It’s your body’s largest organ — despite what you might brag about. The more you know about the ailments and diseases and otherwise gross stuff that can overtake your skin, the less likely you are to watch it melt off like the Nazis at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Also: Great news: Guys are more likely to get cancer than women. Kidding, that’s awful news.
That’s why we solicited Dr. Coyle S. Connolly, president of Connolly Dermatology, and Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, and Medical Advisory Board Member of the non-profit Nutritional Magnesium Association to take a look at our epidermises and give us the signs, symptoms and how to stops for seven of the most common skin diseases.
What Is It?
Blocked pores under the skin fill with oil and mix with bacteria, result in blackheads, whiteheads, zits, and cysts.
What Causes It?
Lots of stuff. Acne can be aggravated by diet, chemicals, and hormonal factors, including (more recently) some synthetic hormones given to cattle and chickens.
Greasy, sugary foods can cause or worsen acne by stimulating the secretion of oils on the face, which then plug up pores, allowing bacteria that naturally live on the skin to infect the plugged pores.
How Can I Treat It?
OTC antibacterials such as benzoyl peroxide are helpful. And internal cleansing is an important factor when dealing with acne. The body detoxifies chemicals or excess toxins through the liver, and the end products of this process are eliminated through the intestines, the kidneys, and the skin. Increase the intake of fresh, pure water and fiber, which increases the rate of the body’s effective removal of toxins.
What Happens If I Don’t?
Unchecked cystic acne may lead to permanent scarring – and not in the “chicks dig scars” sort of way. And, oral antibiotics are now becoming discouraged, because, while they may kill the bacteria that contribute to facial blemishes, but they also kill all intestinal bacteria, creating an extreme imbalance in the intestines.