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Is probiotic use beneficial for skin lesions in patients with inflammatory bowel disease?

Background: Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are associated with extraintestinal manifestations including skin lesions. The intestinal microflora plays a key role in the development and course of IBD. Aim: To examine the efficacy of probiotics and the occurrence of skin lesions in patients with IBD. Methods: The occurrence of cutaneous lesions in IBD patients from Northern Sardinia was analyzed according to demographic, anthropometrics, clinical features, treatments, and probiotic use expressed as the ratio of disease duration under probiotic treatment and the total disease duration. Results: In 170 IBD patients (59.4% women; UC: 61.2%) at least one skin lesion was present (8.2%) at diagnosis and in 30.6% developed during the follow-up. Psoriasis, erythema nodosum, and pyoderma gangrenosum were the most frequent. An inverse trend was observed between probiotics use and skin lesions occurrence after adjusting for confounders, including conventional treatment for IBD. The risk of developing at least one skin lesion was 1.40 for probiotic use between 5-19% of disease duration and 0.3 for probiotic use > 50%. Body mass index, Crohn phenotype, marriage, and potency of IBD-treatment were significant predictors for developing skin lesions. Conclusion: These findings suggest that probiotics may be an additional tool in the treatment of IBD.

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