Instead of treating sensitive skin topically, with lotions and creams, why not treat it from the inside out with diet?
Images thanks to stevendepolo
About half of the American population say they have sensitive skin, defined loosely as tingling, chafing, burning, itching sensations when exposed to various factors. A similar high prevalence has been reported throughout Japan and Europe, especially in women. Often there are no obvious signs so it's dismissed. A ‘princess and the pea’ phenomenon and this mindset of the medical community has hindered the investigation of this problem. Now it's largely recognized as a genuine phenomenon of physiological origin, thought to arise "from an alteration of the skin barrier allowing potentially irritating substances to penetrate the skin and generate an inflammatory reaction." So what can we do about it? Well, recently Supplementation of Flaxseed Oil was found to Diminish Skin Sensitivity and Improve Skin Barrier Function and Condition. In a randomized double-blind 12 week study, researchers gave women about a half teaspoon of flaxseed oil a day versus safflower oil as a control. That's the amount of oil found in about a teaspoon and a half of flax seeds. To measure skin sensitivity they painted an irritant chemical on their forearms, and after three months there was significant decrease in skin reddening in the flax group compared to the safflower group. Their skin ended up significantly better hydrated, had significantly better barrier function as evidenced by lower transepidemal water loss, less rough, less scaly, and smoother skin. You can actually see the changes in a close-up view of the skin. Skin looked pretty much just as dry and scaly before and after the safflower oil intervention, but significantly improved after flaxseed oil. Sensitive skin is typically treated by the topical application of lotion and creams but why not treat it from the inside. Daily supplementation with flaxseed oil improved skin appearance and led to a decreased skin sensitivity by improving epidermal barrier function and decreasing inflammation. The best source of flaxseed oil is within the flaxseed itself. Then you get all the nutrition of the whole food, and it’s cheaper and more stable. Unlike the oil, you bake the seeds without destroying the omega 3s and can even store ground flaxseed for a month at room temperature without spoilage or oxidation.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Jonathan Hodgson.
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I bet one of the reasons the medical community was so dismissive is because of its preponderance in women. Did you see my video about how the profession used to treat menopause? Ghastly: Plant-Based Bioidentical Hormones.
For more on eating your way towards healthier skin, see:
For more on flax, see the last three videos Flaxseed vs. Prostate Cancer, Was It the Flaxseed, Fat Restriction, or Both?, and Flaxseed vs. Diabetes. Sick of flax videos already? No problem! Stay tuned for the next video Fiber vs. Breast Cancer.
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