Skin

Updated 20 July 2014

A natural approach to skin problems

Keep your skin healthy and blemish-free by following a few simple guidelines.

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A healthy lifestyle

  • Maintain a healthy diet by including lots of fresh fruit, veggies, nuts and seeds;
  • Eliminate refined sugars and carbohydrates, as well as high saturated/animal fats from your diet;
  • Exercise regularly;
  • Practice daily stress management and relaxation techniques.

Exfoliation

  • Give your body a good scrub with a fairly rough body brush or a loofah sponge, at least twice a week to improve circulation;
  • Use a fine facial scrub on sensitive areas and massage into your face with your fingertips;
  • Use a mild, non-greasy moisturiser afterwards. An over-dry skin exacerbates acne, milia and whiteheads;
  • Sun exposure early in the morning or late in the afternoon might be of benefit.

Other treatments
A good ointment mix to apply to blemishes: a combination of which hazel, aloe vera, tea tree oil, calendula and lavender oil.

As supplement, use an antioxidant combination high in vitamin A, E, C, E, B-complex, zinc, selenium, copper, chromium, and bioflavonoids. Essential fatty acids are beneficial to the skin - use a combination that contains starflower or evening primrose oil, along with cold water salmon oil.

Check all medications that you're using. Some oral contraceptives, corticosteroids, progesterone, bromide and iodide containing drugs can exacerbate skin problems.

Dr Arien van der Merwe

 

 

 

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Skin expert

Dr Suretha Kannenberg holds a degree in Medicine and a Masters in Dermatology from the University of Stellenbosch. She is employed as a consultant dermatologist by Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Academic Hospital, where she is involved in clinical duties and the training of medical students and dermatology residents. Her areas of interest and research include vitiligo, eczema and acne. She also performs limited private practice work in the Northern suburbs of Cape Town in general and cosmetic dermatology.

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