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Keratosis Pilaris: One Natural Remedy

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Keratosis pilaris generally affects the back of the arm, thighs and face and is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages and ethnicities. It’s not dangerous or contagious but can make people conscious of how it looks. The bumps are usually red but can also be white or brown, caused by plugs of your hair follicles that clog up your pores.

It is also known as chicken skin or strawberry skin because it gives you a goosebump-like appearance on the skin. Keratosis pilaris is caused by an overproduction of keratin, which can lead to excess production of cells that cannot move out from under the top layer of the skin. This accumulation can cause these little swollen bumps, and we will discuss the potential reason for this. The good news is that there is an excellent readily available natural remedy.

I’m a big believer in curing from within and understanding the mechanism behind a condition to eliminate the problem. So we know that keratosis pilaris is an excessive amount of keratin that occurs when the cells in the outer layer of skin grow too quickly, primarily in the area of your follicles. Keratin is a protein found in hair and nails and helps your skin stay smooth. However, when keratin grows on your skin, it can form hard, rough patches or bumps.

The cause of this problem can be from many things, and we will go over each one to help you pinpoint what could be the root cause of your problem.

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Gallbladder - Do You Have One?

Bile is made by the liver and stored in the gallbladder, a small organ that sits just under the liver and is responsible for storing bile and releasing it into the intestines. Bile helps break down fat so that our body can absorb it for use as energy and essential vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E, and K and absorb essential fatty acids such as Omega-3 to support heart health, brain function, mood, joint health, and more.

 

Gallbladder removal is a surgical procedure removing the gallbladder on the right side of the abdomen. Without your gallbladder sack, you will have a deficiency in bile. The concentration of bile will not be high enough in your intestines because there will not be enough coming from your liver and nowhere to store it, which can lead to other complications. Your gallbladder may be removed if it’s diseased, inflamed, or infected. The most common reason for removing the gallbladder is because of gallstones. Gallstones are small stones that form in the gallbladder. Gallstones are small, hard pieces of material in the gallbladder that can be made of cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in bile that form due to a buildup of bile secretions. Gallstones may cause symptoms such as pain in the upper-right part of the stomach, nausea, vomiting and fever. They can also lead to infection and inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis). These stones can block bile flow, leading to other problems like inflammation or infection. 

 

Oestrogen from birth control pills, pregnancy or hormone replacement therapy can increase the risk of having gallstones and needing to remove your gallbladder. In addition, a highly refined carbohydrate diet, a lot of junk food and a lot of sugar will all lead to high insulin levels. High insulin levels can be hazardous to your health and cause gallstones and other problems. Other reasons for removal include side effects from certain medications and complications from other medical conditions like Crohn’s disease, hepatitis C and ulcers.

 

If you do not have a gallbladder, sluggish gallbladder, or liver screaming for detox, you will struggle to break down and absorb the supplement to help your keratosis pilaris. So you could probably take some purified bile salts, and you must also be aware when not to take bile saltsThey help break down fats and cholesterol in your diet to absorb all the essential vitamins and supplements. If you would like to avoid your Gastrointestinal (GI) tract altogether, there is a great alternative way to get the vitamins and minerals you need for people with absorption problems. 

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When Does Keratosis Pilaris Start

So vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin essential for healthy skin, hair, and eyes. It’s also an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage. When you’re deficient in vitamin A, you can have a lot of skin issues. You may get acne, dry patches on the skin, and even keratosis pilaris. The primary function of vitamin A is to maintain the health and integrity of epithelial tissue (skin). Vitamin A will help keep the skin’s barrier functioning and prevent it from becoming dry or cracked. As a result, the skin will be more elastic, reducing wrinkles and other signs of ageing. The active form of Vitamin A is retinol. Vitamin A can be found in a variety of foods like beef, liver, fish, eggs and butter. Carrots contain beta-carotene, which has to be converted into retinol and is done so at a tiny percentage. A good liver, gallbladder and a healthy gut are needed to absorb vitamin A, especially the active form.[1] [2] 

 

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is synthesised by the skin upon exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. It is also found in small amounts in certain foods and added to others. Vitamin D deficiency can be associated with iron deficiency and inflammation, as it has been shown that individuals with low vitamin D levels have an increased risk of developing iron deficiency.[3] Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in the world. It occurs when the body does not have enough iron to produce haemoglobin, which transports oxygen around the body. Iron-deficiency anaemia is caused by long-term low intake or blood loss, which leads to reduced amounts of haemoglobin and other red blood cells in the body. You need oxygen for the roots of the hair follicles to grow properly. An iron deficiency can lead to poor hair growth and make keratosis pilaris questionable if it’s more than just a follicular keratosis.[4]

