Because the skin is so closely related to the body’s internal balance, when anything goes wrong with the body it often shows itself in the skin. This includes eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and acne.
Eczema is often triggered by an over-sensitive immune reaction to certain factors in the environment, while acne is often triggered by increased hormone production and psoriasis is seen as a disorder of cell turnover.
Here is a brief summary of the relationships between the skin and other organs in the body.
Nerve receptors in the skin enable us to sense touch. Nerve messages trigger dilation and constriction of blood vessels in the skin.
The skin also responds to psychological stress by producing its own stress response, involving the local production of stress hormones and inflammatory mediators. The biochemical mechanisms of the effects on the skin validate the traditional clinical wisdom of the link between stress and skin conditions.
Lung and airways
The skin protects the lung and airways, which in turn supply skin cells with oxygen and remove carbon dioxide.
Absorption of vitamins and minerals from digested food supply nourishment to the skin.
Elimination of waste through the bowel – an important area of elimination - and the health of the skin are tightly interlinked in naturopathic philosophy.
Also a healthy gut environment, i.e. gut integrity and microbial balance, have huge impact on your skin health.
When the muscles are working hard, heat is produced which increase blood flow and triggers sweating through the skin, helping to cool the muscles.
The skin prevents foreign invaders from entering the body and is involved the triggering the body’s immune response.
The skin acts to convert some hormones to an active form. Some hormones play a part in triggering skin conditions such as acne.
Heart and blood vessels
The skin prevents fluid loss from the blood and acts as a reservoir for the blood supply. Oxygen and nutrients from the skin are carried in the bloodstream and waste products are disposed of through the skin.
During pregnancy skin pigmentation changes, sweat and sebum production increases. At the menopause, collagen decreases leading to loss of elasticity and thinner skin.
The skin synthesises vitamin D which is needed for calcium absorption and strong bones. The bones act as a framework to support the skin.
As you can imagine, if there is any disturbance in any part of the body, this could affect the skin and vice versa so we need to look at you as a whole not just the skin. My treatment therefore is multi-angled and focuses on you, not just your skin conditions.