Mr. Stevens asks:
I have a little rosacea on my face. It flares up mostly during the hot heat of the day and calms some at night, only to repeat the next day. Over the past few years, my Dermatologist has had me try Oracea by mouth, plus Aczone and Finacea as creams. None has worked. They only make my skin peel in the areas I treat, and the redness doesn’t go away. The rest of my body skin is normal. Besides moving to a colder place, can your Aloe #1 cream help? Should it be used at night? I use a sunscreen designed for babies and sensitive skin during the day, and I limit my exposure to the sun, etc. I came upon your site by accident and (am) looking for advice. Thank you …
Dr. Haley’s response:
Whether or not Aloe cream will help, I don’t know. But what I do know is, that when you treat a skin condition with a topical, you are normally only treating the symptoms. That statement might be shocking, coming from someone one who is in the skin cream business — but think about it … most skin conditions that improve with the application of skin creams will revert in their absence. I am not saying it is bad to help the condition topically. But rather, it makes sense to look to the inside for the cure.
Your skin is affected by your digestive system
Most people don’t realize that the skin and gut are related, and to heal one — you must heal the other. The two systems work together to transport nutrients and waste into and out of the body. Just as the surface of the skin is outside of the body, the surface of the gut is also outside of the body… sort of.
Imagine, if you would, holding a balloon filled with air. The air on the inside of the balloon represents the inside of your body — the place where the organs are.
Now, imagine placing your pointer fingers on the edges of the balloon, then pressing them together to meet in the middle. Are your fingers inside or outside of the balloon? (Remember, the inside of the balloon is where the air is.) Technically, your fingers are outside of the balloon. In the same way, the contents of your gut are still outside of your body.
Maybe it will help to think of it this way: Anything that has yet to be absorbed into your bloodstream is still outside of your body. Food does not become a “part of you” until it is broken down and taken into your system. If, for some reason, you vomit up the contents of your stomach (for example), you never really “ate” the food.
Some things should never be eaten
Your gut, like your skin, allows certain things to pass through it in order to get in or out of your body. And it sometimes allows things to pass through that ought not pass, especially when it is in a damaged and/or inflammatory state. This usually is the result of putting things into your gut that should have never been there in the first place — things like foods with pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, food preservatives, artificial colors, artificial flavors, and other chemicals. The most significant offender is probably the antibiotic.
anti – (ˈantī) Opposed to; against.
bio – (ˈbīō) biology; life
Probiotics are necessary for good health
Normally, your body has a balance of good bacteria and bad bacteria. We’ll refer to the good guys as “probiotic bacteria,” and the bad guys as “pathogenic bacteria.” Typically, the probiotic bacteria dominate the upper end of the digestive system, and the pathogenic bacteria stay to the rear.
All of the horrible chemicals we eat enter the mouth and have an effect on the front end of the system, killing off the probiotic bacteria. As the probiotic armies weaken, the pathogenic terrorists work their way up the system and eventually take it over. Suddenly, a once healthy gut is in a state of pathogenic bacteria overgrowth — you now have a damaged gut.
Pathogen overgrowth can lead to intestinal damage
When the gut is damaged, it allows undesirable elements to pass through the gut wall and into the blood stream; we call this a “leaky gut.” This can cause immune system stress and autoimmune symptoms. It can also force the body to attempt to detoxify through the skin. This often results in chronic skin symptoms that are sometimes manageable with topical creams, salves, and ointments — but remain problematic in their absence, since the root cause has never been addressed.
Healing the skin from such chronic irritation begins with healing the gut. This is accomplished by, first, eliminating those things that ought not enter the body. Detoxifying is inevitable when you stop eating the wrong things. Gradually replenishing the normal gut flora through diet — including probiotics and healthy raw cultured probiotic foods — is essential. Healing foods, including chicken or beef stock, Aloe vera gel (sabila), and others, will significantly help. Of course, avoiding the inflammatory foods, especially gluten, is essential.
Approaching rosacea from the inside out
If I were to single out rosacea, further recommendations would include avoiding all unnatural ingredients, foods with preservatives, chlorinated water, highly allergenic foods, and caffeine. It is also important to develop a means of handling stress. I would likely further treat the skin externally with a cool soothing natural aloe cream, making sure to choose a cream free of toxic preservatives and skin irritants.
Sudden and drastic changes in your diet should only be done under the council of a qualified physician. Look for a certified GAPS practitioner. the GAPS Book is also quite helpful.
I can’t promise that healing your gut will cure you of rosacea. I suspect the worst that could happen, however, should you approach the problem from the inside out, is that your health would improve and your symptoms decrease.
Should you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.
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