Skin Related Disorders
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Did you know that your skin is the largest organ of your body? It is, in terms of both weight—between 6 and 9 pounds—and surface area—about 2 square yards. Your skin separates the inside of your body from the outside world. It protects you from bacteria and viruses, and regulates your body temperature.
Conditions that irritate, clog, or inflame your skin can cause symptoms such as redness, swelling, burning, and itching. Allergies, irritants, your genetic makeup, and certain diseases and immune system problems can cause dermatitis, hives, and other skin conditions. Many skin problems, such as acne, also affect your appearance. Your skin can also develop several kinds of cancers.
Here are the key facts about some of the most common skin problems:
A disease that affects the skin’s oil glands. The small holes in your skin (pores) connect to oil glands under the skin. These glands make a substance called sebum. The pores connect to the glands by a canal called a follicle. When the follicle of a skin gland clogs up, a pimple grows. Acne is the most common skin disease; an estimated 80 percent of all people have acne at some point. Early treatment is the best way to prevent scars. Your doctor may suggest over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription drugs.
Eczema—Also known as atopic dermatitis, this is a long-term skin disease. The most common symptoms are dry and itchy skin, rashes on the face, inside the elbows, behind the knees, and on the hands and feet. Currently, there is no single test to diagnose eczema, so doctors rely on information about you and your family.
Hives—Red and sometimes itchy bumps on your skin. An allergic reaction to a drug or food usually causes them. People who have other allergies are more likely to get hives than other people. Other causes include infections and stress. Hives are very common. They usually go away on their own, but if you have a serious case, you might need medical help.
A skin infection caused by bacteria. Usually the cause is staphylococcal (staph), but sometimes streptococcus (strep) can cause it, too. It is most common in children between the ages of 2 and 6. It usually starts when bacteria get into a break in the skin, such as a cut, scratch, or insect bite. Symptoms start with red or pimple-like sores surrounded by red skin. These sores usually occur on your face, arms, and legs. The sores fill with pus, then break open after a few days and form a thick crust. You can treat impetigo with antibiotics.
Melanoma—A severe and potentially life-threatening skin cancer. The “ABCD’s” of what to watch for with the moles on your skin:
- Asymmetry: the shape of one half does not match the other
- Border: the edges are ragged, blurred, or irregular
- Color: the color is uneven and may include shades of black, brown, and tan
- Diameter: there is a change in size, usually an increase
People with melanoma may have surgery, chemotherapy, biological therapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of those.
- Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. The two most common types are basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. Melanoma, a more serious type of skin cancer, is less common.
- The number of cases of skin cancer has been increasing. Exposure to the sun is a major factor.
- In 2006, over 30 million people visited health-care providers for skin rashes.
Moles—Growths on the skin. They happen when cells in the skin, called melanocytes, grow in a cluster with tissue surrounding them. Most people have between 10 and 40 moles. A person may develop new moles from time to time, usually until about age 40. About one out of every 10 people has at least one unusual (or atypical) mole that looks different from an ordinary mole. They may be more likely than ordinary moles to develop into melanoma, a type of skin cancer. Because of this, you should have a health care professional check your moles if they look unusual, grow larger, change in color or outline, or in any other way.
Frequent redness (flushing) of the face; small red lines under the skin; inflamed eyes/eyelids, a swollen nose, and thicker skin. Some traditional opinions claim there is no cure for rosacea, that is absolutely not true
Four types of Rosacea:
- Subtype 1 (erythematotelangiectatic rosacea): characterized by facial redness, flushing, visible blood vessels (the most common subtype)
- Subtype 2 (papulopustular rosacea): characterized by acne-like breakouts and sensitivity (most common among middle-aged women); alongside persistent redness, bumps (papules) and/or pimples (pustules) are frequent
- Subtype 3 (phymatous rosacea): characterized by swelling, fluid retention (edema), thickening skin (especially around the nose, or rhinophyma), redness and various symptoms from other subtypes
- Subtype 4 (ocular rosacea): characterized by rosacea around the eyes
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. The two most common types are basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. They usually form on the head, face, neck, hands, and arms. Another type of skin cancer, melanoma, is more dangerous but less common.
