Skin Conditions

Skin Conditions

The skin is an extension of our inner health. It is connected to and affected by the internal organs, including the digestive system, liver, kidneys and nervous system. Psychological stress can drive and exacerbate skin ailments. Psychological stress increases local production of stress hormones. These weaken the skin barrier and predispose to skin inflammation, particularly atopic dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, chronic urticaria and pruritus (itchy skin). Strategies to reduce stress such as meditation, yoga,
cognitive-behavioural therapy and herbal stress relief can have a positive impact on skin health.

There are numerous causes of itchy skin. One of the most common is dry skin. Dry skin is dehydrated. Increase water intake and ensure adequate levels of magnesium and omega 3 essential fatty acids. These
nutrients assist with the absorption of water and hydration of cells.

Itchy skin may also be caused by infections, infestations, some medical conditions, food sensitivities, medications, mechanical irritations such as shaving and allergies. Herbal anti-histamines reduce the allergy response and are useful if allergies or food sensitivities are a cause of itchy skin. As the skin is an organ of elimination, it is useful to support the other elimination channels; the liver, bowels, lungs and kidneys when treating skin disease.

Diet plays a role in skin health. A poor diet leaves an individual at risk of low zinc, B vitamins, vitamin C and essential fatty acids. These are critical for skin integrity and healing.

Management of skin conditions which encompasses a holistic, integrated approach can be very effective.

Written by Natalie Elliott
Published 12/11/2011

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