When a patient comes to see you for a naturopathic consultation in regards to any skin complaint; eczema, dermatitis, acne, psoriasis, or undiagnosed rashes, (unless it is contact dermatitis and a forgotten change in soap etc), then there usually appears to be a complex pattern of symptoms.
The skin is home to microorganisms (viruses, bacteria and fungi) and mites, which cover the surface of the skin and reside deep in the hair and glands. Disruptions in the balance can result in skin disorders or infections. The skin immune response is vital in wounding and infection, however despite being constantly exposed to large numbers of microorganisms, the skin can discriminate between harmless commensal microorganisms and harmful pathogenic microorganisms.
Ultraviolet (UV) light is a well-documented bactericidal treatment and one can imagine geographical variability in skin microbiota correlating with the longitudinal and/or latitudinal variation in UV exposure.
Skin is not as simple as an external investigation, a Latin diagnosis and a topical cream, (be it a pharmaceutical or a natural alternative cream), or an internal generic skin formula from a health food shop. This is why most skin patients say “I have tried everything and nothing works”.
The majority of skin patients, will have their skin condition flare with other multiple symptoms, in numerous systems of the body.
Stress and anxiety is usually a major factor in the lead up.
Skin is also a seasonal complaint with cold, dry weather, changes in winds and pollen exposures.
It is also common for digestive complaints of constipation, diarrhoea, reflux and bloating to be present. Headaches are quite common, as well as changes in sleep patterns, changes in temperature and there may be more frequent urinary tract infections, foggy head and unusual discharges and smells.
The patient may not realise but they are also getting pins and needles more frequently, have been dizzy when trying to stand up, they may also have had some heart palpitations and a trapped sensation of breathing.
There may be chronic fatigue, low grade flu like symptoms and infections, wounds on legs that are not healing, or a recent infection, glandular fever, or a large amount of antibiotics in the recent past.
Skin rashes may also be part of chronic undiagnosed viral, bacterial or auto immune disease.
For males there may have been a drop in libido, or a slight erectile dysfunction.
For women with skin complaints, there is often a change in the menstrual cycle, with their periods becoming longer, or shorter, heavier, or lighter and changes to their moods may have turned into crying at every TV show, or a volcano eruption of anger at the slightest of dilemmas.
The patient may have a change in skin pigmentation, but sought the assistant of a beauty therapist or laser clinics, hair may be falling out in clumps but a patient will seek a hair dresser.
Many skin patients fail to realise it is all connected.
When people get stressed, the lifestyle choices suffer and the diet is always the first to go out the window with meals changing to heavily processed, fast foods, as well as an increase in sugar, coffee and soft drinks for the quick burst of energy. Alcohol is increased as a stress release to drown the sorrows.
So, can a naturopath help in skin conditions? The answer is yes. By treating all relevant signs and symptoms, a patient can see results in skin, but best of all their whole health will also improve.
One of the issues with a skin patient however is compliancy. It is not one tablet, without lifestyle changes and it is not overnight. It is usually 6 weeks to 3 months. As skin is a visual symptom, there is often underlying self-esteem issues for the patient by having a visual impairment, which tends to make the patient impatient and seeking the “overnight cure”, but unfortunately this can lead them to discontinuing treatment too soon and feeling like “nothing works”.
The skin can heal, but it is complex and will take time. The Herrings Law of Healing, is that the body will heal from top to bottom, inside out, and in reverse time.
At Coastal Natural Therapies, our Naturopath Amanda Flower, will be able to help you with your skin, but together, working out your own triggers, what foods, drinks or products to avoid, why your skin flares, the first signs that you could be about to have a major break out, as well as how to manage it more effectively.
So if you’re struggling to find answers, book an appointment and find out the true cause of your skin condition, 07 5531 6461.