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.
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.
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.
Let’s talk a little bit about detoxification. Detoxification is the concept of getting toxic materials out of your body and out of your skin. But it is such a widely used term that means many different things for many different people. Clearly we have a lot of toxic substances from pesticides to food colorings, to various toxins that are in the air from other reasons.
From our de-gassing formaldehyde,formaldehyde-like products, from all of our synthetics in the house, the carpets, the sofas, the paints, the glues. These are one kind of toxins. There are toxins from things that are seeping into your water, if you happen to be in an area where the aquifer is being aggravated by things that have been used industrially or in farming. Such as arsenals for potato and tobacco farming.
So you have to know a little bit about what’s going in in your area to find out even where your toxins are; which is why I don’t think there is one detoxification process that suits all people.
So just getting away from various toxins by eating healthier diet is a very important first step Eating fresh things that haven’t been sprayed and haven’t been colored and messed up in other ways. That’s really important. The next thing is understanding what might be something that you may have been exposed to by the history of where you’ve lived and what you have eaten. And what has preceded you getting sick.
And then finally, there are a lot of toxins coming from the organisms in your digestive system that are getting out inappropriately in the bloodstream in your lymphatic. So that can be determined also to some extent by what you have eaten, whether you have gotten worst after antibiotics or birth control pills, or other medications which indeed also can be another source of toxins. Various medicines that you take on a chronic basis.
So figuring out which things had gone on and then counteracting those things after you’ve eliminated them can make a big difference in what I believe to be true detoxification. So I recommend that you work with somebody that understands what’s going on and who you bring to the table, a good history of what you’ve been exposed to and what is preceding you getting worst. So that your detoxification is really a sensible and proper one.
I’d like to talk a little bit about breastfeeding and eczema and what it has to do with Integrative Dermatology. The whole idea of eczema is to try to reduce the allergies that are coming to the infant that would be coming if you fed all different kinds of foods that come from the table. And the idea being that the infant is adapted to having breast milk as a much gentler much healthier, much less allergy containing food than saying giving cow’s milk or soy milk or something like that.
So what you really want to do is have a less allergenic product to feed the baby with. Now here is the problem, if you have allergies coming out into your breast milk, then that could aggravate the baby. And how would that happen? That could happen if you have a problem known as “leaky gut”, which means there is a defective barrier between your intestines and your bloodstream. So that food substances that aren’t completely broken down get out into the blood and get into the breast milk and cause allergies in the baby.
And this problem, this leaky gut seems to be more and more common. Why is it more common? Because lots of people are eating huge amounts of sugar. The American public eats 150 pounds of sugar per person per year. So that’s a lot, it creeps into all of our different foods, and of course it’s tasty. And the problem is we have a lot of yeasty food, bread, wine, beer and fungal related foods are cheese and mushrooms.
All of those convince the immune system in the gut to allow more yeast to grow, more yeast causes more inflammation, more inflammation causes more leakage across the membrane disruption of the barrier. And all of these substances get in that shouldn’t get in. Now if they were completely broken down to amino acids, that wouldn’t be a problem.
But also we have problems with digestion, so the combination of digestive problems, inflammation from overgrowth of the wrong organisms like yeast And the foods that may also be allergens; potent allergens like milk and gluten, all these things together can lead to leakage across the gut. And by the way gluten itself can cause leakage. So all that combined allows things to leak across and get into the blood stream. And into the milk, and therefore a lot of the babies breastfeeding are getting the allergens you are trying to avoid in the first place.
So it’s really important to fix leaky gut before you get pregnant. Because you don’t want to correct your digestive system when you got a baby growing in there. So we have a big problem in the world today of too many pregnant women with leaky gut leading to too many allergens getting across to the babies even in breast milk, and too many allergies, so that babies are born with eczema in higher and higher numbers.