When your face ages, it’s often perceived by wrinkles and creases. Some of those wrinkles and creases come from having the same expression over and over again.
That expression is usually is one of squinting or anger or looking with interest listening to a friend speak. These are all expressions that cause a kind of additional wrinkling that you don’t need to have.
These are habits. If they occur over and over, year after year, decade after decade, you begin to get permanent creases in those areas. So you want to try to relax, and not have repeated wrinkling occurring from squinting or anger.
You can even try looking in the mirror and seeing what you are doing with your face on a repeated basis, and try to relax and let that go.
That can do a lot for reducing the creases and the wrinkles that often associated with aging of the skin. Collagen and elasticity are another matter, which we’ll discuss in a future post.
Let’s talk a little bit about natural eczema healing. Eczema is something that a lot of people experience, and I see more and more people with it in my practice every year.
There are some parts of the world, especially industrial cities like Liverpool, where the population with eczema is approaching 20% of children. Now what is going on here? Why is there so much eczema?
What causes eczema and how do you heal eczema naturally? It’s caused by a number of things. One of those causes is a defective barrier of the skin. That defective barrier can be caused by excessive washing.
But it can also be caused by a genetic tendency not to make the right peptides that keep the barrier to be intact. Those peptides are manufactured, and they evolve and have a number of different roles as they move through the skin. The first role is as a barrier, but as they move through the skin, they also become part of the anti-microbial peptides that cause the skin to kill trouble-causing bacteria. People who have have this genetic tendency not only have a less strong barrier, but they have less ability to break down the bacteria that are always attacking the skin.
People with eczema have the tendency to develop staph and streptococcus infections. And those staph and strept infections have a vicious cycle effect. Because they cause more cells to get alerted; more immune cells get turned on to be reactive and create more inflammation, which creates more itching, which creates more scratching, and more and more eczema.
So it’s really important for those people to use proper anti-bacterials and do whatever they can to keep from scratching and destroying their skin. And to use various kinds of things that enhance the barrier of the skin.
Recently there has been a lot of work on using various kinds of waxes that contribute to the skin barrier for natural eczema healing. Pioneering dermatologists in San Francisco explored these waxes, which are now the basis of a lot of really popular products used to protect the skin for those with eczema.
Of course, any kind of lipid or fat or oil can add some benefit. But if you have eczema, the paradox is that it’s likely that if you use something over and over, you are going to become allergic to it. So people who have eczema soon become allergic to everything that they start putting on, partly because of the nature of the original barrier itself. Creams are much more elegant to put on than Vaseline or coconut oil. But they contain many different components, like detergents, to keep the oil and the water mixed.
Any cream with oil and water mixed together, can get infected easily so you have to have a preservative system. And there are only a handful of different preservatives that are used to protect these different creams from germs. So if you switch from one cream to the next, you are likely to wind up with the same preservative system one out of four times. So you still have trouble because you can have an allergic reaction to the preservatives.
On top of this, if you look at most of these creams you’ll find that there are a number of chemical substances whose names you can’t pronounce. Some of those chemicals can be potential allergens as well.
It’s not unlikely that after a while you are going to become allergic to either the components or the fragrances in those creams. So you’ve got to be very careful with what you’re putting on your skin if you have eczema.
I do help people who have these chronic issues to finally break the cycle, but I share all this to say that if you’re having a hard time controlling your eczema, you’re not alone, and the treatments don’t make it easy. That’s my holistic dermatology perspective for natural eczema healing.
Your body ought to know who’s you and who’s not you, right? This is what whole immune system is set up to figure out: who is you and who is not. This is an extremely important task, and this task is done by a whole network of different cells. Indeed, when you’re born, your body determines who is you and who is not. The immune system becomes tolerant of cells that are you. When there is an external attacker, like a bacteria, your body produces antibodies to destroy it.
But, when there is a subtle threat, such as one of your own cells transforming into a tumor (or virus or a fungus) living inside your cells, altering your cells, then it takes a very subtle immune system to detect that there is a difference and to recognize and attack those altered cells.
When your immune system becomes confused, perhaps because of various issues, you can become sensitized to that cell or foreign agent that looks a little bit like your own cell. With the confusion from something else going on, you can attack your own self by mistake, and that’s what we call autoimmune inflammation. The following can sensitize or confuse your immune system, especially if more than one of these things is present in your body at once:
exposure to something that looks like some particular cell or cell component
Just the wrong set of circumstances can cause this “confusion” so that perhaps a bacteria or virus entering your body looks a little like some particular cell in your body. Your body attacks that bacteria and then begins to attack that cell in your body.
