Let’s talk about a very common chronic form of folliculitis called Keratosis Pilaris and what it has to do with holistic dermatology. That involves red bumps along the air follicles of the extensive aspect of the body especially on the backs of the arms, and sometimes on the backs of the legs too. Now this disorder has been conventionally treated by things that loosen up the plugs like retin-A or vitamin A.
And products and various kinds of mullions-like containing products. Those treating for a period of 9 months or so can make some difference. But my feeling is, there is something going on to have that much inflammation in the follicles.
And it’s really important that if this is a chronic condition, to see if you can take the steps that fix the inflammation. Materials being excreted from the follicles are altering the way they should be normally be functioning. And that might be a very worthwhile step, for not only treating the keratosis pilaris but for treating other forms of inflammation that you may not even know or going on and even related to that process.
Some people ask me, “How can I be breaking out from this food when my friends can eat as much of it as they want and don’t seem to have any problem with their skin?”
Well, acne is caused by a number of different factors and one of them is the hypersensitivity reaction at the level of the hair follicle and the oil gland in the skin. When they have a reaction occurring, there is an accumulation of white cells in that area that are part of this inflammatory process and so a specific sensitivity could exist that’s causing acne.
There are also ways in which acne can cause disturbances of the digestive system or be related to disturbances of the digestive system caused by various foods. People who have that kind of sensitivities of the digestive system can also get in trouble by some specific foods and sometimes from a variety of different foods. This is the start of the best natural acne treatment.
The first thing you can do is make sure you don’t wash off the natural oils that are in your skin in the first place. You have to be really careful about bathing too much and using too much hot water and soap during the winter months when the humidity in the air is very low inside the house.
Second thing, make sure you’re getting enough moisture, enough water into your body.
Third thing you need to do is apply something to seal the moisture in your skin when your skin is wet. That can be an ointment or an oil if you’re willing or you prefer, a cream. Creams have the problem of containing many different components, some of which may make you allergic, cause inflammation, cause itching and cause more dry skin.
It’s important to try to do a number of different things to protect against dry skin. You can also get help from a holistic integrative physician, using various kinds of oils and the substances that go along with them to make sure that your body produces enough of its own anti-inflammatory oils. Holistic skincare can help.
I want to talk a little bit about farmed fish and how this may be causing a variety of problems even beyond skin diseases. One of which is diabetes. Now I think you all kind of gotten the idea that sugar and simple cars are related to diabetes.
Carbs and sugars certainly are related to diabetes and in this culture we are over the top with eating sugar-related foods. I mean we eat 150 pounds of sugar per pounds per person every year. Now not everybody does that so you could imagine how much sugar some people are eating in this country to balance out the ones who aren’t be causing diabetes. But what else is causing diabetes?
Well, there have some studies done that show that chlorinated pesticides; and we are talking about Roundup and other pesticides that are very commonly used in this country can contribute to formation of diabetes. So you say well, it was a little bit in the vegetable that we eat. That’s not such a big deal, is it? Well it turns out that when we have farmed raised fish, we feed them pesticide grown food. And they concentrate those pesticides in their flesh. And there is a correlation between eating those fish and the concentration of chlorinated pesticides in individuals and the development of diabetes.
So here we have a hidden way that we are aggravating the development of diabetes in that, those inappropriate responses to insulin are contributing to skin diseases and other diseases in the body. So I want to strike a vote here for seeing what we can do to reduce the concentration of chlorinated pesticides, in not only our vegetables but in our fish and in our meats.
Curious about Natural Acne Treatment? Integrative Dermatology
I want to speak briefly about what goes on in acne from a Holistic Dermatology standpoint. Acne is caused by inflammation in the hair follicle, oil gland, sweat gland apparatus. And that apparatus is known as the pilo sebaceous unit has inflammation and attack by white blood cells that lead to the formation of pus, the redness and the swelling that you see. Part of that process involves inflammation and attack of the normal bacteria that live in the skin, the acne bacteria, corany bacteria and acnes.
But my understanding of acne is that there are other things that are being secreted in that area that we know and other things that are being attacked that comes from your digestive system or come from outside. From outside it could be cutting oils, from inside it could be any kind of food you eat. Changing the diet is extremely important in reducing the inflammation that leads to acne.
What’s the best natural dry skin care? Next one of the things that’s going on with eczema, inflammation, and to some extent an allergic reactivity to either internal or external things that are causing your immune system to get excited. But eczema also known as atopic dermatitis involve another serious of factors. And for some people that includes a defective barrier of the skin so that water can evaporate much easier that it would have out of normal skin. And part of that is caused by a sub-group of patients. A defective protein called philogram, that philogram protein normally has several different functions as it migrates through the skin. A first function being a barrier and as it breaks down to the outer part of the skin being an anti-crobio peptide that prevents over growth of staff and other kinds of harmful bacteria.
