Natural solutions for eczema, acne, psoriasis, ageing skin…
The skin is one of the most powerful indicators of health. Dry or oily skin, acne, athletes foot and inflammatory conditions such as eczema and psoriasis are all signs of poor internal health. However, only treating the symptoms with chemical-laden beauty products, hydrocortisone creams or medications with heaps of dangerous side-effects such as Roaccutane (check out Roaccutane Medsafe data sheet) does little to address the root cause of the problem; poor nutrition and exposure to toxins in dietary and personal care products leading to leading to immune system dysfunction and inflammation.
Let’s check out what you can do to get your skin, or that of your babies, kids and teenagers, in tip top condition – naturally.
Your skin is the fingerprint of what is going on inside your body, and all skin conditions, from psoriasis to acne to aging, are the manifestations of your body’s internal needs, including its nutritional needs.
At Sheena Hendon Health, as complementary health care professionals, we apply this philosophy to our treatment of skin conditions.We can provide effective relief and great results by addressing not only the skin condition but also the underlying factors, often improving not only your quality of life but also your long-term wellbeing. On a personal note, there is nothing more satisfying than witnessing a teenager regaining his or her confidence and happiness when no longer plagued with acne.
Underlying factors to address include:
1. Toxicity: If the eyes are the mirror to the soul, skin is the window of elimination
Improving digestive function is often essential to improving many aspects of health. Optimum digestive function is essential to skin health, but equally important is the robustness of the eliminative channels to ensure removal of noxious waste by-products. With skin issues represent internal stagnation of the lymphatics and bowel, it is critical to understand and treat the impact of eliminative dysfunction.
Remember that less than perfect skin in adults (and teens) can occur due to underlying conditions such as an underactive thyroid (dry skin and hair falling out), hormonal imbalances, adrenal fatigue so it is important that we check out any conditions exacerbating or causing your skin condition.
2. Infection and inflammation – the double edged sword
The role of chronic infection is a key driver of the inflammatory aspects of skin conditions and often treated with potent, broad-spectrum antimicrobials. Appreciating the association between the skin’s robust immune system and a positive balance of gut microbes such as bacteria and fungi may provide an answer to healthy skin function. The evidence clearly shows that the impact of chronic infection as a driver of not only acute inflammation but also autoimmune diseases. So safe, natural and effective topical treatments to enhance external anti-infective and anti-inflammatory defences, while assessing and addressing the internal causes, will increase the likelihood of success.
3. Diet: Why is ‘diet’ a dirty word in dermatology?
What you eat not only affect the condition of your skin, but specific dietary recommendations for your skin condition can be extremely useful.
The top five nutrients for healthy skin
Recent research has shown that the skin reacts particularly well to certain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that nourish the skin, making it appear youthful and healthy. The following nutrients are among the very best to consume for healthy, young-looking skin:
Zinc: The mineral zinc is an essential component of healthy skin, especially for acne sufferers. In fact, acne itself may be a symptom of zinc deficiency. Zinc acts by controlling the production of oil in the skin, and may also help control some of the hormones that create acne. Zinc is also required for proper immune system function, as well as for the maintenance of vision, taste, and smell. Zinc consumption is also strongly linked to a reduction of prostate cancer.
Foods rich in zinc include fresh oysters, pumpkin seeds, ginger, pecans, Brazil nuts, oats, and eggs. Zinc can be purchased in supplement form, in both liquid concentrates and tablets. Zinc is also available in a paste to apply topically.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Dry, inflamed skin or skin that suffers from the frequent appearance of whiteheads or blackheads can benefit from supplementing with essential fatty acids (EFAs), especially omega 3’s. EFAs are responsible for skin repair, moisture content, and overall flexibility, but because the body cannot produce EFAs, they must be obtained through the diet.
The typical Kiwi diet is overabundant in omega-6 fatty acids found in baked goods and grains, and lacking in omega-3s, found in cold-water fish such as salmon and anchovies, as well as flaxseeds and safflower oil. Balancing the intake of omega-3s with omega-6s can result in smoother, younger-looking skin. EFAs are also available in supplement form – such as fish oil, flax oil capsules or evening primrose oil – and are effective at treating a range of disorders, from depression and cancer to arthritis and heart disease. Good sources of omega- 3 oils include flax seeds and, for non-vegetarians, wild-harvested fish oils.
Selenium: Selenium is an antioxidant mineral responsible for tissue elasticity. It also acts to prevent cell damage by free radicals and is well known to be correlated with a reduction in breast cancer risk. It may play a vital role in preventing skin cancer, as it can protect the skin from damage from excessive ultraviolet light.
