The Danger in Making the Internet Your Doctor ~ Best Natural Skincare


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.

Get rid of acne, eczema, migraines, and fatigue, naturally.

6a00e55255b462883401901b97a4d5970b-200wiI recently read an article in the Science Section of the New York Times by Tara Parker-Pope entitled “Telling food allergies from false alarms”. The article focuses on the efficacy of food allergy antibody tests (only one of many kinds of allergy tests there are.) It suggests that people avoiding a number of foods face malnutrition and inconvenience.

The article overlooks the great value in helping patients eliminate foods which trigger a wide variety of conditions, most of which have an inflammatory etiology. Any blood test, be it of antibody reactivity, neutrophil change, or lymphocyte response, may be helpful to point out foods to test for potential clinical improvement by elimination and challenge.

I have seen numerous conditions including acne, eczema, irritable bowel, hidradenitis, migraines, and fatigue improve with food elimination. A physician experienced in multiple forms of food testing can help associate symptoms with exposures, choose appropriate tests, and interpret results. This kind of natural acne treatment is a lot cheaper than prescription drugs.

One things I do agree on is that allergy tests can give a wide variety of food and allergen sensitivities which may or may not indicate the cause of a patient’s presenting condition.

The absolute best way to learn what foods are causing skin or any other problems is to eliminate all possible trigger foods, check to see if the problem clears, and then every few days, add a food back to the diet to find out which is the culprit. The value of trials of food elimination to improve disease should not be overlooked for lack of definitive testing in major centers.

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 prevent, diagnose or treat illness; please see your physician for care.

Saving Money and Saving your Skin in Winter

6a00e55255b4628834017eea952afa970d-200wiIn my holistic dermatology practice, I often help patients whose skin suffers in winter.  It is possible to both help your skin and save money doing it.  I emphasize this because it requires doing something very simple and at the same time very challenging: changing your habits.

Even more, it requires changing the beliefs behind those habits, so I will try to give some additional information beyond what was in my last blog, to help you make these changes.

If you have ever done dishes or wet work, with your hands in and out of water repeatedly for a while, you know how your skin becomes dry and chapped.  This is because you are washing away the oils and the salts which hold water in our skin.  In the winter when the air is dry (low humidity), bathing washes out the oils from the skin. The belief that we need a shower, especially a long, hot one, to be clean, to wake up, or to feel alive in the morning, needs a second look if your skin becomes dry and scaly in winter.  A washcloth under the arm and in the folds does a very nice job between showers, and does not dry out parts of your skin which do not need washing.
The result is that you:
  • save hot water,
  • save on lotion
  • save oils in your skin,
  • save money on heat,
  • save fresh water,
  • safe electricity

Once you have the routine down, you will save time as well.Of course there will be times and situations where you need a shower or bath. Bathing less often, faster, and soaping less areas which do not need heavy cleansing, will keep the moisture in your skin and save you money as well. I repeat the essence of my last message because I have found,
in my 30 yeasr of practice, that people often have to hear it more than once in order to reduce their bathing. Did you?

To your health,

-Dr. Alan M. Dattner
Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine


As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to prevent, diagnose or treat illness; please see your physician for care.

Safe Cleansers, for the Earth and for your Body

6a00e55255b462883401901b980d3b970b-200wiI encourage everyone to use a holistic approach to their dermatology conditions.
Reducing your exposure to toxic chemicals is a great way to do that.  It can be a challenge at first, but your health is well worth the effort.

Here are some simple cleansing substitutes you can make yourself. They’ll help you avoid bleach, ammonia, alcohol, dyes, fragrances, and detergents, and save money. Be sure to try cleansers on a small, hidden spot of what you are cleaning to make sure it does not cause fading or discoloration of the fabric before more widespread use.

Laundry Detergent: If you use liquid detergent, add half a cup of baking soda at the beginning of the wash.  If you use powdered detergent, add half a cup of baking soda during the rinse cycle.  You can then reduce your detergent by about half.  Try different amounts to see what works best for you.

Fabric Softener: Put two cups of white vinegar in your rinse cycle. Note that vinegar can cause colors to fade a little.

Window Cleaner: Mix three tablespoons of vinegar and one quart of club soda in a spray bottle. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime to air freshener, laundry detergent, and kitchen and tile cleaner for a blast of freshness.

Tub & Tile Cleanser: Mix 1 2/3 cups baking soda, a half cup high-quality liquid soap, a half cup water, and 2 tablespoons vinegar (if you add the vinegar too early it will react with the baking soda.)  