For example, certain viruses can cause an attack on the cells in the pancreas that make the insulin, which can cause Type One Diabetes. There are whole number of examples that are known and there are probably thousands or even millions more that have not been recognized.
These are some of the ways that autoimmune conditions can arise in your body and that your body might even attack itself. You can treat autoimmune disease with holistic medicine, but it requires real commitment.
I’d like some thoughts on anti-aging of the skin. Aging skin needs a little bit of extra stimulation in order to be really as thick as possible to keep the collagen active. This keeps the lymphatics in the blood supply moving. Part of that is good old exercise and outdoor enjoyment, and hopefully protecting yourself from the sun.
Another part of it is stimulating your skin to kind of wake it up in the morning is by dry skin brushing. You take a soft brush, and you brush your skin. Brush it all towards the area right below your navel which is where all the lymphatic material collects. And you do that all over very lightly and gently. You shouldn’t do it with a brush that is stiff enough to hurt you or to mark your skin. If you have some kind of skin problem that doesn’t allow that, then that’s not the thing to do. But the dry skin brushing can be a very nice method for keeping your skin stimulated.
If you don’t have a brush you can use Turkish towel or a wash cloth. That little bit of stimulation moving towards the center of the body can be very helpful to get your skin woken up and keep it alive and invigorated.
Looking for the best natural acne treatment? For many people, acne is a reflection of consuming an excess of sugar. So acne may be one of the first signs that a person is headed for pre-diabetes. Also, in general acne tends to be a sign that people are putting too rich a diet into themselves.
Just like in a car, if the mixture of gas is too rich, the car chokes. A mixture that is too rich into the body can cause problems. In the case of acne, there is usually excessive sugar and inflammation. And with inflammation in the arteries can later be related to heart disease. So it’s important to calm down and treat acne as a symptom–not just as a condition.
Simply put, Dr. Dattner has done more for me in three months than any other doctor has done in 30 years. Until now, my skin has been more than a daily annoyance, infringing upon my ability to work, maintain a social life, and merely live freely. If you are someone like me, who has had a lifetime of skin ailments, or just recently begun experiencing problematic skin, Dr. Dattner will assuredly discover the culprit and provide a clear and natural route to health.
I arrived at Dr. Dattner’s door with a history of eczema that had been mismanaged for most of my life. Previous doctors had over-prescribed corticosteroid creams and pills for nearly 20 years, to the point that my body had become dependent upon them, not even responding at certain doses. When I chose to stop all forms of steroids (and never touch them again) nearly five years ago, I experienced the worst redness, swelling, flaking, itching, oozing, insomnia, and pain I have ever endured. This lasted, at its height for four months, but continued to haunt me in the intervening years. During this time, doctors had tried treating me with a variety of immunosuppressants and long-term antibiotics, with limited success, ultimately telling me that “this is just the way you are.” Sadly, a part of me believed them.
On my own, I was constantly researching and quickly becoming aware of leaky gut syndrome, and did what I could on my own through diet to attempt to heal myself, but found that this could only go so far. Thankfully, after moving to the New York area and relapsing into yet another extended skin flare, I discovered Dr. Dattner’s practice online. After my very first appointment, I felt that I was on the right track. Not only is he a thorough practitioner with a confidence that instills trust in his patients, Dr. Dattner is one of the first medical professionals who has truly listened to me and worked with body’s quirks rather than against them. Through diet and natural supplements, I have seen remarkable progress leaps and bounds beyond anything achieved by western medicines.
I cannot recommend Dr. Dattner or his holistic approach to healing more highly. He has given me back my skin, and thus my life.
What’s Your Spirituality Have to Do with Your Skin?
I’d like to talk about spirituality and skin disease from a holistic dermatology perspective. What does spirituality have to do with skin disease? We know skin disease is related to your skin, it might be related to allergies, it might even be related to the food you eat and what you absorb. So what does spirituality have to do with that?
