Let’s take a step back and define these terms
Dermatology - medical treatment of skin, hair & nails conditions
Holistic refers to the whole person, harmonizing the body, mind, spirit, and emotions -- helping the people achieve optimal health and wellness
Holistic dermatology applies the principles of holistic medicine to skin, hair, and nail conditions. In holistic dermatology we look at skin as the messenger, a signal of an internal imbalance that has to be looked into further. Skin conditions are not seen as isolated symptoms
example - eczema
Conventional approach - eczema is seen as a skin reaction caused by an overactive immune system. Topical or oral steroids are prescribed and other skin care products may be recommended to provide immediate relief.
Holistic approach - eczema is also seen as an overactive immune response. Instead only prescribing steroids for relief, more investigating is done to dig deeper to identify what is causing the immune system to be out of balance.
Specialty laboratory testing may be used to aid in identifying the root cause depending on what treatments the patient has already tried and what other health conditions they have. The use of specialty lab tests to identify root causes of chronic health conditions and restore health and optimal function of the body is referred to as functional medicine. Learn more about functional medicine here.
Natural treatments, such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, would then be used to support and balance the immune response depending on what imbalances are identified on laboratory tests. Natural skin products may also be recommended for immediate relief and to repair the skin barrier.
The goal with a holistic approach is always to go after the root cause in order to heal the condition vs. managing the symptoms with medication.
A holistic approach can be particularly helpful for people that have chronic skin conditions that have not responded well to conventional treatment. We work with them to identify the root cause of their skin condition and develop a strategy to guide them through the healing process.
The information in this article is not intended to be against conventional dermatology. Conventional dermatology has it's place. Holistic dermatology and conventional dermatology can actually compliment each other very well. At Well Ahead Chicago, we believe it is important for people to have access to safer treatment options with minimal adverse effects. Learn more about skin conditions that can be helped with a holistic approach here.
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