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Skin Health

There are a wide range of skin conditions which fall under the title of skin health. We are able to give a brief explanation on each condition with some basic recommendations on options to reduce such ailments.

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Age Spots

Age spots (or liver spots) are flat brown markings that can appear anywhere on the body as it ages. They are a result of an accumulation of wastes known as lipofuscin accumulation, a by-product of excessive free radical damage in skin cells. These spots appear on the face, neck, and hands, and are classified as an actual sign that these cells are full of the type of accumulated wastes that slowly destroy the body's cells, including brain and liver cells. Factors that lead to the formation of age spots include poor diet, lack of exercise, poor liver function, the ingestion of oxidised oils over a period of time, and above all, excessive sun exposure.

The following nutrients and herbs are beneficial for Age Spots:

Advanced Antioxidant - All the vitamin and mineral antioxidants within a herbal base for maximum support.

Green Tea Extract - Green tea exerts a protective role on skin cells and possesses potent antioxidant activity.

Milk Thistle Complex - an excellent liver protector to support liver function.

We recommend limiting sun exposure, eating a diet rich in berries and other antioxidant-packed fruits and vegetables, following a fasting program to cleanse the bowel and liver, and to avoid all hydrogenated fats and oxidised oils.

Acne

Acne is an inflammation of the skin, centered in the sebaceous glands. Acne is usually found where the sebaceous glands are most active - on the face, neck and upper trunk. At puberty, male hormones called androgens (produced in both males and females) stimulate an increased growth of skin cells and an increased production of sebum. Typically there are two distinct types of acne, Acne Rosacea and Acne Vulgaris. While both types of acne present as similar inflammatory skin disorders, acne rosacea usually begins at middle age or later, while acne vulgaris is largely seen in young adults. The exact cause of acne is not known, but certain factors have been implicated. These range from poor digestion and bowel congestion, hereditary causes, oily skin and hormonal imbalances. Allergies, stress, bowel toxicity, food sensitivities, hydrogenated fats, long term antibiotic therapy, oral contraceptives and nutritional deficiencies have all been implicated as contributing factors.

The following nutrients and herbs are beneficial for Acne:

AKN skin care - A herbal blood purifier specifically for acne.

General tonic 566 - A NZ made herbal formula specifically for skin disorders.

Essential fatty acids and Vitamin E - A deficiency of EFA's can contribute to any skin problem. Supplementation is important for any health complaint.

Vitamin A - Often prescribed in different forms and strengths. Vitamin A can help speed up wound healing. Studies have shown that this needs to be taken for at least 3 months.

Zinc - Supplementation contributes to rapid healing of both internal and external wounds. Most people are deficient in this mineral as it is depleted in NZ soils.

Multipower or Multi Vite - A daily supply of essential vitamins and minerals is very important not only for good skin, but for your general health too. These multivitamins can help ensure you are getting these, regardless of your diet.

We recommend avoiding a fatty and sugary diet, keeping the bowel healthy with lots of acidophilus, and increasing your water intake to a minimum of 2 litres per day. Use a natural pH balanced skin care range.

Boils

Boils (or furuncles), are an infected nodule on the skin with a central core of pus surrounded by inflamed and swollen tissue. A boil occurs when skin tissue is weakened by chafing, and an infection occurs with the staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Poor nutrition, illness that has depressed immune function, diabetes mellitus, and the use of immunosuppressive drugs are common contributing factors. Boil symptoms include itching, mild pain, and localised swelling. Proper hygiene is essential for the treatment of boils. The infected areas should be washed several times daily and swabbed with antiseptic. Boils are contagious. The pus that drains when a boil opens can contaminate nearby skin, causing new boils, or can enter the blood stream and spread to other body parts. Hot compresses can relieve pain, promote healing and reduce the risk of other boils forming. The person should receive adequate rest and pay special attention to eating a well-balanced diet.

The following nutrients and herbs are beneficial for Boils:

Chlorophyll - The green pigmentation in plants, an extremely powerful blood cleanser.

