. (Getty Images)

Ada Ooi, TCM Practitioner and Founder of 001 Skincare explains that the gut microbiome is a “community of microorganisms residing in our gastrointestinal tract”.

“These microbes play a key role in our metabolism, digestion and immune function,” she adds. “People with psoriasis have a disrupted gut microbiome similar to those with IBD, and the diversity of the gut microbiome plays a role in the severity of psoriasis.”

How to look after gut health to prevent psoriasis flare ups

Ooi says dietary adjustments are key for rebalancing gut health, and recommends eating more fermented and probiotic-rich foods.

“Herbal remedies such as turmeric, liquorice root, and Rehmannia can be prescribed to reduce inflammation and support gut health,” she adds. “Stress management techniques are also very important - acupuncture, gentle exercise and meditation reduce emotional stress, which can exacerbate psoriasis symptoms by influencing gut-brain axis communication.”

Other psoriasis triggers

Along with imbalanced gut health, other triggers for psoriasis can include environmental factors, diet and lifestyle, genetics, and stress.

“Environmental triggers such as stress, infections, and certain medications can exacerbate symptoms as well as lifestyle factors like smoking, obesity, and excessive alcohol consumption also increase susceptibility,” Ooi explains.

“People who have a family history of psoriasis are at higher risk of developing the disease as it can be passed down through genetics.”

If you suspect you have psoriasis, speak to your GP about a diagnosis and getting the right form of treatment for you. For more information on the condition, visit

Gut health: Read more

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