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  • Writer's pictureDr. Andrea Colon NMD

Naturopathy and Skin Health

As we all know, our skin is the largest organ of our body, and as such, can be affected by a number of factors, both internal and external. Some of the most common skin issues people face are acne, eczema, and rosacea. Why? Because they’re recurring. A dermatologist may provide a cream, supplement, or other medication to clear or treat the symptoms, but it doesn’t get rid of the root issue.

Naturopathic doctors want to go deeper and treat the cause of various skin conditions. The first things to look at are hormonal imbalances, any prescription medications, nutrition, and other lifestyle, environmental, and biological factors.

Treatment for skin conditions and improved skin health can be as simple as a topical recommendation or as complex as a dietary and lifestyle change. Below are different causes of poor skin health and how to help alleviate both the cause and the symptoms.

1. Inflammatory Skin Reactions and Digestive Issues

Our digestion directly affects our complexion. When our digestive system isn’t working properly, it can cause gut inflammation that can compromise food breakdown. This leads to poor vitamin and mineral absorption, or stops it entirely. But what does this mean for our skin? When our bodies aren’t getting the proper nutrients, it can lead to slow tissue repair, especially with our skin. If our skin becomes affected by this, it can show more signs of aging, as our skin can repair itself as readily, as well as puffiness and other symptoms. By solving our digestive issues with enzymes, probiotics, and other supplements, it can help clear up our skin.

2. Hormonal Imbalance and Skin Changes

This is especially true for women. During their monthly cycle, acne becomes more common. Essentially, our hormones act as messengers that tell our body that we’re experiencing some type of change. This can be stress-related, caused by too much sugar, or a number of other factors. Insulin and cortisol are two hormones that can negatively impact a person when too much is coursing through the body. From increased testosterone in women to weight gain, dry and fragile skin for many, it’s important to make sure our hormones are balanced and working in harmony with one another.

3. Chronic Skin Concerns and Food Sensitivities

Nearly 80% of the body’s immune system can be found in the digestive tract. When this isn’t balanced or has abnormal bacteria or viruses, it can trigger an inflammatory response. If we’re regularly eating foods that cause such a reaction, it will show itself in the form of acne, hives, eczema, and even rosacea. Luckily, there’s a simple blood test that can show a person's sensitivities to a number of foods. By knowing what your body should and shouldn’t have, changing up your diet can improve the health of your skin AND your digestive tract. This will give your skin time to heal and recover and reveal a more radiant appearance.

Nowadays, naturopathic doctors and dermatologists have a number of tools and procedures to help in the diagnosis and treatment for a number of common, chronic, and annoying skin concerns. Part of that process is looking at the person as a whole, and not just bits and pieces. We look to see how the body is working together, and how we can improve functionality overall to get the results we want.

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