Do You Suffer From Skin Allergies?
Do you suffer from a skin allergy or sensitivity? Do you know what is your trigger?
As a Naturopath any kind of skin reaction or sensitivity would likely need some gut work! Yes, you heard correctly the gut and the skin have quite the connection. Eczema is often improved by working on the gut as the microbiome is an important regulator of the immune system.
But my clients will also be asked to look at their environmental load, or toxin level. When you have an immune system that is being hyperreactive then you need to reduce the amount of chemicals to help lessen the load and calm the response.
People will start to realise that something is triggering them and then they try to work out what ingredient or product is the culprit. While a single ingredient may be a trigger, it is likely a process of systems are involved in the whole event.
When you have sensitive skin, you are more likely to think about the ingredients you are putting into your body. This is how my story started, as a teenager I was diagnosed with psoriasis (which I mainly had in my head, shins and elbows), making it a challenge to find a shampoo that did not make me flare.
Often the first place people start to look is laundry detergent, thinking that the residue stays in your clothing and then you are wearing it against your skin. This is a good starting point.
The next place to look would be your personal care products like hair care, body care as these products are normally used daily. And you skin is soaking them up.
The skin is one of the largest organs of the body and its job is to protect us. The skin wraps around the entire body and keeps organs, muscle, ligaments, and fluids all in place while keeping out bacteria, viruses and parasites. It helps to regulate temperature, pleasure, and pain. So, if you think what you put on your skin doesn’t matter then you are wrong.
The skin has three layers which include the epidermis, dermis and subcutis. The epidermis is the outer layer that you can see, and it has several layers. These cells start at the bottom layer and move upwards to replace the dead ones that have come before them and have now been sloughed off. This process takes about 28 days and a little side note that psoriasis is a much quicker process, and this is the reason you get a flare up as the skin cells are still immature due to making it to the top layer faster than 28 days.
So, if you want to help your skin and reduce your flare ups then considering your chemical load would be of great benefit.
Start to switch out products that contain chemicals that are known skin irritants. This can help reduce your triggers. Reducing your overall toxin load will help reduce the burden on the liver and the detoxification pathways. It is these pathways that get overworked and cannot cope with the amount of toxins needing to be eliminated from the body.
The body has several channels of elimination, with the liver being one of the major pathways. The skin is another and when the other channels are all busy then the skin must play its part, and this is sometimes where we see these skin issues. The toxins need to come out somewhere!
So yes, what you put on to your skin can make a big difference. You can argue that our bodies have their own detoxification mechanisms, and they do, but our body was never designed to process and eliminate the level of synthetics in our environment today. This can then put extra strain on your channels of elimination, and some are more sensitive than others.
So, what can you do to help your skin and or your allergies?
- First decide why it is that you want to make a change. This can help decide what comes first and gives you a reason. Don’t just think better skin but why is my skin reacting in the first place?
- Don’t expect to get it right straight away. These changes take time. Every small change is a step in the right direction.
- Start with one area at a time. You can download the home checklist and start with one room at a time.
- Start educating yourself to find what feels right for you. There is plenty of science out there to explain all these chemicals. Check out Environmental Working Groups (EWG)
- Download an app to help you identify what you have in your own products. Something like the chemical maze or the Environmental Working Groups (EWG) skin deep app.
- Read up – there are ton of books worth reading. Some of my favs are “One Bite At A Time – reduce toxic exposure & eat the world that you want” by Sarah Lantz and Tabitha McIntosh, Low Tox Life by Alexx Stuart and Healthy Home Healthy Family by Nicole Bijlsma (Nicole and her husband are behind the brand Abode Cleaning so she really knows her stuff.
And lastly come check out our store, it is full of great options to help you deal with skin allergies and sensitivities. Check us out here.
If you need any extra help you can always seek Naturopathic assistance. I am here to help.