Thousands of Australians suffer from chronic skin conditions every year, with new cases appearing every day. They come in the form of acne, psoriasis, eczema and rosacea to name a few common ones. Each one of these diseases have a different name, but the truth is that they are all the same thing and they all have the same underlying cause. Many people suffering from a chronic skin condition have done the rounds of medical doctors, each one prescribing more medication and treating the disease with antibiotic, benzoyl peroxide (Benzacilin, Duac, Acanya), topical retinoid, immunosuppressant and corticosteroid drugs. Each time the skin clears up for a few month, only to have the condition come raging back worse than it was before. Why is this?

Because you didn’t address the underlying cause.

 Your skin is not the problem.

It may be strange to hear this but in most chronic skin conditions your skin is not the problem. The skin is your body’s larges elimination organ and what you’re seeing on your skin is a snap shot of your body’s internal condition. At this point in the conversation I am usually asked, so what’s causing this internal condition? It’s very simple, your diet and your lifestyle.

How your diet and Lifestyle effect your internal condition.

I’d be surprised if you hadn’t rolled your eyes at this point as this response seems so arbitrary and redundant. But here’s the truth and it’s very simple. The food you are eating and the fluid you are drinking are so bad for you that your skin is having to assist in eliminating their wastes. That’s a pretty disgusting thought, right!

A quick naturopathic point of view……

For those of you that demand just a little more of an explanation. The underlying cause in a skin condition is chronic low grade metabolic acidosis and gastrointestinal degredation. Gut problems are a common occurrence in today’s society and most of them, I think we can agree, are caused by diet in some form or another. I believe it is widely understood these days that correcting a gut problem is best done through a clean and organic diet. But diet alone is not enough.

The lymphatic system is one of the least studied and misunderstood systems of the human body.

What is it? And more importantly, what does it do?

The Lymphatic system (interstitial fluid) consists of the fluid component of the blood, called plasma. The lymph is effectively the body’s sewer system where all the cells of the body dump their acidic metabolic wastes to be removed from the body down one of the many elimination pathways (Urination, defecation, respiration, perspiration). When the body fails to keep up with the removal of these metabolic acids, it creates a condition known as lymphatic acidosis or interstitial acidosis.

Now this is where many people get hung up. There are two main schools of thought when it comes to lymphatic filtration, there are those who believe the liver cleans and those who believe the kidneys filter. To be honest with you it makes no difference since any good naturopath you visit should be targeting both of these organs for detoxification and regeneration. In my experience with skin conditions clients often present with low blood pressure this points to a kidney and adrenal involvement. This is common in teens and young adults especially where there is a chronic low grade stress component to their lifestyle like kids, careers, spouses, friends and even school exams. Combine these stresses with poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle, and you are creating the perfect conditions for a chronic skin disease.

Overcoming your internal condition.

It is usually at this point that my clients asks the simply question: How do I fix this?

Changing your diet is the fundamental aspect of clearing a skin condition, switching to a dairy free, vegetarian diet for a minimum of three months will create a dramatic improvements in your condition. As a traditional healer I would recommend the use of herbs to speed up your results. Herbs such as Dandelion leaf, Parsley and Liquorice root can be used to increase kidney filtration, although Liquorice root should not be used by clients with high blood pressure. The gastrointestinal tract can be cleansed using Slippery Elm, Mullein, Aloe Vera, Chickweed and Plantain. These herbs are available in liquid tinctures, capsules and tablets from herbal dispensaries and naturopathic practitioners.