Skin Health

Skin Health

Your skin is your body’s largest and fastest-growing organ. It has many roles in the maintenance of life and health, but also has many potential problems. There are many layers which make up your skin, the epidermis being the outermost. It takes about 28 days for a layer of skin to work its way up to the outer surface.

The basic day-to-day functions of the skin include:

  • Works as a barrier, protecting against water loss as well as physical and chemical injury
  • Helps fight off bacteria, viruses, allergens, toxins and carcinogens through the parts of or immune system that exist in our skin
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Protects us from UV radiation by producing melanin
  • Gives us the sense of touch
  • Is involved with producing Vitamin D
  • Heals wounds

Like the gut, the skin is home to over a trillion organisms at any given time, including thousands of species of bacteria as well as viruses and fungi. These all serve a purpose and are important for proper balance. Like the gut, when the balance is altered, it can create problems. Generally when there is an outbreak with the skin, there is an underlying internal issue. Oftentimes the skin takes over when the liver is overloaded and cannot detoxify properly.

The skin is under constant assault from environmental agents, harsh cleansers and soaps, deodorants, and even medications and cosmetics. Our obsession with cleanliness may be doing more harm than good for microbiota balance on the skin.

A healthy skin microbiome appears to begin during and shortly after birth with a flurry of immune activity. Unfortunately, many of the modern practices surrounding birth may have a dramatic and unfortunate impact on gut bacteria. The wide use of antibiotics for mom during labor (and for mom and baby after birth) may have some big unintended consequences. This could be a part of the reason we are seeing a rise in skin related disorders.

In conclusion, gut health is extremely important when it comes to skin issues. Almost 90% of our immune system is within the gut. Focusing on healing and nurturing your gut will usually help with certain skin issues.

Eczema
There are different forms of eczema (dermatitis) a person can suffer from, and an individual’s triggers are unique to their body. Some common forms of eczema include:

  • Atopic: the most common form, usually starts in childhood. Typically is accompanied with allergies & asthma.
    • Causes: genetics, dry skin, immune issues, environmental and food triggers
  • Contact: a reaction caused by substances you touch (allergen or irritant)
    • Causes: detergents, bleach, jewelry, latex, nickel, pain, plants, skin products, soaps, perfumes, solvents, smoke
  • Dyshidrotic: small blisters that form on the hands and feet
    • Causes: allergies, damp/sweaty hands and feet, exposure to substances like nickel, cobalt or chromium salt, stress

Eczema symptoms include:

  • Dry scaly patches on skin
  • Small bumps that open and weep when scratched
  • Redness and swelling
  • Burning of skin
  • Thickening of skin
  • Oozing & weeping
  • Gets worse with scratching

The most prescribed treatment is corticosteroids which can be helpful for short term acute conditions, but doctors usually do not recommend natural remedies to try first. Doctors often do not explain how to properly use these potentially harmful medications, leading to over prescription and accidental abuse.

 

Psoriasis

A chronic autoimmune condition that is a symptom of an imbalance in the gut. It causes the rapid buildup of skin cells. This buildup of cells causes scaling on the skin’s surface. Inflammation and redness around the scales is fairly common. Typical psoriatic scales are whitish-silver and develop in thick, red patches. Sometimes, these patches will crack and bleed.

Psoriasis is the result of a sped-up skin production process. Typically, skin cells grow deep in the skin and slowly rise to the surface. Eventually, they fall off. The typical life cycle of a skin cell is one month. In people with psoriasis, this production process may occur in just a few days. Because of this, skin cells don’t have time to fall off. This rapid overproduction leads to the buildup of skin cells.

Most people with psoriasis go through “cycles” of symptoms. The condition may cause severe symptoms for a few days or weeks, and then the symptoms may clear up and be almost unnoticeable. Then, in a few weeks or if made worse by a common psoriasis trigger, the condition may flare up again. Sometimes, symptoms of psoriasis disappear completely.

 

Natural Solutions

It is important to remember that what works for one person may not work for another, and sometimes what the skin can tolerate will change. “Natural” does not always work with people who have sensitive skin. Helpful natural treatment options include:

