This chart which was developed for my ebook “Diagnose Your Acne” was reproduced in a great article by Tracy McCullough from “The Love Vitamin“, a blog that promotes holistic living for clear skin and happiness.
Acne has may causes and one of the most important thing to note is that what causes your acne may be completely different to someone else and so what works for one may not work for another. For this reason it is common for those with acne try and have fail many treatments and this is because the underlying cause of the acne has not been established in the first place. Until this is established and then treated appropriately, acne is unlikely to clear completely. While it seems a bit like a puzzle to work out what is going on, once all the factors are established an effective treatment plan should make lasting change.
One way of determining what is happening is to look at the colour of the skin and the location of the pustules or congestion. Both factors serve as a guide to internal health and can give an indication of certain underlying conditions in the body. Using facial diagnosis can give useful clues as to what is happening below the surface:
Read Tracy’s full blog post at “The Love Vitamin“Twitter It!
This is a great article from Deanne Bromham, our Vitale Life naturopath. When I decided to focus on writing and research, Deanne stepped into the fold and now treats many patients with skin conditions…with great results. She is patient and encouraging and her treatment are very effective. Below is what Deanne thinks the key issues are with skin problems including acne, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis and skin pigmentation:
On the exterior skin conditions or damaged skin can be red, inflamed, cystic, rough, blotchy, painful, unbearably itchy, scaly and plaque like, lacking vibrancy, damaged, dry and wrinkling. Anyone who has a skin condition will quickly confide that it can destroy one’s self-confidence. After all, skin is the outer layer we present to the world. Skin problems affect the body’s surface physically as well as emotionally but we don’t always realise just how deep they run. This is why it is important to find a long-term solution that treats the cause of the problem and one that really works.
Skin problems are related to a dysfunction occurring deep within the body and this is the level they should be treated; a satisfactory solution means treating from the inside and outside. Unfortunately, this is often overlooked and strong anti-inflammatory creams are prescribed or in the case of acne retail creams and liquids that dry and strip the skin, only offering temporary relief.
It’s a little like looking into a pool of water, what you see on the surface is a true indication of what’s going on underneath. What is happening at the bottom and in the middle area of the water will ruminate to the surface, making it visually known what the general state of the deeper water is like. A client’s skin is an important factor I assess no matter why they have come to see me; it tells me a lot about the person’s overall health.
There are a few major players that affect how our skin looks:
Skin in very much affected by hormones; the finetuning of the stress hormone; cortisol, the blood sugar hormone; insulin and the reproductive hormones – oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone cannot be underestimated in their affect on the skin.
Diet plays a massive part in all problem skin and this can be the simplest way of getting quick improvement.
There is a big connection between skin and digestive health or the health of our intestinal tract. If the bacteria within our intestinal system are out of balance this will affect our skin. It is well understood that the bacteria at the centre of the body, the intestinal tract, set the status of bacteria in the skin. To correct the bacteria in the skin it is necessary to correct the bacterial status inside first and then the skin will reflect this.
The skin along with the lungs, bowel, liver, and kidney are all organs that assist the body in getting rid of waste products. They are well known as the 5 organs of elimination. When the development of a skin condition or even poor unhealthy looking skin has occurred it may be that one or more of the other organs of elimination are being overloaded and/or are under functioning. If the liver and bowel are unable to get rid of toxins the toxins will begin to find another route out of the body and this can be via the skin. A pleasant side effect of a professional gut repair and detoxification program is the noticeable difference in the appearance of the skin. One of the most common things clients say while on a gut repair and detoxification program is that all their friends have notice how good their skin is looking. If you’re going to clean the pool of water you will need to scrape leaves and scum off the top but you will also need to get the filter working continuously to clean out what’s in the middle and at the bottom.
One of the most important things to understand about getting your skin clear and beautiful is that the body is designed to heal itself. It is totally unnecessary for anyone to accept that this is a skin problem they have to learn to live with. The body in its natural rhythm is absolutely able to work so that we look and feel great. Anything other than this is a sign that a particular area of the body is not functioning as well as it should be or it is out of balance. Naturopathic assistance works on our insides to make our bodies, inside and outside, look and feel great. The body responds very well to this, easily lapping it up as it falls back into harmony.
