American Journal of Clinical Dermatology

, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 721–732 | Cite as

Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics for the Treatment and Prevention of Adult Dermatological Diseases

  • Manisha Notay
  • Negar Foolad
  • Alexandra R. Vaughn
  • Raja K. SivamaniEmail author
Systematic Review



Probiotic, prebiotic, and synbiotic supplementation is becoming more prevalent nowadays. Clinical studies have demonstrated some of the medical benefits of probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics within dermatology but an evidence-based review of their effects in adults is needed.


The aim of this study was to identify evidence for the use of supplementation with probiotics, prebiotics, or synbiotics for the prevention and treatment of dermatological diseases in adults.

Data sources

We conducted a search of the Ovid MEDLINE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled trials and EMBASE electronic databases from 1 January 1946 to 11 January 2017.

Study selection

Trials examining supplementation in the treatment of dermatological diseases using oral or topical probiotics, synbiotics, and prebiotics in adults over the age of 18 years were selected.

Data extraction

Of 315 articles, 12 met the inclusion criteria.

Data synthesis

Nutritional supplementation with probiotics and prebiotics was shown to improve atopic dermatitis (AD) symptomatology, quality of life, or clinical severity in six of nine studies. One study in psoriasis was shown to improve inflammatory markers, and one study suggested that probiotics could be used as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of acne.


Preliminary studies are optimistic for the use of some strains of probiotics for symptomatic and clinical improvement in AD, and as adjunctive treatment with antibiotics for acne. Further research is necessary to better assess how probiotics and prebiotics may be used within dermatology.



The authors thank Bruce Abbott for his assistance in conducting the systematic search algorithms.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


No funding was received for the preparation of this review.

Conflict of interest

Manisha Notay, Negar Foolad, and Alexandra R. Vaughn have no conflicts of interests to declare. Raja K. Sivamani serves as a scientific advisor for Dermveda.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of DermatologyUC DavisSacramentoUSA
  2. 2.Drexel University College of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biological SciencesCalifornia State University – SacramentoSacramentoUSA

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