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Skin and Its Function

iStock_000008624724XSmallMore than just a pretty face.

We all know skin is a barrier to keep viruses and bacteria out and our moisture inside. The integrity of our skin is essential in this process. Cuts, scrapes, chapped lips all increase the likelihood of an infection entering our body. Most people take pretty good care of their skin from this standpoint.

But one of the lesser known functions of the skin is for excretion of chemical compounds. Our liver does 99% of the work when it comes to filtering and processing chemicals that we ingest. The kidney does almost all the work of filtering our blood and maintaining proper balance of blood chemistry. Both of those organs excrete waste products from our body.

But when these two systems are overloaded and can’t keep up, the skin does it’s best to help. Mostly urea and ammonia come out through sweat, but other compounds can come out in very small quantities. When your skin is attempting to excrete something, or the buildup of a compound gets higher, then the skin usually reacts with a rash or other lesion due to the inability to excrete fast enough. Rashes and blotches can appear when the liver and kidneys are overworked and should be evaluated by your doctor, especially if you are on any medications.

Sometimes spots and blotches can be a result of your skin reacting to a food you eat or nutritional deficiencies as well. Although poorly researched, conditions like psoriasis, eczema and dandruff all can respond favorably to changes in dietary intake. Hyperkeratosis or those little bumps often found on the back of arms and legs can often appear with changes in diet or nutritional deficiencies or imbalances. In infants, rashes on the face or diaper region are a common response to a newly introduced food that is not being tolerated. Adults can have similar responses too, but we tend to ignore these mild effects. When your lips get tingly or throat feels itchy after eating something that is usually a mild allergic response.

If you have rashes, itches, bumps, scaly patches or blotches, see if diet may be a factor for you. Listen to your skin and consider a visit to Los Gatos Chiropractic and Wellness.

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