Ask Dr. Scott — All about your skin

Q:  A friend of mine said that you knew how to help people with skin problems. Is there a way to make skin healthier and younger?

A:  Sunlight, so vital to our lives, is also a major irritant when your skin is excessively exposed to it. Degeneration of the elastic tissue of your skin results, and dry inelastic wrinkled skin eventually becomes obvious. The ultraviolet aspect of sunlight may produce alterations in your skin cells with potential skin disease resulting.

There is a higher incidence of skin cancer in sunny states like Colorado. In countries like Australia and South Africa as well as the desert-southwest of the USA, young people 20 years of age may display the first signs of malignant skin diseases.

As you may know, the skin is the largest organ of the body and weighs about six pounds, which is more than the liver and the brain combined. Your skin also receives about 1/3 of your body’s blood supply, and helps your body maintain its temperature. The skin is also like a third kidney, as the body eliminates wastes through the skin when the kidneys are overloaded with toxins. Skin problems are a very useful “window” on our normal elimination channels which, when they are overburdened, use the skin as a backup route for eliminating wastes. If you improve your digestion and elimination, your body will usually stop using the skin as a toxic escape route. This puts the science of dermatology in an entirely new light.

The best protection from the sun, apart from sunblock, is sufficient amounts of essential fatty acids (EFAs) in your diet. Taking omega-3 supplements, in addition to omega-6 fatty acids contained in extra virgin olive oil, flax-seed oil and others will help protect you from the sun. I have seen countless patients who were climbers and skiers and other outdoor enthusiasts with all manner of sun rashes recover and prevent this from reoccurring after using EFAs. Using EFAs allows melanin (the pigment that colors our skin) to effectively darken your skin, which provides the best protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. 

Let EFAs be your natural sunscreen, and expose yourself to the sun in moderation. People who have healthy, well-lubricated skin with great texture will usually have an abundance of beneficial EFAs in their diets. If we eat a lot of denatured fats and hydrogenated oils, which are present in most refined carbohydrates and snack foods, we usually will have more dry, lifeless skin. These denatured fats and oils eventually end up on our faces, where we least want them to show up.

Q:  Is there a good “skin recipe” you can recommend for younger, healthier skin?

A:  Re-establish the balance of EFAs in your diet, and add the oil-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, which are all present in oil-soluble chlorophyll. (Before embarking on any supplement regime, check with your health care provider.) Eliminate the use of soap and use a 5-10% dilution of apple cider vinegar (with 90-95% water) applied directly to the skin. The “acid mantle” of your skin will be restored, as it protects your skin from bacteria and chemical irritants. Use a natural skin cleanser in place of soap too. Dry skin-brushing is a great support for older skin as it helps move out your old skin, release toxins, and stimulates the creation of new skin cells.

Natural methods of healing call for a certain underlying attention to lifestyle and nutrition as well as to stress and emotional factors, in order to ensure the removal, as far as possible, of those elements which are working against overall good health.

Q:  I’m 25 years old female and I’ve had serious problems with acne. What do you recommend?

A:  Eruptions often relate to period times, as hormonal changes occur. Most patients respond well to dietary and nutritional corrections, in our office this is determined with a manual muscle testing approach. The following methods have produced excellent results in our patients.

  1. Avoid female hormones (antagonistic to vitamin E).
  2. Avoid commercial soft drinks (can make acne worse).
  3. Avoid over 1 glass of milk daily (hormones in the milk can aggravate acne).
  4. Correct digestive dysfunctions. Many skin complaints are also forms of elimination, or may represent ways in which the body is dealing with something of a more chronic nature, perhaps toxicity or an inefficient liver.
  5. Vitamin A (water-soluble).
  6. Vitamin E and the mineral Zinc.
  7. Pyridoxine (B6) for premenstrual and menstrual acne.
  8. Benzoyl peroxide 5 % gel applied at night after washing gently with non-medicated soap.  Some Australian Dermatologists use 5% tea tree oil gel (a remarkable natural anti-acne product) with better success.
  9. Well-balanced diet, low in carbohydrates (white breads), sugars and sweets.

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