Is the skin the first indicator of overall health? A 2008 study involving over 13,000 adolescents showed those with acne were more likely to experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation, bloating, halitosis, and acid reflux. In this episode of The Rogue Pharmacist, Ben discusses common skin conditions and their indicators for overall health.
Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) presents The Rogue Pharmacist with Benjamin Knight Fuchs, R.Ph. This podcast takes an enlightening approach to supporting licensed estheticians in their pursuit to achieve results-driven skin care treatments for their clients. You can always count on us to share professional skin care education, innovative techniques, and the latest in skin science.
About Benjamin Knight Fuchs, R.Ph:
Benjamin Knight Fuchs is a registered pharmacist, nutritionist, and skin care chemist with 35 years of experience developing pharmacy-potent skin health products for estheticians, dermatologists, and plastic surgeons. Ben’s expert advice gives licensed estheticians the education and skin science to better support the skin care services performed in the treatment room while sharing insights to enhance clients’ at-home skin care routines.
Connect with Ben Fuchs:
About Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP):
Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) is the nation’s largest association for skin care professionals and your ONLY all-inclusive source for professional liability insurance, education, community, and career support. For estheticians at every stage of the journey, ASCP is your essential partner. Get in touch with us today if you have any questions or would like to join and become an ASCP member.
Connect with ASCP:
0:00:03.9 Tracy Donley: Welcome everybody to ASCP and the Rogue Pharmacist, Benjamin Knight Fuchs. I am Tracy Donley, Executive Director of Associated Skin Care Professionals. And you guys, I'm gonna take a minute here to ask our listeners something. Have you all even heard of Associated Skin Care Professionals, also known as ASCP? Well, if you haven't, we're the only professional association exclusively for licensed estheticians. So you may be thinking, "What's the big deal?" Well, I'm gonna break it down for you. And as a part of membership, you get a $6 million professional liability insurance policy, subscription to an award-winning Skin Deep magazine, free hosted website, on-demand access to our continuing education video library, and a suite of career resources for starting your own business or growing it and so much more. And it's awesome. And of course, I might be biased, so just check it out for yourself. Anyhow, let's get on with the show. So joining me today and co-hosting is Maggie Stasek, our very own education specialist, and of course, star of the show, Ben Fuchs. Hi, guys.
0:01:15.2 Benjamin Fuchs: Hey there, I'm just a guest, you're the star.
0:01:17.3 TD: Oh, right. Well, I just was wondering, Maggie, what do you think about the topic we're gonna talk about today?
0:01:24.9 Maggie Stasek: I think it's gonna be an interesting topic, and I'm curious, Tracy, if you think you're healthy?
0:01:30.3 TD: Well, I think I am, I feel pretty healthy. I mean...
0:01:34.1 MS: We're gonna find out, because he is gonna tell us how your skin is an indicator to health.
0:01:40.3 TD: Okay, Ben. So, Maggie nailed it right there. So people say, right, that your eyes are the window to your soul. Do you really think that our skin is the indicator of our overall health?
0:01:52.1 BF: Heck, yes. Think about it. Why is it that of all the organs in the body, we are so fascinated with our skin, we're so obsessed with our skin? What is it about the skin that makes it such a target of focus and obsession and time and money, and all the things we do to make our skin beautiful? What is that about? Why does it reflect vanity?
0:02:12.8 TD: Because it actually is probably saying to mates or potential partners that you're healthy or you're not.
0:02:20.8 BF: Exactly, exactly. That's exactly what it is, we're trying to demonstrate health. We are trying to demonstrate to others that we're healthy, because from an evolutionary perspective, health was... The health of... How others saw us as being healthy or not healthy, had to do with our survival. We get kicked out of the village or kicked out of the tribe, and we'd end up on the outside and fending for ourselves, so we learned to communicate health by the appearance of our skin, and that evolved into our... Tens of thousands of years later, that evolved into our modern beauty industry, but the idea of beauty is that we're trying to demonstrate health. In fact, it's even more than health, it's fertility. It's what we're really trying to demonstrate. Lipstick, right?
0:03:00.3 TD: Are you looking at my bright red lips right now?
0:03:01.8 BF: What do you think your lipstick is about?
0:03:04.0 MS: Attracting a mate.