  • Avoiding triggers like allergens, soaps, detergents, animals
  • Taking healing baths using Epsom or dead sea salts, apple cider vinegar or garlic
  • Exercising (even gently like yoga or walking) will help the lymphatic system detox
  • Sweating can make rashes worse so be sure to rinse off quickly after exercise
  • Don’t use harsh soaps or antibacterials – when showering/bathing only use soap on your armpits & groin to avoid stripping the body of its natural oils
  • Good moisturizers – coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, castor oil, Eucerin, Aveeno, Avene AD line, Elaj, Waxelene, Aquaphor, BeautyCounter, Moogoo – ALWAYS PATCH TEST – Usually the fewer ingredients the better.
  • Avoid scratching and keep nails trimmed short- use ice packs when itchy
  • Minimize stress with yoga and meditation
  • Avoid fragrances and dyes in detergents, cleansers
  • Get plenty of Vitamin D; UV therapy can be beneficial
  • Stick to an anti-inflammatory diet – known skin triggers include dairy, gluten, sugar, and sometimes nightshades.
  • Sometimes essential oils can help like tea tree, lavender, calendula. Be cautious when using essential oils on the skin and be sure to dilute in a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba
  • Check out EWG.org to find out how harmful or safe your bath & body products are

 

Acne

Acne appears when a pore in the skin clogs. This clog begins with dead skin cells. Normally, dead skin cells rise to surface of the pore, and the body sheds the cells. When the body starts to make lots of sebum (see-bum), oil that keeps our skin from drying out, the dead skin cells can stick together inside the pore. Instead of rising to the surface, the cells become trapped inside the pore.

Sometimes bacteria that live on our skin, p. acnes, also get inside the clogged pore. Inside the pore, the bacteria have a perfect environment for multiplying very quickly. With loads of bacteria inside, the pore becomes inflamed (red and swollen). If the inflammation goes deep into the skin, an acne cyst or nodule appears.

Natural Solutions

  • Use a gentle cleanser but do NOT over cleanse – apple cider vinegar, honey, coconut oil
  • Use fragrance-free products that do not contain harmful chemicals
  • Use healing masks to hydrate and soothe the skin
  • Exfoliate regularly with natural items like sea salt, brown sugar and oatmeal.
  • Avoid too much sun exposure
  • Eat a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet

 

FACE MASK FUN

  • Always try to get fresh & organic ingredients when applying produce to the skin
  • Honey – always buy organic! Manuka Honey (4x more nutritious than regular honey, get UMF 10+) – helps treat acne. Eczema, MRSA, burns, heal wounds
  • Bentonite clay – helps detoxify pores, reduce acne, clear redness, heal poison ivy, eczema & heal wounds
  • Vitamin E Oil – use sparingly, good for excessive dryness, antioxidant & anti-inflammatory
  • Before applying mask, use a warm washcloth on face to open pores
  • Avoid putting mask over eyes, lips & eyebrows
  • Leave masks on for about 15-20 minutes

 

Dry Skin

Avocado Mask – Mash ½ ripe avocado with 2 tbs honey

Coconut & Honey Mask – 2 tbs virgin coconut oil & ¼ cup honey blended

 

Oily Skin

Fruit Mask – 1 ripe banana, 1 tbs honey, 1 tbs lemon juice

Aloe & Honey Mask – 2 tbs aloe vera, 1 tbs honey

 

Combination

Avocado & Coconut Oil Mask – ½ ripe avocado & 1 tbs coconut oil

Honey & Lemon Mask – 2 tbs honey, 1 tbs lemon juice

 

Acne

Cucumber Mask – Blend ½ cucumber w/ 1tbs honey (1 tsp bentonite clay optional) (sit for 20 min)

ACV, Honey & Clay Mask – 1 tsp ACV, 2 tsp honey, 1 tsp clay

 

AFTERCARE:

After using a facemask, a sea salt spray or 1tsp ACV diluted in 1 cup cool water will work as great toners to lock in effects.

 

What Is Advanced Allergy Therapeutics?

What Is Advanced Allergy Therapeutics?

Advanced Allergy Therapeutics, or AAT, offers a unique and highly effective approach for the treatment of the many symptoms associated with allergies and sensitivities. AAT is a precision-based treatment that addresses the organ systems that are involved in an overreaction. AAT does not treat the immune system. The therapy instead focuses on the relationship between symptoms and organ systems in order to produce rapid, long-term results.

Common Symptoms Relieved with AAT:

  • Digestive System: reflux, heartburn, abdominal and intestinal pain, cramping, gas, bloating, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting
  • Respiratory System: sneezing, congestion, runny nose, wheezing, shortness of breath, coughs, post nasal drip, skin conditions, rashes and itch watery eyes
  • Multiple Systems: headaches, irritability, hyperactivity, mood swings, tiredness, fatigue and inflammation
  • Skin: scaly, red, itchy skin, rashes, blisters with oozing and crusting, dry leathery skin areas, hives, plants, contactants and chemicals
  • Headaches & Migraines: chocolate and caffeine, airborne irritants such as pollens, chemicals including household cleaners, perfumes and vehicle fumes
  • Chemical and Occupational Sensitivities: household cleaners, chemicals, perfumes, detergents, latex, petrol and building materials such as pains, glues, carpets, woods and varnishes

By treating the organ systems related to a reaction to an offending substance, the symptoms stemming from those organ systems are directly affected. In most cases symptoms are reduced significantly within the first 1-3 treatments. AAT is non-invasive and does not require needles, herbal remedies or supplements.

