It never ceases to amaze me that people attack each other on the basis of skin. Attacking others on the basis of their skin color makes about as much sense as hating someone because they’re wearing a shirt of a different color.
As an immune component, your skin maintains a bacterial flora which protects it just like the bacterial in your gut protects it. If we disrupt this bacterial barrier, we can see various skin diseases following. No different than upsetting your bowel flora. This can happen if we try to create too great a level of sterility. Hygiene is important, but excessive hand washing can actually create skin damage.
Your skin maintains a barrier against fluid loss. This is accomplished partially by a lipid or fat layer. If we expose our skin to solvents which can destroy fats, the skin can begin to leak toxic elements across cell walls and eventually harm the internal body. This is something which mechanics frequently experience when they’ve had their hands in solvent tanks, breaking down the integrity of skin, resulting in their inner tissues being exposed to their potentially toxic environment.
Your skin is the largest eliminatory organ of your body, and assists all other body functions in maintaining your body’s natural balance. Your skin assists kidney and bowel function in maintaining fluid balance. Perspiration causes loss of vital fluids while evaporation cools the body. In your perspiration, not only are you losing water, but critical minerals, required for healthy tissue function. This is why hydration and mineral replacement is important, and more so in hot weather.
You produce vitamin D in the presence of sunlight from the cholesterol in your skin. Healthy oils are critical to maintain skin health and integrity. A lack of unsaturated fats can create dry, cracked skin, and can actually advance skin cancer when exposed to ultraviolet light. When in the sun, we require the good oils to offset the effects of the increased vitamin D generated by sun exposure. Excess vitamin D increases serum calcium at the expense of tissues, allowing them to be easily damaged. Poly-unsaturated fatty acids direct calcium into your tissues, protecting them from damage. These include wheat germ oil, flax oil, borage seed oil, and evening primrose oil.
When calcium levels are depleted in the tissues, they become more damageable. One symptom of calcium depletion in the skin can be itching. Severe calcium depletion in the skin can cause hives and can allow the herpes virus, already in the tissues, to manifest with the painful lesions which drive herpes sufferers into doctor’s offices.
Protecting your skin is crucial, and not that hard to do if you just use common sense. Low fat diets and use of wrong fats can starve your skin of vital nutrients which maintain skin health. Many prepared foods contain trans-fats, also known as hydrogenated. These fats actually break down the healthy fats in your tissues, damaging both skin and nerves.
Your clothing can affect skin health. Your skin breathes and must be allowed to do so. Wearing synthetic clothing can reduce healthy skin function. Since funguses thrive in low oxygen environments, preventing air flow to the skin can promote various fungal infections which typically occur in folds of skin where there’s dampness and lack of oxygen. This is why sweaty feet that don’t get good airing out can promote athletes foot. (I remember spending time teaching microscopic lab procedure to a doctor in Hawaii a few years back. Wearing shorts, Hawaiian shirt and bare feet in his clinic. It was heavenly. I could really get used to that lifestyle.)
Because your skin has a natural bacterial flora which is not compatible with the inside of your body, disruption of the skin provides a potential of seeding the inside of your body with bacteria that can potentially create severe problems. This is why protecting open wounds is important, and washing your hands before preparing food and eating helps to prevent disease.
Your skin provides a reflection of overall health. It has many functions and can directly absorb various elements. Since the cell walls have a fat layer, it actively absorbs any compound that contains a lipid component. Most pesticide and herbicide sprays have an emulsification agent which increases it’s transport through your skin. This is why these chemicals are so dangerous. It’s not so much what you inhale that makes you sick. It’s what gets on your skin that actually enters your system and damages your entire body. Protect and nourish your skin.