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“Whenever you see inflamed skin, regardless of the cause, the stratum corneum, is leaky and permeable. But , if you repair the stratum corneum, that tells the underlying tissue that they don’t have to keep reacting like there is danger in the environment.” Albert Kligman, M.D., Ph.D.; 1919-2010.

Let’s go back one step and remember that one of the main functions of the skin is to 1. provide the outer protective wrapping for all the body parts, 2. is a waterproof, airtight and flexible barrier between the environment and internal organs. And if it does become leaky, damaged and permeable, of course there is going to be an ongoing immune response. So you might be thinking, if we have an organ that is suppose to protect us from external factors, how does it become leaky and permeable?  Our health depends the right tools to remain in homeostasis…or what Chinese medicine refers to (to everything) ‘IN BALANCE’.

So when the skin is exposed to an environment that isn’t beneficial or detrimental, for long enough, changes to its integrity will occur. There are endless factors that could lead to a leaky stratum corneum. Some examples of external factors include climate, working environment, chemical exposure, UV exposure, personal products, physical damage….and internal factors include hereditary predisposition, inadequate or inappropriate nutrition, disease states, gut disturbance including parasitic infections, emotional imbalance (yes what you think and feel can impact the leakiness of your skin!!)…and so on. 

The thing that I get so excited about when helping people with their skin health, is that as a Dr of Chinese Medicine, I can investigate internal AND external factors and begin the process of shifting roots causes. Some of my investigative tools include using Function Medicine Testing especially Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis’s (certain bugs pertain more to certain skin conditions than others), ALWAYS checking Vitamin D levels (I once had an severe Eczema client who hadn’t been outside for 9 months because the perspiration hurt her too much, her Vitamin D levels were 32!!!), testing the status of Zinc, EFA and other essential nutrients, using Stress Questionnaires and Food Diaries…and of course using Chinese Medicine Differential Diagnosis (my questionnaire is about 8 pages long!!). New to my toolbox is a Corneotherapeutic Skin Care line @Dermaviduals. I am very excited to have access to a range that is created from the Corneotherapeutic mantra “Corneotherapy refers to the preventative interventions that are primarily directed to the correction and restoration of the stratum corneum barrier that has been rendered defective and impaired by disease, genetics and a variety of mechanical, physical, chemical and psychological external insults and stresses” Dr. Albert Kligman. The range is designed to mimic the structures of the skin using Phosphatidycholine. Aaaand the range is completely customisable. 

So just like a leaky gut, we can all get leaky skin, but there is plenty of ways we can bring about restored equilibrium…and dewy complexions.