Saturday, December 03, 2022

ADVERTISING: Advertorial — Handling skin conditions naturally

| August 24, 2022 1:00 AM

Some health issues are more visible than others, and skin conditions fall into this category. Symptoms of acne, eczema, and psoriasis get displayed to the world; consequently, they can be among the most distressing. To make matters worse, many skin medications have long-term, negative effects on health. Is there another, more natural way? The answer is yes — with patience. The skin can be complex to treat because it reflects the health of other organs lying beneath — most specifically our gut and liver (affecting hormones).

Let’s take acne as an example. Elevated testosterone in both males and females is associated with increased oil production in the skin, resulting in acne. Both Isotretinoin (a synthetic form of vitamin A formerly called Accutane) and supplements containing high dose pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) work by two different mechanisms on reducing this oily buildup: Accutane shrinks the sebaceous glands while pantothenic acid directly reduces glandular oil production.

This tells us that an underlying cause of acne is hormonal imbalance, and that two mechanisms used to treat it are high dose synthetic vitamins. From this we can ascertain that nutritional deficiencies could be a big contributor to acne. Unfortunately, long-term use of Isotretinoin can cause serious side effects, including bowel disease and liver damage, and high dose synthetic pantothenic acid carries risk of uncomfortable symptoms such as joint pain, headaches, and rashes. What foods then are highest in easily absorbed, non-synthetic vitamin A and vitamin B5? Foods our ancestors ate in abundance, but that we have erroneously learned to avoid: organ meats, grassfed beef and pastured egg yolks!

Heading further down the rabbit trail, women with PCOS who have elevated testosterone frequently suffer from insulin resistance. In fact, the same drug, Metformin, used to treat diabetes is used for women with PCOS! High sugar and carbohydrate foods can therefore be a big contributor to both hormonal imbalances and acne. Carbohydrate-rich foods additionally feed unhealthy bacteria in the digestive tract, exacerbating inflammation and “leaky gut” issues. These bacteria then enter the bloodstream affecting the skin. Enter Doryx — an antibiotic routinely used to treat acne! Since long-term antibiotic use contributes greatly to gut dysbiosis, this is a “solution” that can actually worsen the problem!

At Vital Health, we dig deep to uncover the underlying causes behind your skin condition, using dietary supplements, nutrition, herbs, and acupuncture to “heal from within.” Why acupuncture? Because it can be surprisingly effective in helping to reduce inflammation and promote gut and hormonal balance! In 2013, researchers in China investigated the effectiveness of acupuncture combined with herbal facial masks for acne in more than 3,500 patients and found a 96.67% total efficacy! Another review in 2018 found that acupuncture improves symptoms of eczema and prolongs the duration between flare-ups.

In summary: adults who suffer from chronic skin conditions like acne, eczema or psoriasis are faced with two choices: take health risks with current medications or take the time to treat the problem where it really lies: in gut, liver, and hormone imbalances.

Want to hear more from Vital Health? Check out our podcast. Search for VitalHealth4You on your favorite podcast listening app or go to

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Darcy Greenwald holds a master’s degree in Oriental Medicine, is a Licensed Acupuncturist, is certified in Western Herbalism and has extensive training in nutritional therapy. She has more than 20 years of experience in natural medicine.

Darcy is a “Health Detective,” she looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Darcy is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements at Vital Health in Coeur d’Alene.

Visit our website at to learn more about Darcy, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Darcy can be reached at 208-765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.

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