Today we hear from Dr Duong, a naturopathic doctor whose experience of growing up with eczema has led her to look at a more natural way of treating skin conditions.
When I was around 4 years old, I started to experience eczema as red, angry,weepy, flakey, rashes around my body. I was very self-conscious of these rashes and they were so painful, especially when I scratched till my skin broke open. I cringe now thinking about going into water, the chlorinated pools and even the ocean. It seemed like me and my environment didn’t mix and I wondered why I had to suffer so severely while all the other kids had clear skin, could wear short-sleeved shirts, and could play without a care.
My life with eczema also included frustrating visits to the dermatologist
office where I received different cortisone creams each time, all carrying with them
the false hope of relief and a solution to my skin condition. When it was time for me
to choose a career, I knew I had the compassionate heart to care for others as a
doctor, but the idea of pushing pills and suppressing symptoms didn’t resonate with
me. Then, I found naturopathic medicine and I knew the foundation of this
approach would fuel my passion to help others and treat the cause of disease. I
could also be myself because I believed in what I was doing and I could teach others
by the clarity of my own experience. It was in medical school I learned the
knowledge and tools to treat eczema as multi-faceted condition. This is what I call
the 5 pillars of treating inflammatory skin conditions and here they are!
Dr. Duong’s 5 Pillars of Treating Eczema:
1. Nutrition – eating the most nutrient dense foods to nourish the body and mind, including juicing, cultured foods, and an anti-inflammatory diet. Eating lots of vegetables and fruits gives your body the proper building blocks to heal and regenerate.
2. Detoxification and Therapeutic exercise – movement that promotes the
detoxification of the lymphatic system and liver congestion. The lymphatic
system is often discounted, but this the seat of your immune system with
white blood cells and lymphocytes needing to move in order to keep your
body healthy and disease free. Your liver is also one of the most important
organs for detoxification. If the liver is overburdened by the toxicity from
the environment and processed food as well as the negative thoughts that we
think, the body will utilize the skin to eliminate toxic waste. This manifests
as inflammatory skin conditions, including eczema.
3. Microbial terrain – clearing the overgrowth of yeast, fungus and other
pathogenic bacteria and rebuilding the intestinal tract with healthy bacteria.
Many sufferers of eczema and other skin conditions have a condition called
leaky gut, where the integrity of the intestinal tract has become
compromised and normal assimilation of nutrients does not occur. This
allows yeast, fungus and other pathogenic bacteria to become overgrown and
cause more toxic burden to the body, which again tries to leave through the
skin as eczema.
4. Emotional health – becoming clear and complete with past issues,
traumas, guilt, shame and cultivating a positive, kind, and generous attitude
towards life. Your emotional health is greatly tied to the condition of your
body so making sure that the relationship to yourself and the relationship
with others is positive and healthy.
5. Rest and Relaxation – the importance of sleep, meditation, yoga, qi gong,
and enjoying your time. Often time, children and adults with eczema are
agitated, they want to itch and scratch and the physical and emotional toll of
the skin condition is very exhausting. By healing the body through the 5
pillars, our skin heals, there’s less agitation and deep rest can be achieved
through sleep and during our everyday activities.
Dr. Amy Duong completed her Naturopathic Doctorate at
Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona,
where she also learned Acupuncture. She offers general
naturopathic care with a special focus on skin disorders including eczema, acne and psoriasis as well as anxiety, depression, digestive concerns and general wellness. Currently, Dr. Duong has her home base in Connecticut where she sees many lovely patients of all ages with common skin conditions and other medical concerns in her naturopathic medical practice. She also shares her expertise with people across the
country and overseas through phone and Skype consultations. Visit www.naturalskindr.com for more information on her approach to skin care.