Your skin is what the world sees when they look at you. We're all very concerned with how it looks, striving to maintain a healthy, youthful appearance no matter our age. But, when things start going wrong on the inside, we can see it on the outside. Our bodies try and tell us something if we would just listen.
Your Skin – Your Largest Elimination Organ
Your skin is the largest organ in the body, covering a continuous and unbroken path over the whole body. It's also the largest elimination organ, helping to discharge wastes and toxins away from us to keep the inside healthy.
Our skin is a marvel of evolution, protecting us, expelling waste, absorbing the sun to create vitamin D, and providing a massive surface for a huge amount of sensory data.
It has the amazing ability to heal itself, knitting itself back together, sometimes flawlessly. Even when it's severely damaged, our skin can repair itself.
So, what happens when something goes wrong?
What Some Conditions Are Trying To Tell You
Because our skin is the largest elimination organ, when something is going wrong on the inside, we can see it on the outside. It takes a little bit of detective work to figure it out, but you can make yourself healthier in unique ways when you start understanding the signs.
The common causes and ways holistic and natural practitioners help people as we describe below are the more natural views. However, there are other causes of these conditions and that should be explored with a medical doctor.
Eczema & Psoriasis
These two conditions are similar, both creating patches on the skin that are dry, itchy, and sometimes scaly. Both can be due to an abnormally functioning immune system. But, why is it happening?
Your immune system reacting to something is most likely to blame. Inflammation happens at specific locations and your immune system begins attacking your skin.
In many cases, when naturopaths and other holistic practitioners dig deeper, they find other signs of autoimmune issues and toxicity with the body. To help the body eliminate the toxicity inside, your body flushes out the toxins from your skin. Your immune system recognizes these toxins and attempts to destroy them, just like it would a virus or bacteria.
One of the most common ways natural practitioners help people with psoriasis and eczema is to take them through periodic detoxification, helping the body eliminate the body's buildup of toxins so the elimination organs can function correctly. That relieves the burden on the skin and helps calm down the immune system.
Dry skin isn't fun, and the typical recommendation of using a petroleum-based moisturizer only temporarily takes care of the symptoms.
For most people, the problem causing dry skin is dehydration. Not enough water is going in to keep the skin hydrated and moist. Dehydration is also the leading cause of wrinkles and the tired look of skin.
The best answer to dry skin is drinking more water. Most people need close to a gallon of water per day to be properly hydrated. To see real change in your skin, you should expect it to take two to three weeks for properly hydrated skin to show.
Slow Wound Healing
For most people, getting a paper cut or minor scrape usually takes 5 to 7 days to heal fully. But, if you find it's taking longer, it could be a sign of vitamin and mineral deficiency. Your body needs vitamin D, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, and zinc, plus a host of the right type of amino acids, fats, and cholesterols to properly produce healthy skin. If you lack any nutrients, it will slow down your ability to heal.
The best solution to this is to eat more fruits and vegetables. This not only gives you the vitamins and minerals, but it provides lots of antioxidants and phytonutrients that increase your chances of staying healthy for the rest of your life.
Hundreds of causes for red skin are out there. Rosacea and red patches are signs of a deeper imbalance in the body. This could be autoimmune issues, toxicity, poor food choices, a lack of sleep, or even a medication interaction.
It's much harder to determine the cause of red skin. Many holistic practitioners will start with a general detox, helping the body flush out toxins and helping to reset the body.
From there, they help the body increase nutrition, targeting foods and herbs helping the blood and liver be healthy.
Many recommend drinking more water and eating fruits and vegetables to begin this process.
Both of these involve a blockage of a hair follicle. The cause could be dirt, oils, or proteins. But, what causes this back up?
Many people notice they get more acne and those tiny pimples on their legs or arms when they consume more dairy, gluten, or certain types of processed foods. Sometimes some doctors suspect the immune system has something to do with this process or the body's trying to flush out extra toxins via the pores.
Generally, holistic practitioners suggest dry brushing and eliminating triggers such as bread, pasta, gluten, milk, dairy, and processed foods to reduce outbreaks significantly.
Hives are an immune reaction to stimulus. Generally, it's something to eat or inhale. It can be an autoimmune issue for some people, where your skin is hypersensitive to a particular stimulus.
Hives are particularly difficult to treat because it involves a specific trigger. Looking for that trigger will help identify the source and then a particular treatment can be determined.
Various Infections – Warts, Carbuncle, Cold Sores, Ringworm, Impetigo
Skin infections are not something to play around with. A single small breach in your skin can lead to sepsis, a dangerous blood infection. However, that is rare.
Infections in cuts, scrapes, or other injuries are quite common. Our skin has a mass of probiotic bacteria that help keep out the innumerable other bacteria and viruses that we encounter every day. Normally, our immune system can eliminate these infections before they become a problem.
However, if your immune system does not take care of the infection, several things can happen. Sometimes, you may have been exposed to a strain that your body is unaccustomed to. It can also mean your immune system is not strong enough or too busy dealing with other issues.
Helping your immune system stay strong by getting the suitable nutrients with lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet is the best way to ward off infection. In addition, washing frequently, but not with antibacterial soap, can help remove many of the nasty viruses and bacteria that got on your skin.
You don't want to overstimulate your immune system, just help provide the right type of nutrients, so when it does need to work, it can work fast and efficiently.
Taking care of your skin by washing properly, drinking enough water, and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables will give you the best chance of avoiding any of these problems. However, if you do find yourself with some of these, we recommend talking to medical doctors and holistic practitioners to find out what can be done both from the inside and outside to make your skin look healthy.