We tend to think of our gut and our skin as two separate things – but really, they are one connected surface! Any gut disorder will immediately map itself onto your skin. If you want to achieve clear, glowing, radiant skin, the easiest and most efficient way to accomplish that is to improve your gut health.
Steroids are frequently over-used and used improperly. The National Eczema Society has this warning on its website: Do not use daily TCS (topical corticosteroids) continuously for more than two to four weeks — then the frequency should be tapered to twice weekly use. Your provider should strive to help create a safe and effective long-term treatment plan that does not include daily use of topical corticosteroids. https://nationaleczema.org/warnings-for-topical-steroids-eczema/)
If you use steroids continuously or too frequently, you run the risk of Topical Corticosteroid Addiction, also known as RSS or Red Skin Syndrome. You can read more about this painful and difficult condition here: itsan.org.
Recent skin has demonstrated that eczema – along with psoriasis, rosacea and acne – is not just a skin condition, but is actually an autoimmune disorder1, that stem from the gut. This is why these issues can be so difficult to clear – you can apply endless amounts of steroids or topical ointments, and never resolve the problem – because the problem is not actually the skin, but the gut! You must heal the gut, to clear the skin.
Autoimmune disorders occur when your immune system – four-fifths of which sits inside the gut – turns on itself inappropriately, and mistakenly attacks your body.2 Eczema is part of an autoimmune “allergic march” that frequently includes hay fever, allergies, food intolerances, IBS, depression and/or anxiety.
Why does this happen? It’s largely due to the stresses and chemicals that surround us in modern life. Your immune system is controlled by your gut microbiome, which is comprised of trillions of living bacteria. This natural ecosystem – like any natural ecosystem – is fragile and can be easily damaged.
The things that damage your internal ecosystem are sugar, antibiotics, stress and environmental toxins, like the ones in common household cleaners or personal care products. The average woman “hosts” over 515 unique chemicals by the time she steps out of the bathroom in the morning. Many of these compounds leach into your system and alter your DNA, making your cells unrecognisable to one another.3 This is the origin of autoimmune, or “friendly fire,” when your immune system turns on itself. It is also, perhaps, the reason why 78% of the people who suffer autoimmune disorders are women.4
So, what can you do to restore healthy, glowing skin and protect yourself from autoimmune disorders including eczema, arthritis, obesity, diabetes, colitis, Crohn’s Disease, anxiety and depression?
- Drink therapeutic-grade kefir daily. This natural multi-strain probiotic drink will help restore and repair the living ecosystem inside your gut. Choose an unflavoured, unsweetened kefir made with real kefir grains, for maximum benefit. Note: sweetened “supermarket kefirs” often do more harm than good to the gut, because of the sweeteners and flavourings they contain. Avoid kefir made with cow’s milk, as it contains the A1 casein which is allergenic, inflammatory and can trigger autoimmune conditions and skin disorders.
- Take a complete prebiotic daily. If you imagine that kefir “put the fish in the fish tank,” then prebiotics “feed the fish.” Gut bugs eat fibre, and each variety of gut bug consumes a different type of fibre. It’s difficult to get all those different exotic types of fibre into your diet, so a combined prebiotic powder is an efficient and easy option to improve gut health.
- Take a microbiome test. This recently developed cutting-edge technology allows you to find out exactly what is going on inside your gut, and gives you a personalised list of foods that you need to eat, in order to boost your gut microbiome.
- Go green and clean with your beauty products. Clean out your bathroom cupboards! Take a good hard look at every product that touches your skin, and throw out anything that contains ingredients you can’t pronounce. Replace with items that are free from any dyes, perfumes, petrochemicals, parabens or phthalates.
- Use the natural healing power of herbs. Herbs like chickweed, chamomile, nettle, yarrow and calendula all protect and soothe both the gut and the skin, helping to soothe the itch of eczema. Drinking three cups daily of a herbal tea like our Skin Rescue Tea, as well as putting it into a therapeutic bath, will aid your healing from the inside and outside, naturally.
Shann Nix Jones is a nutritional advisor, gut health expert, and best selling author on the topic of gut health.