Dietary sources of selenium include wheat germ, seafood such as tuna and salmon, garlic, Brazil nuts, eggs, brown rice, and whole-wheat bread. Brazil nuts are perhaps the best source, and eating just 3-4 Brazil nuts per day provide adequate selenium intake for most people.
Vitamins C, E and A:
Vitamin C is highly effective at reducing free radical damage, such as that caused by overexposure to the sun or pollution. Free radicals consume collagen and elastin fibres that support skin structure – and can cause wrinkles and other signs of premature aging. Vitamin C is especially effective at protecting the skin from overexposure to the sun when combined with vitamin E. Foods high in vitamin C include red and green bell peppers, guava, kale, parsley, collard greens, turnips, and broccoli.
Wherever possible, you are advised to get their vitamin C from a whole food source, but there are a number of really good natural sources of full-spectrum vitamin C supplements available at Sheena Hendon Health.
Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant that reduces the effects of sun exposure on the skin. When combined with vitamin A, vitamin E is especially effective at preventing certain skin cancers. Vitamin E also reduces the appearance of wrinkles, and, when applied topically, soothes dry or rough skin. Food sources of vitamin E include wheat germ oil, sunflower seeds, safflower and sunflower oils, almonds, spinach, peaches, prunes, tomatoes, cabbage, asparagus, and avocados.
Vitamin A promotes proper repair and maintenance of the skin, and deficiencies can result in a dry, flaky complexion. Topical vitamin A treatments are often used to treat acne and other skin ailments. Foods high in vitamin A include liver, chili peppers, dandelion, carrots, apricots, collard greens, kale, sweet potatoes, spinach, and cantaloupe. You may also wish to consider taking beta carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A and has none of the overdose concerns of vitamin A.
Silica: Silica is a trace mineral that strengthens the body’s connective tissues – muscles, tendons, hair, ligaments, nails, cartilage, and bone – and is vital for healthy skin. Silica deficiency can result in reduced skin elasticity and can hamper the body’s ability to heal wounds. Food sources of silica include leeks, green beans, garbanzo beans, strawberries, cucumber, mango, celery, asparagus and rhubarb. In its natural form, silica is found in the horsetail herb. Silica is also available as a concentrated liquid or tablet supplement.
Of course, a diet high in sugar, processed, white foods is going to affect the skin. So as always eating a well-balanced diet high in fresh plant foods and vegetable oils is going to do wonders for your skin condition
4. Applying natural topical creams.
Depending on the skin condition Sheena Hendon Health can recommend or make up safe and effective topical creams, oils and bath blends to reduce inflammation, infection, and itching.
Additionally, pure essential oils such as DoTerra lavender, frankincense, melaleuca, lemongrass, helichrysum, geranium and OnGuard can either be used neat topically or in an oil/cream base to address and treat the skin complaints.
5. Avoid toxic skin care products
Proper nutrition is vital for the maintenance of youthful, smooth, healthy skin. Though natural lotions, washes, and creams can help treat certain skin ailments, most skin problems stem from an internal nutritional deficiency easily remedied by altering the diet to include specific nutrients.
Also, beware of the toxic chemicals used in nearly all popular skin care products, including many of the expensive brands sold in department stores. Most products contain liver-damaging and cancer-causing petroleum derivatives that pass right through the skin and enter your bloodstream, causing DNA damage that ultimately compromises the health of your entire body. Use skin care products that are truly natural and contain absolutely no parabens, petroleum products or any ingredient you cannot pronounce.
There are many quality skin care product companies to choose from. Sheena Hendon Health can recommend skin and body care ranges for adults and kids which contain no artificial or chemical ingredients whatsoever.
The Solution: A Sheena Hendon Health natural skin consultation
Have skin worries – ageing skin, acne, eczema, psoriasis, dry skin…then let me treat your skin internally. Contact us today
Fischer, Karen. (2011). The healthy skin diet : your complete guide to beautiful skin in only 8 weeks!. Wollombi, N.S.W : Exisle Publishing
Santich R, & Bone K. (2008). Phytotherapy Essentials: Healthy Children: Optimising Children’s Health with Herbs (218). Warwick, Queensland, Australia: Phytotherapy Press. http://doi.org/pes:6373
SoulVeggie: Healthy Skin: Top 5 Nutrients. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://soulveggie.blogs.com/my_weblog/2007/05/healthy_skin_to.html