Advice on Skin Problems

At Napiers we find that the most common skin problems are: 

• Psoriasis 

• Eczema

• Acne vulgaris

• Acne rosacea 

• Dermatitis 

• Dry skin  

General advice for skin health

It is easy to forget that your skin is the largest organ in your body, and the only organ that we can see easily and on a daily basis! The skin can be thought of as an outward reflection of your inner health and well being. 

Skin problems cause a huge amount of physical discomfort and emotional stress and many of the prescribed medicines that patients use simply give some topical relief, but do not treat the underlying cause. Many people find that when they stop using prescription medicines that their problems flare up again. Some products, such as steroids, have side effects and should not be used for extended periods. 

Herbs have been used by herbalists to treat skin problems for centuries using them for blood purifying, immune support, to fight infection and aid elimination. A herbalist looks at the patient as a whole, taking into account family history; diet; medical history and lifestyle. Our bodies are complex and when we develop a problem there is oftenmore than one factor acting as a trigger. Whilst the best approach is to consult a practitioner, there are a number of things that you can try for yourself. 

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Eczema is a form of dermatitis or skin inflammation, which shows patches of dry flaky skin; it is often itchy and can sometimes weep. There are many different types of eczema and there are many possible causes. There is evidence to suggest that eczema may be linked to food allergies, most commonly dairy products. The two main types of eczema are contact eczema (or contact dermatitis) and atopic eczema.

Contact eczema develops when the skin is sensitive to particular irritants, for example wool, metals, make-up, detergents or sunlight. 

Atopic eczema often affects people with a family history of asthma and hayfever; it is common in children and fortunately many people do eventually grow out of it. 

To treat this skin condition successfully, potential skin irritants or allergies need to be identified. A healthy diet is essential for skin health, and lifestyle factors may also need to be addressed, for example stress is known to make the condition worse.

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Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition which often runs in families and is characterised by itchy, scaly pink patches commonly appearing on the elbows, knees, shins and scalp, while the fingernails and toenails may also be affected. It is difficult to know what causes psoriasis, but a combination of a healthy diet and appropriate skin ointments enables most sufferers to keep their symptoms under control. 

There is some evidence to support the theory that impaired ability to neutralise and excrete dietary toxins via the liver may contribute to the condition. Traditionally, naturopathic therapies have emphasised liver health in dealing with psoriasis; for this reason it is also recommended that sufferers avoid alcohol.


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more info for skin health

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Articles and research papers on related conditions and topics

licensed remedies
for skin problems

Napiers Skin Soother Herbal Relief contains burdock root, sarsaparilla, queen's delight and red clover.

Napiers Elixir of Echinacea contains echinacea, wild indigo and fumitory.


Burdock root (Arctium lappa) is the mainstay of most internal treatments for skin, as it has a detoxifying effect on the liver.

Don't struggle alone

If you have chronic health problems, we advise you to see a medical herbalist at Napiers or through the  National Institute of Medical Herbalists


Starflower oil (Borago officinalis) is pressed from the seeds. High in GLA it is extremely soothing.


Calendula (C. Officinalis) also called Pot Marigold stimulates and speeds up skin cell renewal.


Humble Chickweed (Stellaria media) is cooling in skin creams for even the most sensitive and delicate skin types. 

Napiers, Mailorder Dept, 24 Tennant Street, Edinburgh EH6 5ND • Telephone 0845 002 1860 • Caring for you naturally since 1860