Another culprit is hyperinsulinemia, a condition where the insulin levels in the blood are too high, also linked to vitamin D deficiency.[5] High insulin levels in your body can increase the production of androgens, hormones that stimulate the production of skin cells. Excessing hormones will cause the skin cells to divide too rapidly and form a skin tag. High insulin levels can also cause rough old skin externally and internally. In addition, high insulin levels will increase blood sugar levels, leading to increased urination and dehydration, resulting in dry, flaky skin and wrinkles. High carbohydrate diets, too much Omega-6 from food cooked in vegetable oil, and eating too frequently increase insulin. Stress increases cortisol which also increases insulin.[6]

 

Omega-6 is an essential fatty acid, but too much of it can cause inflammation, leading to many chronic diseases. Omega-3 is an anti-inflammatory and helps reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. Unfortunately, the average person is way too high in Omega-6 and too low in Omega-3, leading to insulin resistance. The ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids is key. A high ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids can lead to skin issues like keratosis pilaris, eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.[7]

 

High levels of androgens in the body are a significant factor in developing keratosis pilaris.[8] Males mainly produce these hormones, but women also have them, especially if they have polycystic ovarian syndrome, where the ovaries produce too much androgenThe symptoms of keratosis pilaris may also result from estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance is a condition that occurs when the body has too much estrogen and not enough progesterone. When this happens, the skin becomes dry and irritated, and the person may experience weight gain. Some birth control pills and pregnancy may trigger keratosis pilaris because it throws off your hormonal balance by giving you more estrogen than you need.[9]

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What Is The Natural Remedy For Keratosis Pilaris?

Keratosis pilaris can be managed with various methods, including moisturisers, exfoliants, and prescription medications.[10] But cod liver oil is the perfect natural remedy that covers all of these factors for keratosis pilaris. Cold pressed extra virgin Cod liver oil helps reduce the redness and irritation caused by this condition. It also helps in managing dryness which usually leads to more inflammation. Cod liver oil has been used for years to help with various skin conditions, and it’s an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A and D, essential for healthy skin. Cod liver oil helps reduce insulin, and Omega-6 levels are a great anti-inflammatory (Vitamin D) and are one of the best sources of vitamin A to help maintain an average amount of keratin on the skin. Cod liver oil is also used to treat and prevent symptoms related to mental disorders, depression, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and high cholesterol levels.

Fish are typically the source of Omega-3 intake, but they only contain it because they eat algae. On the other hand, algae is a much more direct and sustainable way to get Omega-3 with plenty of DHA and EPA. 

For vegetarians and vegans, we need to find a sustainable natural alternative to cod liver oil that comes in plastic-free packaging. Contains Omega-3 sourced from pure algae, vitamin A and D, not in sunflower oil and uses heatless drying technology! Too much to ask for… I can’t find an alternative product that ticks all these boxes, but I will keep looking and updating this blog post. If you manage to stumble across a great alternative, please leave a comment.

On the other hand, if you want to avoid your GI tract, a high bioavailable liquid formulation administered as a drop(s) under the tongue is a great alternative to get your vitamins and minerals. It might be a patchwork quilt approach, and you need to purchase more than one product to get all the vitamins and minerals you need, liquid formulations don’t taste great, but it’s worth it to avoid malnutrition. Whatever approach you choose, rinse, wash and repeat – in other words, stick to it daily![11]

I hope this blog post helps with your skin issues, and I would love to hear back from anyone who gives it a try. Also, don’t forget to keep a diary, maybe even include what you ate that day and you’re before and after photos!

DATA

[1]https://doi.org/10.1016/s0161-6420(83)34512-7

[2]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15660900/

[3]https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00394-012-0375-8

[4]https://www.ijtrichology.com/article.asp?issn=0974-7753;year=2012;volume=4;issue=4;spage=255;epage=258;aulast=Thomas

[5]https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11892-019-1201-y

[6]https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13555-016-0160-3

[7]https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2020.01.003

[8]https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1468-3083.2003.00507.x

[9]https://www.dermascope.com/aging/the-effects-of-hormones-on-the-skin

[10]https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/205012

[11]https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1525-1470.2005.22113.x

Disclaimer

Dr Laura McArdle received her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Chemistry from The University of Manchester in the United Kingdom in 2014. Her use of “doctor” or “Dr.” concerning herself solely refers to that degree. This blog post is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr Laura McArdle and you. You should not change your health regimen or diet before consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 

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