Let me start with the process of digestion. Digestion breaks down your foods so that they get absorbed as single amino acids or small peptides. Molecules that are so small that they don’t set off a reaction; they don’t cause an allergy. But if you don’t break your food down into small molecules, big pieces get through; molecules big enough to set off an immune response. The receptor in the lymphocyte sees a big peptide in, say 8 amino acids, and it reacts. So we want to avoid having big peptides getting into your bloodstream and your lymphatics. And the way we do this is by enhancing digestion.
If you’re eating and you are on the telephone and you are buying something on the internet or you are worrying about your classes, or your career, or your income taxes, or what your friend said on Facebook, or any number of things, you’re interrupting your digestion. If your mind is in that place, you are in a reaction mode, or stress mode, which we call a flight or fight response. That’s known technically as Sympathetic Response. And if you are in Sympathetic Response mode, you shut off your digestion. Because evolutionarily, thousands of years ago, you didn’t need good digestion if you were being chased by a tiger. You needed to get away and use your muscles and shut off your digestion–or you’d get digested yourself.
But if you are in stress mode when you are eating or you are watching a TV program that has some horrendous scary thing going on, you are back in stress mode, and you are not going to digest your food optimally. And if you don’t break down your food adequately, then you are going to absorb bigger pieces, molecules, food substances that are big enough to set off an allergic response where they hit in the skin. Or these molecules might put you to sleep and make you drowsy or other kinds of things.
So, the old-fashioned method of taking a moment before you eat is good. Relax and let go of your thoughts, your worries and cares, and then take an additional moment and become thankful for the universe providing this and filling your whole body with that thankfulness. And then fill your body with the joy of the food you are about to eat. That gets the digestive juices flowing, and that’s very important for breaking down allergens and for preventing allergic disorders of all kinds especially skin diseases.
Looking for the best natural skincare? First, let me say there may be a lot of information out there that is true and good. I don’t want to dismiss that, but the big problem is when a person relates their story about healing a skin condition, yet they do not give you enough information on why that particular product made a difference.
Often, even if they are telling the truth, you do not know that they are leaving something important out. Even if they are telling the truth and are not leaving anything out, they may still not be giving you enough background to understand what made their condition made better. You don’t know that the particular thing that they said helped, is really going to help you as well.
Sometimes you can go off on a tangent with self-help medicine for long enough to do other kinds of damage. You may have avoided treatment that would be helpful. When you are reading health blogs, read them with a little bit of extra care. Be sure you do not take that information as the absolute knowledge of what will make your skin better. See a doctor for signs of anything serious or chronic.
I’d like to talk a little bit more about slowing aging. One of the things that happens in aging is that the collagen breaks down. Collagen is the part that gives skin its tough surface and lasting quality. It gives the skin the ability to come back to its original shape. Collagen breaks down with age. The collagen breaking down is often seen as cellulite or less elastic skin.
What breaks down the collagen? There are enzymes in the skin that break it down, and those enzymes get activated by a variety of things. One of those things is inflammation, and another one is by something called glycation which comes from an excess of sugar and fried foods.
So if you want to look old faster, eat a lot of sugar. Eat a lot of foods that are high in glycation, like fried foods. These will all help set those enzymes into action, chomping up your collagen. Now, it doesn’t happen overnight. But over a period of years, it makes a big difference. So a healthy diet really makes a big difference over time.
A diet that includes a lot of fresh vegetables, a lot of fresh fruits and foods that are cooked a lower temperature. Sometimes you want a treat of course, but let the cake be for a special occasion, rather than for a meal. If you live on chips, on junk foods, and fried foods, and things heated to high temperature, and lots of sugar, it takes its toll. And you have to decide. Is that fun worth more than looking great for a longer period of time?
What’s the best holistic skincare treatment for eczema? Eczema is related to other kinds of allergic diseases like asthma and hay fever. Usually there’s a family history of one of these conditions, and people who have it truly actually end up with dermatitis. There is an increasing incidence of eczema in the past decade, suggesting that some kind of environmental changes are a factor. It is aggravated by not only allergies in some people but also by various foods in some others.
Eczema is also aggravated by secondary infection, which people get from scratching, opening up wounds, and having oozing cerium. This can gets a culture of staph and other kinds of germs growing on it. Those kick the immune system up into high gear, and more and more of the skin problem appear.
It’s important to break the itch and scratch cycle. Keep the skin lubricated to calm down the inflammation. In functional medicine, we seek out the various causes that are contributing to the eczema and deal with each one. Doing all of that can make a dramatic difference.