0:03:05.3 BF: Basically, because without being too graphic here, the lips become red when we're fertile, when we're more fertile, you understand what I'm saying, right?
0:03:15.4 TD: Yeah. I'm faking it though, right now.
0:03:16.8 BF: And this is the idea, we're trying to demonstrate health and fertility for potential mates and for creating a baby, for creating a population, healthy population. So, historically speaking, there was always this intuitive understanding that the health of the body is related to the health of the skin, or at least the appearance of the health of the skin, but indeed it makes sense if you understand that the skin is part of the body, it's all biological, it's all integrated with all of the organs of the body that as goes the inside of the body, so goes the skin. And because the skin is on the outside of the body, we in essence have a portal into the inside of the body by looking at the skin. And so, for the skin care professional, it's important to understand that there's nothing... I shouldn't say nothing. There's almost nothing that will show up on the skin that is not somehow connected to something on the inside of the body. There are topical allergic reactions that can occur, latex allergy, nickel allergy, concrete dermatitis, but that's very rare.
0:04:11.8 BF: Almost always, 99% or even more of the time, when you have a skin problem, you have an internal problem. This is really interesting for a couple of reasons. Number one, it means that you're not gonna be able to address these kinds of problems topically, even though we have created a profession where we really focus topically, whether it's estheticians or dermatologists, we create multiple skin care professions where we focus topically, you're not going to be successful for most skin care conditions just by being topical. And so, if we're estheticians, if we're skin care professionals and we're really dedicated to helping our client's skin, we wanna understand what's going on inside the body, if we're going to be able to address the outside of the body.
0:04:52.2 BF: Also, it's important because the skin can be an indicator of a disease state that is going on underneath the body that can be corrected. And so, it may be unpleasant to look at a certain skin condition, but even more so, it could be a harbinger of things to come down the road. Even something as seemingly benign as dry skin can be a sign that you're not absorbing your fats. Not absorbing your fats can mean that you're not gonna absorb your fatty vitamins, vitamins A and D, for example, that means you're more susceptible to immune problems, you're more susceptible to viral infections and your dry skin is an indicator of that. Even worse, you could be more susceptible to heart disease, you could be more susceptible to cancer. So, not only is it more... Is it not effective just to treat the skin topically, and you're gonna only get real good effects by treating the body internally, you can actually save your client from further misery down the road by working at the causal level, not merely at the superficial level.
0:05:48.1 BF: And so it becomes important from a beauty perspective and for skin care professionals to do their skin care beauty job, but also becomes important for skin care professionals to be a healthcare professional. It kinda thickens or broadens the scope of care that a skin care professional can do. It makes the esthetician into much more than somebody who's treating you cosmetically, but somebody who's treating you holistically, who's somebody who's addressing not just the superficial beauty aspects of skin health, but addressing the integrated holistic aspect of skin health that affects every system of the body. So, to me, as a skin care professional, somebody who helps people with their skin, it's impossible to just treat skin diseases topically if you wanna be successful.
0:06:31.3 BF: And I was talking to a gal today, this morning, and she was... She's freaked out, she's got something called perioral dermatitis... Have you ever seen this? Around the mouth, and now it's progressing to the top of her forehead, and she's been to skin care professionals, who're putting colloidal silver on the skin and they're putting iodine on the skin and they're using retinoids on the skin, completely oblivious to the fact that you can't have a problem on the skin without having an internal problem. Now if you have growths or inflammation, inflammation is always a sign of an immune response. If you have an immune response that means your immune system is triggered by something that's attacking the body, something that is getting into the body inappropriately.
0:07:08.4 BF: So, first of all, she's not gonna be able to... She's not gonna be successful by treating this topically, but even more importantly, her body is her... Her systemic body, her internal milieu, and by that we really mean the circulatory system, whenever we talk about the inside of the body, we're talking about the blood, is being attacked. She's under attack, and then we see it on the skin, but the skin is just manifesting a defensive response secondary to this attack. If you don't take care of the attack, you're not gonna be able to take care of the secondary response, even worse. And this is really tragic because the locus of activity of the immune system is always the digestive system, this is where your headquarters is for immune reactions; most of your immune system is located in the digestive system. One of the stand-by treatments for these kinds of growths that appear, inflammation that appear on the skin, are antibiotics, that's gonna make the problem worse. And this poor gal, I didn't wanna get into it via text. She says, "They wanna give me a...
