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Addressing the Root Causes of Chronic Skin Issues

Chronic skin diseases are more common than we may believe.  As many as one in three Americans are facing a chronic skin disease at any given time where most non trauma-related skin issues are relapsing and remitting. The good news is that we are not alone when it comes to suffering from skin issues.  The bad news is conventional medicine doesn’t usually address the root cause which leads to our quality of life being negatively impacted. 

From acne to mysterious rashes, our skin is the magnifying glass of what is actually going on inside your body.  On the surface, the skin may show signs of irritation, infection, and inflammation in the most unpleasant ways. Constant itching and scratching can drive anyone crazy, but chronic conditions can really get under our skin (pun intended). It’s also common to notice new rashes, bumps, or blemishes and worry that it might be an indication of something more serious. 

We will cover the basics of skin issues and useful tips for treating chronic skin conditions. As we know, our skin is a protective shield responsible for keeping harmful microbes out, regulating body  temperature, and allowing the body to retain fluids and preventing dehydration. Since skin is the largest and most visible organ of the body, it acts as an indication of our health, letting us know there is a problem that needs closer attention. 

Common Chronic Skin Conditions 

One of the most easily recognizable signs of chronic skin conditions is a recurring rash. A rash can look like an inflamed red patch of skin or a group of bumps or spots, which can be caused by irritation, an underlying allergy, infection, continually blocked pores, or an underlying disease hidden deep inside the body. Different types of rashes include acne, dermatitis, eczema, hives, pityriasis rosacea, and psoriasis.

Eczema

Eczema (also called dermatitis) is an inflammatory skin disorder that results in dry, itchy skin turning red. It can even cause the skin to weep, bleed and crust over. Eczema and dermatitis are often used to describe the same condition but to varying degrees. Dermatitis indicates a more acute to subacute flare-up while eczema indicates more chronic skin inflammation. The most commonly affected skin areas include the folds of the arms, the back of the knees, wrists, hands, and the face.

Dermatitis is the most frequently occurring skin rash. Causes can be topical irritants such as perfumes, soaps, detergent, cosmetics, dyes, mold, animal hair, pollen, temperature shifts, dust (or dust mites), metals, chemicals, latex, wool, synthetic fibers, or mineral oils. 

Skin Infections

Skin infections can be caused by a virus, bacteria, or fungus. They can infect the uppermost, also known as superficial, to deeper layers of skin. Some viral skin infections are herpes, shingles, and warts that typically remain contained within a certain area. Bacterial infections, if left untreated, can spread to other parts of the body. Examples of bacterial skin infections include folliculitis, cellulitis, and tick-borne rashes. A few examples of fungal skin infections are athlete’s foot, jock itch, and ringworm.

Antibiotics are typically the first measure used to treat infections. Unfortunately, because they weaken the immune system in the long run, antibiotics can increase the risk of many other complications such as a serious infection, recurrent skin issues and even death if rare cases. 

Treating Chronic Skin Conditions 

Sometimes we come into contact with something that irritates our skin, but may not recognize the connection afterwards. Once the rash starts making a regular appearance, it can become a frustrating guessing game. But, we should follow Martin Luther King, Jr’s words, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose finite hope.”  

All chronic skin conditions can be reversed if addressed at its root cause. Although many topical skin treatments including lotions, ointments, creams, antibiotics, and antifungal agents are available for temporary itch relief and superficial inflammation, it is important to know these topical treatments do not address the root of the problem and can become addictive with long-term use. Here are some tips of what you can do to treat chronic skin conditions from the inside out:

 

It’s important to note that dietary changes alone are not sufficient to address inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and even acne. It is best to combine complementary chronic skin condition treatments to relieve symptoms and effectively reach the root of the problem.

Be Proactive About Treating Chronic Skin Issues 

When skin issues arise, do not wait for the skin issue to resolve on its own. If you have been doing everything you can to no avail (or feel overwhelmed and just don’t know what to do), you may need some more professional guidance to get to the bottom of your chronic skin condition. Integrative functional medicine physician, Dr. Payal Bhandari, M.D blends diagnostic and medical expertise with evidence-based complementary therapies for people with chronic diseases. By better understanding the root causes of your rash, we can define a personalized treatment that helps resolve the rash permanently. Dr. Bhandari prescribes a personalized treatment plan that will drive quick and effective positive results. She will guide you through how your symptoms can be directly impacted by your lifestyle and other environmental factors. Dr. Bhandari has helped thousands transition to sustainably healthy living. She loves to help people take back control of their health through simple tips that empower us.

 

 

Photo credit: Itch photo created by freepik (www.freepik.com)

 

Author
Payal Bhandari M.D. Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. is one of U.S.'s top leading integrative functional medical physicians and the founder of San Francisco' top ranked medical center, SF Advanced Health. Her well-experienced holistic healthcare team collaborates together to deliver whole-person personalized care and combines the best in Western and Eastern medicine. By being an expert of cell function, Dr. Bhandari defines the root cause of illness and is able to subside any disease within weeks to months. She specializes in cancer prevention and reversal, digestive & autoimmune disorders. Dr. Bhandari received her Bachelor of Arts degree in biology in 1997 and Doctor of Medicine degree in 2001 from West Virginia University. She the completed her Family Medicine residency in 2004 from the University of Massachusetts and joined a family medicine practice in 2005 which was eventually nationally recognized as San Francisco’s 1st patient-centered medical home. To learn more, go to www.sfadvancedhealth.com.

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