Some examples of organ dysfunction includes:

  • Intestines: gas, bloating, pain, diarrhea
  • Lungs: cough, sneezing, congestion, wheezing
  • Stomach: cramping, bloating, nausea, heartburn
  • Heart: tachycardia, elevated blood pressure
  • Kidneys: fatigue, tiredness
  • Liver: stress, mood swings, irritability
  • Skin: red, itchy or scaly skin, rashes, hives

A Holistic Approach to Allergies & Sensitivities

AAT merges 21st century science with 3,000 year old traditional acupuncture and modern chiropractic principles in offering an effective alternative in the treatment of the symptoms associated with allergies and sensitivities. All holistic fields of medicine are aligned in their approach to treat the whole body. They share the understanding that health conditions may develop as a result of various forms of stress or other interference with proper function. Removing the stress or interference allows for optimal health. When the specific organ system is supported and stress is reduced in relation to a harmless substance, the whole body is conditioned to respond more appropriately.

AAT can offer rapid, long term results from the many symptoms associated with allergies and sensitivities.

Understanding Allergies & Sensitivities

Allergies and sensitivities are caused by inappropriate reactions to harmless substances. A “true allergy” is a reaction triggered by the immune system while a sensitivity, which is more common, may or may not involve the immune system. The majority of patients who seek the AAT tratment do not have “true allergies”. Instead, their symptoms are likely to be caused by sensitivities. However, their symptoms can be the same, and both allergies and sensitivities respond well to the treatment wince AAT addresses the organ systems involved in the reactions.

Sensitivities AAT Can help Treat:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Environmental Agents
  • Animals
  • Latex
  • Soaps
  • Dust
  • Molds
  • Pollens
  • Grass
  • Chemicals
  • Metals
  • & many more

Information brought to you by Advanced Allergy Therapeutics

Are you or someone you know suffering from allergies or sensitivities? Give us a call to see if we can help in a natural way @ 410-717-6610.

Immune Essentials

Immune Essentials

What can we do to keep our immune systems happy & healthy?

  • Avoid antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers and wash well with soap and water
  • Avoid unnecessary antibiotics and focus on good probiotics
  • Get lots of rest & exercise regularly
  • Enjoying time in the sun & in nature
  • Take brief cold showers
  • Regular dry brushing
  • Do a coconut or sesame oil pull a few times a week or daily
  • Eat lots of wholesome root veggies and leafy greens
  • Incorporate healing herbs and spices into your diet like turmeric & ginger
  • Eat different species of immune boosting mushrooms
  • Drink half your weight in ounces of water per day
  • Avoid sugar
  • Decrease stress
  • Remove household molds
  • Shower before going to sleep

80-90% of the immune system is in the GUT

 

    Supplements:

  • Vitamin D (Cataplex D)
  • Vitamin C
  • Congaplex, Immuplex, Antronex, Epimmune, Echinacea C/Premium, Cataplex C, Catalyn

    Foods to focus on:

  • Healing bone broth
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Turnips
  • Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Beets
  • Garlic & onion
  • Probiotic Rich Foods: kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, miso
  • Citrus Fruit

How to Oil Pull

Oil pulling has many holistic benefits; it is great for clearing out bad bacteria in the mouth and toxins throughout the entire body. Put 1-2 tsp coconut/sesame oil in your mouth and swish it around for 15-20 minutes – this is long enough to break through plaque and bacteria but not long enough that the body starts re-absorbing the toxins and bacteria. The oil will get thicker and milky as it mixed with saliva during this time and it should be creamy-white when spit out. Spit the oil into the trashcan, then rinse your mouth with warm water. Finish by brushing your teeth as usual to remove any bacteria left.

How to Dry Brush

Dry brushing is a great way to help stimulate the lymphatic system which helps the body detoxify. It is also useful for exfoliation, cleaning pores, reducing cellulite & boosting energy. Starting at the bottom of the feet, brush upwards towards the heart in long, smooth strokes concentrating on one area for about 5 strokes; always brush toward the center of the body. Repeat the process with the arms starting with the palms. When focusing on the stomach and armpits brush in a circular clockwise motion, and be careful when brushing your neck; you may want to use a softer brush if doing the face.

 

Who Do We Help?

Who Do We Help?

Our purpose at the Natural Health Improvement Center is to empower as many people as possible to achieve vibrant and optimum health through education and natural means, without the use of unnecessary drugs and surgery, and to pass the benefits along to future generations.

