By Claire Bacon, ACN, CNC
The Skin is the Window to the Gut
Have you heard this saying before? Yes, the skin is your body’s largest organ, and if you are dealing with any chronic sign of distress (redness, swelling, itchiness, scaly patches or acne) it could be a clue to what’s going on deep inside. For today’s message, I’m spotlighting acne. But the majority of this information really applies to any strategy for achieving healthy skin.
Warning: This is Personal
As I write this, I feel a bit of sadness – a deep memory from when I longed for answers why I constantly was fighting acne. I found it hard to believe that television actors always had perfect, healthy skin. It didn’t look like they were putting on 3 layers of makeup, concealer, powder, the way I did. I felt I could never be in the public eye. And how was it that my co-workers, who sometimes looked like they just rolled out of bed, would show up with perfectly smooth skin? As opposed to me, who would spend so much time cleansing and scrubbing just to wind up with bumpy, red skin. How could anyone afford to look so good all the time? When I was spending $100 a month on products, plus expensive facials – and STILL I could see in my reflection large bumps under the skin. It was awful.
But since then, I have learned that everyone suffers for a reason. It is part of the human condition. No one has the same problems to deal with, but we all have some form of cross to bear. So now – thanks to my husband, Dr. Bacon – I have gained the knowledge I needed to heal my skin from the inside out. Speaking on behalf of Dr. Bob and the rest of the staff here, it is our collective mission to get this knowledge out to the people who need it.
I know now that I’m not alone. In our practice, we see and speak with people all the time who have similar troubles. I don’t always get to give them advice, but if I could, I would say to pay attention to what’s going in your mouth and on your skin. And get help from a holistic practitioner to get access to the healing nutrients and herbs that can literally change you from the inside out.
Healthy Skin is a Mode of Detoxification
Healthy skin is an organ of detoxification as well as the liver, kidneys, bowel and lungs. It is important to remember this biological function of the skin when dealing with skin rashes, eruptions, dermatitis and acne. You can take these symptoms as functional signs that there is some irritant in the system that the body is pushing out. At some point, when your practitioner indicates you are ready, an important process for clearing your skin will be to do a detoxification cleanse. Doing so will help remove toxic burdens from the liver, kidneys, bowel and lungs, thus relieving the detoxification demands on the skin.
Face Mapping for Healthy Skin
This is such a cool concept. I was fascinated when I first found out that you can trace the source of the inflammation to an internal body part, for any chronic sign of inflammation on the face. There are lots of variations on this example face map, but basically, if you are constantly getting breakouts on the forehead, you need to look to digestion and what kind of overgrowth/dysbiosis might be there. And although this one doesn’t show it, breakouts on the chin typically are hormonal/gynecological.
Of course, it is not always so simple. Certainly, there can be multiple complicating factors – do you always sleep on your right side? Do you use a pore-clogging hair product? Do you tend to rest with your face in your hands? But by and large, just about any time I get a sign of inflammation on my face, I can also correlate it to something that has been happening with the body part indicated on the map. As mentioned before, the skin is the window to the gut! And healthy skin means a healthy gut!
Gut Dysbiosis: Bacteria, Yeast, Fungus and Parasites
Yes, there are living organisms in your gut. When in balance, they keep us healthy and happy by producing neurotransmitters, latching on to toxins in the gut, and promoting elimination. But when out of balance, we can develop a slew of problems: constipation, diarrhea, rashes, toenail fungus, bloating, gas and of course, acne. Sometimes you can get a clue in your blood work when you see abnormal immune markers, even though you don’t feel sick. Luckily, we have a whole bunch of tools to deal with gut dysbiosis: Zymex, Spanish Black Radish, Oregano oil and so many other herbs… We even have a powerful parasite cleanse to deal with those sneaky bugs that so often go under the radar. Who here has benefited from the Wormwood Complex tablets? Lucky you!! Back in the day, I had to drink the liquid Wormwood tonic. Possibly our worst tasting herb!
Zinc Deficiency (Thanks, Carbohydrates)
This is such a problem with today’s youth. Everywhere, I see teenagers sucking down sugar-filled coffees and fast food, suffering with acne. Why is this a problem? Because over-consumption of refined sugars eventually leads to trace mineral deficiencies. BTW, refined sugars doesn’t just mean candy – it also includes bagels, waffles, orange juice, pop tarts, granola bars, cereal, bread, pasta…anything that metabolizes like sugar. Alcohol, too. In the refinement process, trace minerals are stripped out of the sugar molecule. When refined sugars are ingested, the body will pull these nutrients from its own organs and tissues to process the sugar. This can cause nutritional deficiencies of zinc, chromium, calcium and B vitamins, which are necessary for the pancreas to produce insulin and enzymes.
Mother Nature packages whole, unprocessed foods with everything they need to be absorbed and utilized by the body. The commercial food industry, however, strips away the life-supporting elements and adds back a few fraudulent chemical nutrients to give a better (more addictive) taste and a longer shelf life. Other problems that can be caused by these trace mineral deficiencies include:
- poor attention and concentration,
- behavioral issues,
- anxiety, and
- sleep issues.
Food Sensitivities Impact Your Skin
If you have a permeable gut lining, you can develop sensitivities to ANY type of food. If you eat the same things over and over, that’s putting you at risk for a sensitivity. Back in the day, no one could have told me that almonds were partly causing my acne. I ate them morning, noon and night, almost every day. They were my favorite food. And my gut lining was wrecked from NSAIDs (that’s another story). But through my first Cleanse, I eliminated all nuts, as well as wheat, dairy, corn, soy and eggs… and my skin got so clear, so fast. Sometimes it’s the food you crave most, especially late at night, that is your biggest sensitivity. Talk to us about how to do an elimination diet – it’s FREE and gives a definite answer!
Favorite Remedies for Healthy Skin
Acne is not really a “quick fix” type of issue. It takes some time and dedication to really create lasting healing. The work may require a few months of avoiding certain foods and using targeted supplementation. It will take time before the internal environment is truly healed. But once you’re on the right track, you should see improvements within just a few days. And the improvements will keep building, as you continue your dedication and do your part with an anti-inflammatory diet.
There are a few remedies I have found that really helped when I needed super-fast improvements. Here are my favorites:
- Our “Clear Skin from Within” Tonic, containing Chaste Tree, Goldenseal, Calendula, Chamomile, Licorice and Gotu Kola herbs
- Pure Haven Essentials and Beauty Counter Non-Toxic products and makeup
- Colloidal silver – pay attention to safety considerations
- Hemorrhoid cream or cooling gel – to shrink swollen tissue
- Visine – to get the redness out
Any sulfur-containing clay mask or nighttime ointment will likely be beneficial. In addition, Spanish Black Radish provides sulfur, too. Sulfur is a necessary nutrient to promote healthy skin growth and repair. It’s a much safer choice than benzoyl peroxide (which can bleach your sheets and cause brown “liver spots” over time on your face). This one is my favorite, and can be found at local Good Nutrition stores:
So there you have it…
So, there you have it… an arsenal of good choices for clearing up and maintaining healthy skin!
Please let us know of any questions you may have!