0:08:07.2 BF: "I'm thinking of taking antibiotics for this," and I wanted to say, "No, don't take antibiotics, that's gonna make the condition worse." But this is how we look at the skin, we just see it topically, we don't see it associated with what's going on inside the body. The bottom line is, it's important for the skin care professional to recognize that with just those few exceptions of topical allergies, every single skin problem that you have is associated with something in the internal milieu, and if you really wanna be a good esthetician or a good skin care professional, you've got to understand some of the basics about how the body works. You don't have to be a physician or you don't have to go to medical school, but you just have to understand the basics, and if you wanna really cut to the chase, go to the digestive system. More often than not, that's where your problems are gonna be.
0:08:47.5 BF: Now, there are conditions like diabetes that can affect the skin, there's strange things that can happen on the scalp after you have a stroke. And there are some exceptions to this digestive system role, but if you really wanna cut to the chase, if you wanna hack into the body to figure out what's going on in the skin, go to the digestive system, work on... And the first thing to do is fast. Now a lot of people don't wanna fast. It's a little bit difficult to fast...
0:09:12.4 TD: How long should they fast for?
0:09:13.8 BF: Two days, three days, ideally. Even one day, things will calm down. Fasting does a couple of things. Number one, fasting calms the system down, so that if your body is in a hyper-immune state, the immune system will start to quiet down when you don't put the enemy into the body. Food represents an enemy. Even under the best of circumstances, your immune system and your inflammatory system awaken when you eat. Because think about it, food is the outside coming into the inside, it's almost like an enemy coming in. So even if you eat lettuce or even if you eat a salad, your immune system is still gonna be awake, let alone if you eat a highly immune active food like dairy or eggs or peanuts, legumes, those kinds of things.
0:09:53.5 BF: So, fasting will quiet the body down. But secondly, fasting does something really interesting, it sensitizes you to your body's responses, so that if you're eating... Say you're allergic to peanuts, right, and you're eating peanuts all the time, or soy, you're eating soy all the time and your body is expressing signs of distress, constipation, gas, bloating, especially your digestive system, if you've been doing it your whole life or even for a long period of time, it's not gonna stand out, you're not gonna notice it, especially if it's been going on your whole life, 'cause the brain only notices things that are different; it doesn't notice things that happen over and over and over again, those go under the radar. But when you fast, you re-sensitize your system so that the next time you have the legumes or the soy or the peanuts, whatever it is that you're eating, the eggs, you'll say, "Oh my gosh, I don't feel so good." And it'll dawn on you that you've experienced the same kind of phenomena in your digestive system your whole life, but it just never stood out.
0:10:50.6 BF: So fasting re-sensitizes you to symptomology that would otherwise be going under the radar. And secondly, it calms the body down; that's always a good thing to do. Now, once you fast, what you wanna do is you wanna start to introduce foods, and ironically, or interestingly, usually the foods that you react to are your favorite foods, right? So, what you wanna do is after you fast for two or three days, you've reset the system, you're now more sensitized, start eating your favorite foods. I call 'em your go-to foods, I think we talked... You said you're...
0:11:20.0 TD: A little eggs, yeah.
0:11:21.4 BF: Yeah, eggs are a classic example.
0:11:22.7 TD: Yeah.
0:11:23.4 BF: But didn't you tell me you have a... You had this chips that you're... Your go-to food.
0:11:27.2 TD: Oh, yeah, those little like cheese, crackers, nothings.
0:11:30.5 BF: Yeah, yes, we all have to go-to food, we have a food that we... When we're not really hungry, we're just depressed or bored or sitting in front of our face, there's always a food that we like the most, and that's usually going to be the culprit. So, start off with your favorite foods, start off with dairy, start off with ice cream, start off with butter, start off with eggs, whatever it is, and then notice and then eliminate that food, and that's called the elimination diet, and that is always helpful. Then there's... Then in addition to the food issue, there is supporting the digestive system. Now, these days everybody's heard of probiotics, right?
0:12:01.8 TD: Yup. I've been taking them.
