Being part of the integumentary system, skin is the largest organ of the human body and accounts for approximately 15% of the body’s weight. The skin is involved in multitude of functions, including detoxification, temperature regulation as well as protection and isolation from the external environment. Skin is also actively involved in the body’s natural vitamin D production process, which is an important element of our immunity and plays a significant role in numerous chemical processes within the body. The built-in sensory receptors of the skin in conjunction with automated responses make up a mechanism for balancing the body’s state with respect to the surrounding environment. For example, sweat is induced upon consumption of hot meal or exposure to external heat in effort to cool body’s core temperature. In addition, skin plays a critical role in detoxification and the skin’s surface condition serves as a very good indicator of body’s internal environment and general health. Conditions such as acne, dryness, sensitivity, blemishes, eczema, rashes, burns, dandruff, psoriasis and allergies might be an indication of deeper rooted problem(s) within the body. Skin is a sensitive organ and there are many factors that affect its performance, such as internal/external hydration, sun exposure, smoking, sugar, coffee & other stimulants, clothing, stress, birth control pills, toxins from variety of personal care products (parabens-preservatives, sodium laurel sulphate-foaming agent, etc.), free radicals and more.
Acne in particular poses a serious issue today, having become an epidemic affecting nearly 85% of the population in western countries. What has once been a condition generally experienced by individuals in their teenage years, is now affecting people of all age groups. According to research, there are multiple causes that might be behind the acne problems including over-activated TOR C-1 enzyme, inflammation hormonal imbalance, excessive sugar, carbohydrate and alcohol intake, stress and cortisol imbalance, body pH imbalance (acidity), smoking, impaired digestion, assimilation and elimination, gut dysbiosis and candida overgrowth.
Other troublesome skin problems include eczemas, rashes, dandruff and psoriasis. Eczemas and rashes are often experienced by individuals across all age categories, ranging from early childhood to late years. These problems are generally linked to allergies, intolerances and sensitivities that can be very subtle and therefore more difficult to detect. Dandruff might be linked to problems with skin oil production, sensitivity to hair care products or yeasts like fungus. Psoriasis on the other hand does not have a known cause, however hypotheses link it to autoimmune problems and genetic inheritance. Despite not having a known cause, psoriasis conditions often tend to worsen under stress exposure.
Although every case of a person with particular skin problems needs to be assessed and resolved individually, the general guidelines to improving any one’s skin conditions include paying close attention to lifestyle, elimination of processed foods, simple sugars, milk/dairy, coffee & other stimulants along with elimination of stress in daily life. Whole foods rich in fiber and lean meat, salads, stews, soups, vegetables and fresh fruit should be added to the diet.
We are all meant to have a beautiful skin and not suffer from skin problems which often lead to impaired self-confidence as well as separation from society causing myriads of stress to the individual.