Acne, eczema, psoriasis: tackling skin problems with naturopathy

The cosmetic care market continues to grow, yet very few know what their skin really needs: the temptation is great, whether there is an imperfection or not, to buy the latest “miracle cream” and just wait for it to take effect… Yet it will be of no use if the skin is deprived of its essential nutrients or is under severe strain. Worse, some cosmetics are full of toxic products and endocrine disruptors that the skin will absorb like a sponge… Naturopathy’s point of view on skin problems is very different from that of cosmetics marketing…

A warning sign

We too often forget that if skin problems appear, they are the signal of a dysfunction: the skin hoists the red flag in case of difficulty like a sentinel. Far from being a single “skin problem”, the whole body manifests its discomfort. Indeed, the skin is literally a reflection of our lifestyle as well as our emotional state. In Naturopathy, we consider that skin problems do not simply come “from the skin”: rather, they come from us passing through the skin… In short, it is vital to decipher the message of the skin to maintain the health of the body as a whole. A brief overview of the major interactions between the skin and the rest of the body.

A privileged emunctory:

If we imagine the skin as a protective shell, it is also an organ in its own right as well as an emunctory, a privileged place of elimination. A real interface, capable of absorbing as well as rejecting. The skin is indeed part of the major emunctory organs, such as the lungs, the liver, the intestine and the kidneys. In Chinese medicine, dermatological problems are also linked to a liver energy disorder. Skin problems and/or blemishes are mostly related to the main digestive organs, liver and intestine.

The skin being a privileged emunctory, it will take over as soon as the liver is exceeded in these functions of elimination and detoxification. The liver can be overwhelmed in the event of intestinal dysbiosis, producing intestinal toxins, poor lifestyle, unbalanced diet, etc. Acne, eczema, psoriasis, furunculosis, etc. almost always have a hepato-digestive origin. For example, erasing acne with courses of antibiotics therefore runs a high risk, past the sanitizing effect, of contributing to maintaining the problem by permanently disrupting the balance of the intestinal flora. Conversely, a cure of liver support, probiotics, regulating plants will have a lasting effect on the ground.

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The reflection of a bad intestinal and/or hormonal balance

Often, as soon as you start a “detox cure”, the body reacts by letting a skin rash appear: it’s quite simply that the liver is a little too tired to take on the demand for elimination on its own and that the skin is then asked to take over… In short, this is what is at the origin of many skin problems: these problems are in fact solutions put in place by the body as alternate routes to overcome the congestion of the main exit routes…

Some people are unpleasantly surprised by this reaction and then think they are allergic to the plant used for the drainage when it is a natural reaction. However, if the liver is very tired and engorged, it is better to go gently to drain it; first to avoid this benign but unpleasant reaction and not to ask too much of a blow from an organism on the verge of asphyxiation for sometimes several years. We then preferably start with soft plants such as linden sapwood or fumitory, or even with desmodium, a plant that has the ability to support and regenerate the liver, without however having a direct draining action.

In the event of a dermatological problem already present, liver care is always necessary: ​​it is necessary to be aware that even by acting gently, a slight aggravation may be possible at the start of the treatment, followed by an improvement. But the liver/skin couple is so closely linked that it is useless to treat one without thinking of the other.

In the case of acne, hormonal changes are also involved, even in adults. Here too, the overwork of the liver, which becomes incapable of managing the hormonal balance, can play a predominant role.

Just like the imbalance of the intestinal flora, by naturally generating the production of many toxins can be the cause of various skin problems. Many autoimmune diseases (affecting the skin or other organs) thus find their origin in the intestine.

Take care of your skin by taking care of your plate…

If the digestive organs are also linked to the skin, it is because food can play an essential role: indeed, it directly influences the intestinal balance.

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In any case, the issue of dairy products should be mentioned: often the simple elimination of milk and its derivatives can dramatically improve skin problems. If the imperfections persist, there may be other factors: omega 3 deficiency, excess gluten, intake of fruit with main meals, abuse of sweets and especially ultra-processed products… the point with a therapist can shed light on the causes of the malfunction and establish a personalized program to avoid them. Because if the skin is bad, it means that the whole organism is suffering.

The skin also needs daily vitamins B, C, D3 and E, amino acids, zinc, antioxidants…

The impact of stress

Emotions, positive or negative, can be read on the skin: the language is also full of pictorial expressions linking emotions and skin. We are red or white with anger, green with fear, pink with joy, we say of someone that he or she is good or on the contrary bad about himself…etc.

The skin is one of the sensory organs, directly linked to the nervous system. Cold, heat, soft or rough sensation, are immediately translated and transmitted to the brain. The skin and the nervous system actually have a common embryonic origin: they have kept the same neurotransmitters in common. Stress is therefore as harmful to the skin as it is to sleep or concentration. Psoriasis, eczema, acne…etc often find their origin in a stressful way of life. If you want to preserve the health and beauty of your skin, stress management is therefore an essential element. There too the food is to be studied closely because deficiencies in trace elements prevent the body from correctly managing the small and large stresses of daily life and accentuate all the effects. Supplementation with magnesium and B vitamins can therefore indirectly be of great help.

To go further: care for your skin or care through the skin?

As we have seen, the skin is a real interface, capable of feeling and communicating, but also of rejecting and absorbing. For certain methods such as aromatherapy, the skin is even a privileged vector, greatly surpassing the internal route in certain cases. Applications of essential oils on reflex points such as the soles of the feet are for example frequently recommended. Gemmotherapy (the use of plant buds) can also be used directly on the skin, such as blackcurrant bud directly on painful joints). Plants can also be used in compresses directly on the liver, for example. Women going through menopause can use a yam cream for its richness in phyto progesterone…etc. There is no shortage of examples to illustrate the versatility of the skin.

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Hence the importance of choosing the right cosmetics! In fact, the right question to ask yourself when looking at the list of ingredients in your skincare cream would be: Would I be ready to swallow it? for many conventional cosmetic treatments containing far from harmless ingredients, the answer would obviously be no. However, few consumers are aware that this cream is absorbed by the skin as surely as if it were swallowed with a spoon…

Conversely, with a high quality or homemade cosmetic product with organic ingredients, the compounds can then act globally to rebalance the ground in depth. A real care of the person through the skin, rather than a banal skin care.

Attention, in case of homemade production, the dosage of essential oils must be low for an application on the fine and sensitive skin of the face (from 1 to 3% maximum), and can be replaced for sensitive skin by infused plants or plant buds. Use on the body can accept much higher aromatherapy dosages (% maximum).

In any case, we must never lose sight of the fact that skin care is always complete care… The view of natural therapies on the skin, its needs and its possible dysfunctions can not only make it possible to have or recover beautiful skin, but even better, to feel good inside!

* Presse Santé strives to transmit medical knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace medical advice. []

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