Conditions that Affect the Health of Your Skin, Hair & Nails
The health conditions that can influence our skin, hair and nails can be generally classified as nutritional deficiencies, sun exposure, and excessive chemical, hormone imbalances, infections, allergies and intolerances and system diseases. These are individually discussed as follows:
Nutritional Deficiencies – deficiencies in either the consumption or absorption of zinc, vitamin C, silica, omega-3 essential fatty acids, as well as antioxidants can greatly impact our skin health and can cause poor wound healing, rashes, loss of skin shine and lubrication, and vulnerability to skin infections.
Excessive Chemical Exposure – using harsh skincare and hair and nail products can strip these structures of their natural oils and protective surfacing. Be kind to your skin and avoid over washing it. Utilise products that are chemical free including free of parabens, fragrances, foaming agents, and are slightly acidic in pH. Avoid fake tans that are not based on natural ingredients. Remember that your skin does breathe and so products that are useful to your skin, scalp, and to some grade your nails can be absorbed into your bloodstream.
Sun Exposure – exposure to ultraviolet light in small quantities is beneficial for our health but in large quantities can cause major damage to the superficial and deep layers of our skin. This can lead to pigmentation, loss of skin elasticity, wrinkles, and in some cases skin cancer.
Hormone Imbalances – imbalances of male and female hormones can cause conditions for the skin such as acne, pigmentation, hair loss or thinning, changes in the elasticity of the skin causing sagging. Excessive stress hormone levels can also cause skin conditions such as itching, pigmentation and poor wound healing.
Skin Infections – certain infections of the skin (as well as nails and hair) whether it be bacterial, viral, or fungal can cause longstanding and sometimes undiagnosed rashes, sores, and itching. Many times these can be easily treated.
Allergies & Intolerances – allergies, from food allergies or something in our environment commonly expresses itself in itching of the skin. Eczema and dermatitis are examples. Both of these conditions depend on avoiding the allergic substance in order to have full relief. Food intolerances can also cause eczema-like skin irritations and can be very hard to pinpoint. By removing the intolerant food the rash will resolve.
System Diseases – many autoimmune diseases such as lupus, psoriasis, coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and diabetes can express themselves in some form of skin illness. This can range from rashes to wounds that just will not heal. Diseases of the liver and kidneys, which are the filtering and detoxification organs of the body, respectively, can lead to skin rashes, itchiness, and yellowing or greying of the skin.
How You Can Treat Your Skin Conditions
The best course of action will largely be determined by the cause of the skin condition. Some skin conditions cannot be treated but are rather managed. Sometimes skin conditions will come and go throughout a person’s life and then one day resolve.
Once a source has been recognised then treatment or management can be applied. Try not to self-diagnose when it comes to skin conditions, or any other condition for that matter, as the reasons can be wide and varied and best identified through the eyes of someone knowledgeable in dealing with skin conditions such as your health practitioner.
The flipside is that most people will benefit in terms of skin health from looking after their nutritional intake. This means ensuring you are getting enough zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, silica, antioxidants, and omega-3 fats in your diet and, if not, then consider taking a supplement of these. Looking after your kidneys by drinking enough water and looking after your liver by avoiding toxin exposure such as alcohol, excessive painkillers, cigarette smoke, and food chemicals will also ensure that you have radiant skin. Our skin is the first point of contact with our environment and the health of our skin can affect our level of well-being and self-confidence so it is significant that we look after it.
Holistic Medical Doctor