By Dr. Julia Whipkey-Michniewicz, N.D.
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine
Psoriasis and eczema
If you have psoriasis, you are probably tired of hearing “no one knows what causes psoriasis” from your dermatologist or family doctor. Dr. John O.A. Pagano, author of Healing Psoriasis: the Natural Alternative, states, “Psoriasis is the external manifestation of the body’s attempt to throw off internal toxins.”
If you have psoriasis, you may also notice you have a sluggish gastrointestinal tract. Whether you have recently contracted psoriasis or have had it your entire life, there are many contributing factors to the illness.
Did you know your skin and lungs are an escape for toxins and impurities and are only secondary to the bowel and kidneys? When you consider the function of the skin, you begin to recognize the reason for psoriasis lesions and other skin abnormalities.
What is psoriasis? It’s important to understand the function of the skin, which is always moving, changing and constantly renewing itself. The functions of the skin are spectacular, numerous and intensely wonderful.
Our skin protects us from outside influences, holds our body together, warns us of potentially harmful temperature changes, plays an important role in our immune system, and many other functions.
The skin constantly renews itself, and normally the skin regenerates itself about once a month. However, with psoriasis, the process is sped up, and the skin attempts to renew itself every three or four days.
Another commonality with psoriasis is arthritis. Some studies indicate that 32 percent of psoriasis patients also suffer from some form of arthritis. In addition, eczema has many correlations to psoriasis in regard to treatments and some of the symptoms.
In Dr. Pagano’s book, he states that “It cannot be overemphasized that diet and internal cleansing are the key factors in alleviating eczema as well as psoriasis.”
The bottom line is that each and every human body is different, and they don’t all react in the same manner to stress, viruses or food. It’s very important to study your own reactions to food, read labels and educate yourself on nutrition.
What is the key? Ask yourself, “What do I think is the underlying cause of my condition?” Think hard. Can you trace it back to a stressful time in your life when it all began? Was there a particular incident you can identify with? What internal turmoil or strain have you been exposing yourself to? Regardless of what came first, stressful living conditions or psoriasis, chances are there was a slow, steady buildup of toxins in the body.
Three factors contribute to the formation of acne: overproduction of oil (sebum); irregular shedding of dead skin cells resulting in irritation of the hair follicles of your skin; and a buildup of bacteria.
Acne occurs when the hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. Each follicle is connected to sebaceous glands. These glands secrete an oily substance known as sebum to lubricate your hair and skin.
Sebum normally travels up along the hair shafts and then out through the opening of the hair follicle onto the surface of your skin. When your body produces an excess amount of sebum and dead skin cells, the two can build up in the hair follicle and form together as a soft plug.
It’s not known what causes the increased production of sebum that leads to acne. But a number of factors—including hormones, bacteria, certain medications and heredity—play a role.
Studies are ongoing to determine whether dietary factors affect acne. I personally see in my practice that high-starch foods (bread, bagels and chips), dead processed foods and wrong food combinations have a huge effect on the quality of your skin.
We are only as healthy as our diets. If we want to have vibrant, alive skin, we must eat vibrant, alive foods.
A common misconception is that acne is caused by dirt. Acne isn’t caused by dirt. In fact, scrubbing the skin too hard or cleansing with harsh soaps or chemicals irritates the skin and can make acne worse. Simple cleansing of the skin to remove excess oil and dead skin cells is all that’s required.
With my teen-age patients, I see where hormonal changes can provoke or aggravate acne. Such changes are common in teen-agers. I educate them about healthy food choices and hygiene, and I test them further for food allergies, mold or fungus challenges and hormonal balance. As a result of testing, supplements, soaps, a balancing or rejuvenating cream may be recommended.
With my adult patients, the acne probably could be a seasonal issue, a food allergy, a chemical or heavy metal problem, an immune challenge from parasites, a mold, fungal challenge or a combination of various issues. After we find the challenge, we address the issue with the correct detox and drainage.
Marcia V., Rockford—A colleague of mine told me how Dr. Julia helped her daughter, Sara, with her teen-age acne. Dr. Julia did her own testing and found out that Sara’s acne was being fed by mold. Dr. Julia then treated the mold with supplements and then performed healing oil therapy. After hearing this successful story, I made an appointment for my daughter, Alexandria. Dr. Julia’s test determined that Alexandria had a food allergy and a hormonal imbalance. She educated Alexandria about her food choices and suggested an enzyme and balancing cream. Within one week, we saw a difference. In addition, Alexandria lost weight with the enzymes and diet, and her complexion is happy.
Pat P., Rockford—My son, Jake, had terrible acne on his back. I spent thousands out of my pocket with dermatologists performing dry ice treatments and burning treatments, but nothing helped. It was worse in the summer with sports and sweating. I saw Dr. Julia’s ad in The Rock River Times, and decided to try her. After questioning Jake, she educated him on the correct fatty acids, diet and detoxing. Jake did the skin detox and followed up with the corrected flora regime. After the skin detox, Jake completed a blood detox. Within one month, Jake’s back and attitude was so much better. Dr. Julia sat Jake down and told him that this was a three-month commitment, and if he did not want to commit to three months, then he should continue with his dry ice treatments. It has been four months, and Jake continues his success with his supplements. His back looks great, and when he does have a flare-up, Jake knows what to do for himself due to Dr. Julia educating him.
Psoriasis and eczema testimonies
Richard J., Rockford—Every fall, I get a patch of eczema on my back and arms. I personally do not know why, but it is always in October. My wise aunt goes to Dr. Julia for colonics. Through years of working with Dr. Julia, my Aunt looks 10 years younger…just getting all of the garbage out of her body. After many years with my eczema, I decided to see Dr. Julia. I had a colonic done. She tested me, and I was acidic. Then, she suggested a high-alkaline soap to wash with and probiotics for my gut. I see her faithfully every season, and my eczema does not show up anymore in October.
Dr. Julia’s Inn
Charmaine B., Rockford—See www.drjuliasinn.net. Dr. Julia is the owner and operator of Dr. Julia’s Inn. She is a breast cancer survivor who just celebrated her 11th year cancer free. When Dr. Julia found out she had breast cancer and informed her oncologist she would not do chemical therapy and radiation, he told her she would not live to see her son graduate. Dr. Julia has seen her son, Scott, graduate three times, and she thanks God every day for his healing and all the wonderful educators that he put in her path. If she can ever help you or a loved one, please call the office at (815) 962-3326, go online and read her story at drjuliasinn.net or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the Dec. 22-28, 2010 issue