Your skin is the first thing people notice. It is your body’s largest organ. The skin is an organ. It’s made up of fats, water, minerals, and protein. Its job is to protect your body. Your skin works as a barrier to germs, a detoxification system, temperature regulator and enables you to feel texture.
Common Skin Conditions
Eczema comes in many forms, yet it is usually identified by a red, itchy rash on the outer layer of skin. It’s a very common skin condition that isn’t contagious. This inflammatory condition is commonly caused by allergies or food allergies. However, an overactive immune system or autoimmune disease can also cause eczema.
Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, is a chronic condition characterized by inflammation of the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin). This inflammation is an immune reaction and appears in the form of redness, swelling, itching, dryness, crusting, flaking, blistering, cracking, oozing, or bleeding. You could think of this as “leaky skin”, where the skin can no longer defend the body from the outside world. Treatment of eczema generally relies on avoiding triggers such as heat, perspiration, and low humidity, and keeping the skin well hydrated at all times.
The most common cause of skin issues are gut infections such as Candida overgrowth, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), or leaky gut. Treating the inflammation that’s triggering your eczema from the inside out can reverse your symptoms. Ditch inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy, corn, and soy and add more antioxidant foods.
Although it’s not autoimmune, eczema is a condition that can benefit from the Autoimmune Protocol. The standard pharmaceutical treatments include topical corticosteroid creams, daily antihistamine, or prednisone. But there are gentle and natural ways to help improve eczema.
The most important nutrients to consume for skin health are:
- The vitamins A, C, D, E, and K2
- The minerals calcium, copper, selenium, and zinc
- The amino acid glycine, or collagen protein more generally
Our best sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits. Our best sources of vitamin E are avocado, coconut and nuts and seeds. Our best sources of vitamins A, D and K2 are organ meat and seafood, and our best sources of copper, selenium, and zinc are shellfish. Our best sources of calcium include cruciferous and leafy vegetables, along with nuts and seeds. Blackstrap molasses is also an underrated source of minerals, including iron and calcium! Also glycine-rich foods include bone broth, seafood and organ meat.
From the outside in, avoid hot water on skin (opt for lukewarm or even cold), moisturize with a nourishing fat/oil-based moisturizer, switch to gentle soaps and laundry detergent, and change pillowcase and sheets frequently. It’s critical that someone struggling with eczema be utilizing healing, anti-inflammatory skincare.
Dry Skin is commonly caused by dehydration. Flaky, dry skin can signal nutrient deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, and even cardiovascular disease. Menopause often causes dry skin due to a shift in hormones. Thyroid disease may also be an underlying cause of dry skin.
You should aim to drink ½ your bodyweight in ounces every day to stay properly hydrated. I also recommend adding more omega-3 fatty acids to your diet.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that speeds up the lifecycle of your body’s skin cells. Typically, your skin renews every 4 weeks. Yet, with psoriasis it could go through this process within days. This results in itchy, painful, thick, and scaly skin patches.
Gut infections, a diet rich in inflammatory foods, and stress play a role in the development of autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis. Newer research suggests that psoriasis is also closely associated with metabolic syndrome.
Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. It occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. Hormonal imbalances are one of the biggest causes of acne. Hormonal imbalances from birth control pills can also cause acne. Acme may also be a sign that you have an underlying gut infection such as Candida overgrowth.
Change your diet, eliminate gluten, dairy, and processed sugars, drink enough water, and get optimal sleep.
Premature Aging - Oxidative damage from free radicals, a poor diet, smoking, stress, and environmental toxins damages your skin’s tissues. This can cause premature skin aging that shows up as wrinkles, leathery skin, liver spots, and even more serious skin conditions such as skin cancer. To address premature aging, removing processed sugars, removing toxins, and reducing your stress will help you reverse the signs of premature aging.
Get rid of things that negatively affect the environment of the GI tract, such as inflammatory and toxic foods, and intestinal infections such as yeast overgrowth and SIBO.
Adding digestive enzymes and HCL to your daily regimen will help support optimal digestion.
Restore beneficial bacteria with probiotics to re-establish a healthy balance of good bacteria to heal your gut.
Provide nutrients necessary to help the gut repair itself. L-glutamine is an amino acid that will support gut lining.
You are exposed to thousands of toxins every day, even if you don’t live in a polluted area or work in an industrial job. They are found in the air you breathe, the water you drink, the food you eat, cookware, cosmetics, and cleaning products. While you can’t avoid toxins completely, the solution is to reduce your body’s toxic burden and detox it.
Buying clean body products (try the ewg.org/skindeep website)
Clean your water by installing water filters on your sinks
Cleaning your air by getting a HEPA filter for you home
Buy clean food and eat organic whenever possible 5. Use clean skin care products
Keep Moving Forward (with good skin!) 😊 Sarah