With the allergy season upon us it’s not only sinus care my patients are coming in for, but also skin health. At any one time having a hormonal imbalance will drastically affect your skin; it’s our most visible organ and therefore an excellent indicator for internal health.
For any skin irritations, dry/oily imbalances or breakouts when we have inflamed skin, there are many natural and cost effective ways to get fast relief. It’s necessary to address to diet and hormones imbalance too, but symptom relief is essential where inflammation is present, simply so we can cope, enjoy life, and do what it takes to heal completely. Red skin and rashes are commonly exacerbated by heat, inflammation and sweating, so intense exercise for weight loss becomes achievable. It also affects how we feel about our bodies and our self-esteem, even if it’s not red damaged or itchy.
In a recent survey of almost 2000 new patients, we asked if they had symptoms of “Dryer Hair or skin (Thick, dry, Scaly)’. In response, 405 people said they had it mildly, 725 suffered it moderately, and 370 suffered those symptoms severely (over 400 patients did not get this symptom at all). So no wonder I give this information to so many people I see, so have a read below if you’re suffering from this too. None of these products mentioned or links are paid or affiliated, were not recommending something for sales, just mentioning what we ourselves have used and like.
1) Calendula oil or creams have been used for thousands of yours, and no that’s not an exaggeration. The most common therapeutic Marigold was named ‘Calendula’ but the Romans by it’s tendency to ‘follow the sun’. This easy to grow and harvest flower in anti-inflammatory, wound healing, anti microbial and helps the lymphatic system which pumps fluids around our body. An oil or cream applied topically means these actions will be localized, but it’s often added to salads or tea’s or herbal medicine in whole form (fresh or dried) or as a herbal concentrate. Other herbs popular for topical use include liquorice, St John’s wort and Echinacea. Due to the allergenic nature and sunlight sensitivity that may be associated with some other skin herbs, it’s best to stick to common marigold cream which is safe enough to use for breast feeding/chapped nipples, and children and babies too. These blooms are also edible if you plant the right variety, you can add it to your salads! Learn about other herbal tea’s for Thyroid health here.
2) Natural oats can be wrapped in some old stocking or a fresh chux, tied with a rubber band as a natural wash that’s very soothing. It’s good to have on hand, and will have a natural exfoliation action safe for acne on the face or chest or body, to reduce redness. This is a good choice for anyone with dryness or roughness, scaling of the skin, and particularly handy for itching. You can easily buy organic oats from large supermarkets like Woolworths, or from the wholefoods stores. To disperse them easily in a bath, try whizzing them quickly in a food processor, coffee grinder or your Thermomix. When a grain in broken down finely it increased the surface area, which is why finely milled or colloidal oats yield a stronger effect. Caution is recommend for extreme gluten or grain sensitivity, but many patients with Coeliac disease tolerate wheat germ and similar products in shampoos, so if you have any concerns, a patch test on the inner forearm is your best bet. We have other detox bath options here, to use as a preventative for skin breakouts.
3) Natural zinc creams that are ‘chemical free’ and without other additives will protect sensitive skin from sunburn, but also have a topical soothing effect. Useful from everything from nappy rash, candidiasis, allergic reactions and wound healing. Even a zinc based make up with off therapeutic benefits! But for highly inflamed skin and ointment or cream that is nice and thick will not only produce a water barrier, but moisturize the skin and give symptom relief. Some have the added benefit of Vitamin E to sooth the skin, or an older fashion option is to do 1 week using zinc cream then another week using Vitamin A cream.
4) You may add 1 drop tea tree oil to 1tbsp of this cream if you want an antifungal or antibiotic action. Also popular for athletes foot or the common cold, not many people realize that tea tree is also useful for histamine induced skin issues, which means allergic dermatitis may benefit from its use even if it’s not infected. Many patients do not get their skin issues clearly diagnosed, is Eczema? Psoriasis? Tea tree oil is good for both. Due to its concentration however, we recommend only using it well diluted, even when using on acne or infected area. Other commonly used essential oils for inflamed skin include Eucalyptus and Lavender to name a few.
5) Pure aloe vera gel is a tried and true goodie. It also has no contra-indications for use. It’s necessary to get one like what can be used for sunburn, and avoid any with the preservatives that can come in these before you buy. As many have an additive like alcohol or colours or preservative which may irritate already sensitive or inflamed skin (Aloe very gel is clear). In my house we keep a bottle in the fridge to use as a cooling topical application. Other creams, oils or makeup can be applied directly over the top as soon as it’s dried.
6) Rosewater sprays are not just for beauty, anti-aging and enchanting fragrance. It’s a refreshing way to manage redness throughout the day when you may not wish to keep applying creams and gels, or for skin to sensitive to use essential oils. Many brands make sprays or liquids, and these sometimes contain alcohol, which is fine for some people not others. Many rosewater sprays can have additional soothing herbs like chamomile, or some of the other ingredients listed about which would be a bonus. If it’s combined with astringent herbs like tea or witch hazel then it would be best used to large pores or oilier skin redness.
OTHER FACTORS FOR AND CAUSES OF RED OR POOR SKIN HEALTH MAY INCLUDE:
- HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
- MENOPAUSAL FLUSHING
- CLEANING AGENTS: try this natural home cleaner instead
- DIETARY CHANGES RELATED TO ECZEMA IN KIDS AND ADULTS
- SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION: Learn which diet is best for correcting this longer term
- POOR GUT HEALTH: Learn about how to heal your gut, or about the good bacteria and ways to get them
- POOR LIVER FUNCTION
- VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY OR LACK OF SUN EXPOSURE
- SOME MEDICATIONS CAN AFFECT YOUR THYROID
- ANGIOGENESIS – INFLAMMATION AND CANCER PREVENTION FOODS
- LACK OF ANTIOXIDANTS
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Adv Dip Naturopathy, Adv Dip Western Herbal Medicine
Head Naturopath Kimberly Orbons is passionate about encouraging and empowering each person to facilitate their own good health with Nutrition, Herbal Medicine and preventative lifestyle management. Using a combination of diagnostics and symptomatology to identify the different metabolic processes contributing to disease allows her to treat the root or cause of poor health, providing relief of symptoms and long term recovery.
Kimberly believes it is extremely important to build a personalized healing plan, taking all the complexities of a patient’s health and illness into consideration. Her consults have a strong focus on client care and treating each patient as an individual, and may therefore co-ordinate with other medical treatments. The goal is to establish each patient’s ability to live in the best possible state of health, naturally. Her mentors in clinical practice include Founder Lucy Herron, Dr. David Brownstein, Naturopath Angela Hywood and Dr. Sarah Wine. Since achieving her qualifications in 2007 she has extensive clinical experience, and also 3 years managing the natural health sections and seminar within pharmacy.
Kimberly works closely with our CEO Lizzy Herron, our naturopathic consultants and all The Lucy Rose clinical staff to ensure our patients are provided with the best and most up to date health services and quality health advice. She has actively contributed to our online media, patient guidelines, patient support and informational services for the past 3 years and enjoys providing excellent free to access health data to patients across Australia daily.
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Ananda S. Prasad 1Department of Oncology and Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, USA
‘Topically applied ZnO nanoparticles suppress allergen induced skin inflammation but induce vigorous IgE production in the atopic dermatitis mouse model’. Authors Marit Ilves, Jaana Palomäki, Minnamari Vippola, Maili Lehto, Kai Savolainen, Terhi Savinko and Harri Alenius. Particle and Fibre Toxicology201411:38
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Department of Microbiology, Research Center of Barij Essence Pharmaceutical Company