Once known as alternative medicine, functional medicine uses holistic means to correct body imbalances resulting in a wide range of assorted illnesses and conditions. This includes skin issues such as eczema. The red rash causes skin inflammation and irritation and typically appears on the face, wrists, hands, feet, and behind the knees. If you’re among those dealing with eczema, consider these strategies to enjoy clearer, smoother skin.
A Functional Medicine Approach to Eczema
1. Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Add foods to your diet that naturally decrease inflammation, such as nuts, seeds, wild-caught tuna and salmon, green leafy vegetables, other colorful vegetables, and spices such as garlic and cayenne. Many of these foods are high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to promote skin health. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan and don’t eat fish, get your fatty acids from flaxseed, walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and edamame among other sources.
2. Skin-Healthy Vitamins & Minerals
Make skin-loving vitamins and minerals part of your diet: vitamin A, C, K2, and E as well as zinc, selenium, and sulfur. Vitamin C, for example, regulates collagen production for healthier skin, while zinc supports its immune function. Get these nutrients through food as well as supplements.
Address gut flora issues to minimize inflammation and therefore eczema breakouts. A healthy gut keeps your immune system from working overtime to reduce inflammation, which is actually one of the body’s defense mechanisms. Gut health also reduces inflammatory bowel disease issues, among other health problems.
4. More Exercise
Further reduce inflammation with exercise. Working out regularly releases cytokines into your bloodstream to keep inflammation rates low and your immunity high. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week to enjoy better skin and overall health.
5. Stress Control
Find ways to manage your stress and therefore prevent your body from going into “flight or fight mode.” When you’re chronically stressed, this “mode” causes normal immune responses to cease and inflammatory markers to increase. Functional medicine aims to help. Managing stress through exercise, meditation, time with family and friends, and other healthy means subsequently helps lower inflammation levels and reduce eczema rashes.
Functional medicine is among the holistic services from Smith Chiropractic Clinic, the Concord, NC-based center serving residents throughout Rowan, Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, and Stanley counties since 1978. The chiropractors use functional medicine to treat a range of health issues in addition to skin disorders, including digestive and autoimmune diseases. Call (704) 788-3126 today to schedule an appointment or learn more about holistic services online.