Health In The Bay – AILMENTS – Skin
The skin is the largest organ of the body, with a total area of about two square meters. The skin protects us from microbes and the elements, helps regulate body temperature, and permits the sensations of touch, heat, and cold. There are a great number of conditions that can affect the skin, and many of these are actually a symptom of some other disorder or imbalance in the body. In the past conventional treatments have involved addressing the issue from the outside, but it is becoming more well known that these problems need to be addressed from the inside. Naturopathically almost all skin conditions are related to the state of the gut. By working on gut health, improving intestinal permeability (leaky gut) and removing food intolerances and triggers, skin conditions can be improved dramatically.
Eczema is a term for a variety of skin irritations. It is also called dermatitis with the most common form of dermatitis being atopic dermatitis. It tends to cause redness and itching, it is often long lasting (chronic) and tends to flare periodically and then subside. It is common in children but can also affect adults. It may be exacerbated by food intolerances, stress or environmental allergens such as dust, pet hair or grasses, and generally poor gut health.
If you are affected by general stress, Acupuncture can be very effective in helping your body cope better. Acupuncture can also help improve your health overall, including gut health. If you are going through a particularly stressful period or experience, or you feel you don’t deal with stress very well, a few sessions with a Psychotherapist can give you tools to deal with it and get through it.
Seeing a Nutritionist is very beneficial in improving gut health. They can address leaky gut, restore beneficial gut flora to optimal levels, identify and remove food intolerances and provide support with selective nutrients to promote healthy skin production.
Psoriasis is a common skin condition that causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin, resulting in thick, silvery scales and itchy, dry, red patches that are sometimes painful or burning. Symptoms vary from person to person but may also include dry, cracked skin that may bleed, thickened, pitted or ridged nails, and stiff, swollen joints. Psoriasis is a persistent, chronic autoimmune condition strongly correlated with increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut) and often food intolerances.
Seeing a Nutritionist can give you a number of tools that can help reduce flare ups. A Nutritionist can advise and support you to achieve a healthy gut environment from the stomach onwards, to reduce any leaky gut. They can also help you rebuild beneficial gut bacteria to alter immune response and inflammation.
Acupuncture can also help by rebalancing the body and assisting to get back to optimum health, by improving immunity.
Rosacea is a skin condition affecting parts of the face. It is not contagious, and commonly occurs between the ages of 30-60, being more common in women. Symptoms can include facial flushing, facial redness, spots, thickening of your skin, and eye problems such as dry eyes and sore eyelids. Flushing (which is similar to blushing) is often the first symptom. It might be months or years before other signs show up. The exact cause is not known, but it is thought a few factors are related, such as sun damage, genetics and dysbiosis (imbalance) of gut bacteria.
It can be very beneficial to work with a Nutritionist to reduce food and lifestyle triggers and restore gut health, which can help to reduce the occurrence of Rosacea.
Acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. It can present as whiteheads, blackheads, small red bumps, pimples, nodules (solid painful lumps under the skin) or cysts. Acne is most common among teenagers, with a reported prevalence of 70 to 87 percent. Depending on its severity, acne can cause emotional distress and scar the skin. Hormones, some medications, diet/gut dysbiosis and stress are all factors that can trigger or aggravate an existing case of acne.
A Nutritionist can help identify which of these is at play. By taking a thorough case history and possibly utilising a number of testing methods, can then help determine the best treatment protocol for healthy skin.
Acupuncture may also be of use, as it can help your body rebalance and function at its best, and thereby minimise the effect of factors such as digestion, hormones and stress.
If stress is a factor, and/or if you are experiencing stress as a result of acne, then seeing a Psychotherapist can be very beneficial.
Cold sores, are groups of small blisters on the lip and around the mouth. The skin around the blisters is often red, swollen, and sore. The blisters may break open, leak a clear fluid, and then scab over after a few days. They usually heal in several days to 2 weeks.
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. This virus usually enters the body through a break in the skin around or inside the mouth. It is usually spread when a person touches a cold sore or touches infected fluid-such as from sharing eating utensils or razors, kissing an infected person, or touching that person’s saliva. Cold sores can also be spread to other areas of the body.
After you get infected, the virus stays in your body for the rest of your life. If you get cold sores often, treatment can reduce the number of cold sores you get and how severe they are.
Triggers for cold sores are often stress, colds or flu and sunlight. Having a flare up of a cold sore is generally a sign that the immune system is under stress. Visiting a Nutritionist can improve your stress response, and strengthen the immune system. It is also thought that dietary arginine: lysine balance may be a contributing factor. A Nutritionist can also help with this.
Seeing an Acupuncturist can also be very beneficial in addressing poor immunity and general stress. If there are specific issues in life causing you stress then seeing a Psychotherapist can give you effective tools to work through these issues.
A leg ulcer is a break in the skin of the leg, allowing air and bacteria to get into the underlying tissue. This is usually caused by an injury, often a minor one that breaks the skin.
In most people such an injury will heal up without difficulty within a week or two. However, when there is an underlying problem the skin does not heal and the area of breakdown can increase in size. This is considered a chronic leg ulcer.
The most common underlying problem causing chronic leg ulcers is circulatory problems of the legs. Venous Disease (ie. veins not working) is the cause of about 80% of leg ulcers. Arterial Disease (ie. arteries not working) is the cause about 15% of leg ulcers. Other causes (includes diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis as well as some rare conditions), account for the other 5% of leg ulcers.
Seeing a Nutritionist can help improve circulation, using Nutritional supplements, as well as some lifestyle changes, which can reduce the potential for leg ulcers.
Tinea is the name of a group of common and contagious diseases caused by a fungus, resulting in itching and burning, and sometimes flaky and cracked skin. Types of tinea include ringworm, athlete’s foot and jock itch. You can get them by touching an infected person, from damp surfaces such as shower floors, or even from a pet. Being susceptible to Tinea can be an indicator of systemic candida or fungal overgrowth.
The best course of action is to visit a Nutritionist to address gut issues, suggest nutritional supplements to support optimal gut health, and advise on how to reduce dietary intake of yeast and fungal promoters. They can also help you to understand how to use natural anti-fungal agents, which together with improving overall health, can help minimize tinea.