0:12:01.9 BF: And probiotics are important but probiotics are not vitamins and they're not minerals in the sense, or fatty acids or amino acids, in the sense, they were live, and that makes them tricky, that makes them tricky to work with. So with probiotics, you have to play around with the dose, you gotta play around with the brand, the formula, you gotta play around with whether you take 'em with meals or without meals, they're a little bit tricky. Not only that, but bacteria, interestingly, produce chemicals that you can react to. So some people will react to certain formulas and certain brands in a negative way. Bacteria makes things like histamine, for example, which you've probably heard of, or silicates, which some people react to. So, you gotta be a little bit careful with probiotics. That being said, they're phenomenally valuable for supporting the immune system.
0:12:46.1 BF: There's an amino acid called glutamine, I don't know if you've heard this, glutamine is also a very important amino acid for supporting the health and the strength of the immune system or of the digestive system. And then, the body's primary detoxifier is bile, and bile plays a very important role in digestive health and supporting the immune system, the digestive immune system. So if you had a gallbladder taken out or if you have gallbladder problems, you may have an issue. Also, digestive enzymes are important because digestive enzymes help break up foods so that they're not allergenic or not reactive, we'll say. And if you're not making enough enzymes or you're not activating the enzymes correctly, chunks of food, literally, chunks of food can get into your intestine from the stomach, and these chunks of food can literally leak into the bloodstream. You've heard, I'm sure of leaky gut syndrome. So, by using digestive enzymes with your meals, that can support digestive health and immune health by helping you process these foods, specifically proteins from eggs and from dairy more effectively so that you're not getting these immune activating compounds into the bloodstream through leaky gut.
0:13:56.1 BF: And speaking of leaky gut, strengthening the gut is also very important by using things like gelatin and collagen peptides. I think we've talked about these in the past, essential fatty acids are very important. One of the biggest problems with leaky gut, by the way, is fried fats and processed fats. So, they're very inflammatory. In fact, a lot of our health challenges as a culture began when we figured out how to process fats so that they could be fried. Used to be, you couldn't really fry fats unless it was lard. But around the turn of the century, we figured out how to make shortening. And shortening is hydrogenated fat. Actually, it was the late 19th century. And shortening is hydrogenated fat, and the beautiful thing about shortening is is you could deep fry it, and then you could pull it out of the fryer and it would solidify again. So, when we figured out how to do that, all of a sudden, everybody wanted French fries and potato chips and donuts and tacos. These are all the foods we all love, because we all love fats, we all love fats so much. So working on digestive health is really important.
0:14:54.9 BF: Now, I should also... I don't know if I'm talking too much here.
0:14:57.1 TD: Can I ask you a question before we get too far off of the probiotics?
0:15:00.7 BF: Yeah.
0:15:01.7 TD: And is that... You had mentioned histamines and things and having reactions to it.
0:15:06.3 BF: Yeah.
0:15:06.8 TD: I mean, should you try those, like, right after a fast so you can tell more obviously if you're having those kind of reactions?
0:15:18.3 BF: Always a good... It's always a good idea to try stuff after a fast, absolutely, so you'll know. It's exactly right. Because if you're allergic to histamine, and by the way, one of the signs, cutaneous signs, skin signs of these kinds of reactions is vasodilation, that is blood vessels opening up. In fact, whenever you see blood vessels opening up on the skin, that is a sign of an immune response, that is a sign of immune activations. The major things that happen on the skin are vasodilation, redness and growths and inflammation. Or also, another thing that can happen is what's called hyperkeratosis, where you have skin cells dividing very rapidly. All of these, however, are secondary to something that's getting into the skin through the blood. It's important to recognize that the skin is the great dumping ground of toxicity from the bloodstream. So when you have toxins in the blood, the body... I don't know if I told you this story.
0:16:06.3 TD: That's interesting, that it's the dumping ground.
0:16:07.9 BF: Yeah, it's a dumping ground, exactly. It's like, when I was a kid and... I think I may have told you this story. I don't know.
0:16:12.0 TD: Tell it again.
0:16:13.6 BF: I kinda repeat my stories. [laughter] When I was a kid, my mom would tell me to clean up my room, right? 'Cause I had a notoriously messed up room, and she'd say, "Clean up your room." And I had this really cool technique for cleaning up my room in like five minutes, no matter how messy it was...
0:16:26.3 TD: Oh, I gotta hear this, because I need this technique.
