DRY SKIN CONDITIONS AND HOW TO TREAT HOLISTICALLY
Dry skin can present itself in a variety of ways from a feeling of tightness, dehydration and visible flaking or more serious, long term conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. Skin type and condition tend to be inherited, and in all cases of dry skin, the skin’s barrier – a watertight layer on skin’s surface - will likely have become compromised in some way, making it unstable and unable to protect us from the environment and seal moisture in.
During my time spent working as an NHS Dermatology nurse, I learned that the creams and tablets we were prescribing for our eczema and Plaque Psorisias patients would control their symptoms for a while, but the issue would always flare up again. My holistic approaches to treating dry skin, eczema and psoriasis are not an absolute cure, but are clinically proven to help and can benefit sufferers and their families to feel more in control of the situation. That said, it is vitally important to visit a GP or dermatologist for advice about the correct type of prescription creams or tablets if you have a severe skin disease. Here are some of my at-home recommendations:
Connections between our gut and skin health are well documented. Digestive system problems such as irritable bowel or a leaky gut are very common in Western society today, but the symptoms may go unnoticed in our busy lives. Try starting your day with a simple juice each morning. Celery with a teaspoon of ground turmeric with or without some ice or coconut water is a good option, as this has anti-inflammatory and cleansing properties. Always drink your morning juice on an empty stomach, as this allows the nutrients to be absorbed effectively through the gut wall.
As we pass through life, stress, diet and medications can all contribute to the imbalance of our healthy gut bacteria. Taking a probiotic supplement can not only help to reduce anxiety, but also promote growth of healthy gut bacteria, helping to reduce acne flare ups longer term. Be aware that supplements are not quick fixes and can take several weeks to start working.
70 years ago, 2 dermatologists discovered that there is a direct link between our mind and skin health, yet today many clinical dermatology approaches continue to ignore this. If you are aware of stresses in your life from work, finance or family pressures for instance, think about ways that you can counteract these issues by nourishing yourself; even small changes can help. I advise being outside in the fresh air for at least 10 minutes daily; having some essential oils where you sleep and work – lavender, geranium, orange and sandalwood oils are good options - help to calm the nervous system, and can be sprinkled onto tissues and pillows, or used in an aromatherapy burner or diffuser. Meditation or some simple breathing exercises at bedtime is another great way to reduce stress.
As we sleep, the skin loses moisture. A simple humidifier placed in the bedroom can help to reduce dryness, skin flaking and itching at night time. Avoid using heavily-perfumed shower and bath products and skincare, these will only serve to irritate and weaken the skin’s barrier.
Here to help
Sometimes, just taking decisive action is enough to feel better about your skin. If you would like to arrange a full consultation with me, please click here to get in touch.