It’s important to figure out which kind of problems going on with your eczema and treat it appropriately. And it’s also important to avoid things that are aggravating it as they work for a short period of time until you become allergic to the crème that you are using and then you have to go on to another. So the better you get at the underlying problems, the better you will get the eczema under control.
Let’s talk about signs that you have a leaky gut. Now it’s not as easy as looking underneath your car and seeing where the grease dripped on the driveway. But there are a lot of things you can do to tell if you have a problem with leaky gut. Well the first one is, if you have obvious food allergies. And the second one is if you have a food allergy, such that when you switch from one food to the other, so you become allergic to that food. Now that’s a really good sign of a leaky gut.
What is food allergy? It’s a reaction that occurs anywhere from a few minutes to a few days after you eat a particular food. And it happens fairly consistently. The reaction could be on your skin or it could be bloating, or it could be arthritis. All of those could be signs of a food allergy. Now I’m using food allergy in the loosest manner. Because strictly speaking, there are many physicians who consider a food allergy only to be an immediate allergic response in IGE mediated response. But I look at this in a bigger context with any kind of food sensitivity.
So other signs that you have food allergy could be any number of types of inflammation that are chronic and repeated. Not proof that you have a food allergy but certainly requiring you to look and figure out if that’s what’s going on. That could be auto-immune diseases,that could be recurrent headaches and migraines. It could even be neurological problems. These things all suggest that you should be looking in that arena as well as other arenas. Not diagnostic but suggestive that, that could be going on. But digestive symptoms are really big part of many food allergies.
So if you’re getting bloating after you eat, if you get tired after you eat, and you have to lie down and you can’t keep your eyes open at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. If you are having other kinds of reactions or you are getting an after taste or reflux, those could be signs also of food allergy.
So I think it is important to keep this as we say, in your differential diagnosis, the possible causes of what’s going on. You should consider food allergy when you have a number of these things from allergy to auto-immune stuff to breaking out with acne and rashes that are explained. And not caused by something from the outside. All these are signs of a possible food allergy and should be explored as such.
Hidden Hormones in your Cosmetic Makeup Causing Acne?
There are a number of hidden hormone-related substances in your cosmetics and in your creams that you apply to your skin that could actually cause damage and even cause cancer.
One of the problems with these creams is that some of them have preservatives and have hormone like activity. Know all that hormone like activity is the weak activity if you apply then on a regular basis day after day, they can influence the subtle interactions of your cells and lead to damage that goes on to cause cancer.
I had a patient who was a model and who actually developed cancer and became a real advocate of using products that were free of these potentially dangerous compounds. Now most people don’t get cancer that we know of from them, but the ones who do are very unfortunate. It’s important to consider the possibility of using a more natural product that avoids hormone like activity when you’re applying it on a regular basis to your skin.
I’ve got for you a few summer sun tips. On a lot of people’s minds is how to slow down the aging process. You’ll notice that they are some people who, as they reach say the age of a retirement look a lot younger than other people. So they must be something right.
Something beyond just having good genes, and I’d like to talk about some of those things.
I think the first most important thing that would hear emphasized by a lot of dermatologist is avoiding accelerating the aging process by getting too much sun.
Now, what’s too much sun? Too much sun depends upon the darkness of your skin, depends upon where your ancestors came from and what kind of mix there is that you derived genetically. So those people who have darker skin, living closer to the equator, can usually deal with a lot more sun than those people who have pale northern skin. So you want to watch very carefully how you expose yourself over your entire life and how you expose your children.
The ways to protect from the sun are stay out of the sun during the peak hours if you can. And if you are in the sun to use clothing and hats to protect yourself and of course also to use sun glasses if necessary so that you don’t squint. Squinting causes wrinkles because you repeat the same habit over and over again and eventually it developed muscles that give you that wrinkled look.
The second thing to use is sunscreens. Sunscreens are not in my book a good way for primary protection because they allow some rays through and often they dissolve in sweat and disappear with that and with swimming. So, I’d like sunscreens as a secondary protection in order to protect those areas that are hit by reflection from the light of what are sand and light colored sidewalks.
So clothing, hats and when necessary protects a lot and timing so that if necessary you can stay out of the sun during the peak hours.
I’d like to say a few things about skin aging and wrinkles. We’ve talked before, and I’m sure you’ve read around about the contribution of sun damage and ultraviolet light to wrinkling. The lighter your skin, the more damage is caused by sun. So you really want to protect yourself with hats and sunscreens and clothing so that you don’t get excessive amounts.
Certainly you want to avoid sunburns but for some people even reducing your exposure as much as possible can make a big difference. Squinting is also another problem or facial expressions that cause your skin to wrinkle up. You don’t want to do that repeatedly for 20 or 30 years because you’ll find those lines appeared.
Using various kinds of antioxidants can help over the long run slow down some of that damage. Using proper oils and… externally can help and internally anti-inflammatory oils can also make a difference in helping the barrier. Helping keep that drying from occurring. So it’s important to put all of those things together and do what you can to keep your skin from aging more rapidly as possible and stop wrinkles.