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From Infancy to Adulthood- A Deeper Look at Common Skin Conditions

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Author:  Dr. Verna Hunt, BSc DC ND Toronto ON
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From Infancy to Adulthood- A Deeper Look at Common Skin Conditions
The skin is the largest organ in the body and has many functions. Nutrients and toxins can enter the body through the skin, and toxins exit through the skin. The skin defines our physical exterior barrier. It contains parts of the nervous system, acupuncture system and many reflexes that can be used in one area to assess and treat another area.

Cleansing, detoxification and naturopathic remedies work effectively to relieve symptoms safely while underlying causes are being determined and treated. These remedies do not suppress the problem, which often occurs with steroids and other pharmaceuticals. For example, young children and babies that are applied with steroid creams for eczema and psoriasis often develop asthma. Colour therapy can be used to assist in the process of resolving skin disorders.

Babies can have many skin issues that can appear and disappear quickly. Baby ‘acne’ is usually seen on the face and often relates to mal-digestion of what is in the breast milk, formula or food. If the breast-feeding mother is eating something that she is not fully digesting and the baby is not digesting in the milk these white ‘pimple’-like spots may occur. When you find these spots, roughness on the back of the upper arms or crepe paper like skin, it may be due to mother’s breast milk being deficient in essential healthy oils or lack of absorption. Treating the mother improves the quality of her milk and therefore a healthier baby. Remedies can also be safely added to formulas when breast-feeding is not an option.

Babies have many types of rashes that are often exacerbated with teething, introduction of new foods, vaccinations and laundry detergents. Many people insist in putting fabric softeners and fluffs sheets in their laundry. These are carcinogenic and should never be used by anyone let alone on diapers and baby clothes. Anti-static balls or eco-friendly sheets can be put in the dryer for the same effect.

Children demonstrate many insufficiencies via the skin. Dry skin, along with straw like hair is commonly seen, as children often do not eat enough good oils. While parents are eating cold pressed olive oil on salads children are often eating raw vegetables with prepared dips. Non-commercial dips are healthier, easy and cheaper to prepare at home. Blending unsalted butter with an equal amount of non-tasting cold pressed sunflower oil and adding Celtic salt to taste is another way to get good oil into children without resistance. Just spread it on their toast and they eat it willingly! For children who cannot get oils any other way, non-fishy tasting healthy oils or chewable supplements are now available. Healthy child check-ups are a part of preventative care during infancy and childhood to address problems as they arise and prevent future issues. These common skin issues will be screened for by your naturopathic doctor.

Teens can have acne as their hormones increase but if their liver cannot keep up with breaking down the hormones once they are used, acne is often the body’s way of excreting the hormonal end products. The liver’s assimilation and detoxification pathways need support, along with a clean diet of no pop, white flour, sugar and chemical preservatives and especially no junk foods. During teen years zinc is needed for growth and puberty. Signs of zinc insufficiencies appear with white spots on nails, finding that vegetables taste bad and stretch marks unrelated to excess weight.

Adults often ignore their skin and buy products that are very toxic for themselves and their children. Refer to Skin Deep Database to see the toxins in skin care products. A good example is that most sunscreens are full of undesirable chemicals including titanium.

Everyone can improve their skin by dry skin brushing. It improves the health of the skin and immune system and makes the skin look great too. I teach young children how to skin brush and by teen years vanity takes over and the motivation increases. Skin brushing is a health habit for life, like dental flossing.

12 main ways to improve and maintain healthy skin:
  1. Hydrate with good water, drink as much as half your weight in pounds in fluid ounces, so if you weigh 100 lbs. drink 50 oz. of water per day
  2. Eat good cold pressed oils bought in small quantities so the oils do not go rancid
  3. Eat wild, top-feeding, small fish at least twice per week
  4. Eat sufficient protein that you can digest and absorb
  5. Eat mineral rich foods like bright coloured vegetables and fruits, organic if possible
  6. Do not consume deep fried foods, white sugar, refined flours, junk food and pop
  7. Do not smoke anything or expose yourself to second hand smoke
  8. Use non-toxic skin products
  9. Dry skin brush at least 3 times per week
  10. Exercise to maintain your microcirculation
  11. Use supplements that promote healthy skin, ask your naturopathic doctor what is best for you
  12. Cleanse the body in an appropriate and timely way under the guidance of your naturopathic doctor

Dr. Verna Hunt, BSc DC ND is a naturopathic doctor, chiropractor and kinesiologist in clinical practice for over 30 years for more information visit
20 Holly Street, Suite 200, Toronto, ON M4S 3B1
Tel: (416) 496-8633   Toll Free: 1-800-551-4381