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Is your skin a window to your internal health?

Updated: Dec 8, 2020

Did you know that the human body's largest organ is the Skin? It weighs something like 3.6kg and covers about 2 square meters in size. The skin is our first line of defense and protection against the external environment, regulates temperature, protects underlying organs, manufactures vitamin D and its ability to stretch allows a woman to expand in pregnancy and revert back thereafter (sometimes leaving behind some zebra stripes and extra folds though).

Can the skin be a window to your internal health?

Yes, definitely without a doubt the skin reflects your internal health.

When we eat something that we are allergic to we break our in a rash or hives; hair loss dry skin can occur in underactive thyroid disorders; eczema due to genetics and aggravated by environmental factors, dark hyperpigmentation in Addisons disease when our adrenals are under strain; acne in hormonal imbalance, butterfly rash on the face in Autoimmune disease like SLE, development of generalised itching in liver and kidney disorders or even skin rashes when we have chicken pox or measles. These are only some of the examples that show that your skin reflects your intern health.

What is the Natural medicine approach to treating skin conditions?

The Natural Medicine approach to skin conditions is always to find the underlying cause and treat the origin of the problem not just relieve symptoms. Our diagnosis is largely based on thorough investigation into the health and lifestyle of the person to find the cause. Treatment is holistic to encompass managing the person's diet and lifestyle which could be triggering or worsening the problem. Often, we focus on maintaining a healthy gut/digestive system, promote detoxification in various forms (herbal treatment, alternative therapies) and treat other from an external (creams or ointments) and internal approach (diet and medication).

Which types of alternative treatments can manage skin conditions and how often should these be done?

There are a wide range of alternative therapies that are used to treat skin conditions. Treatment will depend on what the underlying cause is. The major organs that we would focus on is the liver, digestive system and kidneys as those are responsible for elimination. Often skin conditions occur to to build up of waste or toxins. Apart from that, the organ which is in dysfunction is also managed.

Some of these forms of treatment include:

- diet and lifestyle treatment

- acupuncture and gua sha

- hydrotherapy, purgation

- cupping therapy

- herbal treatment (for internal and external use)

- natural cosmetic care and treatment

What can I do to improve my skin condition?

Firstly, it is vital to get yourself checked by a qualified practitioner as there are so many conditions that may seem simple but could indicate sever disease such as skin cancer. It is essential to check and examine your body and skin regularly for any new lesions, lumps or bumps. You need to monitor moles for any change in its appearance, shape, size, symmetry and check if bleeding is present. Rashes and appearance of any unusual skin lesions may require further testing and investigation so best to consult a doctor or practitioner to see if there are any underlying causes.

Other than that, eating a balanced diet high in antioxidants, hydrating regularly with water and avoiding excessive sugar and junk foods are simple things your can change to improve your overall health and skin condition. Sun exposure is needed for vitamin D production but make sure you are protected from excessive exposure by wearing natural sunscreen.

*Disclaimer: This post is intended for information purpose only. Please consult a qualified practitioner/doctor if you suffer from any of these symptoms. This post does not replace medical advice.

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