The 6 best probiotics for psoriasis

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The microorganisms that live in your gut help control your digestion, immune system, and more, and as Dr. Hadley King, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, tells Mic, “studies have shown that the microbiome directly influences skin, specifically in the formation of inflammation,” which may be linked to psoriasis. First things first: if you haven’t already, you’ll want to see a dermatologist to confirm that you have psoriasis (rather than another condition). If you do, you’ll be glad to know that the best probiotics for psoriasis are formulated with scientifically backed probiotic species that can help balance your gut microbiome and potentially reduce inflammation. And they come in the form of oral supplements and topical sprays to suit your preferences.

Probiotic supplements are commonly available in capsule, powder, and liquid forms. Research is still ongoing when it comes to probiotic supplements for psoriasis, but certain studies have pointed to specific probiotic strains that had a noticeable impact on psoriasis symptoms, including ones from the species Lacticaseibacillus paracasei, Limosilactobacillus reuteri, Bifidobacterium breve, and Bifidobacteria infantis. Several strains of Lactobacillus have also shown promise. While it can be tough to find products containing an exact strain when shopping, in general, adding beneficial bacteria may help regulate your immune system and reduce inflammation, and each supplement below includes at least one of the above species, which studies have found promising in soothing psoriasis. Of course, supplements affect everyone differently, and you should talk to your doctor before taking anything new.

It’s worth considering a supplement that also contains prebiotics, which may help probiotic strains thrive in your gut. What’s more, some probiotic supplements are formulated with turmeric, which has been shown to help with psoriasis.

When choosing a supplement, you can also look at the number of active microorganisms per serving, measured in colony forming units (CFU). While there’s no general guideline on how many CFUs you need per serving, most supplements will contain at least 1 billion CFUs in each dose.

Alternatively, probiotics also come in topical forms such as a spray. Though scientific research on topical products is currently limited, Dr. King explains: “Topical prebiotics and probiotics theoretically will help strengthen the skin's natural ability to defend itself by forming a type of protective shield on the skin's surface.” Topical probiotics tend to not list CFUs and simply need to be applied to the skin at least once per day.

With all that in mind, scroll on for the best probiotics for psoriasis on Amazon.

01

The fan favorite

Key probiotic strains: Bifidobacterium breve and 6 strains of Lactobacillus | Serving size: 1 capsule | CFUs: 60 billion per serving

This Physician’s Choice probiotic has more than 70,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, and for good reason. Along with 10 probiotic strains, which include seven species that studies suggest may help reduce psoriasis, the formula also contains a prebiotic fiber blend of chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke root, and Acacia senegal. There are 60 billion CFUs in each capsule, and the probiotic doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

One reviewer wrote: “After taking this for a month I saw a visible difference in my psoriasis and I felt less bloated!”

02

The capsule with the most probiotic strains

Key probiotic strains: Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium infantis, and 7 strains of Lactobacillus | Serving size: 1 - 2 capsules | CFUs: 2 billion per capsule

This probiotic supplement contains a total of 14 strains, including nine species that may soothe psoriasis, and 2 billion CFUs per capsule, according to the brand. It’s earned more than 4,700 five-star ratings on Amazon and doesn’t need to be refrigerated. You can take one or two capsules per day with meals. If you’re taking two capsules per day, the brand recommends splitting the doses between two meals.

One reviewer wrote: “It has made a HUGE difference in my life. My psoriasis is under control and I just feel better overall. I have been so impressed that I now have two friends who have terrible issues with psoriasis taking it and they are seeing improvements too.”

03

The probiotic with turmeric

Key probiotic strains: 2 strains of Lactobacillus | Serving size: 2 capsules | CFUs: 62 billion per serving

In addition to three probiotic strains — two of which may help with psoriasis — this probiotic supplement has 144 milligrams of anti-inflammatory turmeric per serving. Each serving contains a total of 62 billion CFUs of probiotics. Plus, the probiotic does not need to be refrigerated. It’s earned a 4.7-star overall rating on Amazon after more than 800 reviews.

