Choosing & Visiting an Integrative Dermatology Practitioner

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Choosing an Integrative Dermatology Practitioner.

Why would it suit me?

Integrative Dermatology (ID) is a health profession concerned with whole person health care, with a focus on treating both the symptoms and underlying triggers of chronic skin conditions.  Integrated Dermatology treatments combine the best of both conventional and evidence-based natural medicines, treating from the inside and the outside.  Integrative Dermatology celebrates the important relationship between practitioner and patient, ensuring a positive experience and the best outcomes for your skin.

Visiting the Integrative Dermatology Practitioner

Your Integrative Dermatology Practitioner will need a longer consultation with you to address your skin concern. The extra time is needed to listen to your story about your skin, your concerns, and for you to gain a deeper understanding of your condition and how it affects your overall health. The longer consult is also needed for the practitioner to assess Comorbidities. These are conditions which are often associated with chronic skin conditions and need to be addressed if your treatment is to be successful. This Whole Body Approach is one of the hallmarks of Integrative Dermatology, where not only the skin but the whole person is considered to shape your treatment plan.

During the consultation, your practitioner will make a detailed assessment of your skin health and identify the triggers which drive your skin condition.  Based on this information, you will be provided with a customized treatment plan, which addresses both the symptoms and triggers of your condition. 

Education forms an important focus in Integrative Dermatology and helps to empower you to make the necessary changes to better manage your skin condition and any associated comorbidities which may affect your health, or which you may be at risk for.

The result of seeing an integrative dermatology practitioner is a long-term benefit to your overall health, and an effective way to manage your chronic skin condition.

A Holistic Approach

There are many ways to help manage a chronic skin condition beyond the conventional medicine approach.  For example, the relationship between psoriasis and diet and lifestyle is clear. Moderate changes to your daily routine can make a significant difference in the health of your skin.

Important factors to consider for example are stress levels and effective stress management, body weight, and comorbidities or health conditions associated with your skin condition.

Diet matters

Despite many patients being told that diet has nothing to do with their condition, the latest science says otherwise. For example, the link between psoriasis and metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes has led researchers to investigate the benefits of various dietary protocols.  Those shown to benefit psoriasis typically have a high vegetable and fruit content, are rich in polyunsaturated Omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants and are low in calories.  Some examples include;

  • Mediterranean style diet
  • Vegetarian diet
  • Gluten Free diets (particularly in those gluten sensitive)
  • Intermittent fasting
  • Ketogenic diets

Your practitioner will guide you regarding nutrition and lifestyle adjustments which apply to your specific skin condition.

Senior Practitioner- Phillip Bayer- Psoriasis Eczema Clinic

Heart Health – The Importance of Omega 3 fatty acids in Cardiovascular Health

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Omega 3 fatty acids have long been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. They are a type of unsaturated fatty acid, found most commonly in fish.

When a diet high in saturated fatty acids, such as those in meat, is substituted for unsaturated fatty acids, such as those found in fish, we see several benefits in the cardio vascular system. Omega-3 fatty acids may decrease triglycerides, lower blood pressure slightly, reduce blood clotting, decrease stroke and heart failure risk and reduce irregular heartbeats. Eating at least one to two servings a week of fish, particularly fish that’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, appears to reduce the risk of heart disease, particularly sudden cardiac death. Omega-3 fatty acids may also reduce inflammation, which is associated with damage to blood vessels and, if left unchecked, may lead to heart disease and strokes.

Which types of fish are most beneficial?

Fatty fish, such as salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines and tuna contain the most omega-3 fatty acids and therefore the most benefit, but many types of seafood contain small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.

Not all types of fish are equal

Fish that do not contain as high levels of omega 3 and those which contain higher levels of unhealthy fatty acids are not as beneficial for heart health, examples include tilapia and catfish. Also pay attention to where your fish comes from- fish from countries known for their bad pollution is not a good idea. Some fish are also higher in dangerous toxins, for example mercury is found in higher concentrations in larger predatory fish, such as swordfish. Farmed fish may contain antibiotics and other chemicals so pay careful attention where you source your fish from. In addition, fish is not be that healthy if it is prepared in an unhealthy way, for example fried fish opposed to steamed or baked fish.

How much fish should you eat?

For adults, at least two servings of omega-3-rich fish a week are recommended. A serving size is about 100 grams, or about the size of a deck of cards. Women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant and young children should limit the amount of fish they eat because they’re most susceptible to the potential effects of toxins in fish.

Are there other options if I dislike fish?

Researchers are divided as to the health benefits of taking omega-3 supplements, however, they are an option if for any reason foods high in omega-3’s cannot be included in the diet. Good non-fish sources of omega-3’ oils include flaxseed, flaxseed oil, walnuts, canola oil, soybeans and soybean oil. Bear in mind the evidence of heart-health benefits from eating these foods isn’t as strong as it is from eating fish.

Senior Practitioner- Phillip Bayer- Psoriasis Eczema Clinic