Garlic - A natural antibiotic and immune system stimulator.

Advanced Antioxidant - A rich source of Vitamins A, C, and E which are all immune stimulators. These nutrients facilitate wound healing.

Echinacea and Golden Seal - Powerful blood cleansers and natural antibiotics.

We recommend a brief cleansing fast or a mild detoxification program to rid the system of toxins, avoid exercise and to keep the skin clean, washing with a mild antiseptic.

Canker Sores

Canker Sores are shallow, open sores found anywhere on the mouth. They are usually located on the mucous membranes inside the lips and cheeks, and are often hard to distinguish from cold sores or herpes simplex I. Canker sore symptoms are a sensation of burning and tingling and a slight swelling of the surrounding mucous membranes. The sore, a white centre surrounded by a red border, is tender to pressure and is painful when acids or spicy foods are eaten. The sores last from 4 to 20 days and heal spontaneously, leaving no scar. The specific cause of canker sores is unknown, although they appear to be brought on by anxiety, other emotional stress, poor dental hygiene, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, viral infections, or sensitivity to various foods and substances that produce allergic-type reactions. Nutrients may help. Because stress is the most common instigator, the B complex taken in large doses often reduces the active time of the sores. Oral doses (50 milligrams) and topical application of Zinc have successfully prevented or shortened the duration of canker sores; Magnesium and Vitamins B1 and B2, were also included in several of the tests. Other studies have shown that many canker sore sufferers are likely to be deficient in Iron, Folic acid, and Vitamin B12. The sores have cleared quickly when Acidophilus tablets or yoghurt were eaten several times a day.

The following nutrients and herbs are beneficial for Canker Sores:

Iron, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 - These nutrients control canker sores through anaemia prevention and cellular repair.

Zinc is needed for immune response, and accelerates healing.

Slippery Elm - Provides an important mucopolysaccharide for connective tissue health.

Inner Health - A range of microflora for inhibiting pathogenic bacteria.

Turmeric, Boswellia, Ginger - A blend of anti-inflammatory herbs with strong antioxidant capacity.

We recommend eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, avoiding citrus and sugary foods, and to follow an alkalising diet. Treat dentistry health if a problems exists.

Dry Skin

Dry skin can result from a deficiency of vitamins A or B. Because the oils of the skin are largely unsaturated, the unsaturated fatty acids are needed for moist skin. These are contained in seeds, nuts, avocado, deep sea fish, and some cold pressed oils along with adequate Vitamin E. Essential fatty acids are sometimes depleted in individuals following a standard diet. Vitamin A is necessary for natural skin growth and repair, and Pantothenic acid is required for the synthesis of the fats and oils essential for proper skin function. NA-PCA, the skin's natural moisturiser (which decreases with age), is available as a spray or cream for topical application.

The following nutrients and herbs are beneficial for Dry Skin:

Flax seed/Fish and Evening Primrose Oil - Contain essential fatty acids for increased skin tone.

Vitamin A - Needed for the assimilation of essential fatty acids from the diet, and for general skin health.

Vitamin B complex - Improves the skin condition as well as nails and hair.

MSM - A natural form of sulphur, needed for the manufacture of NA-PCA, the skin's natural moisturiser.

Fungal Infections

Fungal Infections can range from athlete's foot, ringworm (appearing on any part of the body), infections on or around the genitals and anus or around the mouth (causing thrush), or inflammations on the fingernails. The most common cause of these infections is the destruction of beneficial bacteria by antibiotics, drugs, or radiation, resulting in the takeover by undesirable parasites and other fungi. Besides being taken as a drug, antibiotics often are found in the food supply because antibiotic supplements are given to animals as treatment for diseases and also as a feed additive. People with any type of fungal infestation should establish an adequate diet, including generous amounts of the A, B, and C vitamins, raw fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and yoghurt or acidophilus.

The following is beneficial for Fungal Infections:

Formula 825 - Potent anti-parasitic formula for cleansing.