What kinds of people do we treat? If you can relate to one or more of the following, Dr. Lisa can help!

  • Spring and fall allergies that bring along sneezing, coughing, wheezing etc.
  • Sensitivity to animals & considering giving up a pet due to allergies
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Headaches, migraines, concussions
  • PMS, PCOS, hot flashes, cramps
  • Hormonal issues including thyroid, prostate, adrenal etc.
  • Food sensitivities
  • Digestive problems like acid reflux, IBS etc.
  • Sensitivities to perfumes, soaps, chemicals, hydrocarbons, scented candles, dryer sheets, smoke etc.
  • Past sports injuries
  • Feeling achy all over

We help people who are tired of their medical doctors telling them to take medications when they know the medication just hides the underlying problem.

We help people who know that food is the best medicine to help the body thrive.

We help people who know their body can heal but need a guide on their journey to health.

Upcoming Health Information Talks

Upcoming Health Information Talks

Join us for our next upcoming Health Information Talks @ the Natural Health Improvement Center of Columbia, MD! Give us a call to reserve your spot today 410-717-6610.

Patients who bring guests to any health talk will receive one entry per guest in our raffle to win an Instant Pot!

From 6:30-7:15 on Mondays unless otherwise indicated

October 1st: Immune Essentials

October 15th: ADD/ADHD, Concentration, Memory, Studying etc.

October 29th: Women’s Health, Menopause, PMS, Foggy Brain, Hot-Flashes etc.

November 12th: Digestive Dysfunction, Acid Reflux, Bloating etc.

November 26th: Men’s Health, Prostate etc.

December 10th: Cholesterol – Myths & Truths

December 17th: Anxiety & Depression

January 7th: Skin Health – Eczema, Psoriasis, Acne, Rashes

Healthy Lunches

Healthy Lunches

Nutrition & The Body

A school lunch box can potentially make up to 30-50% of our child’s daily food intake.

Effects of poor nutrition, especially with children, go beyond weight gain. A child who eats too much fat, sugar, sodium or processed food and too few vitamins and minerals is likely to develop a higher risk over time for several chronic health problems.

Proper nutrition is also tied to better academic performance, so kids who eat unhealthy lunches are more likely to score worse on tests and have a harder time with schoolwork. Lower IQ scores, memory difficulties, fine motor and language skills into early adulthood and beyond are all associated with lack of essential vitamins and nutrients.

A homemade lunch will keep your kids away from junk food temptations & ensure easy-access to healthier options that they will learn to love.

Better for their body & your budget

When you pack a lunch, you control the ingredients and choose items based on your budget and preference. In some cases, packing a lunch is not only healthier, but less expensive. For approximately the same cost as five days of school lunch purchases, you can buy enough ingredients to pack a healthy lunch each day, with the added peace of mind that your child has a wholesome and nutritious meal to eat.

Sugar Sabotage

80-90% of the immune system is located in the GUT

The body’s microbiome is made up of trillions of good bacteria that digest food, produce vitamins and protect the body from germs and disease. But when kids consume too much sugar, it can alter the balance between good and bad bacteria and weaken their immune systems.

One of the most common effects sugar can have on children are cold-like symptoms: chronic runny noses, excessive mucus, cough, allergies and symptoms of sinus infections. Eliminating sugars can drastically help improve these common symptoms.

Children who are “picky eaters” are most likely loading up on too much sugar, causing stomachaches and poor appetites. Crowd out high sugar foods with healthier options and soon their bodies will crave the real nutrients they need.

Approximately 80% of packaged foods contain added artificial sweeteners.

Foods to AVOID

  • Packaged fruit juice & sugary drinks
  • Flavored milk & excessive dairy
  • High sugar granola bars & processed snack packs
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Packaged dried fruit & desserts
  • Heavy pasta sauces & dressings

Foods to CHOOSE

  • Fresh fruits & veggies
  • Lean proteins
  • Healthy fats
  • Whole grains & carbs
  • Low glycemic options

SWAP THIS FOR THAT!

Instead of flavored yogurt

Try plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit mixed in (you could also add local honey for a sweeter taste & natural immune booster).

Instead of canned fruit

Try chopping up the fresh stuff; a cup of fresh peaches has 13g of sugar, and 1 cup of canned peaches has 33g of sugar.

Instead of sweetened salad dressings & sandwich spreads

Try making your own balsamic vinaigrette or light ranch, choosing mustard, homemade guacamole or hummus vs mayonnaise.

Instead of sodas, juices & dairy

Try adding fruits & veggies like berries, lemon, ginger & cucumber to water for extra flavor.

Instead of lunchables or highly processed meats

Try getting your meat straight from the deli or pack some leftover proteins from dinner the night before.