By: Dr. Mary-Leah Albano, B.Sc., M.P.H, N.D.
One of the more common concerns I see in my practice is troubled skin. This could be in the form of acne, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, or just plain dryness. In naturopathic medicine, we believe in the inherent ability of the body to heal itself. Sometimes barriers can get in the way of this healing process and we work with you to identify them and reduce or remove them where possible. Read on for some lifestyle strategies that help support the body’s ability to heal its own skin.
One of the first things I ask when someone comes in with a skin health concern is “How is your digestion?” From the naturopathic viewpoint, the skin is an outside expression of what is happening inside of our bodies, particularly with digestion. As such, when we work on improving digestion, the skin will often improve. A whole-foods diet, free from processed and fast-foods, is important for nourishing the gut and the skin. Colourful vegetables and nuts and seeds, for example, provide the much needed anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals for nourished skin.
Hydration is vital for healthy skin. Dehydrated skin is more prone to damage, whether it be from the sun’s rays or scarring from acne and has a more difficult time healing itself. To check your hydration level, gently pinch the skin on the top of your hand and release it. If it stays up or “tents”, it is possible you could use more water. Or check the colour of your urine: light straw is best, darker yellow usually indicates it is time to drink more. A more hydrated body also encourages regular bowel movements, removing unwanted toxins from all of our organs, including our skin.
Protecting Your Skin
As much as we require the ultraviolet radiation from the sun’s rays for vitamin D conversion in our skin, too much can be damaging. Natural ways to protect yourself from the sun are limiting exposure, covering your skin with light-weight clothing, and mineral-based sunscreens.
For more information on how you can keep your skin looking healthy this summer, join me at our Wednesday Wellness event in July: Healthy Skin from the Inside Out on Wednesday, July 25th at 6:30 p.m. at Holistic Healing Arts.
Dr. Albano, B.Sc., M.P.H., N.D. is part of your local neighbourhood Naturopathic Doctor team at Holistic Healing Arts in Brantford. As a licensed Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Albano believes in supporting the inherent healing power of the body with nutrition. herbs, acupuncture, and lifestyle counseling.