Inner Health - A range of microflora for inhibiting pathogenic bacteria. 25 billion friendly bacteria per capsule

Garlic - Antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral.

Impetigo

Impetigo is a skin disease caused by bacterial infection. The disease occurs primarily in children, especially in those who are undernourished. Impetigo symptoms are pus-filled skin lesions located mainly on the face and hands. These lesions rupture and form a honey-yellow crust over the infected area. The disease is spread by scratching the lesions and contaminating other skin areas with the fingers. Strict hygiene is essential to prevent the spread of the infection to other parts of the body or to other people. Neglected impetigo may result in severe infection and kidney damage. Vitamin A is necessary for the health of skin tissue and Vitamins C, D, and E may be helpful in aiding the skin in its recovery from impetigo. The disease often disappears after topical application of Vitamins A and E.

The following nutrients and herbs are beneficial for Impetigo:

Echinacea/Golden Seal - Potent antibiotics and blood cleansers for healing.

Advanced Antioxidant - Supplies the necessary immune enhancing nutrients for optimal immune response.

Zinc - Needed for the correct functioning of the thymus gland.

Intertrigo

Intertrigo occurs when skin areas rub together, causing redness and chafing. Areas like between the thighs, under the breast, under the bra straps, under the arms, and in the groin area are most likely, but can appear anywhere that there is friction. These areas are then perfect breeding grounds for bacteria and fungus to invade. Garlic and Acidophilus products may help.

Lip problems

Lip Problems, including sore lips, whistle marks, and cracks at the corners of the mouth, usually indicate a Vitamin B complex deficiency - specifically Vitamins B2, B6, Folic acid, or Pantothenic acid. Unsaturated fatty acids may also be under supplied. When adequate amounts of these nutrients are taken, the conditions should disappear quite easily, although whistle marks may take some time. Cosmetic surgery can help this condition. Smoking causes these tiny wrinkles and should be avoided. Rosehip oil applied topically has produced great results with wrinkles.

Oily Skin

Oily skin (and hair) occurs when there are hormonal imbalances. The condition may develop during pregnancy and when taking oral contraceptives. Other causes are stress and poor diet. Avoiding fatty foods and eating raw vegetables is helpful. Oily skin has been produced in people who are only slightly deficient in Vitamin B2. Doses of 15 milligrams daily have cleared up the condition; the entire B complex may be beneficial. Whole grains, liver, and brewer's yeast are good sources. Zinc helps regulate the oil glands and can be found in lean meat, poultry, fish, organ meat, and whole grains.

Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation of the skin commonly appears as spots across the forehead, sometimes coinciding with the stress of pregnancy and then referred to as pregnancy cap. The skin of affected individuals may become deeply pigmented. The disease is connected with an inadequate diet; vitamins A, B complex, C, D and E are needed. The discolouration has disappeared after Folic acid (5 milligrams), Pantothenic acid, and/or Niacin (100 milligrams) were taken with each meal. Pigmentation may be due to high Copper levels. Zinc will cause the excretion of Copper from the body.

Prickly Heat

Prickly heat is a rash consisting of tiny inflamed pimples that itch, sometimes quite severely. Research has suggested that the disease occurs when the sweat glands no longer function in a particular part of the body, probably because of fatigue. The rash develops wherever there is excessive sweating, such as the inside of the thighs or under a tight diaper on a baby. Cornstarch is effective as an allaying compound. Studies have shown that Vitamin C (1 gram daily) can prevent or cure prickly heat. It apparently has a connection with the enzyme systems that relate to the sweat glands.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease and is often a hereditary and recurring disease. It affects 0.2 - 2% of the population. It is characterised by eruptions on the skin of thick, red, circular patches of all sizes covered with dry, silvery scales. The patches enlarge slowly, forming more extensively arms, scalp, ears, and lower back. Symptoms are toenails and fingernails that are pitted and dull with ridges, and itchy patches of red and inflamed skin often linked to a rapid growth of cells in the skin's outer layer. These growths on the epidermis never mature. Whereas a normal skin cell matures and passes from the bottom layer of the skin to the epidermis in about 28 days, psoriatic cells form in about 8 days, causing scaly patches that spread to cover larger and larger areas.

