Young girl with skin problem (acne) on her back

Natural Remedies for Taking Care of Your Skin

Many are afflicted with skin conditions throughout their lives. Nature provides an astounding number of plants and substances that can help heal your skin and restore a healthy balance

The skin is the largest organ of the body, totaling 20 square feet, and acts as an important facet of your health as a protective barrier of your body. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) in your skin controls the proper and well-balanced care of skin cells (growth, differentiation, survival and immunity), but when the balance is disrupted, multiple pathological conditions and skin diseases can occur, such as: Acne Eczema (atopic or allergic dermatitis) Pruritus (itchy skin) Psoriasis Seborrheic dermatitis (flaky scalp) Alopecia (hair growth disorders) Necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating skin disease) Systemic sclerosis (hardened skin and organs) Cancer Ten of the most common skin conditions are:

Acne Rosacea (red patches) Eczema (red itchy rash) Moles/cancer Hives Psoriasis (itchy, flaky skin) Athlete’s foot  Candidiasis (yeast infections) Shingles (herpes zoster) Cold sores (herpes simplex virus) Skin Balance Both external conditions and internal issues, from viruses and bacteria to allergies and environmental factors like harsh chemicals and perfumes in household products, can disrupt the balance of your skin. For example, 90% of all food allergies come from the “Big 8” (milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and crustacean shellfish) and can trigger skin redness, hives or eczema and cause breathing issues, nausea, diarrhea or chest pain.[iv] Avoiding these foods is a safe way to prevent allergic reactions. Some of the top scientifically researched alternative treatments to naturally restore your skin’s balance include turmeric/curcumin, cannabis, tea tree oil, propolis (bee glue), aloe, vitamins/minerals, plant extracts, honey and black seed oil. Turmeric/Curcumin A meta-analysis of 18 studies shows scientific evidence that turmeric/curcumin products (oral and topical) may provide therapeutic benefits for skin diseases including: Acne Baldness Eczema Facial photoaging Oral lichen planus (lesions in mouth) Pruritus (itchy skin) Psoriasis Radio dermatitis (side effects of cancer treatment radiotherapy) Vitiligo (loss of skin color in blotches) Turmeric was very helpful for flaky scalps as well.[vi] Cannabis Research suggests the cannabis plant and its cannabidiol (CBD) oil combine lipostatic (stops overproduction of oil in the skin), anti-proliferative and anti-inflammatory properties, which are effective in treating acne.[vii] Researchers are finding that cannabinoids have a role in inflammatory and neoplastic (tumor-growing) skin diseases. Data also suggests that of the cannabis family, cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabigerovarin (CBGV) have more potential to treat dry-skin syndromes like eczema or psoriasis, whereas cannabichromene (CBC), cannabidivarin (CBDV) and especially tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) show promise to become highly efficient against acne; phytocannabinoids also could help manage cutaneous inflammations (skin, hair, nails). Using a 3% cannabis seed extract cream was shown to be safe and to significantly reduce overly oily and red skin, which could effectively treat acne and flaky scalp conditions. Tea Tree Oil, Propolis and Aloe Use of tea tree oil significantly improved mild to moderate acne and was also well tolerated. Tea tree oil had slower onset of results but was as effective as benzoyl peroxide with fewer side effects (nausea, trouble breathing, rash, itching/swelling, severe dizziness) for acne. Researchers found a cream containing 20% propolis extract, 3% tea tree oil and 10% aloe vera was as effective as the antibiotic cream erythromycin in treating acne, but without the toxicity and harmful effects of antibiotics. A cream containing propolis also had a significant positive effect on recurrent herpes and shingles. Tea tree oil has been found to have anti-inflammatory, anti-itch and superior scabicidal (mite-killing) properties, as well as being less costly, when compared with widely used treatments for mite bites such as permethrin cream and ivermectin. Tea tree oil is also recommended as a natural treatment for candida infections. Although the aloe extract of A. ferox was superior to that of A. vera in reducing skin inflammation, both are useful alternatives to antihistamines and topical corticosteroids for the treatment of patients suffering from recurring chronic acne.

Vitamins and Minerals Deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals have been associated with skin conditions. Due to its immune properties, vitamin D modifies disease susceptibility, symptoms and evolving complications (nerve pain) during treatment of shingles. In addition, vitamin D had a positive effect on the progress of melanoma cancer and the severity of eczema.

Vitamin C has also been found to have positive therapeutic benefits in porphyria cutanea tarda (a blood disorder affecting the skin), eczema, malignant melanoma, and shingles and its resultant nerve pain.

Supplementation with both vitamins D and E in a randomized trial of 45 eczema patients showed highly beneficial results. Taking vitamin E orally helped eczema symptoms decrease with no side effects. A vitamin and mineral mix of nicotinamide (vitamin B3), zinc, copper and folic acid (B9) showed the same improvement in symptoms for acne and rosacea as oral antibiotic creams.

Plant Extracts

Plant extracts from Usnea (lichen moss from Africa), Rosmarinus (rosemary), Salvia (sage), Boswellia (Indian frankincense from the Boswellia serrata tree) and Harpagophytum (devil’s claw from the desert regions of southern Africa) proved to be effective against a panel of bacteria affecting the skin and successful as topical treatments for skin disorders, including acne and eczema.

Honey

Honey has been used throughout the centuries for its healing and antibacterial properties. More recently, a case study shows honey as a cheap, readily available and very effective oral wound cleanser that overcomes the common resistance to antibiotics, makes wound cleansing less painful, heals faster and eliminates drug-related side effects due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

In some cases, honey may even remove the need for plastic surgery for necrotizing fasciitis (fast-spreading disorder resulting in tissue and skin loss). Honey has also been a remarkable treatment for skin conditions including scalp itch/rash and chronic dandruff.

Black Seed Oil

In the article “Skin Healing Properties of Black Seed Oil,” studies are cited showing black seed oil effectively treated psoriasis, eczema, athlete’s foot, acne, common skin cancers and vitiligo. Massaging black seed oil directly into the skin, as a moisturizer, helps restore healthy skin and reduce effects of aging.

Natural Treatments for the Skin

Although there are hundreds of diseases and conditions of the skin, many skin disorders can benefit from natural substances and alternative treatments. Plants (tea tree, black seed, aloe, cannabis, rosemary, sage, turmeric) and honey have natural skin-healing properties.

Taking vitamins (B complex, C, D and E) and minerals (zinc and copper) can restore the skin’s protective ability. For additional scientific research, see:

AcneRosacea
EczemaPsoriasis
Moles/skin cancerCandida infections
Athlete’s footHives
ShinglesCold sores

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