Psoriasis—A skin disease that causes scaling and swelling. Most psoriasis causes patches of thick, red skin with silvery scales. These patches can itch or feel sore. They are often found on the elbows, knees, other parts of the legs, scalp, lower back, face, palms, mid breast, soles of the feet. But they can show up on other areas, as well.
The main types of psoriasis include: (18)
Plaque psoriasis (also known as psoriasis vulgaris) – This is the most common form of psoriasis, found frequently on the knees, elbows, lower back and as scalp psoriasis. People with scalp psoriasis generally have psoriasis on other areas of their body as well, but this location can be particularly frustrating because it can cause a dandruff-like appearance and may even lead to temporary hair loss.
Guttate psoriasis – Unlike the large, raised lesions common with plaque psoriasis, guttate psoriasis is characterized by small dots and seen frequently in childhood or early adulthood. This form of psoriasis can be brought on by a case of strep throat.
Inverse psoriasis (may be referred to as flexural psoriasis or intertriginous psoriasis) – Body folds, such as behind the knee or in the groin, are the prime location for the smooth and shiny red areas of inverse psoriasis. In dermatology, it is commonly understood that this form of psoriasis probably occurs during an outbreak of plaque psoriasis somewhere else on the body.
Pustular psoriasis – The bumps of pustular psoriasis look like blisters or pimples but are actually filled with white blood cells. Often, people assume this is a contagious infection, but it is not. These pustules are usually surrounded by red skin and occur most frequently on the hands and feet.
Erythrodermic psoriasis (sometimes called exfoliative psoriasis) – The most severe of the psoriasis types, erythrodermic psoriasis is usually found in people with unstable plaque psoriasis. It is known by the wide, fiery outbreak and is accompanied by severe itching and pain. During an outbreak of erythrodermic psoriasis, skin often comes off in “sheets.” Only about three percent of people with psoriasis have this type of psoriasis, and it requires immediate medical attention because it can cause increased heartrate and body temperature changes. Some cases, particularly if left untreated, can lead to protein and fluid loss, shivering episodes, pneumonia and even congestive heart failure.
Psoriatic diseases including psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis have an elevated risk of related conditions including cancer, cardiovascular disease, Crohn’s disease, depression, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, osteoporosis, uveitis (an inflammatory disease of the eye) and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. (19)
Any psoriasis overview would be incomplete without noting the underlying mechanisms of this conditions and the related issues. A combination of genetic predisposition and an extreme action of the immune system lead to these unsightly, uncomfortable and even painful conditions. No wonder it’s associated with the autoimmune issues common in leaky gut syndrome!
What do you need on a daily basis:
Hydrochloric acid (1–3 capsules per meal)
Helps with protein digestion and decrease psoriasis flare-ups.
Vitamin D3 (5,000 IU daily)
Low levels of vitamin D may be associated with psoriasis.
Probiotics (50 billion units daily)
Probiotics improve digestion by increasing good bacteria and crowding out bad bacteria. Digestive issues are linked to psoriasis.
Salt baths – Epsom, Dead Sea Salt, oats
Milk Thirstle – for liver detox and cellular regeneration
High fiber foods – beans, grains, apples, spinach, broccoli, flax, carrots, chia, quinoa, potato skin, dark chocolate, figs, beets, avocado, peas, squash
Aloe Vera juice
Antioxidants – berries, pecans, cilantro, kidney beans,
High zinc – pumpkin seeds, cheek peas
Vit A – carrots, mango, tomatoes, kale, watermelon,
Gym, water, cold showers, saunas
Tea tree oil — When you use tea tree for your psoriasis, you prevent infection while also reducing inflammation and stimulating the immune system to support your skin health. Scientific research has confirmed the psoriasis-reducing effects of tea tree oil. (17)
Lavender oil — With calming and anti-inflammatory properties, it helps soothe the skin while also promoting new skin growth and healing.