One reviewer wrote: “The probiotic/turmeric combo is exactly what I was looking for to aid digestion and decrease inflammation when trying to work out every day. The pills are tasteless, easy to swallow and have seemed effective so far!”

04

The single-serve probiotic packets

Key probiotic strains: Bifidobacterium breve and 9 strains of Lactobacillus | Serving size: 1 packet | CFUs: 15 billion per serving

This powder probiotic comes in single-serve packets that you can throw in a bag and take with you. The flavor-free powder dissolves in water or a smoothie, and you can even sprinkle it on food. Each packet contains 15 probiotic strains (including 10 that can potentially reduce psoriasis) and 15 billion CFUs. The supplement also contains 20 micrograms of vitamin D3, 58 milligrams of calcium, and a prebiotic blend.

In addition to this flavorless formulation, it’s also available in eight flavors such as blueberry lemon and cucumber melon if you’d prefer. The powder doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

One reviewer wrote: “Ever since I’ve started using this I have had clear skin and so much less stomach and intestinal issues. This stuff works.”

05

The organic liquid probiotic

Key probiotic strains: Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium infantis, and 5 strains of Lactobacillus | Serving size: 60 drops or 4 pumps | CFUs: 10 million per serving

You can take this flavorless probiotic liquid on its own or add it to cold drinks and smoothies. One serving has 10 million CFUs and contains 12 different strains, including seven species that may help soothe psoriasis. This option is also certified USDA organic. For the first use, the brand suggests starting with half the recommended dose and gradually increasing it. However, you’ll need to store the bottle in the refrigerator once it’s opened. Another popular choice, it has a 4.7-star overall rating and more than 8,000 reviews on Amazon.

One reviewer wrote: “It did not cause any digestive upset and is completely tasteless, which makes it easy to add it to beverages, yogurt, pudding, etc. I feel like my gut health has improved - fewer gastrointestinal issues since I started using this and the red splotches on my face (rosacea? eczema? psoriasis?) have cleared up.”

06

The organic topical probiotic spray

Key probiotic strains: 4 strains of Lactobacillus | Application: 3 - 4 sprays daily | CFUs: N/A

Another popular option from MaryRuth’s, this topical probiotic spray can be applied to the face and body to deliver beneficial microbes to the skin’s surface. This spray is certified USDA organic and contains seven probiotic strains, including four species that have shown promise in helping with psoriasis. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated but should be kept in a cool, dry spot.

One reviewer wrote: “Incredible. Works better on my psoriasis than anything my dermatologist has prescribed.”

Expert:

Dr. Hadley King, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City

Studies referenced:

Lu, W., Deng, Y., Fang, Z., Zhai, Q., Cui, S., Zhao, J., Chen, W., & Zhang, H. (2021). Potential Role of Probiotics in Ameliorating Psoriasis by Modulating Gut Microbiota in Imiquimod-Induced Psoriasis-Like Mice. Nutrients, 13(6), 2010. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13062010

Groeger, D., O'Mahony, L., Murphy, E. F., Bourke, J. F., Dinan, T. G., Kiely, B., Shanahan, F., & Quigley, E. M. (2013). Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 modulates host inflammatory processes beyond the gut. Gut microbes, 4(4), 325–339. https://doi.org/10.4161/gmic.25487

Markowiak, P., & Śliżewska, K. (2017). Effects of Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics on Human Health. Nutrients, 9(9), 1021. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9091021

Nardo, V. D., Gianfaldoni, S., Tchernev, G., Wollina, U., Barygina, V., Lotti, J., Daaboul, F., & Lotti, T. (2018). Use of Curcumin in Psoriasis. Open access Macedonian journal of medical sciences, 6(1), 218–220. https://doi.org/10.3889/oamjms.2018.055