We’re used to hearing about our skin in connection with beauty, rather than health. The Skin however, is a remarkably complex organ (it is the largest organ of the body), which reflects our total health. Treatment for common skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, eczema and rosacea, therefore, often include a closer look at what’s going inside the body, especially at the digestive system and the liver; In addition we need to recognise the effects of factors such as injury, over-exposure to sunlight, environmental pollution (including cosmetics and household cleaning products, damp and mould, WiFi, LED light and traffic emissions), smoking and diet. Experts at the College of Naturopathic Medicine share their top tips:- Get a naturopathic diagnosis According to naturopathy, conditions of the skin point to an imbalance in the body: Oily skin (where the sebaceous glands become overactive) – try a liver detox/diet Excessively dry/flaky skin – deficiency of blood or body fluids and essential fatty acids Sweaty/clammy palms – irregularity of adrenal glands Cracked skin – lack of vitamins A and C, zinc and essential fatty acids Hard skin – lack of essential fatty acids Thin skin – can occur from long-term steroid use. Bioflavonoids, especially rutin, could help Get your nutrients The quality and health of the skin and its repair and rejuvenation processes require specific anti-oxidant nutrients such as vitamin A. This nutrient is necessary for healing and construction of new skin tissue and, alongside the other anti-oxidants, vitamins C & E, the minerals zinc & selenium, and the B vitamins, is important in helping protect against free radical damage, stress-related skin conditions. It is also required in all cellular functions that help maintain healthy skin. Zinc, levels of which are often found to be lower in people who suffer from acne, is particularly important to skin health. This key mineral is involved in wound healing, immune system activity, inflammation control and tissue regeneration. Alongside vitamin B6 and magnesium, it supports normal hormone production. Cool down with acupuncture According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) skin diseases may be classified as ‘hot’ conditions, which often correspond to an inflammatory or hormonal disturbance. Acne for example, is often considered as ‘heat in the stomach’ (caused by food and drinks, which are heating, such as fried food, spices, alcohol, drugs, and junk food). Eczema is considered as ‘heat in the blood’, which may be caused by environmental toxins (including medications), stress or hormonal disturbances. Rosacea, on the other hand, may be caused by ‘kidney yin deficiency’, often corresponding to menopausal or hormonal problems in western medicine. For any kind of skin disorder, acupuncture can help cool the body down by altering the hormonal balance, calming the patient, and reducing the amount of adrenaline in the system. There are also many specific acupuncture points, which can reduce itching immediately.