Our skin is our first line of defence and the most common skin problems can be helped and even prevented with the right diet.
Most skin disorders are treated with creams and ointments but they usually only treat the symptoms. There are some skin issues that are diet related, or at least a change in diet can help treat the cause.
Dermatitis means inflammation of the skin and the term dermatitis can be applied to a whole range of inflammatory skin disorders from whatever the cause.
Depending on the type of dermatitis, the skin may show slightly raised areas, areas of redness, blisters and scaliness, all of which may be dry or greasy.
The B vitamins are essential for treating dermatitis, along with essential fatty acids and vitamin C.
In most cases eczema is caused by an allergic reaction and is most common in babies and young children. Eczema causes a red rash, accompanied by scaling and blisters. It is not contagious and the majority of children grown out of it, although it can reappear.
A good eczema diet should contain plenty of green leafy vegetables for their vitamin A, as well as zinc and vitamin B6, which help to metabolise and absorb the oils from oily fish, that are essential for skin moisture.
Acne is an inflammatory skin disorder usually caused by too much testosterone in the system leading to the glands of the skin working overtime and causing blocked skin pores. This then brings about the usual symptoms of acne, those being pimples, blackheads and whiteheads seen in this most common of skin problems.
The two most common forms, acne vulgaris and acne rosacea effect teenagers as they go through puberty, the time when levels of testosterone in the body are dramatically increased.
Treatment in the form of diet is to increase intake of raw vegetables to help balance hormone levels, avoid sugar and dairy based foods and to drink plenty of water to help cleanse the system.
Dry skin is a way of describing skin with low moisture levels that may show signs of a rough, chapped or flaking surface. While the skin is moisturised mainly by its water content, it is also lubricated by a mixture of fats and waxes known as sebum, produced at the roots of hair follicles.
Although the causes of dry skin are many, changes in the diet can help to maintain the skins moisture levels such as including foods that have plenty of vitamin A and vitamin B12. Also foods containing vitamin E and zinc will help to maintain skin moisture balance.