0:16:28.4 BF: Right? Simple, you shove everything under the bed, [chuckle] and in five minutes my room was completely clean. Of course, my mom ended up looking under the bed always, but at least the room is clean. Well, the body does the same thing. It shoves toxicity under the bed and under the bed is the connective tissue. And one of the juiciest sources of connective tissue for toxicity to get dumped into, is the dermis, is the skin. Once toxicity enters into the dermis, an entire inflammatory cascade can be initiated. You have a whole immune system located in the dermis, that can leak upwards and create changes in how skin cells divide and grow from the epidermis upwards to the stratum corneum, and that's where you get issues like hyperkeratosis or psoriasis or eczema or itching and rashes. All of these are secondary to toxicity that's entering into the epidermis from the dermis, from the blood, from the digestive system.
0:17:20.4 BF: And this is where digestive health issues become so important. And I should also say, people who are IV drug abusers, they also run into many of these same problems, because like the toxicity enters into the bloodstream through leaky gut, obviously, if you're injecting things through your skin, toxicity can enter into the bloodstream and ultimately into the skin this way.
0:17:41.1 MS: When there is chronic inflammation, say in the gut, or it then starts to appear on the skin, these hyperkeratosis issues that you're mentioning, like the psoriasis and the eczema, etcetera, is that then the ultimate chronic outcome? Or does it become even more severe beyond that if the skin is always at this heightened level of the immune system trying to defend?
0:18:02.2 BF: Oh, it can get way worse. It can get way worse on the skin. It'll always get worse on the skin, but it can get worse inside the body if it's not corrected. For example, psoriasis, there's a condition called psoriatic arthritis, and arthritis and psoriasis go hand in hand. People who have psoriasis have higher rates of cancer and higher rates of heart disease and higher rates of other autoimmune diseases. So absolutely, it can always get worse, which is why the esthetician has such a valuable role to play. If you see hyperkeratosis, if you see eczema, if you see inflammation or vasodilation, these are red flags for toxicity that has entered into the bloodstream, almost always through the digestive system. And like I say, rarely, there's IV kinds of things, people injecting things through their skin, that can occur. But for the most part, it's as simple as correcting digestive health.
0:18:47.7 BF: Any time you see a growth on the skin, vasodilation on the skin, hyperkeratosis, eczema, anything, you wanna consider an inflammatory condition. And inflammation is the calling card of the immune system, so whenever you have inflammation, you've got an immune system reaction. And as I said, the center of our immune system is the digestive tract, is the intestine. And when we say gut, by the way, we mean the intestine.
0:19:09.0 TD: So basically, when they're seeing this, an esthetician, tell them to go see their doctor, their naturopath, or what have you, to alert them.
0:19:18.3 BF: Or tell them to focus on digestive health. Ask the patient like, "Are you experiencing bloating? Are you experiencing gas? Do you have issues with constipation? Do you have any kind of digestive issues?" Now, just because they say no, like I say, a hundred things go under the radar, doesn't mean it's no. So you have to say, "Why don't you focus on this? Or do a digestive work out... Work up." One of the most important things an esthetician can do, in my opinion, is inquire about digestive health, inquire about food health and don't... We have this kind of idea about what a good food is and what a bad food is. It doesn't matter what a good food is and what a bad food is. So, "Oh, I eat really well," or, "I only eat organic," it doesn't matter, you could be reacting to all kinds of things. So what you wanna do is you wanna have your clients start to pay attention to their body, and like we said earlier, or on another program, have your patient vested in their own health.
0:20:05.6 TD: I love that so much.
0:20:06.9 BF: Have your patient vested and participating in their own health process, and that begins to give the patient control, a sense of control over their life. The idea that, "I'm breaking out and I've got eczema and I've got these plaques and all these things are happening to my skin and I don't know what the heck is going on," it's so disempowering, it's so frustrating. It's like... It really can freak people out. This one gal I was talking to this morning, she was horribly freaked out, and it was just classic perioral... By the way, I should say this, perioral, meaning around the mouth, perioral dermatitis is always a digestive health issue, always, and usually has to do with stomach acid. So give your clients a sense of control, a sense that they have some control over how their bodies are showing up, by vesting them, by having them participate in their own health process, and that's where a food diary comes in and that's where having them pay attention to how their body is reacting to certain foods. But to me, as a skin care professional, when people ask me about skin problems or send me pictures, the first thing I do is I talk or I ask them about their digestive health.
