Skin is your body’s largest organ and the one most visible to you and everyone you meet. The condition of your skin communicates your mood and physical state. No wonder we see so many products advertised to create or maintain “beautiful, radiant skin.” We all want to look our best.

Skin care and healing are about much more than appearing attractive to others. Your skin is the gateway between you and the environment. Your skin is able to meet nature’s challenges on its own when supplied with proper food, drink, sunlight, air, and water. When any of these elements are deficient or overly abundant, the skin reacts. Acne, rashes, chicken pox, and sweating are signs that your skin is performing its job by regulating environmental irritants and internal balance.

Skin Facts
– The average square inch of skin holds 650 sweat glands, 20 blood vessels, 60,000 melanocytes, 50 million bacteria, and more than a thousand nerve endings.

– Skin protects senses, regulates heat, controls evaporation, communicates, stores, synthesizes, excretes, absorbs, and resists.

– Skin regenerates faster than any other organ.

Skin conditions and Natural Treatments

Sunburn is best to avoid altogether by staying in the shade, wearing appropriate attire, and applying sunscreen. When it’s too late and sunburn strikes there are several methods for natural healing.

Hydrotherapy is a fancy word for taking a soak, shower, or applying a towel compress. Lukewarm or cool water is best. Water that is too hot can strip the skin oils produced to repair the problem. 10 to 15 minutes of hydrotherapy three times a day can provide great relief.

Aloe vera is always good to have on hand in bottled or plant form. The gel within has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe and heal burned skin.

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids to replenish water lost out in the sun and heat.

Eczema patients are greatly benefited by an integrative approach. Numerous stressors can trigger the red, itchy, irritated, and sometimes oozing sores that attend eczema. Homeopathy, dietary changes, herbs, and breathing exercises among other treatments can be combined to restore the skin’s health. Switching to cotton clothing and taking a daily dose of flaxseed oil is enough to ease some patient’s symptoms, while others benefit from detoxification and meditation.

Acne is often thought to be caused by poor hygiene. While washing the skin twice daily is important to remove dead skin cells and dirt, over-washing leaves the skin without the oils it needs to heal.

Chinese herbal treatments like cnidium seed, honeysuckle flower, or root water are alternatives to Western chemical treatments.

Supplements like black currant seed oil or evening primrose oil capsules can nurture the skin from the inside out.

Herbs and teas such as echinacea, calendula, tea tree oil, and goldenseal or a tea made from nettles and cleavers tincture can help.

Dry Skin needs to be cleansed gently. Non-detergent, neutral-pH products applied with a gentle touch will avoid further irritation. Gently massage with oils relaxes and replenished the skin and stimulates it to heal itself. There are all manner of masks you can make at home to nourish dry skin. The ingredients for this mix are easy to come by:
– 1 egg
– 1 teaspoon of honey
– 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil
– A few drops of rose water
Mix and apply as mask.

Vitamin C and Vitamin E give skin a glow that shows you are healthy from the inside out. Foods rich in Vitamin C include: papaya, oranges, broccoli, strawberries, kiwifruits, cauliflower, lemon, cranberry juice, tomatoes, and grapefruits. For Vitamin E eat: sunflower seeds, almonds, blueberries, hazelnuts, wheat germ, pine nuts, avocado, salmon, and olive, sunflower, or corn oil.

Skin solutions are rarely, if ever one-fits-all. What works for Harry may harm Sally, so consulting a physician before starting treatment is important. What you’ve read here is simply an introduction to a few means of balancing a limited number of skin conditions. Please, feel free to contact the IMS office to learn more about integrative approaches to nurturing your skin.

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