Frankincense oil — With antiseptic, antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, frankincense can help provide relief for stubborn psoriasis patches.
Myrrh oil — Excellent at healing the chapped, flakey and cracked skin of psoriasis patches.
Geranium oil — Geranium is great at improving circulation and decreasing inflammation. It also helps relieve stress.
intestinal permeability, Vit D deficiency, poor liver function, hormonal, emotional imbalance, not digesting protein, too much T-cell production, over-reactive immune system, genetics
Rashes (basic dermatitis)—Dry and itchy skin; Rashes on the face, inside the elbows, behind the knees, and on the hands and feet. Your doctor will help you develop a good skin care routine, learn to avoid things that lead to flares, and treat symptoms when they occur.
- Identify Any Triggers in Your Diet
Harsh chemical creams, prescriptions, light therapy and various lotions — actually winds up making skin symptoms even worse.
Many studies have found an association between skin disorders — and inflammatory gastrointestinal tract disorders. An overactive immune system that causes autoimmune reactions is likely a major contributor to both skin and digestive disorders, including leaky gut syndrome, ulcerative colitis, SIBO symptoms, Crohn’s disease and celiac disease
Foods to promote healing:
- Organic vegetables and fruit — These contain anti-inflammatory compounds, antioxidants to lower oxidative stress and sun damage, and vitamins and minerals that help rebuild healthy skin cells. Leafy greens and orange/yellow fruits and vegetables are especially beneficial since they provide carotenoids that fight damage from sun exposure. Why is choosing organic important? Whenever you can, reduce your exposure to toxins and chemicals that can trigger skin reactions by buying organic.
- Healthy fats — Coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds (like flax seeds and chia seeds) can all help reduce systemic inflammation within the gut. These are also important for helping with stress management and proper hormone production (plus they help keep you full for longer, so you’re less likely to crave processed foods that can trigger symptoms).
- High-quality “clean proteins” — The immune system needs enough quality protein to work properly, but some types are most likely to trigger reactions than others. Wild-caught fish like benefit-packed salmon(which provides anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids), cage-free eggs (assuming you don’t have an allergy), grass-fed animal products and legumes are all smart choices.
- Anti-inflammatory foods and herbs — Turmeric, ginger, garlic, onions, cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli, cabbage, collard greens, etc.), carrots, tomatoes and green tea can all help specifically combat skin inflammation
Foods to Avoid
- Anything that causes allergies — If you have any food allergies or sensitivities that are going unnoticed, this can contribute to leaky gut syndrome, which kicks off autoimmune reactions. Allergens can be different from person to person, so doing an elimination diet can help you narrow down what might be causing symptoms for you personally. Some common allergens include: gluten, nuts, shellfish/seafood, dairy or eggs (but allergies can really be caused by any food such as nightshade vegetables, a type of stone fruit, citrus, FODMAPs, etc.).
- Alcohol and caffeine — Coffee, other caffeinated drinks and alcohol seem to worsen some people’s rosacea symptoms, especially redness and flushing. This differs from person to person, but it’s worth seeing if your symptoms improve when you cut back on both.
- Sugar and processed foods — Sugar is known to worsen inflammation, increase oxidative stress, irritate the gut lining and aggravate skin disorders. Added sugar is found in a high percentage of processed, packaged foods, along with artificial sweeteners/ingredients, preservatives and texture stabilizers that can kick off allergic reactions.
- Conventional dairy products — Many people find that eliminating conventional cow’s dairy (including yogurt, cheese, milk, ice cream, etc.) helps decrease skin-related symptoms.
