Spotlight Series: Treating Dermatological Skin Conditions from the Inside - Out with Naturopath Val Allen, Perth Natural Medical Clinic.

Spotlight Series: Treating Dermatological Skin Conditions from the Inside - Out with Naturopath Val Allen, Perth Natural Medical Clinic.

Living with eczema can be challenging, but many individuals find relief through natural and holistic approaches like naturopathy. Naturopathy is a form of alternative medicine that focuses on treating the root cause of health issues by supporting the body's natural healing abilities. In this interview, we dive into the principles of naturopathy and how it can be used as a treatment for eczema with one of Perth's most respected natural therapists. 

Val Allen, known as the ‘Matriarch’ of Natural Therapies in Western Australia, has been practicing since 1979 and has been closely involved in taking Naturopathy in Western Australia from its infancy, to today’s effective, professional level of natural healthcare. Perth Natural Medical Clinic is one of the most experienced & trusted Natural Health Clinics in Perth and have been providing natural health & healing solutions for over 40 years.  

Val shares with us below the common skin conditions she sees come through the clinic, how they treat them and her best advice for optimal skin health.

What are the most common dermatological skin conditions you encounter in your practice?

We most often see eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and acne here at the clinic, with our naturopaths Lesley Oakes, treating acne and dermatitis, and Sam Botica addressing the auto-immune conditions, eczema and psoriasis.


How do you assess the root causes of these skin conditions and what role do factors such as diet, lifestyle and environmental influencers play in your diagnosis and treatment approach?

I personally find using the iris analysis helpful as it indicates whether the skin condition is the result of poor lymphatic clearance, a nervous system disorder, poor liver function, digestive issues, inflammatory factors such as dietary irritants, or hormonal imbalances.

At our clinic we also have complex health assessment technologies available - the NES and Quantum Analysis in particular are able to accurately pinpoint food sensitivities, chemical and environment factors and nutritional deficiencies that are contributing to symptoms. With this information we can specifically treat the root causes and help patients to alleviate these persistent skin ailments. 


Do you find that as a naturopath, you are the first port of call in treating a patient's skin condition or do they usually come to you as a last resort?

Most people will first see their doctor or a dermatologist and try topical treatments, like corticosteroid creams. If the skin problems persist or recur when they discontinue these topical treatments, then they may start looking for other approaches and that’s when they are likely to see a naturopath.


Can you explain your approach in treating dermatological skin conditions holistically as a naturopath and how it differs from conventional dermatology treatments?

Naturopaths look at the whole body and how all systems are interacting, in relation to the skin problem. The skin is our biggest elimination organ and the body uses it to clear inflammation and waste if the usual pathways of lymphatics, liver or kidneys are letting the system down. Imbalances in the gut microbiome also contribute to skin issues.

Naturopaths always investigate to find the causes of a health issue and address this, not only the symptoms. We are aware that food and chemical sensitivities play a large role in these skin conditions, however stress, diet and lifestyle, plus underlying gut issues, hormonal imbalances, lymphatic system and organ function could also be the cause. While conventional dermatological treatments tend to focus on the skin alone, a naturopath may suggest taking up golf or yoga or cycling, depending on the person’s interests, or developing better coping mechanisms for stress, like meditation or therapy, and making changes to the diet alongside natural medicines like herbal tonics and supplements. It’s never a one-fits-all approach because the range of factors contributing to each individual’s condition will be unique to them, even if the diagnosis is the same.

Diet and lifestyle play an intrinsic role in the health of our skin. I’m seeing far more skin issues now, and I’ve been practicing for over 45 years, and this corresponds with a population that typically tends to eat less fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and oils, while consuming far more highly processed foods, more sugar and chemicals in foods like artificial flavours and preservatives. People are often not drinking sufficient water through the day to stay hydrated and help the body to flush toxins and waste products, so the skin compensates. Intensive exercise or sweating it out in a sauna is helpful also as perspiration stimulates good circulation and encourages waste products to be expelled from the skin in healthy ways.


In addition to physical symptoms, do you address the emotional and psychological aspects of the conditions through your approach to treatment?

Always. While they are usually not solely responsible for causing skin problems, they are absolutely triggers that can flare a pre-existing condition. Emotional or psychological stress can lead to these conditions developing if the person has a genetic predisposition.


No treatment is a one size fits all approach, but have you found that any specific herbs or supplements are particularly effective for your patients that suffer from skin conditions? 

My favourite go-to herbs that are common to most naturopaths and herbalists are chamomile, calendula, lavender, aloe vera, echinacea, lemon balm, passionflower and evening primrose. All of these wonderful herbs have different properties that support the body to heal and usually achieve great results. Whether in a customised herbal tonic or as tablets, or even tea, these are all very calming for the skin and assist the body in healing from the inside, out. Supplements like Vitamin E and high quality fish oils are also important and are often needed in the healing process, to improve skin elasticity and address dryness.


What is your favourite LGC Co. product to recommend to your clients and why?

My favourite LGC Co. product and one I recommend for children and adults, is the Original Concentrate.

It’s wonderful to be able to give patients a natural product that provides fast relief to the distressing symptoms of itching, redness and burning. The clever combination of ingredients really soothe irritated skin and promote skin healing, while we also work on any internal dysfunction of the body systems, with diet, herbs and supplements and address other environmental factors like stress or allergens.

The Original Concentrate is the best product I have used for severe eczema and dermatitis affected skin.

There are so many ways that eczema can be treated and there is no one size fits all treatment, however at The LGC Co, we believe that a natural approach is the best first stop in trying to heal the skin and restore the skin barrier. An "inside-out" approach is always going to give the body the optimal opportunity to heal and give best results.

If you are interested in learning more ways to treat your Eczema holistically, follow Perth Natural Medical Clinic on their instagram @perthnaturalmedicalclinic or visit their website.


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