Carpet Cleaner: To absorb big spills, spread cornmeal over the spill. Wait about 15 minutes, then vacuum it up. For stains, a quarter cup biodegradable liquid soap with a third of a cup of water into a blender to make a foam.  Put the foam on the stain and rub. After rinsing, splash vinegar to finish.

Air Freshener: You can absorb odors in the fridge and in your home by putting cups of vinegar or baking soda around the house (on high surfaces to keep out of the reach of kids.)

Drain Clearing: Pour half a cup of baking soda down the sink, add a cup of vinegar. Cover the drain, and then rinse the drain with boiling water and salt. Repeat if it doesn’t work immediately.

There are also a lot of non-toxic household cleaners which are healthier for both your skin and the “skin of the earth” than the traditional cleansers on the market.  Be sure to read the label to avoid being a victim of “greenwashing” (when a product’s label is designed to look environmentally friendly, but the ingredients are the same old toxic mess.)  And as always, keep all cleaning products away from pets and children.

To your health,

Dr. Alan M. Dattner, MD
Holistic Dermatology
New York, New York


As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to prevent, diagnose or treat illness; please see your physician for care.

Does the sun cause skin damage and skin cancer?


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.


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.

Dry Skin – The One Tip You Need

6a00e55255b46288340192aad0a267970d-200wiThe activities of the summer, spending time in the water, wind, and sun, can sometimes trigger a flare-up of dry skin. Chronic dry skin can have many possible underlying causes.

Patients come to me for holistic skin treatment when they don’t want to use conventional medicine, and I address dry skin, among other conditions often by changing the diet, adding nutritional supplements, and changing the products you use on your skin. Learning about what makes your skin dry or irritates is a highly individual process that an integrative physician can help you with.

However, I have one tip for occasional dry skin that works great. If you regularly use a moisturizer, always apply it immediately after bathing or showering. This seals in the moisture your body has just absorbed and leaves skin feeling soft and healthy.

Also be sure to reduce the use of hot water, soap, and detergents on scaly skin, so that you don’t wash out the lipids that keep your skin naturally moist.


To your health,

Dr. Alan M. Dattner, MD

Holistic Dermatology
New York, New York


As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to prevent, diagnose or treat illness; please see your physician for care.

Natural Anti-Cancer Treatment: Eat This Food!

6a00e55255b462883401a3fcd5dbc9970b-200wiIf you’re looking for a way to balance out some of the negative effects of environmental toxins, a good way is to start eating more vegetables in the broccoli family.  This includes cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, arugula, and brussels sprouts among others.

Recent studies have demonstrated that broccoli’s chemical composition could help reduce the risk of cancer and, I believe, acne as well, because of the neutralizing effect these chemicals have on acne-triggering estrogen.

Broccoli is rich in vitamin C, carotenoids (vitamin A-like substances), fiber, calcium, and folate as well as phytochemicals that may have anti-cancer properties.
For example, broccoli contains several compounds called isothiocyanates, including sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which are being explored for possible anti-cancer agents. Some studies have also suggested they
may alter body estrogen levels, which might affect breast cancer risk. Some studies have shown these substances may act as antioxidants and may boost the body’s detoxifying enzymes.

Another chemical in broccoli called indole-3-carbinol (I3C), seems to alter estrogen levels and may also raise levels of protective enzymes in the body. Lab studies have shown it may slow or stop the growth of breast, prostate, and other cancer cell lines.

Some early studies in animals have shown similar results. Small studies in humans have found it may prevent the development of precancerous growths in the cervix, as well as growths (papillomas) in the throat. While more, larger studies need to be done to confirm and expand our knowledge of the benefits, I recommend that people eat more broccoli and foods in the brassicaceae family for good health.

To your health,

-Dr. Alan M. Dattner
Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine


As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to prevent, diagnose or treat illness; please see your physician for care.

Poison Ivy Comes a Creepin’

6a00e55255b462883401901bd2ba68970b-200wi“Leaves of three, let them be.” If you find yourself out walking as the weather gets warmer, be sure to step out of the way of any plants with clumps of three leaves. Poison ivy can have many different appearances.

The best way to tell if it’s poison ivy is the number of leaves, the reddish color at the point the three stems meet, and the shape of the edge of the leaves. If you are working in the garden or on the lawn pulling up “runners” before the leaves are fully formed, be
sure to wear extra thick gloves, and know the plants in your yard. Some of these runners may be poison ivy, and you may find out the hard way 2 days later.

