A lot of people notice that they had dry scaly skin and assume that’s all it is. They put creams and various things on to try to make it better. However, a number of people with skin that’s dry actually have what’s known as eczema or atopic dermatitis and that’s an allergic condition, as well as a conditioner for barrier function.
There are also people who come in with dry skin, who have seborrheic dermatitis, which is really commonly known as dandruff and those are conditions that need different kinds of treatment in dry skin. So in addition, there are more unusual and rare conditions that present as skin that’s dry, such as ichthyosis. And that usually is seen in patients with fish-like scales on the fronts of their legs. So it’s important if you have dry skin and it’s not clearing up, to have somebody who is more expert in skin diseases, such as dermatologist.
Take a look and see what’s going on. If you want to find the underlying causes, you may also want to have someone with a holistic view point. Someone like this doesn’t just try to suppress it, but also tries to correct the underlying causes.
What’s the Difference Between Conventional and Natural Acne Treatment
Interviewer: Give us an example of how a Conventional Dermatologist would treat acne as compared with methods you employ with Holistic Dermatology.
Dr. Dattner: As a Conventional Dermatologist depending upon the severity of the acne, I might use some topical Benzoyl Peroxide. This opens up the clogs and calms down any infection in the area. If it’s worse, I’d go to antibiotics, and if it’s worse still, I might even go to Retinoids or oral Retinoids.
In my practice I did a little of those things before I started using more alternative methods. But I began to see some problems with people who had been to dermatologists and been on antibiotics for a long time. They started developing yeast overgrowth, chronic fatigue, and various other problems.
Dr. Dattner: So as a Holistic Dermatologist for the past three or four decades, I work on the digestive tract. I try to get the intestinal organisms more normalized. I try to enhance the digestion. I try to fix leaky gut and inflammation and fix the liver and… I keep working from the bottom up until I have gotten to the skin.
Interviewer: Right, and then the skin is going to react.
Dr. Dattner: Yes.Then I’ll help with drainage products to help the skin. And I get a longer cure when my patients have learned how to take care of themselves.
Interviewer: Yeah, I mean it’s not just putting something topical on–it’s about getting rid of the cause of the problem and following through, right?
Dr. Dattner: Right
Interviewer: And it’s a lifelong change.
Dr. Dattner: Right. And they can still use topicals, but as a part of a larger holistic program of natural acne treatment.
The basic two types of inflammation. They are the immediate hypersensitivity and the delayed hypersensitivity.
The immediate hypersensitivity is mediated by antibodies, especially of the IGE class. These are the antibodies involved when you take a whiff of a flower or pollen and start sneezing, and develop hay fever.
The other type of inflammation comes on a day or two later. This type is mediated by lymphocytes: white blood cells that are in your body that distinguish what belongs and what doesn’t belong. Then, they set up a reaction to it by dividing in the lymph nodes and bringing an army of cells out to destroy the targets.
They destroy especially two kinds of targets. One target is you, modified, so if you have some poison ivy on your skill cells that get recognized as “you, modified”. The other kind of “you, modified” could be if you have a tumor that’s arising and the cells look a bit different than they should. Your body uses a very sophisticated arm of the immune system to distinguish those differences and set up a reaction to destroy them.
And your body is doing that all the time – getting rid of those tumors. And that is the delayed hypersensitivity system. Both of these systems can recognize a problem and get rid of it. For instance, hypersensitivity will attack virally infected cells or chemically modified cells as well as tumors, or even the fungus-modified cells. So if you have a fungus they’re involved in that attack as well.
However in some instances, your body’s immune system does something different. Once it has recognized some target that seems to be a problem, it may start to recognize some other parts of your system modified that look like the original target. And your body will attack that and cause destruction and an inflammation there as well. This we call cross-reactive attack because of molecular mimicry.
So the body’s immune system has two different major systems and many, many variations. Information has been growing since I started studying this decades ago. But these two basic types still prevail and are good starting points for understanding react to different things.
In functional dermatology, we examine the entire system of the organs and the body as a whole. We see that inflammation is the cause of most of the rashes and skin conditions with itching and redness in the skin, and with scaling, and even blisters. There are different kinds of immune responses that lead to each of these conditions and there are also different kinds of responses where the tissues themselves cause individual reactions you see as very different skin conditions.
It’s important to understand both how the physiology of how your skin works and how the immune system is reacting when you have inflammatory problems. This is the place where a good understanding of immunology is very helpful.
I have been very fortunate to have been involved in the area of cellular immunology and delayed hypersensitivity for many decades. It’s helped my perspective and seeing how conditions can be improved by getting at the underlying conditions that are there and causing difficulties. Be sure you find someone who understands this when you are trying to dig deeper to get to the cause of your inflammatory condition and treat it and get it better so that your whole body improves as well and including inflammation that can cause damage to other organs in your body.
Use your skin as an indicator of your health so it can lead you to the best overall heath possible.
What are the dangers of diagnosing your own skin problem?
