Skin problems such as eczema, acne, boils and chronic hives can be very distressing due to their persistent nature and unsightly cosmetic appearance. Individuals suffering from such skin ailments have typically tried a number of creams and lotions and find that they are often not as helpful as initially hoped for.
Oftentimes, our skin issues reflect an inner biochemical imbalance in the body and our skin can be best improved by working internally rather than on the skin surface with creams and lotions. Those typically have a desirable palliative or soothing effect but do not sustainably resolve the root cause.
The first step in assessing any skin condition is of course the nature of the issue and then placing it in the context of the whole person, including taking a look at their nutrition, digestion, stress levels and medical history. Indeed digestive health is absolutely crucial for our skin health and it is often the first place that needs balancing with the help of dietary changes, herbs and supplements. It often takes about 6 weeks to 3 months for the skin to react positively. From what we have observed empirically in clinical naturopathic practice, some common skin ailments can be linked to various internal imbalances. For example, eczema is almost always linked to increased intestinal permeability (“leaky gut”), sub-optimal intestinal flora and a great deal of food intolerances. Acne is also closely connected to the health of our gut and is typically the result of a diet overly rich in starches and sugars, as well as the overgrowth of yeast organisms in the intestines – this intestinal imbalance can again lead to food intolerances, creating a more complex situation to resolve. Whereas eczema can start reacting relatively quickly to dietary interventions, acne is slow to change, which can be very frustrating to acne-sufferers. Indeed, one needs several weeks of dietary discipline and yeast-eradicating supplemental regimes before the skin begins to heal. Sex hormones are also powerful contributors to acne and in adult women suffering from acne, other conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome would need to be ruled out. Chronic boils require a similar treatment as acne but more liver supportive herbs may be necessary to help the liver process toxins from yeast overgrowth and a sugary diet more effectively.
The naturopathic treatment of skin issues is not a magical quick-fix that will change your life overnight. We promise to guide you on the challenging journey of identifying the root cause of your symptoms by carefully understanding your lifestyle, your emotional and physical state, and then narrowing in on the core issues through methodical elimination of possibilities. Once the root cause is identified, we work directly with you on a very practical basis to drive change, be it through a nutritional plan, psychotherapy or mindfulness exercises.