The skin is one of the largest organs of the body having a surface area of approximately 2 square metres and representing about 16% of body weight. It has many functions and is far from just a covering of the body but performs many vital roles in maintaining health. Your skin’s health is a mirror of your internal environment and so understanding why you are experiencing some problems can lead to improved overall wellness.

The main functions of the skin include:

  • Protection
  • Sensation
  • Regulation of body temperature
  • Excretion
  • Immunity provision
  • Vitamin D synthesis

Common skin problems and symptoms seen at the Plymouth Naturopathic Clinic

  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Acne
  • Dandruff
  • Thrush
  • Hives
  • Easy bruising
  • Pimples and black heads
  • Cold sores
  • Shingles
  • Excessively dry or oily skin
  • Premature skin aging

Risk Factors

Causative factors that can contribute to the incidence of skin conditions are often metabolic and digestive in origin and include:

  • Poor digestive and eliminative function
  • Constipation and liver impairment
  • Food allergies and intolerances
  • Poor food choices and eating habits
  • Smoking
  • Sun burn
  • Fatigue
  • Allergy or sensitivity to environmental toxins
  • Ingredients in many cosmetics or domestic cleaning products
  • Poor immune function
  • Chronic stress
  • Hormonal imbalances

Naturopathic approach

Treatment of any skin condition will always start with a detailed naturopathic consultation. This will determine the likely factors that are causing the symptoms and provide the background to develop support for the relevant healing systems.

Initially the treatment will be focused on reducing the acute symptoms depending on the presenting conditions and apparent underlying factors. This will be followed by both nutritional and lifestyle guidance and intervention to help address the causes. In doing so, this will improve the health of your skin from the inside out, laying the foundations for long-term skin health.

Correct nutrition and appropriate supplementation will address any insufficiencies you may have in your diet that could be predisposing you to your conditions.

Implementation of an integrated bowel and liver detoxification program may assist in reestablishing healthy elimination channels, correcting digestion, repairing the gut wall’s integrity and minimising permeability and improving liver detoxification; all having an effect on the skin’s health.

A low reactive diet, targeting a variety of common reactive foods, to determine if they are contributing to or causing the problems, may also be indicated.

Alongside the nutritional approach there are many other naturopathic changes, both short and longer term, that can, if appropriate, be incorporated into your daily life to help improve the symptoms.

Many patients report improved skin after a short course of colonic hydrotherapy