The following nutrients and herbs are beneficial for Psoriasis:

Primrose/Fish and Vitamin E - These oils inhibit the production of inflammatory leukotrienes, the major mediator of inflammation in psoriasis.

Quercetin/Bromelain - A broad spectrum antioxidant providing anti-inflammatory antioxidants which inhibit inflammatory metabolites.

Glucosamine Sulphate - Glucosamine is an anti-inflammatory and connective tissue repairer. Glucosamine is indispensable in the treatment of autoimmune connective tissue disorders such as psoriasis.

General tonic 566 - A premium herbal tissue, membrane and organ cleanser essential to treating psoriasis. Detoxification is highly beneficial as poor liver function and a weak digestion may increase psoriasis and its symptoms.

We recommend avoiding fats (cream, butter, eggs, milk) white flour, sugar, processed foods, red meat and dairy products for a time. Check to see if any improvement is noted by the skin. Follow a diet providing 50% raw foods if possible otherwise eliminate all heavily processed foods. Include fish in the diet especially salmon, sardines, and mackerel and other natural oil sources like avocado, nuts and seeds. Short regular exposure to sunlight is beneficial for increasing Vitamin D in the body.

Scars

Scars have been prevented and removed by Vitamin E. For example, an excessive amount of scar tissue called a keloid, which causes pain and itching has been relieved by 1200 IU of Vitamin E taken daily. At doses of 200 to 300 IU daily, Vitamin E has removed scars from the fingers and the palms in a condition called Dupuytren's contracture. The vitamin is effective when taken orally as well as applied topically. Sufficient Zinc in the diet can prevent keloids. Rosehip oil applied topically works extremely well. Must be applied twice daily.

Stretch Marks

Stretch marks can appear on teenagers and males as well as previously overweight people and pregnant women. These marks can be prevented and sometimes removed by Vitamin E (up to 600 IU daily), the B complex, Pantothenic acid (up to 300 milligrams daily), and an adequate intake of Zinc and Vitamin C. Laser surgery is now used to remove these scars. Rosehip oil may help also.

Ulcers

Ulcers of the skin heal more rapidly when vitamin E (400 IU daily) is taken and also applied topically. All nutrients are necessary to stimulate healing of the sore, including Vitamin C, Pantothenic acid, Folic acid, and the unsaturated fatty acids. Zinc supplementation improves wound healing and increases resistance to infections.

Vitiligo

Vitiligo is a condition in which the skin is unable to manufacture a pigment, melanin, in certain areas, resulting in light patches of skin marked by a dark border. An adequately nutritious diet is especially important in the disease, and it has been helped with supplements of hydrochloric acid (150 to 300 milligrams per day), PABA (100 to 1000 milligrams per day) - also applied topically - and Vitamins B6 and C, Zinc, and Manganese have all aided in the improvement and cure of this condition. Injections of the vitamins along with the tablets may be necessary.

Warts

Warts are possibly of viral origin and occur when the body's immune system is low. Doses of 25,000 to 50,000 IU of Vitamin A have caused warts to disappear. Vitamin E (500 IU), taken orally and also applied topically, is additionally beneficial. A homoeopathic remedy is Thuja occidentalis for all warts. Antimonium is for plantar warts; Causticum and Graphites are for warts under and around the fingernails; and nitric acid is for yellow, painful, and bleeding warts. Use of all three alternately also works.

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The Naturopathic Team
Ideal Health

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered and is intended to be used for educational and general information purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or as a means to diagnose, treat, cure or prescribe for any particular condition or disease. You assume all responsibility for the treatment which may be undertaken as a result of the information on this site, or treatment recommended by any other party. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.


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