How to Deal with Skin Problems

Filed in Uncategorized by on October 11, 2007 0 Comments

        Lately I’ve gotten a lot of questions on what to do with skin problems, from eczema to bug bites.  I have suffered from a form of psoriasis that has no known cause, and no known cure, but what’s worked best for me is to sit in the sun. Not what a doctor usually recommends.  As I have come to realize, some issues can’t be helped without prescriptions but there are many problems that with the right nutrition and skin care you can deal with naturally.
            Skin problems are one of the hardest things to diagnose.  We have to remember that the skin is our largest organ.  Quite often when you are having skin problems there is a much deeper problem happening within the body.  The way the skin looks is a very good indication on what is happening inside, especially in regards to what is happening with your liver.  The liver is a filter for blood and your skin has about one third of that blood circulating through it.  If your blood is full of toxins it makes sense that the health of your skin will suffer.
           
First we’ll start with eczema.  The symptoms are itchy and inflamed skin, blisters may form that can ooze and then become crusty and scaly.  It can be caused by many different factors, such as allergies to food, cosmetics or metals, digestion problems from constipation to metabolic imbalances, stress or problems with the kidneys or liver.  There is also thought to be a link between having eczema and having asthma.  One of the first things I would try to eliminate if experiencing eczema is dairy products.  Babies can often have it clear up with just eliminating these dairy products.  For the adults though, more options may be needed such as taking Vitamins A, C and Zinc.  Another good thing to add to your diet are more seeds, such as pumpkin, sunflower or sesame seeds to get a good dose of Vitamin F.  Stay away from foods that have been processed or have preservatives, instead eat fresh vegetables and fruits.  And make sure you are drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day.  Some herbs to help with the skin eruptions are Aloe Vera, applied directly onto the area.  You can also mix Marshmallow Root and Slippery Elm together with a little bit of water to make a paste and apply to the area, this will soothe and heal.  A Calendula Tincture is also a good way to help heal the skin.  To help relieve the itching you can take a hot Epson Salt bath, use between a half to one cup of salts.  If you’re stressed, another cause for eczema, work on ways to release that stress, meditate, take a yoga class or just take a walk or read a book, whatever works for you to get your stress level down.
           
Next is psoriasis. The skin has bright red patches covered by scaly skin, but it usually does not itch.  It is often found on elbows, knees, around the waist area and under the bra area, but it can appear all over the body, which is what happens to me.  It is caused by new skin cells regenerating faster than dead skin cells can shed, causing the skin to become too thick.  It can be a chronic problem, coming and going, through out the years.  I’ve gone years with out an eruption and then I’ll start with one or two little spots and if I don’t get out in the sun right away it can potentially spread all over. There is no known specific cause like I mentioned previously, but it does tend to run in families, and has at times been associated with arthritis.  It usually doesn’t affect children but can occur once puberty begins.  Not knowing what causes psoriasis makes it very difficult to know how to cure it, but here are a few suggestions that have helped me.  Again, pay attention to what you are eating.  Make sure you’re getting plenty vitamins especially Vitamins A, B, C, E and F, and once again keep the intake of processed foods to a minimum and maintain a healthy diet with fresh vegetables and fruits.  To help deal with the spots Aloe Vera is great to use.  I make myself a tea that helps tone all the organs in my body so it can deal with whatever is causing the skin eruptions.  It consists of: Red Clover, Burdock Root, Dandelion Root, Licorice and Spearmint.  You can use this as a wash as well.  Dry brushing your body is also a good practice, to help get rid of the dead skin, just buy a natural bristle brush, the best ones I have found are the brushes that are used for in the shower.  Use small circular motions from the soles of your feet and work your way up, avoiding your face and any tender or inflamed areas.  This helps get your blood circulating, stimulates your pores and glands to help eliminate toxins.  This can take a few months to see any real benefits but it is definitely worth it, it can even tone up your muscles and help redistribute fatty tissue.  The suggestion I have is if it’s winter time and you can’t get out into the sun or get to a nice warm beach, try a tanning bed for eight to ten minutes, once a week.  I actually hate tanning beds but it helped me keep my psoriasis from getting worse when I was stuck in New York for the winter.
            Now for rashes in general, first I recommend going to a doctor for any skin problem.  Ask questions on what could be causing your eruptions and what can help it.  In my experience I have found that most doctors like to give you steroid cream, and sometimes it works, but if it’s a chronic problem or if it covers a large portion of your body you may not want to be using steroids for long periods of time or cover your body
with them.  A good salve to have on hand for rashes, eczema, psoriasis, burns, scrapes or basically any skin irritation is this, Calendula, Burdock Root, Chickweed, and Goldenseal.  Heat up some olive oil in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, put the herbs in the oil and let it simmer for about forty-five minutes.  Strain the oil through cheese cloth and then place the oil back in the glass bowl over the water and grate some beeswax into the oil.  To find out what the consistency is, place a teaspoon of the mixture in the fridge for about eight minutes, this will be the final result, if you want it a little more solid add some more beeswax.  When you’ve gotten the consistency that you like place the oil in a clean jar and keep in the fridge, it will keep indefinitely.
           
The best way to deal with skin problems is to find out what the underlying problem is and attack that first.  It may be easier to just put a cream on the problem area and have it disappear, but in the long run if you haven’t dealt with the real issue you will continue to have skin problems through out your life.  Eat well, take your vitamins and take care to keep your stress levels low.

 

 

Richelle Trivedi, Health Correspondent

 

Richelle’s Column, Natural Living, published bi-monthly to Gather Essentials: Health covers different uses for herbs found in everyday life, nutritional insights, and simple ways to help make improvements to your life, all without being preachy.

 

Richelle is a Master Herbalist and Acupressurist who has been using herbs in her life for over 16 years, she lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, Neil and young daughter Chandra. To see some of Richelle’s herbal blends just go to MorningStar Herbals.

To check out all of Richelle’s articles just go to www.gather.com/Natural Living.

Keep up with Richelle’s other postings and Gather activity by joining her Gather network – just click here rickyrae.gather.com and select the orange “Connect” button on the left-hand side of the page.

 

About the Author ()

I'm a stay at home mom who is also a Master Herbalist and Acupressurist. I sell my herbal teas, tinctures, capsules and whatever else I can come up w/at my e-bay store under MorningStar Herbals. I have an amazing husband who keeps me laughing and lov

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