Skin problems and skin conditions – Resources & tips

Skin conditions and problems with the skin can be caused by, among other things, a weak immune system, disrupted hormone function and digestive problems. For acne, hives, psorias, dermatitis, dewworm and eczema (urticaria), healthy tips for nutrition and supplements can be used (such as Echinacea, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, omega fatty acids). The skin problems and skin conditions are explained from the perspective of orthomolecular nutrition.

  • Skin problems and skin conditions: Causes
  • Skin problems and the immune system
  • Histamine for skin problems
  • Nutrients and supplements
  • Prostaglandins in acne hives urticaria psoriasis dermatitis
  • Skin problems and digestion
  • Toxins and proteins for skin problems
  • Skin problems: healthy tips & resources
  • Nutrition and dietary measures for the skin
  • Supplements for healthy skin


Skin problems and skin conditions: Causes

The most common causes of certain skin conditions are:

  • Weakened immune system resulting in allergic reactions
  • Disrupted prostaglandin production
  • Digestive problems.

The development of a skin condition is often a result of a combination of the above causes, with one of the causes usually dominating. The two most important nutritional factors for the skin are:

  • vitamin A (building, recovery and functioning)
  • zinc (build-up and recovery)

Vitamin A and zinc are not only very important for skin recovery, but are also indispensable for the proper functioning of the three processes above. Sufficient (extra) vitamin A and zinc are important in the case of a skin condition.

Skin problems and the immune system

An allergic reaction or an excessive reaction of the immune system can cause various symptoms, including:

  • mucosal reactions of the respiratory tract (asthma, hay fever, etc.)
  • mucosal reactions of the digestive system (diarrhea, swollen mouth and pharynx, etc.)
  • behavioral problems (busy and aggressive behavior, etc.)
  • inflammation (rheumatic arthritis)
  • skin reactions.

Most skin reactions, like most mucosal reactions, are related to inflammation and/or an uncontrolled release of histamine.

Histamine for skin problems

Histamine is a substance with several properties, such as:

  • dilating small arteries
  • paralyzing capillaries (redness)
  • release of tears, saliva and digestive juices (hay fever and digestive complaints)
  • increasing the permeability of capillaries (edema and swelling)
  • the contraction of smooth muscle tissue (asthma).


Excessive histamine

In particular, excessive release of histamine in the skin can cause redness and irritation such as hives and urticaria . To prevent these problems, measures must be taken to strengthen the immune system in such a way that allergic reactions and inflammations no longer occur. Strengthening the immune system is of course best done in the first instance by putting as little strain on it as possible to begin with. In case of hypersensitivity to a certain substance, exposure to that substance should of course be avoided as much as possible (avoiding eating a certain nutrient, using a different brand of detergent or wearing clothing made of a different material). It is much more difficult to find factors that do not themselves trigger a response, but do influence the immune system in such a way that there is a burdensome factor. Well-known harmful foods include:

  • citrus fruits
  • cocoa (chocolate)
  • pork
  • peanuts
  • wheat.

Other factors that burden the immune system are foreign substances, such as:

  • medications (antibiotics are very well known)
  • air pollution
  • synthetic food additives
  • tobacco etc
  • stress.


Nutrients and supplements

Dietary supplements

The immune system can be stimulated naturally in a number of ways. In case of skin conditions where inflammatory symptoms occur; acne, dermatitis, sometimes psoriasis, it is important to use sufficient or extra of the nutrients below.


  • Echinacea
  • Goldenseal
  • Burdock root
  • Astragalus


Vitamins and Minerals

  • Vitamin A, CE
  • Carotene
  • Cysteine
  • Zinc, Magnesium and Selenium.


Prostaglandins in acne hives urticaria psoriasis dermatitis

Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances that, in combination with other, short-lived, hormone-like substances, control numerous body processes. They regulate, among other things:

  • Hormone production: acne
  • Histamine release: hives, urticaria
  • Cell division: psorias
  • Inflammation promotion and inhibition: acne, psorias, dermatitis


Disrupted prostaglandin production

Disrupted prostaglandin production leads to skin problems. The production of prostaglandins in our body depends on a large number of factors. Fatty acids from food are used as raw material. A shortage of unsaturated fats and an excess of saturated fats is the most common cause of disturbance. Different prostaglandins are produced from saturated fats than from unsaturated fats.

Recommended diet for skin conditions

  • little saturated fat (meat, milk, cheese, peanuts, etc.)
  • sufficient unsaturated fats (cold, cold-pressed vegetable oils)
  • omega 6 fatty acids, such as gamma-linolenic acid (acne, eczema, dewworm)
  • omega-3 fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (acne, psorias): evening primrose oil and/or fish oil.