0:21:13.6 TD: Well, one more quick question here. We talk a lot about skin conditions, especially on the face, but we have a lot of estheticians who are primarily waxers, for instance, and is your body telling you something if you're chronically seeing a client with folliculitis?
0:21:32.4 BF: 100%, 100%. How... The skin has got... You got three layers of the skin, people say two, I say three, you got the stratum corneum, you got the epidermis and you got the dermis. Stratum corneum is technically part of the epidermis, so you could say two parts. How the epidermis is formed, how that surface is formed is an incredibly complicated process. Cells are born at the bottom of the basal layer... Actually stem cells are turned into skin cells, into keratinocytes, and those keratinocytes then migrate upwards, and as they're migrating upwards, all kinds of biochemistry is taking place so that the surface of the skin can be a resilient and can be robust and can be strong and can be able to withstand assaults. However, if there are issues with how cells are growing from the bottom to the top... This process, by the way, is called differentiation because the cells are taking on a different shape as they're migrating upwards.
0:22:24.8 BF: If there is inflammation in that area, if there are immune reactions in that area, secondary, again, to the dermis, things happening in the dermis, and then the blood and then the digestive system, that process of differentiation is not gonna occur as it should, and because differentiation involves the dumping out of contents of those cells as they're moving upwards, that will then form the barrier. Fats, for example, and various proteins, for example, are all formed as a result of this movement upwards. If that movement upwards is disrupted in any way from toxicity, from immune reactions and inflammation, or from nutritional deficiencies, or even lack of oxygen if things are clogged up, you're not gonna get the dumping out and the formation of these contents that give you a nice strong barrier, particularly fats and certain proteins, and that's gonna make the skin much more sensitive to procedures like cosmetic peels and microdermabrasion, as well as a waxing and things that... What are other things?
0:23:25.1 TD: Sugaring.
0:23:25.7 BF: Sugaring and those kinds of things, exactly. The skin will be much more sensitive. And when it tries to repair itself, the repair mechanism, because there's disruptions in this differentiation process, won't occur as it should, skin cells will either grow too fast or they'll grow too slow. This differentiation process, this movement of cells from the bottom to the top has to happen like Goldilocks, not too hot, not too cold, not too fast and not too slow, it has to be... Happen just so. And that tight regulation can be disrupted very simply with inflammation, it could be disrupted by a lack of oxygen, and most especially, it can be disrupted by a lack of nutrition, especially fats, and especially vitamin A and essential fatty acids. And this is why retinol and retinoic acid are so important because with retinol and retinoic acid, you could actually deliver vitamin A to that area from a topical perspective or from a topical angle versus internally.
0:24:23.9 BF: Internally is always the best, but because Vitamin A absorption is often compromised and vitamin A absorption at the level of the intestine is not... It's not a simple matter, especially if you have inflammation in the intestine, especially if you have leaky gut, or if you have a gallbladder removed, if you have a bile problem, you may not be absorbing your vitamin A, but you can stabilize the growth of these cells with Vitamin A by applying it topically. And that's why Vitamin A creams are used for things like psoriasis, even for eczema. Certainly, we know that vitamin A topically is used for acne. Even something as simple as acne, by the way, can be caused by these... All of these factors that we just talked about, nutritional deficiencies, lack of oxygen locally or toxicity.
0:25:00.5 TD: That's interesting because it seems like when you're getting... I'm not gonna mention the brands out there, but there are certain brands for folliculitis or for after waxing and things of that nature, it tends to have mostly salicylic acid in it versus a retinol and an A, which are really healing it more so than stripping it.
0:25:22.5 BF: Well, salicylates are, as we all know... What's America's favorite drug? What's the world's most favorite drug? Aspirin.
0:25:28.5 TD: Oh, aspirin. [laughter]
0:25:28.9 BF: Yeah, aspirin. Everybody's had aspirin, right?
0:25:30.5 TD: Yeah, yeah.
0:25:31.1 BF: Well, what is aspirin? Aspirin works by being an anti-inflammatory. Salicylic acid is aspirin. Aspirin is a acetylsalicylic acid.
0:25:39.5 TD: Oh, okay.
