Healing wisdom from our skin guru

Diane Lehto Skin therapistWhen it comes to optimising your skin’s healing, there isn’t always one single, easy solution. Our health is multifaceted, and as our skin is our largest organ, its healing is reflective of our overall internal health and wellbeing – as well as external factors.

Following an intensive treatment or procedure, sometimes we see patients make great progress initially, only to find their healing stalls or plateaus. This can be frustrating and disconcerting, especially when the patient is doing all the right things but still not getting the recovery they’d hoped for. In many cases, upon further examination, these healing issues coincide with stressors such as returning to work, relationship problems or anxiety and depression.

Research has proven a link between healing and our state of mind, as well as gut health and nutrition; I have included links to some interesting articles below. These factors can both boost, and slow, the process of skin healing.

When I look at managing or healing eczema, rosacea or acne, it is not just about applying the right serum or moisturiser. A holistic approach that examines our experiences, gut health and environment all plays a big part in the healing journey.

Some helpful areas for self-reflection that I encourage all of my skin treatment patients to consider include:

Stress/nervous system:
Optimal healing can’t happen when we are feeling emotionally stressed or disconnected. Do you hold onto deep emotions or energy? Do you speak to yourself with kindness – or have you been too hard on yourself lately? When was the last time you were able to connect with your loved ones? If you don’t find these feelings are resolved by taking some time out for yourself or reaching our to the people around you, speak to your GP or trusted healthcare provider about seeing a professional to explore this further.

Gut health/skin microbiome:
Our gut can be destabilised by many different factors including topical steroids or antibiotic use, stress, diet, alcohol or medication. If your skin looks and feels inflamed, the gut is one of the first places we look to, and patients often also report concurrent digestive issues such as persistent bloating, constipation, indigestion and unhealthy food cravings. Research has demonstrated the connection between healing, inflammatory responses and our body’s microbiome, so see a nutritionist or naturopath to discuss the options available to you.

Nutrition:
The processed foods in modern diets leave many people with mineral or micronutrient deficiencies. If your diet does not include a wide variety of whole plant based foods, spices and herbs – and your body is not getting the right balance of protein, carbs, fats and omegas, it won’t heal optimally. Identifying food intolerances and aversions can also be very helpful. Again, see your nutritionist or naturopath to ensure your diet is not compromising your skin health.

When we take a holistic approach to skin health, we can then begin to truly heal skin complaints and align our internal health with our external appearance. Everything works in synergy and complements each other.

If you have been struggling with your ‘skin confidence’ and finding that nothing has been working, please come in and have a chat with me, as I would love to find a way to support you through your skin journey. With time, and patience, I will work with you to overcome these roadblocks together!

Diane Lehto, skin therapist, The Sharp Clinic