Due to the fact that unsaturated fats are very sensitive to oxidation, extra vitamin E is important when using such a diet.
The production of prostaglandins also depends on a number of other dietary factors. Sufficient (extra) of certain substances is important. The most important of these are: vitamin A, B1, B6, C, carotene, zinc and magnesium. The following substances can negatively influence prostaglandin production:

  • stress
  • radiation
  • cacao
  • hormones (contraceptive pill)
  • sugar
  • sleep deprivation
  • medication use and excessive alcohol use


Skin problems and digestion

It has been known for a long time that there is a connection between digestion and the skin. The most important part of our digestive system, the intestines, has an excretory function just like the skin. Harmful substances that cannot be neutralized or excreted by our digestion sometimes have to leave the body through the skin. This can cause skin irritation and skin disorders. The body has a number of substances that it would like to get rid of:

  • waste products (dead cells, indigestible nutritional factors, carbon dioxide, water)
  • incompletely digested substances
  • toxic substances (toxins).

The body does not have such a big problem with waste products . But with the last two: incompletely digested food and toxins. Two organs in particular often become overloaded:

  • the pancreas
  • the liver (psorias).


Toxins and proteins for skin problems

Toxins can enter the body from outside (air pollution, food contamination, additives, etc.), but can also originate inside. In particular, endotoxins, (waste) products of bacteria and fungi in the intestine, are often difficult to excrete. As a result, they burden the liver and ultimately end up in the skin.


The biggest problem is the undigested or incompletely digested proteins. About 2% of dietary protein is not broken down at all and enters directly into the bloodstream, where it forms a burden, can cause an allergy and must be neutralized by the liver. Some of it is only partially broken down into polypeptides: large chunks of amino acids. Particularly if it stays in the intestines for a long time, another part will not digest properly and (under the influence of micro-organisms in the intestine) form foreign compounds, which are experienced as a heavy burden by the body and seek a way out through the skin. A balanced intestinal flora, for example by administering an intestinal bacterial preparation, will in many cases lead to immediate improvement in: acne, eczema and dewworm in infants.


The amount of protein in the diet and the differences in digestibility partly determine the degree of burden. A diet that we experience as ‘normal’ contains a lot of highly digestible protein (meat and dairy). The splitting of proteins in our digestive tract is done by means of stomach acid and enzymes produced by the stomach wall and the pancreas. A relatively large supply of protein requires a large amount of digestive enzymes. Factors such as age and stress reduce this production and can therefore play a major role in skin problems: acne, psorias, hives . Administration of additional digestive enzymes in preparation form can provide a (temporary) solution in these cases.

Skin problems: healthy tips & resources

General advice regarding lifestyle and conditions for skin problems are:

  • avoid foreign substances such as synthetic additives, detergents, certain cosmetics and hormone preparations (tax on the immune system, prostaglandin production)
  • avoid stress (disruption of the production of digestive enzymes and prostaglandins)
  • avoid other loads such as excessive exposure to radiation (screens, artificial light, UV), stimulants (spices, coffee, cocoa, essential oils: disruption of the immune system and prostaglandin production)


Nutrition and dietary measures for the skin

The foods to generally avoid, due to the high protein content (digestion), incorrect fatty acid composition (prostaglandin production), the relatively low content of essential nutrients, and burden on the immune system are:

  • Baked and fried products (prostaglandin production, immune system)
  • Wheat, peanuts, citrus fruits (immune system)
  • Meat, milk, cheese (prostaglandin production, digestion)
  • Sugar, honey, white flour, alcohol (deprivation of essential nutrients, burden on the liver)
  • Coffee, chocolate, tea, spices (immune system, prostaglandin production)


Supplements for healthy skin

The functioning of the skin depends on a large number of nutritional factors. The most important of these are: vitamin A, B1, B6, C, E, carotene, magnesium, zinc and cysteine. These are often available as multivitamins. In addition to a multivitamin and mineral preparation that contains sufficient essential nutrients to support all skin functions, the immune system, digestion and prostaglandin production, the following supplements are suitable:

  • Acidophilus/bifidum: intestinal bacteria that restore intestinal flora – dewworm, acne, hives, psorias
  • Zinc: can be used in all cases of skin damage – psorias, acne, eczema
  • Omega 6 fatty acids: evening primrose oil/borage oil. Raw material for prostaglandins – acne, dewworm, eczema
  • Omega 3 fatty acids: fish oil (EPA and DHA). Raw material for prostaglandins – psorias, acne, eczema
  • Vitamin A/Carotene: including for skin damage and inflammation – psorias, acne, eczema
  • Vitamin B6: supports prostaglandin synthesis, especially in the case of hormone disorder – acne
  • Digestive enzymes: preparations relatively rich in protein-splitting enzymes.


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