Deanne, an experienced and skilled naturopath, nutritionist, herbalist and iridologist says “As a clinician I assess each person’s skin on an individual basis while taking into consideration the rest of their health and the connection between the two. The use of iridology gives greater insight to their health weaknesses and constitution”. A treatment plan is given that shows what each individual’s skin requires. Results are usually seen as early as 2 weeks.
Skin type can be confusing to pinpoint particularly when you don’t seem to fit into a particular definition. I often have people ask me what their skin type is because they get dry patches around their cheeks and eyes and an oily nose or chin or T-zone. Commonly called combination this skin type can seem inadequate particularly when there are dry, flakey patches of skin combined with breakouts or oily skin that is sometimes oily and sometimes just congested. And really does it matter what it is called when you have no idea how to manage it. Products for oily skin tend to further dry out already dry areas. Products for dry skin just end up causing increased oiliness and/or congestion. This leads me to question how one product range for a particular skin type can actually manage a combination skin.
Of course there are products for combination skin types and these are a good start for mildly oily and dry combination skin types however, if you are experiencing lots of oiliness with dry skin or even dry skin with breakouts, combination skin ranges usually don’t do much to help.
A recent e-mail from a client illustrates this point: I have very (VERY!) oily, congested, red skin that is often itchy and quite sensitive. I usually have anywhere from 5 to 40 pimples at one time (usually those horrible deep ones that hurt!). I also tend to get eczema, although this is usually on my hands and arms and very rarely on my face, but that may be what is making my face so itchy lately. I can actually feel how congested my skin is and the oil is very hard to control. Any products I use for oily skin often leave my skin feeling tight and itchy. Please help!!
My answer took into account a number of factors which include:
So my reply was: The very first and most important thing I want to say is that the oiliness of your skin together with concurrent dry patches and eczema is likely a reflection of an internal imbalance of essential fatty acids (EFAs) and possibly also B vitamins. It is quite tricky to get EFAs out to the skin as the critical organs such as the heart and brain use them first. So I recommend the drink below as a really quick way of boosting your skin levels which will help relieve dryness and balance out oiliness in about 7-10 days. I have put the recipe below.
In addition I recommend the Remedica Clair Visage at night. This will help to balance the acid mantle of your skin which is currently not protecting your skin. It is a very light oil/hydrosol based serum which will help to nourish skin without contributing to congestion (Editors note: remember from previous blogs that you can use molecularly light oils on oily skin and it will actually help rather than hinder the condition). During the day I recommend the Treasured Earth Balancing Lotion. Daytime is when a lotion is needed rather than an oil as they help to prevent water loss when you are out and about. It is a light but nourishing product. Couple this with the Treasured Earth Mango Cleanser. It is an effective cleanser that doesnt strip the skin. One of the worst things you can do for your skin is to dry it out in hopes that it will stop oil production. Overwashing or using harsh cleansers dries out your skin and causes irritation and inflammation. Your skin will take that as a signal to produce more oil and therefore more acne lesions.
If you find the area around your eyes is particularly dry, use an eye cream. There are no sebaceous glads around the eyes and as such this area is more prone to losing moisture. Any eye cream you use can be richer than the day moisturiser. In effect we are managing your skin in zones, treating the dry areas differently from the oily areas. The Treasured Earth Rose Eye Cream is a nourishing eye cream without being too rich.
Lemon Flax Drink
Blend on high for 30 seconds. This makes one serve. You can double the quantity and have it before lunch or dinner as well.
Let me know how you go…you may not love the taste but it does such good things for your body.
To help you manage the underlying cause of the breakouts have a look at our Acne Information Page.
As with all things, sometimes we just don’t fit into a neat category. In these cases, don’t give up – look outside the box and try a different solution.
Free eBook for clear skin:
Receive this free eBook by clicking on this link: Glowing Skin