Skin is a mirror of our health.
The amazing fact is – our skin is the largest single organ we have. It consists of many layers that attach to each other in order to create elastic but a very sturdy protection of our organism.
Skin has many awesome functions:
1. As a barrier it is capable of protecting us from intrusion of fungus, bacteria and toxins
2. It serves a ‘immune sensor’ function – immune cells that sit right under upper layer can recognize every particle that comes in contact with our body, that is how we ‘identify’ our surroundings and react to contact substances
3. Tactile and sensory nerves are located in skin – they assess the environment and body position, ensure our balance and safety. These signals are transmitted to the brain and processed into special responses
4. Skin regulates our temperature. Special pores are capable of releasing sweat and that is how we cool down. Tiny skin blood capillaries are capable of closing up redirecting blood centrally – that is how we warm up.
5. There is a lot of normal ‘helpful’ bacteria that lives on the skin – these little ‘bugs’ are our partners protecting us from invasion of real pathogens – harmful bacteria and fungus
6. Skin synthesizes vitamin D – the special cells melanocytes are capable of making this important vitamin under the direct sun rays.
7. Skin is our beauty! It is recognized and assessed by human psychology as the attribute of a healthy and beautiful person.
Why is it important to know what our skin does and how it is made?
Many things can go wrong with skin. Dependent on a specific problem, you will know how to take care of it better if you understand what makes normal skin healthy.
Who can treat skin problems?
Dermatologist is a specialist trained to recognize many skin diseases such as cancer, infections, and psoriasis. Rheumatologist can take care of the skin conditions related to rheumatic disorders such as lichen, lupus and Café Au Late. Allergists specialize in rashes caused by foods, contact cosmetic reactions and dermatitis due to metals and medications. Functional medicine doctors as Dr Kushnir do not rely on the steroid medications and antihistamines to treat skin conditions – they believe in whole body approach and treat skin as a part of the whole system.
Here are some of the conditions that we treat in our office:
1. Reaction to gluten. There are many types of rashes that can appear due to immune intolerance of gluten – starting from Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH) and going into pretty much any “unexplained” rash and even hives. Usually such rashes are extremely itchy and do not respond to over the counter creams or even steroid creams. typical DH rashes appear on the skin of the face (look very similar to acne), neck, forearms, low back/buttocks and shins. These rashes can look like insect bites, and many people first call exterminators suspecting bed bugs or fleas. Big giveaway is scars – while insect bites usually resolve without skin changes, DH rashes form purple scars that do not go away without specific treatment.
2. Contact dermatitis to chemicals. We evaluate and treat rashes that are due to household cleaning chemicals, soaps, shampoos, creams and anything that comes in contact with skin. These rashes are usually chronic and hard to catch as they may not appear emmediately after the use of certain product. It can be a whole week before the itchy and swollen spots start. It may resolve on its own too, if you stop using the product, but comes back with revenge if you buy and use it again. Most of the skin care products contain dosens of ingredients – you can be allergic only to one of them which can be a part of hundreds of commercial creams and shampoos. How do you figure it out? Request a consultation – Dr Kushnir will listen to your story, put facts together and come up with possible culprits. What’s next? It can be tested! Read about our patch test.
3. Contact reaction to hair products.
There are so many different brands and companies that produce hair dyes, straighteners, foams and anything that hairdressers may use. Reactions can happen immediately (while hair product is applied on the hair) or can be delayed few days. The usual location of the rash is where the chemical was used: head itching, shoulder and neck itch (if hair is long). If the chemical was used again it can produce the rash all over the body – every use produces worsening of symptoms due to systemic sensitization. We make custom patch test from specific brands that were used or you are planning to use to find the brand that is right for you and will not cause a reaction.
4. Contact dermatitis to metals and dental materials.
While nickel is one of the most common offenders, we see allergic reactions to many components of tooth fillings, crowns and restorative materials. One of the most common reactions is to the dental braces – children may develop swollen bleeding gums, ulcers and eventually – rash all over the body. We receive small pieces of these materials and can safely test with custom dental patch test to find the safe material that dentist can use.
Finding the explanation for the rashes is not an easy thing, it may take more than one appointment and few different tests. We believe it is a better approach than to use steroids and steroidal creams – these do have significant side effects such as skin thinning and skin discoloration, especially for people with darker skin color. Oral steroids can cause many serious immediate (mood and sleep problems) and long-term (diabetes, glaucoma, blood pressure issues, obesity etc.) side effects. Dr Kushnir uses every possible natural treatment to safely restore and regenerate skin, which always works eliminating the problem or significantly improving condition.
We believe in whole body treatment – skin is only one organ that fully depends on all other body systems; skin conditions usually are a reflection of the body functioning and heavily depends on nutrition, stress and metabolism.
Everyone wants it, everyone should have it! Our skin can be shiny and smooth – it is only a matter of giving the right care and correct “skin food”. Our skin has extreme regenerative power – millions of stem cell sit at the bottom of skin ready to regenerate and refresh the upper layers. Multiple blood capillaries bring the nutrients and ‘building blocks’ from the gut to feed the cells and construct healthy strong membranes. Natural skin beauty is a reflection of our well-being, good nutrition and metabolism.
Dr Kushnir has extensive dermatology and natural skin spa methods. She has created many remedies that work miracles removing age spots. She uses ancient herbal remedies that are known in Chinese and Indian medicines to cure skin imperfections.