Remember that the active ingredient, the urishiol, can last on shoes, clothing, garden tools and gloves almost indefinitely (some poison ivy oil has even been found in Egyptian tombs!) Some of the “spreading” of poison ivy is actually caused by contacting smaller amounts of poison ivy from garden items, pets, and furniture, once your sensitivity has been elevated by a big skin reaction to poison ivy.

So always wash off anything coming in contact with poison ivy immediately with detergent and hot water. Holistic
dermatology advocates many treatments for skin disorders, including the best one:  prevention.

To your health,

Dr. Dattner

Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine
New York


As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to
treat or diagnose an illness; please see your physician for care.

Want Beautiful Skin? Look inside…

6a00e55255b462883401901b96b474970b-320wiFrequently, people come to me wanting to know how to make their skin beautiful. What I tell them is that the skin is a direct reflection of what is occurring, both inside you and in the world around you.  Among other functions, the skin is an organ of excretion, which takes over when your other organs of excretion are overwhelmed.

Your skin reflects when you are “toxic,” excreting what the rest of the body cannot.  What I want you to really get from this book is that the best way to maintain a healthy, youthful exterior is to care for the whole person.  This is what I help people learn to do as a holistic dermatologist.

To your health,

Dr. Alan M. Dattner
Holistic Dermatology
New York, New York


As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to prevent, diagnose or treat illness; please see your physician for care.

Lancet retracts claims… might science be influenced by industry?


feb-2010-bCould Science be influenced by Industry and Government or individual self-interest?

Of course we all know that science, because of its objective methods, is free from bias of particular self interests.  That is why this new retraction of a publication, declaring it unholy and not worthy of being quoted as scientific evidence in the scientific peer reviewed literature, is such a shock to people like me who have devoted part of my life to doing good scientific investigation.  And it was done so, supposedly on a technicality related to the methods used.

It is very interesting indeed, that many reputable scientists and physicians are outspoken in their denial of any evidence that vaccination could be linked to Autism, and that this report stood as a scientific thorn in the side of that denial, until it was recently withdrawn.

This is a new tactic in denial of any relationship of the relationship between the rising incidence of autism and vaccination.  Autism is officially a disease without a known cause, and will probably become more an more common, and expensive to us as a society and to the parents who bear its burden, until we take our heads out of the sand, and look around for a cause in an unbiased way.  I have heard many patient stories, read reports in the literature, and heard of colleagues treating this disorder in a manner highly suggestive of vaccination being given just before a child dropped off the normal development curve.  I cannot let go of the strong suspicion of association  between vaccine and autism without some really well-done honest investigation that accounts for the post-vaccination illness followed by loss of normal behavior in these infants and children.

I still believe that vaccination protects people in general, at the same time I believe that some sort of immunological screening and changes in vaccine technology and administration could reduce this incidence.  So too, might a combination of warning and intense therapy during the acute post- vaccination illness.  But this type of “science control” assumes that we are all dumb sheep, and can have our fates controlled and manipulated by those who know better than us when they admit they do not understand the cause of autism.

This is a wakeup call to the entire General Public, as well as scientific and medical community. If we let this go by, we are saying we are suckers for whatever other nonsense they have to cram down our throats.  I thank naturopath James Elkin for bringing this to my attention, and hope that you share this with your friends and legislators.

By the way, the mercury in vaccinations and the attenuated viruses both have the ability to disrupt normal regulation of the immune system, and to modify normal cells so that the body will attack them.  Development of the nervous system involves a form of removal of unwanted connections, known as “neuronal pruning”, which is done by microglial cells, which are also part of the Brain/spinal cord immune system.  So if you disrupt the signals for these immune cells known as glial cells, you could disrupt the developmental process in the brain.  This new removal is a statement that we will not look in that direction for answers.

Alan M Dattner, MD

Lancet Retracts 1998 Paper Linking Autism to MMR Vaccination 


The Lancet has “fully” retracted a paper it published in 1998 that suggested a link between measles-mumps-rubella vaccination and the subsequent development of autism.


The journal’s editors point to a recent judgment by a panel of the U.K.’s General Medical Council, saying that “it has become clear that several elements of the 1998 paper by Wakefield et al. are incorrect, contrary to the findings of an earlier investigation.”


The editors say that two claims in the paper “have been proven to be false.” Contrary to the authors’ claims, the patients studied were not consecutively referred, and the local ethics committee had not approved the investigations. The editors conclude: “Therefore we fully retract this paper from the published record.”


Asked to comment on the journal’s action, Dr. Andrew Wakefield sent the following statement: “The allegations against me and against my colleagues are both unfounded and unjust and I invite anyone to examine the contents of these proceedings and come to their own conclusion.”