The Integumentary System is the largest organ of the body. It consists of the skin, hair, follicles, sweat glands and nails. The skin protects the body, regulates its temperature and water balance, stores fat, produces vitamins and hormones, and receives sensory information from the environment. It is the body’s first line of defense against bacteria, viruses, and other microbes.
Unlike some other body systems, the integumentary system quickly shows when it is afflicted by an aliment or malady. We can help you discover the root cause(s) of your skin condition and give you therapy options and tools to help you manage or eliminate them.
Here are some of the most common types of skin conditions that we work with:
Acne – The end result of natural oils becoming trapped in the sebaceous gland of the skin’s hair follicle, causing bacterial buildup and inflammation. Acne can be worsened during puberty, pre-menstruation, or when under stress, consuming a poor diet, or on while using contraceptives that alter hormone levels. Acne is expressed as inflamed spots or elevations on or under the skin and can be combined with blackheads or whiteheads. Consider food sensitivities, chemical sensitivities to personal care product ingredients, excess intake of refined sugars, and poor hygiene as potential causes.
Athlete’s Foot - Characterized by fungal growth on the skin of the foot, this infectious fungal species thrives in warmth and dampness and is prevalent in gym locker rooms, public shower rooms, and around indoor swimming pools. Itching, burning, and a stinging sensation as well as scaling, cracking, and inflammation of the skin between the toes and on the soles of the feet indicate athlete’s foot. In some instances, the infection may involve the toenails.
Eczema - Inflammation and irritation of the skin, usually associated with blisters, red bumps, swelling, oozing, scaling, crusting, and itching. Eczema can be due to allergies, food sensitivities caused by digestive disorders such as low stomach acid, immune system dysfunction, genetic metabolic disorders, or nutritional deficiencies such as B vitamins (B6 and niacin).
Hives - A skin condition characterized by itchy, raised white bumps surrounded by a reddish area. This skin condition typically appears on the arms, legs, or trunk of the body but can appear anywhere on the body or inside the mouth and throat. Hives are usually caused by a histamine reaction due to allergies such as strawberries, shellfish, peanuts, milk, and eggs, and sometimes to drugs such as penicillin or chemicals such as laundry detergent. Hives usually last for several hours before subsiding. Any hives reaction that is acute and severe requires immediately medical attention.
Psoriasis – A common, chronic skin condition that is prone to recurrences due to an inherited metabolic disturbance, triggered by environmental or stressful conditions. Symptoms include patches of skin that may be thickened and reddened and covered by silvery scales. It usually doesn’t itch, but it does cause discomfort and embarrassment. The areas most affected are the arms, elbows, behind the ears, scalp, back, legs, and knees.
Rashes - A skin reaction that is usually temporary and most often consists of eruptions, a group of spots, or areas of redness and inflammation. Allergic reactions, dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis are skin disorders that occur with rashes. Certain health disorders occur with rashes, such a liver and gallbladder problems, lupus, bleeding disorders, nutritional deficiencies, and autoimmune diseases. If your rash forms a “butterfly” shape over the cheeks or is associated with a high fever and joint pain, see your doctor to rule out more serious illnesses.
Shingles (Herpes Zoster) – An acute viral infection (caused by the chicken pox virus) of the central nervous system that affects certain areas of the skin. The skin area becomes extremely sensitive and small blisters erupt on the skin that crust and hurt along the path of a nerve. A outbreak usually occurs over the ribs in the thoracic area. Fatigue, fever, chills, and sometimes gastrointestinal upset precedes a shingles outbreak on the skin.