When we talk about skin health; skin cancer and melanoma are often at the forefront of our minds. However, melanoma and skin cancer symptoms are not the only ways that our skin reflects our physical health. Observing your skin can be a useful way to ascertain a wealth of information about your general health and well-being. Here are the main ways in which our skin indicates certain physical ailments and issues.
Your skin & your liver
We rely on our livers to eliminate toxins from our bodies, if liver function is impaired in any way then our bodies will find another way to get rid of toxins. Our skin has so many functions, but one main one is elimination. If your liver is not working as well as it could, toxins that are slowly being released through the skin can build up and cause skin problems.
These can include dermatitis, premature wrinkles, red itchy rashes, hives, acne rosacea, eczema, brown liver spots, painful rashes that may develop into ulcers and psoriasis. This may seem like a long and confusing list, but any of these developments can suggest that your liver isn’t functioning as it should be. It might be that you need to cut toxins from your diet, limiting alcohol and processed foods and eating more raw foods and whole foods.
Serious liver disease will cause other symptoms such as yellowing of the eyes, dark coloured urine, abdominal pain and swelling, vomiting, nausea and chronic fatigue. Catching these symptoms early will make them much more treatable. This is another reason why regular skin checks are so important when it comes to maintaining our health.
Your skin & hydration levels
Dehydrated skin will look older, duller and less elastic than skin that gets enough hydration. Well hydrated skin will be smooth, dewy and supple. By not drinking enough water we cause our skin to lose elasticity, to crepe and to eventually form deep wrinkles. However, the aesthetic reasons are not the most important ones when it comes to drinking water. Drinking plenty of water reduces our chances of developing kidney stones and urinary tract cancer, it also improves our metabolism and makes us feel more alert and awake. Dehydration can actually put pressure on the brain, as well as causing it to shrink! This can mean headaches and migraines, as well as foggy thoughts.
If your skin feels dry, and has a dull appearance then it is likely that you are not consuming enough water. Try to drink 2 litres a day, swapping in herbal teas and fruit with a high water content when drinking water is not possible or seems unappealing.
Hypothroidism and diabetes are both known for zapping water from the skin, so this is something to be aware of. Is your skin dehydrated due to lack of water or a more serious condition? Keep an eye on other symptoms and be sure to alert your doctor if anything doesn’t seem right.
Wrinkles and osteoporosis
Although wrinkles are an inevitable part of the ageing process, if they occur prematurely then they may be a sign of something else. If you are in your early menopause and seem to have developed deep wrinkles then this may be a sign of osteoporosis.
Many people do not know they have osteoporosis until they break a bone after a minor fall. If you are a woman approaching her menopause, then it is wise to include plenty of calcium in your diet and be sure to exercise regularly in order to keep your bones strong and healthy. Leafy greens such as broccoli and kale are rich in calcium, as are sardines and dairy products. Tofu is a good vegan substitute and beans and pulses contain plenty of calcium too.
Dark skin patches
Patches of darker skin are common skin cancer symptoms, they can also be linked to diabetes and insulin resistance. It is really important to perform regular skin checks and know your body. If patches of skin appear that are different to your usual skin tone, then you must get them checked out by a doctor as a matter of urgency.
Perhaps you have recently changed laundry detergent or have started using a new skincare cosmetic. If you have developed a rash after using a new product, then it is likely that there is a connection. Simply stop using the product and observe your skin. Hopefully the rash will disappear.
A rash with an unknown cause could be a symptom of any number of skin disorders or health problems. Often rashes are itchy or uncomfortable, but sometimes they do not cause any discomfort. Regular skin checks can help you to spot any unusual rashes or developments in your skin.
Your skin can say so much about your health, so use your skin checks as a way to get to know your own body and to keep an eye out for any potential problems. Get to know the texture of your skin, and the elasticity, as well as the appearance. Your skin can say a lot about you, you just need to look out for the signs.