Around this time of year, patients start to comment on their itching, red, and scaling dry skin. The forced air heat from our heaters that we start to turn on this time of year is known to dry out our skin. Psoriasis and Eczema are common skin conditions that cause redness, scaling, itching and painful skin but many people suffer from a lesser form of dry skin.
I look at a skin condition as a symptom of an underlying condition of inflammation. Inflammation of the skin may be due to food sensitivities or a malabsorption issue of the nutrients that we need to keep our skin healthy. I perform food sensitivity testing through blood antibody testing.
Although it is best to find the cause of the skin condition it is often necessary to give topical relief. Topical creams that contain our Oregon state flower, Oregon Grape, have been shown to help irritated skin due to Oregon Grape’s anti inflammatory properties. Aloe Vera gel can also be very soothing as can oat meal baths in cooler bath water.
As I mentioned, malabsorption of nutrients, such as healthy fats, can dry out our skin. Some people have low digestive enzymes and need to supplement with enzymes capsules that can help them digest those healthy fats. Enzyme production can be tested via blood as well. Omega 3 Fatty Acid supplements can also help with many skin conditions. Omega 3 Fatty Acids are in fish, nuts, seeds and spinach to name a few foods.
Cooler air and humidity can also help treat dry skin. Having a humidifier in your bedroom at night while you are sleeping or running the humidifier at your work office can put some moisture in the air and help our skin. Be sure to change the filter of a humidifier often as they can develop mold easily.
If you have an questions or concerns about your skin, please feel free to call the office for an in person, telemedicine or phone visit.
Michelle K. Jackson