Your gut/digestive system is the foundation of health. If there is inflammation and immune reactions occurring in the gut, that information is passed out throughout your body and can trigger problems on the skin.
Your gut lining and skin are also made up of the same cells so if poor wound healing is a concern, the same will be happening on your gut and causing inflammation. Both the skin and the gut are routes of elimination of the body and if either are impacted this puts more pressure on the other routes and can lead to toxin and waste build up coming through another route of elimination, leading to skin conditions.
Your gut is also where you acquire nutrients and the skin needs specific nutrients such as zinc, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids to thrive. If nutrient absorption is impacted, this too will impact the skin.
The Immune System
Your skin is actually an active component of the immune system as the skin is made up on commensal bacteria (your skin microbiome) but also the skin is a barrier for your body to prevent foreign bacteria from infiltrating the body. If your immune system is on high alert or producing high amounts of inflammation, your skin will also be affected.
An imbalance in bacteria, or dysbiosis, on the skin can lead to skin conditions such as psoriasis, vitiligo and dermatitis.
Some particular skin conditions such as eczema have an allergic component, especially when it comes to particular foods. Foods such as dairy, eggs, gluten and soy can cause an inflammatory response that exacerbates the skin and impacts healing.
Hormones are not only linked to our reproductive system, they also play a regulatory role in many other parts of the body including the skin. Too little oestrogen causes skin to become drier and itchy.
Excess androgens, or “male hormones” can lead to excess sebum production triggering a cascade of inflammatory markers and build-up of keratin on the skin’s surface leading to acne. Hormonal transitional stages can cause an exacerbation of skin conditions, eg. puberty, pregnancy, post-natal and perimenopause and menopause.
Our thyroid hormones are also part of our hormonal system and a deficiency or excess can lead to alterations of the skin.
A naturopathic consult for skin health will not only assess your skin and skin quality but deep dive into assessing your other supportive body systems such as digestive, immune and hormonal health to assist you in getting to the route cause of your individual skin concern.