* Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)
People who suffer from acne, dermatitis and psoriasis may suffer from an imbalanced immune system and intestinal flora. Once these imbalances are corrected by eating the proper foods and rebalancing the digestive tract with HSOs found in Primal Primal Defense, the symptoms of even the most serious skin disorders have greatly improved.
Acne is a disorder resulting from the action of hormones on the skin's oil glands (sebaceous glands), which leads to plugged pores and outbreaks of lesions commonly called pimples or zits. Acne lesions usually occur on the face, neck, back, chest and shoulders. Nearly 17 million people in the United States have acne, making it the most common skin disease. Although acne is not a serious health threat, severe ance can lead to disfiguring, permanent scarring, which can be upsetting to people who are affected by the disorder.
The exact cause of acne is unknown, but doctors believe it results from several related factors. One important factor is an increase in hormones called androgens (male sex hormones). These increase in both boys and girls during puberty and cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and make more sebum. Hormonal changes related to pregnancy or starting or stopping birth control pills can also cause acne.
Another factor is heredity or genetics. Researchers believe that the tendency to develop acne can be inherited from parents. For example, studies have shown that many school-age boys with acne have a family history of the disorder. Certain drugs, including androgens and lithium, are known to cause acne. Greasy cosmetics may alter the cells of the follicles and make them stick together, producing a plug.
Many nutrition researchers believe that the outer appearance of the skin is directly related to the health of the digestive tract and immune system. An imbalance in intestinal flora and increased gut permeability (leaky gut syndrome) are almost always found in those suffering from acne. By following the diet and supplement recommendations in this book the symptoms of acne should greatly improve.
Atopic Dermatitis (Dermatitis, Eczema)
Atopic dermatitis is often referred to as eczema, which is a general term for the many types of dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis is the most common of the many types of eczema.
Atopic dermatitis is a chronic (long-lasting) disease that affects the skin. The word dermatitis means inflammation of the skin. Atopic refers to a group of diseases that are hereditary (that is, fun in families) and often occur together, including asthma, allergies such as hay fever, and atopic dermatitis. In atopic dermatitis, the skin becomes extremely itchy and inflamed, causing redness, swelling, cracking, weeping, crusting, and scaling. Atopic dermatitis most often affects infants and young children, but it can continue into adulthood or even show up first later in life. In most cases, there are periods of time when the disease is worse, called exacerbations or flares, followed by periods when the skin improves or clears up entirely, called remissions. Many children with atopic dermatitis will experience remission of the disease when they get older, although their skin often remains dry and easily irritated. Environmental factors can bring on symptoms of atopic dermatitis at any time in the lives of individuals who have inherited the atopic disease trait.
Psoriasis is a chronic (long-term) skin disease characterized by scaling and inflammation. Scaling occurs when cells in the outer layer of the skin reproduce faster than normal and pile up on the skin's surface.
Psoriasis affects between one and two percent of the United States population, or about 5.5 million people. Although the disease occurs in all age groups and about equally in men and women, it primarily affects adults. People with psoriasis may suffer discomfort, including pain and itching, restricted motion in their joints, and emotional distress.
In its most typical form, psoriasis results in patches of thick, red skin covered with silvery scales. These patches, which are sometimes referred to as plaques, usually itch and may burn. The skin at the joints may crack. Psoriasis most often occurs on the elbow, knees, scalp, lower back, face, palms, and soles of the feet but it can affect any skin site. The disease may also affect the fingernails, the toenails, and the soft tissues inside the mouth and genitalia. About 15 percent of people with psoriasis have joint inflammation that produces arthritis symptoms. This condition is called psoriatic arthritis.
Recent research indicates that psoriasis is likely a disorder of the immune system. This system includes a type of white blood cell, called a T-cell, that normally helps protect the body against infection and disease. Scientists now think that, in psoriasis, an abnormal immune system causes activity by T-cells in the skin. These T- cells trigger the inflammation and excessive skin cell reproduction seen in people with psoriasis.
In about one-third of the cases, psoriasis is inherited. Researchers are studying large families affected by psoriasis to identify a gene or genes that cause the disease. (Genes govern every bodily function and determine the inherited traits passed from parent to child.)
People with psoriasis may notice that there are times when their skin worsens, then improves. Conditions that may cause flare-ups include changes in climate, infections, stress, and dry skin. Also, certain medicines, most notably beta-blockers, which are used to treat high blood pressure, and lithium or drugs used to treat depression, may trigger an outbreak or worsen the disease.