Well, the first one is you may get the wrong diagnosis. You might be trying to link it up to some picture on the Internet or something you saw in a book. And just be off a bit and you might as a result have some condition that gets worse before it has its chance to be taken care of properly.
The second one is that when a dermatologist looks at the skin condition, they think there are a number of different possibilities and it may be one of the possibilities that is lower on the list that you might miss when you’re looking online.
There’s always the possibility that this skin condition might partake of more than one actual diagnosis and may have something in between. Finally, it’s possible that there are underlying problems that are involved that you will miss when you just come across the name of a condition. This is something where somebody who takes a more integrative dermatology or holistic viewpoint can be very helpful.
Organic Food: 3 Natural Dermatology Reasons Your Skin Wants It
Organic food is really important, and I’d like to say a bit how it fits into health and fits into treatment of skin disorders with holistic dermatology. Now if someone has been eating a lot of foods sprayed with pesticides, it’s really important to let the body get a break from that. And one way of course is to eat organic foods.
Now when we say organic foods, really that’s a technical definition in this country. The term organic allows certain kinds of pesticides to be used. And when I think of organic foods, I think of foods that are grown without pesticides or toxins at all. And that’s my favorite. So there are probably some places that have wonderful foods that are grown without pesticides that are not registered as organic, because the registration process is expensive. But they could be even better for you than the ones that have the organic label but are grown with the allowable level of pesticides. So that’s one of the questions you need to ask when you are at the farmer’s market or your grocery store.
The next thing is that there are certain foods that are heavily sprayed and apparently soak up more chemicals than other foods, and those are the ones to definitely choose organic. Leafy vegetables, celery, strawberries and just a few of those. Find places to shop for your fruits and vegetables where you can learn what sorts of chemicals are being used. Because if you can wash the off with soap and water or a food detergent (found in your local health food store), that may be acceptable.
So using organic food can be beneficial because it avoids toxins. And some of those toxins inhibit the process the body does to suppress allergic reactions. So avoiding toxic foods and eating organic foods can help reduce allergic reactions. But personally I sometimes choose to use the regular, non-organic foods if they are not known to be heavy in pesticides. And I also choose locally grown foods that come from farmers who don’t use pesticides who are not necessarily organic, as mentioned above.
Of course organic can also mean using foods that have been given natural fertilizers, which again is another important thing to make the foods more healthy. And finally, interestingly enough, foods that are grown organically have more stresses on them, so that the plant has to make its own pesticides. And some of those pesticides are called cell versants. And those products that the plants make have anti-cancer properties. So, there maybe additional benefits in those “stressed” organic plants or pesticide-free plant that cause them to make products within them that will protect you much further.
So another vote for organic food from the holistic dermatology perspective. To your health!
Curious about natural dermatology for aging and cancer prevention? One of the reasonsthat I’m such an advocate of hats and clothing is that sun screens don’t really block the sun. They do take the sun’s energy and change it into a more harmless form of energy so that there is not a sun burn, but still some of that energy gets through. That energy can cause damage especially if you apply sunscreen on and then spend a lot of time out in the sun.
With just sunscreen, you get some of that energy coming through all day long that can be causing aging, and even potentially future skin cancer. It’s important to remember that even the metallic sunscreens like zinc and titanium are usually zinc and titanium salts, they’re not the metal. You do get some energy coming through, even using those. It’s very important to remember that you need other kinds of ways of blocking the sun. The sun screen is just an added benefit to protect against reflected rays.
What causes people to have belly fat? Well, there are a number of different things that contribute to it. Obviously, eating too much sugar and simple carbohydrates is one way to add extra belly fat. And cutting back on that can make a difference.
Also, the kind of food you eat determines the kind of organisms that live in your intestine. Not a few but approximately 30 to 100 trillion bacteria live inside your intestinal tract. And some of those determine whether you are going to gain weight or not. And it seems that the kinds of foods you eat have a big influence on what is actually living inside of you, and they help determine whether you are going to gain fats. So when you are eating, you are not just feeding yourself, you’re feeding the organisms which are talking to the system that determines whether fat cells increase or fat cells decrease.
And eating a lot of vegetables and some protein is a lot different from eating a lot simple carbohydrates, not only feeding your fat but feeding your organisms.
In addition, when you have a lot of stress you release cortisol, and there are people who believe that the cortisol has influence on gaining belly fat. So reducing stress by getting regular exercise, meditation, breathing exercises can make a big difference as well. Finally in metabolize according local exercise in the muscle tone, and if you are using your abdominal muscles by doing crunches or by doing exercises that involve your abdominal muscles, not only do you burn fat while you are doing that, but you burn fat all day long and all night long because those muscles are having more metabolic activity and requiring more energy. So that’s an additional way to get your body to burn up that belly fat.
So conversely, people who don’t get any exercise, who sit on a couch, work sitting down, and don’t get any extra exercise are likely going to gain more belly fat.
