Look after your largest organ

Look after your largest organ…….

Your skin of course! Treating skin conditions is one of those really tricky things that is often quite complex. The main complaints I hear from patients with regard to their skin is dryness, eczema, psoriasis, acne and pimples and the dreaded hormonal breakouts that a lot of women experience.

Everyone wants beautiful, healthy, glowing skin, and given that visible, it can really get people down. Although there are big immunological and digestive factors in the development and continuation of skin problems, the vast majority of the health of one’s skin is reliant on healthy insides. The perfect formula for healthy, supple, clear skin is this……..

Balanced hormones+clean diet+good topical regime+healthy gut+happy immune system…..

Easy right?! Ok, hopefully now you are beginning to see the complex nature of trying to identify the cause of one’s skin issues! However, having a check list like above is a good place to start.

Much of the dietary considerations are no brainers, all things we have heard a million times before, the tricky bit is actually putting them in to play on a daily basis. More that anything, consistency and commitment to eating well and staying hydrated are key to clear skin.

As I have discussed here in earlier editorials, your water intake requirements are dependent on your body weight and activity level. 35ml of water per kg of body weight is a good aim, then 500ml extra for every hour of exercise you do. I know that sounds like a lot, but water is essential for flushing out the rubbish and eliminating waste and toxins, toxins that eventually coming out of your skin in the form of pimples and poor complexion when you are dehydrated.

Dry itchy skin is usually a sign of being low in essential fatty acids. Up the fish oils, flaxseed oil and foods naturally high in good fats like avocados, nuts, fish, seeds and coconut oil. If your skin is particularly dry, consider taking omega 3’s in a supplemental form as well as increasing your dietary intake.

Circulation is also a key factor in skin health. Get your circulation going by dry body brushing. Using a loofah, Scrub the whole body, with no water until your skin is a little pink, this is not for exfoliation, but to increase circulation, which aids your lymphatic system to take out the garbage! Don’t do this is you have particularly sensitive or thin skin.

Eczema and psoriasis deserve their own write up, however, the common themes for managing eczema and psoriasis are on balancing the immune system by avoiding certain foods like gluten, and identify and other food triggers that are unique to you either via immunological blood tests or elimination and reintroduction. Essential fatty acids, healthy gut flora and bowel and low stress levels are imperative for these conditions. As I said though, their complexity and variety warrant a much more detailed explanation.

That leaves us with hormones! The bane of many a woman’s and men’s for that matter, existence. Despite eating well, eliminating the nasties and using great products on the skin, some people still suffer breakouts, acne and pimples, often pre menstrually or during pregnancy. Puberty is another culprit, highlighting that indeed, hormones have the potential to play havoc with our skin. The beat way in which to address this is generally do a saliva hormone test to identify your rogue hormone and using the rights herbs, nutrients and dietary considerations, get them back in balance and control the breakouts. Often the liver gets quite overloaded at certain times of the month due to vast hormonal fluctuations, so giving your liver some love is a huge factor also. This means laying off the coffee and booze and drink cleansing juices and water instead.

The moral of this skin story is that there is light at the end of the clearisil tube, but its not always straight forward. Consider some of these factors as a way to get on top of your skin problems and radiate from the outside as well as your inside.