That is really one of the questions that has been asked so many times, certainly by teenagers, certainly by drug companies and the question still stands out there. Now, there are many different types of treatments that can make acne get under control. However, the problem is that it often comes back. I think that the biggest issue is that acne is not just a condition.
Acne is a symptom showing that something is “off” in the body. The cure for acne is getting that rebalanced so that the body no longer needs to produce that inflammation that has been going on. This is the start of holistic acne treatment.
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.
While sharing about natural skin care is my passion, but at this time of the year, the Holiday season, with all of its joys and stresses of family and friends, I think it is appropriate to talk heart to heart. It is certainly a time that I have been reflecting on all that I have to be grateful for, even while floating in the national and global crises and the storms of the holiday season.
So I want to offer thanks to all of those of you who have touched my life in any way, and for all of those of you whom I have had the joy of being able to help in some way or another, for that brings true joy to my life as well.
Right now, pomegranates are in season. They are big, ripe, juicy, and on sale at your local fruit and vegetable market. They have juicy purple seeds now which contain juice that has bioflavonoids which are very beneficial for your heart. The hard seeds inside, and white inner pulp, although not as tasty to eat, also contain bioflavinoids which benefit the heart and the skin by taming free-radicals. They also smooth and firm the skin by promoting collagen and elastin production.
Eating some of that white pulp inside the skin and chewing the seeds of the fresh fruit is even better for you than drinking the juice (the white pulp is where the bioflavinoids are). Now, that’s natural skincare. So pick up a few pomegranates at the market now if you are so inclined, and enjoy not only the taste, but the benefit they will bring to those very important blood vessels in your skin and your heart. Feel the joy in your heart that they are here for you in this Season.
If you saw the movie The Incredible Shrinking Woman back in 1981, you’d have a comical view of how toxic chemicals might be affecting us. In the film, Lily Tomlin begins to shrink uncontrollably after being exposed to the wrong mix of chemicals in her home.
While this is an absurd and comical exaggeration, many chemicals do have mysterious and potentially toxic effects on the body. In fact, a large portion of the people who come to my holistic dermatology practice find their skin disease is somehow related to environmental toxins or allergens the body has come in contact with.
Toxins can be spread through the air and into the lungs, as side-stream smoke or factory pollution. They can come in the water, from plastic water bottles or leakage from factories into aquifers, or acid rain. They can come from the food we eat, in the form of pesticides, additive food colorings, flavorings, preservatives, or rancid oils. And they can come through the skin, from cosmetics, soaps, dish detergent, clothing dyes, etc.
Please do not take this information as an argument that you should fear your environment. Humans are an adaptable race and will continue to live on regardless of toxins. But some of us will find our bodies have a harder time filtering out the increased toxins and allergens in our environment.
If an unexplained or un-treatable disease is affecting you, you can begin to arm yourself with detailed information about the chemicals you are exposed to in your daily life. Then, you have the opportunity to heal your condition. In the next blog, I’ll outline some alternatives to hazardous cleaning products.
The controversy over sunlight benefit versus danger rumbles on, with new data on both sides of the question. From the American Academy of Dermatology meeting, two very different pieces of information stand out favoring cautious sunlight protection. A study recently reported showing an increase in the incidence of melanoma for people who had used tanning beds before the age of 35. Early damage from excessive light exposure shows up later.
Other studies reported showed that exposure to two times the MED (the minimal amount of light necessary to cause redness of the skin) caused 100 times the amount of messenger RNA for collagenase (the enzyme which breaks down collagen in skin.) Collagen is the fibrous substance which gives the skin its shape and strength.
Breakdown of collagen is associated with aging and wrinkles. One half the amount of sunlight necessary to cause redness increased the collagenase activity fourfold.
Furthermore, even one tenth the amount of sunlight exposure necessary to cause redness caused some increase in collagenase activity.
All of the data which was presented demonstrated the various aspects of the process of sun damage leading to aging, at the molecular level. The speaker is a respected authority on the science of skin aging, so the data appears valid. I have reviewed other studies in the past which show similar findings, which also lends credibility to his argument. I will discuss the benefits of sunlight and vitamin D production in later blogs, which inform the other side of this
controversy. If you sign up for my monthly newsletter, I will email you the top five tips to minimize the effects of solar damage.
Regardless of controversy, sun exposure is a double edged sword with both benefits and dangers. Living a full life exposes us to both those benefits and dangers; finding the right balance and using protective supplements and
topical antioxidants is the best we can do.To your health,
I’ve discussed measures for preventing sun damage and skin cancer previously in my blog. As I’ve said, as a holistic dermatologist, I believe prevention really is the best medicine.
So now let’s discuss exactly what happens when sun hits the skin. Packets of light energy known as “photons” hit chemical structures in your cells and activate them so that they transform chemically, often causing them to combine with chemicals next to them.
This includes causing chemical changes in the cells’ DNA, which can eventually change cells into to skin cancer.
When you apply a sunscreen, the energy from the sun is absorbed by that sunscreen chemical, changed, and then released as a hopefully less harmful energy. Sometimes it comes out as a different wavelength of light.
If the effects of that energy can be safely spread around and absorbed by the skin chemicals, there is little harm done.
LINES OF DEFENSE
Now think of it like a football game. The football represents the packet of light energy from the sun. When the team hikes the ball, the opposing team attacks, the front line acts as a barrier, and the football is passed back and forth by the team in the rear to keep it from being attacked.
The more the team behind the line passes it back and forth, the less likely a player with it will be attacked. We have a number of antioxidants in our skin both naturally present and from our diets and what we apply. If they are sufficient, balanced, and work well together like good linebackers, none of the team members will be attacked.
Antioxidants will help protect us to a degree, and work together with other forms of protection including sunscreens. One such external anti-oxidant is resveratrol, made from grape seeds and other plants. It can be ingested or applied to the skin or both, and there is evidence that it reduces sunburn cells and other measurements of sun damage in both mice and men.
There is even a patent for the use of resveratrol as a sun protectant, although one could argue that such use is apparent rather than unapparent, as required for being patentable in the first place.
Other anti-oxidants include vitamin C, Lipoic acid, glutathione, other biovflavinoids, carotinoids, and selenium. It is worthwhile to include these in your diet.
To your health,
-Dr. Alan M. Dattner, MD
As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to diagnose or treat illness; please see your physician for care.