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Healthy Skin

The health of the skin is dependent on the nutrients it receives from the blood vessels in the underlying tissues. A characteristic of the skin is that it's particularly susceptible to outside influences, such as:

Deficiencies of many vitamins and minerals result in skin changes and a considerable number of skin diseases can be treated using nutritional methods which get to the root of the problem.

Information is presented below on on the following conditions:

Acne

Acne is caused largely by the overproduction of sebum, an oily substance that causes the pores of the skin to become blocked, resulting in spots or pimples. They are found on the face, though they may extend to the shoulders, back, arms and chest. The condition is particularly common in the adolescent years due to hormonal changes.

It is thought that acne may be caused by deficiencies of:

Other factors associated with acne include:

What you can do to help

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a non-contagious skin condition that commonly affects the knees, elbow and scalp but it may occur in other areas (although rarely on the face). Bright pink, raised patches covered with white scales appear on the skin. The complaint is caused by an over production of the epidermal cells and may be triggered by stress.

Some cases of psoriasis are made worse by:

What you can do to help

Eczema

Eczema involves inflamed and itchy skin. The skin becomes red, flaky and may develop tiny blisters. There are many types of eczema including:

Some of the common causes of eczema are:

What you can do to help

Alter what you eat to eliminate foods that you may be sensitive to. These can include:

Additionally, it may be very helpful to:

Remember that fish oils and evening primrose oil have been shown to reduce itching and generally improve the condition in a large percentage of sufferers.

Cold sores

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. These painful blisters appear around the mouth. The virus may lie dormant in the body and only flare up when the immune system is under stress. Cold sores are contagious and care should be taken not to spread them to other parts of the body or to other people.

Cold sores are usually precipitated by:

What you can do to help

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References

Bland, J. 1996, Contemporary Nutrition. J & B Associates.

Davies, S. and A. Stewart., 1997, Nutritional Medicine. Pan.

Holden, S., Hudson, K., Tilman, J. & D. Wolf, 2003, The Ultimate Guide to Health from Nature. Asrolog Publication.

Pressman, A. and S. Buff, 2000, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. (2nd Ed.) Alpha Books.

Soothill, R. 1996, The Choice Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. A Choice Book Publication.

Sullivan, K. 2002, Vitamins and Minerals: A Practical Approach to a Health Diet and Safe Supplementation. Harper Collins.

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In the treatment of skin diseases, emphasis has been placed on the use of creams and ointments applied directly on the area of the skin affected. While this undoubtedly has value, it also has distinct limitations. Little importance has been placed on the role of nutritional factors in skin quality. The information on this page goes some way to correcting this.