0:25:40.1 BF: And because it has acetyl, this little acetyl group onto it, you can take it orally, you can't take salicylic acid orally, but you can take acetylsalicylic acid orally, but both have anti-inflammatory properties. So the logic of using salicylic acid for these people who have sensitivity reactions to waxing and sugaring and whatever... What am I thinking... Electrolysis and these kinds of things, is to have... Calm down the skin, calm down the area with the anti-inflammatory effects of the salicylates and salicylic acid.
0:26:11.9 MS: So when you're talking about these issues showing up on the skin, and you said it could be inability to absorb nutrients, which is digestive issue, also allergy issue, but then you've mentioned toxicity as well, is that like people who are drinking too much, or?
0:26:25.9 BF: Absolutely, there's a major relationship between the liver and the skin. Random itching. You ever hear of people just have this random itching they can't get... It's called urticaria and the classic sign of liver disease. We know jaundice, the skin will turn yellow when you have liver issues, skin tags can show up when you have liver issues, there's autoimmune diseases of the skin that can be related to liver issues, absolutely. Alcoholics have... People who drink a lot of alcohol, classically will have rosacea issues or sometimes they'll have fibrosis in the nose area, it can be pretty distressing, alcohol and liver poisoning. And even prescription drugs can do it too. There are a lot of prescription drugs that can cause photosensitization, which is where the skin becomes extremely sensitive to the sun. So yeah, the liver plays a major role. In fact, I would say the liver, the kidneys, and the digestive tract are the three main internal organs that affect the skin, especially the intestine, but also the liver and the kidneys.
0:27:20.1 MS: How do you recommend an esthetician approach their client when they're noticing these conditions on the skin and it's, to your point, clear, that's an internal issue?
0:27:31.6 BF: The esthetician is perfectly situated in the healthcare pantheon to be able to explain to the... This connection between the inside and the outside. Most patients have no idea, a lot of estheticians don't have any idea, but a lot of estheticians do, especially these days. Estheticians are really smart these days, there are... And I've been working with estheticians since before there were estheticians, and these days estheticians, the younger ones especially, are really savvy to the connection between the inside and the outside and the relationship between foods and the outside. But what the patient may not be understanding is that while it may be unpleasant, the psoriasis or the eczema or whatever is it is, the acne or the nodules, whatever's showing up, it's much more than just cosmetic, it's much more than just superficial, this is a shot across the bow, this is a warning sign that things are coming up in the future. And even as something as seemingly insignificant as dry skin or hyperpigmentation, which we'll do a podcast on that one, that one's really... That one's not a shot across the bow, hyperpigmentation, that's screaming, that's the body yelling.
0:28:33.9 BF: And in fact, you wanna really think of all of these things that we're taking about that show up on the skin as the skin talking to us, like saying, "Help me. There's something going on, I want help," and the client or the patient may just want it fixed, but the esthetician has to point out to the client, "I think that this is a serious thing that you wanna catch now before it progresses internally," and in a way, this is like a good thing because it's giving you an announcement, it's like a warning sign, it's like the light on your car going off telling you your oil needs changing. So any time you have something on the skin, whether it's as mild as dry skin or hyperpigmentation or as serious as psoriasis or growths, skin tags, also there's a thing called lipomas or milia, all of these involve how the body processes fat, focus on the inside of the body, you don't have to be a medical professional, you don't have to study medicine or biology for years and years and years, go to the gut, focus on the gut. More often than not, you'll find that the problem is in at the level of the intestine, and something as simple as doing a one or two-day fast and then doing the elimination diet can go a long way towards helping you address a lot of skin health concerns.
0:29:45.1 TD: Alright. Well, that wraps up today's show. And as always, you guys, if you are not an ASCP member, join us at ascpskincare/join, and if you like this episode, please subscribe today so you never miss a single one. And details from what we discussed will be in the show notes. And who can't get enough of Ben, right? Our rogue pharmacist. You can listen to him on his syndicated radio program.
0:30:13.0 BF: Brightsideben.com.
0:30:14.4 TD: Ooh, brightsideben.com. Where else can they find you, Ben?
0:30:18.8 BF: You can find me all over the internet if you just Google Pharmacist Ben, but I have multiple websites, pharmacistben.com is my blog, truthtreatments.com of course. And then, just Google Pharmacist Ben in any health challenge you like.
0:30:30.5 TD: See, guys, he's a star, you know it. Thanks, everybody, for joining us today. And like I always say, have a beautiful day.