How To Heal Your Skin

From Dr. Mark Hyman, Author of Eat Fat, Get Thin

Simply put, most skin problems serve as a sign that your body is inflamed. The solution is figuring out what’s going wrong inside your body and reducing that inflammation. Unfortunately, traditional medicine has us slathering potentially dangerous potions onto our skin to treat the symptom without identifying the cause.

As I said, the root cause of eczema is a disturbance within your immune system. Your body is overreacting to something that is attacking you from the inside. Many people don’t make the connection between gut issues and immunity. But over two-thirds of your immune system resides inside your gut. Small changes in the intestinal tract from multiple insults (such as too many antibiotics, aspirin, acid-blocking drugs, ibuprofen, stress, infections, food sensitivities or even toxins) allow food particles to enter your bloodstream which get exposed to your immune system and create systemic havoc.

There are plenty of culprits. For example, chemicals and other weird additives found in creams, lotions and detergents can certainly trigger eczema. But in my experience, I’ve found there’s a more adverse reaction to these topical substances when your body is out of balance.

Try an elimination diet. The two most common and harmful food sensitivities are gluten and dairy. My 10-Day Detox Diet eliminates these along with sugary, processed foods, resulting in reduced inflammation in just 10 days.

Incorporate anti-inflammatory nutrients and foods. Eat plenty of wild-caught fish and  a colorful array of plant foods.  Use spices, like turmeric, liberally. And incorporate fish oil and curcumin – two of my favorite anti-inflammatory supplements – into your daily routine.

Normalize gut flora. Restoring normal gut flora reduces overall immune activation and many inflammatory diseases including asthma, eczema, rhinitis and inflammatory bowel disease. Prebiotics, probiotics and digestive enzymes are among the things I use to normalize healthy gut flora. Please keep in mind it may be necessary to work with a Functional Medicine practitioner to address gut issues, but you can start immediately on your own by removing food sensitivities and incorporating gut-healing nutrients.

Use the right supplements. The protocol I use to reduce eczema includes fish oil, evening primrose oil, and vitamins D and A. You can find all these supplements in my store.

Get sufficient sleep. No surprise: Studies show sleep loss fuels the flames of inflammation, exacerbating eczema and other conditions. That’s among the many reasons you want to aim for eight hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep every night.

Exercise regularly. Studies show regular exercise reduces inflammation and boosts your immune system.  Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned pro, make it your own.

Control stress levels. Besides making you absolutely miserable, studies link chronic stress levels with inflammation. Whether you do meditation, deep breathing, yoga or another form of stress reduction, make it a priority and do it regularly.

Before you take another pill or apply another toxic lotion, try these seven strategies to help you eliminate eczema; and who knows, like many of my patients, you might also discover unexpected bonuses like weight loss and increased energy.

Want more from Dr. Mark Hyman? Read this guide to going gluten-free the healthy way and find out what he told us about healthy fats. Then see which vitamins you should be taking every day! 

The New Potato and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease or ailment. All content on The New Potato (even when supplied by a medical professional) is intended for educational and conversational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or healthcare provider before beginning any new diet, exercise regime, or wellness routine.