About inflamed skin conditions…
The immune system plays a vital role in maintaining the health of all tissues in the body. Usually the immune system’s reaction protects the body and aids healing.
However, the immune system’s reaction is misdirected at healthy tissues and causes intense inflammation and damage.
Often an immune reaction is triggered by substances a person touches or eats, but it can be difficult to pin point why the immune system reacts.
Causes can be topical irritants such as perfumes, soaps, washing powders, cosmetics, dyes, detergents, mold, animal hair, pollen, temperature, dust & dust mites, nickel, chemicals, latex, wool, synthetic fibers, mineral oils, bacterial or fungal pathogens.
“I often find that a person who has eczema has multiple allergies combined. Food and topical allergens often coincide with each another” Grace Barnes, Naturopath, Face Plus Medispa, Bondi Beach.
Avoid in food allergies:
Common food allergens associated with skin disorders are:
• peanuts and
• artificial additives, preservatives and colours.
You can avoid these for 2 weeks then slowly reintroduce one food group every week to determine if a flare-up occurs.
Replace inflammatory saturated fats:
Replace foods such as meat products and dairy with the anti-inflammatory unsaturated fats such as those from deep sea fish, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and all seeds particularly flaxseed, chia and hemp seeds.
Increasing consumption of these foods will also increase selenium, vitamin D, zinc and other helpful nutrients that support good skin health.
Increase fruits and vegetables:
The increase in fresh fruit and veggies will increase the intake of Vitamin C, bioflavonoids, iron, carotenoids and vitamin E which are important anti-inflammatory foods.
Juicing can improve overall skin appearance and reduce various types of inflammation in the body. “I am a massive fan of juicing, especially in winter. I recommend a 3-5 day juice cleanse every 4-8 weeks to clean house and keep a solid glow” says Grace.
Consume healthy probiotics:
Eating fermented foods can be very helpful or taking a probiotic supplement. Studies indicate that some probiotics such as L. Rhamnosus can reduce infant atopic dermatitis significantly. A healthy gut is a healthy body with glowing skin!
Inflamed skin can also be associated with a high incidence of unbeneficial microbes such as candida in the digestive tract.
Avoid sugar and processed foods:
These have a vast impact on our immune health and our gut health. These foods will aggravate any type of allergy drastically and will increase inflammatory skin ailments. Sugar is the worst culprit of all.
Drink plenty of filtered water:
Filtered water aids detoxification and elimination of waste. The skin is a large eliminative organ and it is very important to drink plenty of water to flush out toxins.
Exercise that gets you sweating also aids elimination through the skin and improves lymphatic circulation. Exercise helps reduce stress which is a major factor for eczema.
Don’t underestimate the power of herbal tea infusions!! Chamomile tea, licorice tea, nettle tea, albizia tea and/or calendula tea and drinking Aloe Vera gel can reduce inflammation.
Always a factor with any type of chronic disease, stress will increase inflammation in the body over a long-period of time. There are studies indicating that massage, meditation and relaxation techniques can reduce symptoms experienced.
Excellent skin foods:
Coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, rosehip oil, argan oil, natural vitamin E oil and if it is good for your skin it will also be good to put on your hair and even eat for improved skin health.