Dermatology is the field of medicine that focuses on treating the hair, skin, and nails. Typically, what this means is if you visit a dermatologist, they look at your hair, skin, and nails and prescribe treatments — usually topical ones — to help treat any problems you are having. But dermatologists who market themselves as holistic dermatologists take a bit of a different approach. They focus on the body as a whole and how issues with the body as a whole cause and contribute to the skin issues you may be experiencing. As such, they tend to make a lot of recommendations for lifestyle changes. Here are some lifestyle factors that holistic dermatologists often focus on.
What you eat has a huge impact on the health of your hair, skin, and nails. A deficiency in certain vitamins can make the skin dry. Too much of certain oils can make your skin oily and more prone to acne. A holistic dermatologist is likely to have you keep a food diary, at least for a few days, to track what you eat and see if there are any patterns they recognize. They may also make specific dietary recommendations, such as advising you to eat more fruits or veggies.
The amount of water you drink is also important! Chronic dehydration is so common and can really contribute to skin problems like acne and dry skin. A holistic dermatologist will likely talk to you about what you drink, advise you on better beverage choices, and give you tools to help increase your water intake.
Exercise plays a larger role in skin health than you might realize. It increases circulation to certain areas. If you sweat, that can also contribute to breakouts and other skin conditions. So don't be surprised if your holistic dermatologist is very interested in your exercise routine and recommends some changes.
Sleep is when your body repairs and regenerates its own tissues. If you do not get enough sleep, that can contribute to the formation of age spots and wrinkles. It can also slow healing from problems like acne blemishes and scars. Holistic dermatologists often recommend getting more and better sleep, and they may even give you some strategies to help with this.
If you visit a holistic dermatology professional, be prepared for an in-depth conversation. They really need to know a lot about your lifestyle and how it impacts your overall health in order to help you improve your skin health.