Your Skin Health

Your Skin

Your skin is the largest organ of your body. Often taken for granted, the skin is a vital organ whose presence and integrity is essential to health, and to life itself.

What does your skin do for you?

The skin is a very complex and versatile organ, with many functions and ongoing duties it performs for you every day. Here are some examples.

Protection: The skin is a barrier between you and the outside world. It provides your body with a strong defense against infections, poisons and physical damage.

Temperature Control: Each square centimeter of your skin is like a little heating and cooling center. Sweat glands produce perspiration when it is hot; when it is cold, tiny muscles in the skin cause "gooseflesh" in order to preserve heat.

Secretion: The skin produces oils (sebum) to keep itself supple and flexible. This oil is also protective, and maintains skin pH.

Absorption: Skin absorbs many substances and nutrients needed by the body. In addition, Vitamin D is produced in the body by absorbing ultraviolet rays, when the skin is exposed to sunlight.

Elimination: Many of the bodys waste products are safely eliminated, detoxified through the skin. The skin is often referred to as the third kidney because of this important elimination function. Blemished skin is often the effect of the skin trying to take over the elimination function of organs such as the intestines, liver or kidney which are overly burdened with toxins or cannot do their own elimination effectively, due to a functional weakness or disease.

Sensation: The senses of touch, pressure, pain, hot and cold are all mediated by the skin Through the tiny receptors located in the skin you maintain contact with your environment Your skin is the messenger of both pleasure and discomfort.
Youll be amazed of the complexity of your skin tissue.

Factors that affect your skin

Each individual's skin is unique and is in a constant state of change, renewal and growth. Because the skin is the most external organ, it is constantly subject to the ravages of the environment. It is continually bombarded with pollutants such as tobacco smoke, dust and smog, toxic chemicals, wastes, soaps, chlorine in water, as well as being subject to physical damage by the elements - wind, rain, sun and cold. Low quality and/or synthetic based cosmetics and skin and hair care products may also be very damaging to the skin. Many such products even contain toxic substances such as heavy metals, which are readily absorbed and stored in the skin and organs of the body.

Internal pollutants such as food preservatives, colourings, coffee, refined sugar, tobacco, alcohol and drugs can adversely influence all body cells and tissues. The skin is no exception and can be readily affected as well.
Emotional stress, psychic and hereditary factors all play their parts. Illness, disease, injury, lack of sleep, improper or inadequate care all have a direct effect on the condition of the skin. Poor blood circulation and inadequate oxygen have degenerating and aging effects on skin cells.

The Skin as a Mirror of Your Health

It does not take a trained eye to recognize the skin of a heavy smoker or longtime drinker. The aging and damaging effects are pronounced and as obvious as the wrinkles and the redness that tell the story.In similar but more subtle ways your skin is an accurate readout or display of your body's individual strengths and its weaknesses.

To the skilled Dermatherapist, a quick scan of the skin can tell much about your state of health. Skin is classified as normal, sensitive, dry, oily, acneic, blemished, dehydrated, asphyxiated or confused. What is your skin type?
Receive a complementary skin analysis with your next skin therapy session.

Zone Therapy: On a more subtle level, there are zones of the face that can be consistently correlated to the organs. For example the zone of the chin area relates to the small intestine, the area below the eye is related to the kidneys and so on. Eruptions, irritations and deep lines are often indicative of underlying organ imbalances and diseases. This is similar to other reflex analysis systems such as iridology or foot reflexology, where markings in the eye or painful areas on the foot indicate underlying organic disturbances. Similarly, eruptions or irritations along acupuncture meridians (lines which traverse the skin of the entire body), can also help to localize and pinpoint deeper health problems.

Many times, powerful drugs are used to treat skin problems, for example the use of corticosteriod creams for eczema and psoriasis, cis-retinoic acid for acne and antibiotics for skin eruptions. Often these drugs have the effect of stopping the symptoms, but they are actually suppressing the disorder, driving the toxins the skin had been attempting to release into deeper tissue layers, where they are absorbed and deposited. This type of suppression may even create deeper illnesses.

For example, it is well known that suppression of eczema by corticosteroids can lead to asthma Long term use of topical steroids or glycolic acid can cause skin thinning and fragility. Similarly, continuous antibiotic use can kill off the normal friendly bacteria in the intestine and can lead to digestive disturbances, fermentation, gas, bloating and toxicity resulting from impaired food breakdown and assimilation. Ultimately an unhealthy bowel will cause the skin condition to deteriorate.

Most drug treatments do not correct the causes or imbalances underlying the skin problem. In many cases, the drugs merely control the symptoms and are repeated indefinitely. While certain severe cases may still require management with drugs, this does not preclude the need to address the deeper causes of the problem. In these cases drug treatments and natural approaches can be carried out at the same time. Fortunately, most skin problems can be treated safely, effectively and permanently with natural approaches and natural substances aimed at correcting and balancing the underlying cause of the skin condition.

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Written by Tunde A. Ertl
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