Eczema, Psoriasis, Acne, Rosacea, Ichthyosis, Vitiligo, Hives, Seborrheic dermatitis are just a few of the hundreds of skin conditions get diagnosed daily.
Our skin is the largest organ in our body yet we still often separate our skin disorders from the rest of our system affecting feelings of well-being and confidence. Besides being the interface between us and the ouside world, our skin protects our internal organs, synthesizes vitamin D, and excretes toxins and metabolic waste products from our bodies.
A functional medicine approach offers a more comprehensive approach to skin healing and addresses the actual causes that can be itchy and painful. The good news is that many skin conditions that do not resolve with topical treatments and anti-inflammatory medications respond well to treatments on a “deeper level” when we look at the root cause which can happen with removal of potential dietary triggers, increased efficiency of hormone metabolism, resolutions of gut imbalances and other improvements directed at your body’s entire system.
About 95% of people aged 11 to 30 are affected by acne to some extent.
GPs Costs for Acne
About 3.5 million consultations with GPs occur in the United Kingdom annually for acne.
Reseach shows that it has been estimated that up to 15 million people in the UK could be living with eczema.
Eczema, is a broad term can apply to a number of skin conditions. This can include excessive dryness, scaling, rashes, flaking, bliserting, cracking, oozing, welling, or bleeding of the skin. Although adults can be affected by eczema as a reoccring condition, we predominantly see children and infants affected with it being more prominent in the face, neck, ankles, knees and elbows. In smaller infants, we can the forehead, cheeks, forearms and neck affected more.
Typically eczema is treated with hydrocortisone creams which can buy over the counter. Typically, what tends to happen is an initial positive response, which is due to creams affect on reducing inflammation, however, once you stop applying the cream the symptoms and appearance return. So, whilst most ointments and creams will bring short term relief, its not fixing the root cause of the condition, which can be linked to viruses in the liver, gut dysbiosis (more unfriendly bacteria than friendly bacteria), immune system dysregulation, nutritional deficincies, poor elimination, histamine issues and heavy metal toxicity. Its essentially a warning sign that something internally needs to be looked at and addressed.
Acne, is a skin condition characterized by hair follicles becoming plugged with oil and dead skin cells.It's different from psoriasis and eczema and other common skin conditions in that its more recognisable in its appearance. Its an extremely common condition and occurs mostly during adolescence as they enter and go through puberty, with varying degrees of severity. Although mainly seen in adolescents it can continue into adulthood and some cases leading to scarring, which affects trhe patients’ quality of life.
Topical therapy is the standard of care for mild to moderate acne with these treatments are active at application sites, and they can prevent new lesions. Most topical preparations require at least six to eight weeks before an improvement is seen; they may be used for years as needed. Like other skin conditions we need to look at what is driving acne and how we can address these factors in a holistic fashion to prevent further outbreaks.
Psoriasis is a condition which is immune mediated which is characterized by inflmmation in the body that can speed up the growth cycle of skin cells. This increase in cell turnover causes a rapid build up of irritated red, dry, thickened skin. Normal skin cells completely grow and normally shed on average monthly,. With psoriasis, skin cells do this every three or four days. So, Instead of shedding, the skin cells pile up on the surface causing symptoms and irritation.
Since psoriasis is an immune condition, it is imporant we look at regulating the immune system instead of applying a band aid in form of creams and/or ointments. Symptoms often start between ages 15 and 25, but can start at any age and affects men, women of any colour can get psoriasis. Psoriasis can be very mild, affecting only a few patches on your skin or it can be quite severe. Up to thirty percent of people with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis so it is critical for early recognition ato prevent any pain to the joints.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
From a functional medicine and nutrition perspective, we look at the body from a holistic perspective and look the different body systems which could be triggers symmptoms in order to improve the skin. Our skin is the outside of our body and reflects what is happening internally.
With skin issues, looking digestive health, immunity and stress management are important and includes addressing diet, food sensitives and allergens and looking at potential leaky gut syndrome which could be contributing to symptoms. There are a number of tests we can perform that assess the health of the gut microbiome and food testing which we can advise in the consultation.
Some skin conditions can be quite stubborn but a natural approach through diet, lifestyle and some targeted tests see clients resolve skin issues and heal from the inside out and be free of harmful drugs, steroid creams and harmful oily lotions.