- Fried foods, trans fats and hydrogenated oils — Refined vegetable oils that are high in omega-6s are pro-inflammatory. These include corn, soybean, safflower, sunflower and canola oils. Fried foods are also hard on the digestive system and can aggravate gut damage.
NOTE: Always make your daily regimen according your blood and Geno type
- Wear Sunscreen Every Day
- Anyone with psoriasis and rosacea-type symptoms, or any form of regular redness on the skin, should be careful about regularly using sunscreen on sensitive areas of the skin (especially the face). UV light seems to aggravate the symptoms and can cause inflammation that is linked to its onset.
- Studies show that daily skin care regimens, including the use of a sunscreen, offers significant benefits against flare-ups. While getting exposure to the sun is important for vitamin D production within your skin, it’s best to keep your face well-protected. The sun is considered one of the most strongly aggravating factors, according to some studies. Just be careful about the sunscreen you choose, since studies show many sunscreens are toxic and therefore can make symptoms even worse.
- Use Natural Moisturizers and Cosmetic Products
Clinical assessments observing the skin’s barrier and hydration levels indicate that moisturizing inflammatory prone skin can help restore the skin’s barrier. When patients regularly cleaned and moisturized dry, rough, patchy skin, they found that noticeable symptoms, discomfort and overall sensitivity of skin improved.
It might be tempting to avoid using moisturizer on your skin if you have oily, red or sensitive patches and are also prone to acne breakouts, but a non-chemical and naturally antibacterial skin moisturizer like coconut oil can provide essential acids to the skin without causing breakouts or further irritations. Wild plants rich in natural oils (including coconuts, aloe and many that are used to make essential oils) are commonly used to treat skin diseases around the world and have been the go-to methods for treating skin problems for centuries. Natural treatment products tend to be less irritating and are also cheap, safe and easy to obtain compared to prescriptions.
- Manage Stress Levels
Aside from all of the physical symptoms that skin condition can cause, many people also feel mentally and emotionally challenged by this skin condition. A high percentage of rosacea sufferers report feeling less confident due to their appearance. Ongoing facial blotchiness, bumps and redness can be really hard to handle emotionally (similarly to suffering from acne), but unfortunately stressing over the condition is only likely to make it worse.
Similarly to acne breakouts, stress is known to be a common trigger of rosacea that can bring on flare-ups. Try your best to control stress in your life for two reasons: first because stress makes autoimmune reactions and inflammation even worse, and secondly because you’re likely already under enough added stress when dealing with rosacea flare-up. Remember that you can’t always completely avoid symptoms appearing and shouldn’t feel guilty if flare-ups still occur. At the same time, you’re also not totally helpless and likely have a lot of control over how severe your symptoms get, so try to focus on feeling empowered instead of embarrassed and find natural stress relievers in your life.
Educate yourself about the disorder, learn more about rosacea treatments and be open-minded to trying new approaches in order to help you feel more in control. Use stress-reducing techniques like exercise, meditation. Keep in mind that despite what some people might assume, rosacea has nothing to do with poor hygiene and is caused by internal factors, so being open and honest about your condition can help you feel better and gain support.
Some of the best essential oils and supplement treatments for reducing skin inflammation include:
- Aloe vera gel (used topically on the skin)
- Raw honey (used topically on the skin) Manuka UMF 20+ as best. Apply on affected skin for 30 min and rinse (for external use). Internal – 1tsp on empty stomach
- Essential oils: Tea tree, frankincense, lavender, eucalyptus, geranium, chamomile, rose, rosemary and thyme
- Colloidal Silver – internal (1tsp 2Xday) and topical use
Oil pulling (coconut oil or black cumin oil)
7-10 days essential oil blend 1cap/day per protocol, with 1 month break
24hr Liver detox – twice a year
Cardio at least twice a week to break a sweat
Saunas – once a week
Epsom salt baths – add 30 drops of lavender for softness and lemon for further detoxification
Intermittent fasting – weekly, monthly, hourly