According to Functional Medicine, 95% of diseases have roots inflammation. When it comes to skin problems, the same is true. Most skin disorders, whether its acne, eczema, or psoriasis, all have one thing in common and that is inflammation.
The word inflame, literally means “to make on fire”. Inflammation is essentially a normal immune response, in which the body produces “heat” to aid with the elimination of pathogens and other “foreign invaders”. In this way, inflammation is a healthy response and can be helpful in healing infections, wounds and other injuries to the body.
However, when inflammation becomes chronic, it can degenerate the body tissues and cause undesirable conditions such as inflammatory skin problems. Eczema, an autoimmune like condition of the skin, is a perfect example of chronic inflammation.
What’s more is that Inflammation can be triggered in part of the area of the body but manifest elsewhere. For example, if you become inflamed emotionally from a stressful situation, the inflammation can manifest and cause skin problems.
To achieve radiant, beautiful skin, we want to rid the body of chronic inflammatory responses. In order to do so, we understand how inflammation effects the skin, which requires us to look at two areas of health; the immune system and the human microbiome.
The Skin-Gut Axis
So far, we know that the skin itself has an immune system of its own, made up of trillions of cells of microorganisms that live on the surface of the skin. We also know that the immune system itself is essentially made up of bacteria. Therefore, we cannot talk about immune health and ignore the role of bacteria in the body. Together the human microbiome plays a very important role in the way the immune system triggers inflammatory responses.
To put it to perspective, the human microbiome (the bacteria, yeast and pathogens in the body) outnumber the human genome (human cells) 100:1. That means we can effectively turn on and off genetic expressions and predispositions toward inflammation by improving the integrity of our microbiome.
Given the fact that most of our microbiome is in the gut, we want to address not just the bacteria on the skin’s surface but also the bacteria that make up our body’s internal environment. Both the skin and digestive tract, like all other systems in the body, are in direct communication with one another via the immune system. In other words, these two systems are in an interrelated relationship, meaning the health of one effects the other. This intimate relationship between the skin and gut is what we would call skin-gut axis.
Given that our bodies are “more bacteria than they are human cells”, and the fact that the human body has evolved out of the bacteria that make up the Natural world; it is of upmost importance we care for our bacterial ecology if we desire good health and radiant skin.
If we do not, the delicate balance in our microbiome can be compromised – any bacteria and yeast that is in excess can dominating others and throw the entire equilibrium of the immune system off. This can result in digestive problems like a permeated gut lining (leaky gut), which results in a cascade of autoimmune like symptoms. If the gut lining (which is made up of microorganisms) is damaged, then things like toxins, pathogens and large food particles can pass into the blood stream, lymph and immune system, igniting a nasty, chronic inflammatory response.
And so far, there is sound evidence that systemic, chronic inflammation can contribute to multiple forms of skin disorders including, acne, psoriasis, eczema, rosacea and more.
Relief from Skin Inflammation
The solution to inflammatory issues of the skin and the best way to strengthen your overall health is to achieve the primary goal of increased immune function, which involves balancing your microbiome.
Two simple ways to achieve this would include:
1. Enrich your diet with probiotic-rich, fermented foods – Foods like raw sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented beets, beet kvass, cultured beverages like raw milk kefir, cultured butter and coconut kefir are excellent for improve inflammatory skin disorders. Keep in mind that there is a strong relationship between gut health and the condition of the skin. Ideally, consume these foods each day, a little bit with each meal to optimize digestion and improve the health of your microbiome and thus, skin.
2. Improve your skin ecology – The microbes on the surface of the skin that make up the skin’s ecology are an essential part of the immune system – they are equally important for healthy skin as those in the digestive tract. Therefore, it is also important to take care of the skin itself. Perhaps the best way to do this is to throw away all commercial skincare products, especially antibacterial soaps, creams and facial cleansers that strip the skin of its protective microbes. Most commercial products contain some sort of harsh chemical that will actually weaken the integrity of the skin’s immune system. Detoxing your skin of these harmful products is step one but you can also take it a step further by utilizing naturally anti-inflammatory plants like aloe vera, which also happens to contain prebiotic polysaccharides that nourish the microbes on the skin and provide a protective healthy mucous.
The Alitura Pearl Cleanser and the Alitura Moisturizer both contain aloe vera as well as other special ingredients and that and the absence of chemicals sets them apart from other leading brands. Another solution for inflammation is the Alitura Revitalize supplement. It features two potent, Ayurvedic herbs; ashwaganda and turmeric, which are known to inhibit the production of proflammatory cytokines, preventing and mitigating the possibility for inflammation We invite you to learn more about these product at Alitura Naturals!