Sunday, July 25, 2010

Skin Disorders and Natural Treatments

Organic Natural Home Spa from my shop...

Skin disorders, such as eczema, psoriasis, dry, flaky, scaly, red or irritated skin, are often painful, unsightly, and downright frustrating. They are usually more than a simple rash, and can often last for a long time. Eczema for example is an frequently painful skin condition that often looks like a rash, can be dry or scaly, and can last for many years. In some cases there can even be blisters that weep, ooze, and crust over; a distinctly unpleasant condition to live with. Generally only a dermatologist can give an accurate diagnosis. If you suspect you have a skin condition, I highly recommend a trip to a specialist to be certain. If you already know you have it, don't despair! It may not be something you have to suffer with for the rest of your life. Sufferers had tried many, many treatments to cure their long term skin disorders. I will list, in order of importance, some of the things they found helpful.

First, you may have to figure out what's causing it, and what to do about it. Your most likely options include:

1) moisture loss. Water is absolutely vital. It not only moisturizes, it is also fundamental to smooth function of all body systems, including removing toxins from the skin. Most of us in Western culture are extremely dehydrated, and used to it! We all need our 5 - 8 glasses of water a day. Coffee is not water, nor is pop, or even tea. All of those are diuretics, and require an equal amount of water to balance them. Every time we have our cup of coffee, we need to balance it out with a cup of water. Although juice and herbal teas are not water, they at least are not dehydrating and do not need to be balanced by an extra glass of water. So have your coffee, but keep your water bottle close at hand!
As well as the water, skin moisture requires oils to keep it from evaporating. If you didn't have the oils, you'd evapotransporate in hours! Even if this isn't your only cause, a round of essential fatty acids produces marvelous results in alleviating much of the condition by helping to nourish and moisturize your skin from the inside. Essential fatty acids will not make you fat, as they are the essential building blocks for all your cells, and are found in many oils. Unrefined flax seed, evening primrose, fish oils, borage, blackcurrent, as well as many others contain the Omega 3, 6, and 9 essential fatty acids in various ratios. Flax seed oil, in pills or liquid, is my favorite. It's cheap, and has all the necessary Omegas, though it's not as high in some to make it ideal. If you use it in liquid, it has to be consumed within 3 weeks. Take with food, and I have never heard of a overdose yet, though it can have a laxative effect. I'm not a fan of evening primrose oil. It's very pricey, and due to it's estrogen relation, can be a depressant for those prone to it. Fish oils, while cheap, contain a form of Vitamin A that can be toxic in high doses.

2) allergies. Environmental sensitivities often come out in skin. I highly recommend, if you don't already do it, switching ALL of your cleaners, shampoos, detergents, conditioners, soaps, hairsprays, etc., to natural, sulfate and phosphate free brands. These are available at most alternative health or environmental stores. Your skin could be reacting to any number of chemical combinations in your laundry detergent (after all, those protein dissolvers can't distinguish between the protein on your skin and the protein on your clothes), or your shampoo, plus your soap, plus your hairspray... I know one woman who came to me with a terrible irritation on her torso. It was in a exact line matching where her skin contacted her bra and panties. After she had shown me where it was, I told her it had to be her 'delicates' laundry detergent. Even if that isn't the cause, you may experience significant improvement as your skin will no longer have to be burdened with extra chemicals. A soothing soap such as a natural comfrey and aloe blend can be very beneficial, instead of the harsh and irritating drug store or medicated brands. You may also wish to consider food allergies. I personally like checking for all of the standard ones first, including gluten products, refined sugars, overconsumption of meat products, alcohol and caffeine and other poisons as well. If your system does in fact have reactions to these, it would naturally come out in your skin, as it is one of the four elimination organs in your body, along with the kidney, lung, and bowel groups. If these systems were overtaxed by buildup, your body would try to enlist your skin to help take some of the burden. As this is not something your skin can easily do, it will often react badly, with symptoms of eczema, psoriasis, rashes, etc. I highly recommend removing many of the above foods, so that your skin can better get on to the business of healing itself, and not have to deal with so much with elimination. So, speaking of toxins...

3) toxic buildup. Some sufferers have told me that cleansing herbs or fasts have done them wonders. Kambuchu was particularly effective in many cases. Dramatic results have sometimes been seen in a week! This is often the case when people are working frequently with toxic chemicals, like hairdressers and mechanics. Or just helping out your skin with a nice toxin removal. There are lots of cleansing options, including red clover tea, but Kambuchu shouldn't be used by people sensitive to mold allergies. Which brings us to ..

4) Candida, yeast or fungal infections. Hardly ever explored by dermatologists and yet so common among both men and women, I've seen mysterious decade old cases clear up in a month due to a Candida purge, or topical application of tea tree oil to treat for possible fungal infection. Colloidal silver and propolis can be used both internally and externally for this purpose. GSE and acidophilus yogurt can be used as well. It especially affects those with higher levels of body fat and correspondingly larger amounts of skin and folds, as well as the higher correlation between weight and other forms of candida, such as thrush.

"Candida Intertrigo: This perhaps is the most common form of a Skin Candida infection. It can occur anywhere the skin forms folds, such as the groin, beneath the breasts or between fatty skin folds. In the warm and moist environment common to these areas, the growth of Skin Candida is promoted, leading to the formation of a rash that begins with tiny blisters which rupture and spread the infection.
Eventually, this manifests as a red, moist, macerated rash which is frequently itchy. Besides treating such a rash with anti-fungal therapy, keeping the affected area clean and dry is essential" a

If you think this is what it might be, you'll eventually want to do a Candida purge, but for the moment, get yourself to a local food store and pick up some *live culture* organic yogurt. Smear it liberally on the affected area, and eat some too, if you can... If you get some immediate relief, it's a good indicator that this is what you have. You'll need to keep the area as dry as possible when you aren't treating it, so always clean shorts, perhaps lightly dusted with powder, will help. Tea tree can really relieve the pain and itching, but it isn't for everyone. I can handle it directly on my skin, but you may want to put a bit in that cream before applying. You have lots of other options, too...

It's such a simple thing to treat, but since most dermatolgists don't even recognise it, people can suffer for years. Really offends my delicate sensibillites...

This is by no means a comprehensive review, but it should be enough to get most people on the right track. I know it seems hard once you've tried just EVERYTHING from the doctor and nothing seems to work, but I invite you to take a fresh look. If it is you or someone you know suffering, nothing will help more than a positive attitude and a belief that something can be done, and these simple, safe and non-toxic treatments are an excellent way to start!

Please see my MisticalAcScents Etsy shop for many organic, non-toxic, and healing herbal remedies and cosmetics for your skin!