So the holistic medicine of eating right, exercising right, and managing stress can all help reduce belly fat.
“I want to introduce my guest today Dr. Allan Dattner. Thank you for being on the show today.”
“Thank you, I’m glad to be here.”
“As I said in the beginning you are in a fascinating field because there are dermatologist in the world who practice medicine a certain way they’ve been schooled in traditional methods allopathic methods and that leads to certain results and you have come along and you’ve said I want to do something a little different.”
“You have a holistic approach which I am very much in alignment with. What I’d like you to do is tell us about your background by how this all started for you. You were in college you became a doctor and what happened after that?”
“Well actually it started while I was in college. I started working at a little laboratory in Rye called Sloan-Kettering and a in a field called tumor immunology which was only occupying one room there. It’s grown logarithmically sense, but that got me very interested in the field lymph. I continue their studies on and off throughout my medical school in afterwards and during my during my fellowship to my residency in finally afterwards at the National Institute of Health the National Cancer Institute in the dermatology Branch. In our work there demonstrated nature in the recognition of the lymphocyte between different kinds of substances. We call it cross-reactive recognition. It was that understanding cross-reactive recognition the let me understand how diet could actually change what the body’s immune system was recognized. How that might pertain to different substances in one’s food causing inflammation or contributing to inflammation. That strengthen my pursuit of the pathway of diet and disease in the skin.”
“Dr. Dattner, so how many years ago was this that you’re talking about? “
“Well that was in the late seventies in 1976 I went to the NIH I left Pelham where I was living. Packed up my belongings and wife where we went down to Maryland. There I worked as a visiting scientist for almost three years.”
“Okay and so that was a long time ago. You must be honor as one of the pioneers in this field.”
“Yes I believe I’m one of the early pioneers, perhaps one of the people who started this field. You probably see my website holisticdermatology.com is number one on Google for that. Probably, because I started so many years ago before other people that into it. After I left there I was hoping to do some studies on nutrition and the immune response, but it was a very difficult thing to find people with the imagination to do that at that time and the funding. So I well and up joining a clinic in Putnam Connecticut connected with the Yoga Institute that was very much oriented towards vegetarianism, supplements and nutritional therapies. From there I just kept on learning and kept on building. I was part of us a small seminal group physicians throughout the Northeast who met and influence speakers several times a year. Discussing topics in this area and over period seventeen years got to learn a lot and meet a lot of people who also were key people in coming forth with new ideas and help put these things together. I must emphasize that although some of the information came from holistic medicine in from the periphery and from traditional techniques. A lot of it really was based on good hard science that news just being interpreted in highlighted in a different way than most to my colleagues highlighted that science.”
“What have you been noticing over the years?”
“I’ve been noticing over the years that the things that I’ve been excited about take 10 to 20 years before they catch on and then they catch on really big. For instance I would be getting up a meetings at scientific meetings and saying why don’t we put some vitamin E in vitamin C in into these immunodeficient mice that are being exposed to light or radiation in C with a dozen people would poo-poo me and try to shut me up. Well I went on with it like this for years and then the whole cosmetically industry started about ten or fifteen years ago using the kinds of things that I was talking about. I’ve been seeing so many the things that have been predicting coming into fruition that now I’m beginning to say it’s time for me to bring a few of the things that I’ve been thinking about that have been already been taken into account into fruition.”
“I would imagine you get patients who come to you with all kinds of different skin conditions and I would imagine if they went to a traditional dermatologists they would have one kind of treatment and yet you have different kinds of treatment difference between what a regular dermatologist would do and what you do?”
“Well there’s a whole series have different treatments the dermatologists have developed and I learned though they work very well yeah, but they have a certain cost to them because many of them are treating symptoms. For instance the cortisone steroids to calm down the information, but they don’t always get at the cause of the information. If the cause of the information is a dietary habits were is contribute too a heavily dietary habits putting the cortisone on will give you a 1-4 relief so when you stop putting it the problem comes back and unless you correct the underlying cause you still have a problem. I treat a lot of conditions they have inflammation by working my way back towards the underlying causes getting the digestive system working better. Figuring out which things are are causing getting the liver to help detoxify better using anti-inflammatory herbs. I’m able to avoid a lot of the drugs my colleagues need to use on a daily basis in acne people use a lot of antibiotics dermatologists for treating and acne treatment with antibiotics has its cost because people then sometimes get overgrowth used in the intestinal tract. Then they can get even in the worst cases chronic fatigue and they can function. I work with the processes information calming that information through changes in the digestive tract and working on the hormonal basis that the acne using a variety of supplements gently shift how the hormones working in a safer way, because some other side effects and the the supplements amusing or reducing the the the statistical chances breast cancer so I like positive side-effect.
I like it when the patient is treated for their skin and their energy is better and they have more verve during the day and get more done and enjoy life more that’s the kinda side-effect I like to see. I really enjoy working with people who have improvements in their overall health while we’re improving their skin. That’s very different than what many of my colleagues do.”