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Archive for July, 2010

It’s big question…

Most people, when faced (quite literally) with a skin complaint such as acne, psoriasis or rosacea, will head to the nearest chemist to pick up a ‘magical cream’ to slather over the problem in an attempt to control and defeat it.

But… What if it’s what goes into your body, rather than what goes onto it, that counts?

The British Association of Dermatologists says that eight million people in the UK suffer from a significant skin disease, and some, such as eczema and skin cancer, are on the rise. Fifteen percent of British children are said to now suffer from eczema, four times as many as fifty years ago, and up to thirty percent of those will continue to suffer into adulthood.

A study conducted a few years ago estimated that fourteen percent of British women between the ages of 26 and 44 (so not counting those turbulent teenage years!) suffer from facial acne. So it is no wonder that the medicated skincare market in Britain has, and is continuing to experience unprecedented growth.

But many experts believe that what we put inside our bodies is more important than smearing our skin with expensive lotions.

Many skin conditions are thought to be a reflection of hormone imbalances, and the inability to absorb nutrients and eliminate the by-products of digestion. Your skin affected by how well you are internally and is, therefore, a remarkable barometer of your overall health.

If skin disorders are the body’s way of expressing its imbalances, treating a skin problem using topical creams and gels is, surely, the equivalent of applying a hot flannel to the tip of an ice burg. The other problem being that this would simply mask a possible greater problem by treating the symptom rather than the condition.

But we’re not talking about internal medications here, either. Some people are prescribed courses of antibiotics to banish spots and rosacea, but this is not a long-term solution. Getting your body’s systems working optimally is crucial to addressing skin problems. It is well-known that antibiotics kill good bacteria as well as bad, which can damage the digestive and immune systems. So, in this case, perhaps they do more harm than good.

What we’re really talking about is diet; eating foods that nourish your body, while limiting those that contribute no nutritional value, is important.

Now, I’m not, by any means, suggesting that a good diet alone will defeat the most serious skin conditions, but a better understanding of which foods are good and which are bad for our skin has to be a good thing… Not to mention being far cheaper than shelling out for the latest miracle cream!

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