👅Geographic tongue (erythema migrans) is a benign condition easily confused with lichen planus (an autoimmune disorder). A geographic tongue will be pink to reddish in color with slightly depressed lesions with irregular white or yellow borders. Geographic tongue usually has hereditary and environmental components (epigenetics!)..... meaning that environmental factors may intensify genetic expression.
Some of the more common environmental factors contributing to magnifying geographic tongue characteristics are endocrine disruptors (including birth control pills). Common endocrine disruptors include BPA (found in plastics), Phthalates (found in most mainstream beauty and skin care products), perchlorate (commonly found in tap water), PFC’s (used in nonstick cookware and fast food containers), and organophosphate pesticides.
Reading labels is a royal pain in the tushie, and all of these environmental toxins are not so nicely found everywhere despite having been banned in many other countries. Even if you are not predisposed to a geographic tongue, endocrine disruptors wreak havoc within all of us, and vigilance is needed. Scientists have pointed to all of these toxins as being key players in the more than 50% decline in fertility (for both men and women) in the USA in the last 30 years.
I am so thankful that Young Living has a full line of skin and body care products for both men and women, as well as gorgeous makeup (#SavvyMinerals) that is safe and free of hidden dangerous chemicals. I could stand on this toxic soapbox for hours, but let’s return to the tongue!
Geographic tongue is often a clue indicating a disposition towards psoriasis, reactive arthritis, allergies, and type I diabetes. That is not to say someone with a geographic tongue will definitely acquire one or more of these dis-ease states. Rather, it’s important to be aware of the possibility and do “all the things” to minimize the chance of acquiring a chronic autoimmune condition. Chronic stress can also magnify the characteristics of a geographic tongue.
👅A fissured tongue is notable for its deep furrows and cracks. Genetics and environmental factors also play a role. Tobacco use, and iron or B12 deficiency are common influencers of a fissured tongue. This particular tongue characteristic is also often seen in patients with psoriasis, Sjogren's Syndrome, and other autoimmune disorders.
👅A swollen, inflamed tongue is sometimes seen in celiac disease (an autoimmune intolerance to gluten).
Did you notice a trend? Many of today's tongue clues are tied to autoimmune disorders which ultimately are connected to gut health and environmental toxin exposure and it's so very important to recognize clues and be proactive instead of reactive!
👅A “scalloped” tongue (ridges or teeth marks on the sides of the tongue) is indicative of fluid retention.
👅Tingling of the tongue may be a symptom of hypoglycemia.
👅 Tongue strength also reveals important clues! Is a person able to stick out his/her tongue, and if so, does it tremble? Remember, the tongue is a strong and very vascular bundle of muscles, much like the heart. Scientists have found that a quivering or trembling tongue is often indicative of a neurological disorder. A tongue quiver may also appear both before a stroke and as an aftermath of a vascular event.
👅As you look at your tongue for any tips or clues, make note of any unusual lumps, discoloration, or localized swelling or sores that do not go away, and contact your favorite health provider should you find something suspicious!
Caring for your tongue is similar to caring for your teeth. A fluoride free toothpaste (have you tried Young Living’s Thieves toothpaste?), oil pulling, and using a copper tongue scraper are all healthy ways to keep your tongue happy!
Tongue Clues: Part I
Nobody ever said clue hunting would be glamorous….. Just ask any dental hygienist about health clues found in the mouth! My hat’s off to these health professionals because they see many warning signs and health clues and (hopefully) help save lives in the process! The tongue alone will keep us busy! So grab a mirror and excellent lighting, and let’s proceed!
👅The human tongue is arguably one of the stronger muscle sets of the body. It operates independently of the skeleton and, much like the heart, the tongue is always working. It helps in the mixing process when eating, is crucial to forming letters when we speak and assists in filtering out germs. Even when we sleep, the tongue is constantly working to push saliva down the throat.
👅The tongue is also highly vascular. Even the slightest changes in the constituents of an individual’s blood will be reflected in the appearance of the tongue thru color, shape, coating, and markings.
Tongue mapping is an Eastern medicine tool, and Western medicine also uses the tongue’s appearance to provide valuable health information. According to Eastern tongue mapping practices (and I’d encourage you to do a little research on this), the tongue can be roughly divided into 3 sections:
Tip = heart & lungs
Middle = liver, gallbladder, stomach, and spleen
Back = intestines, bladder, kidneys
As you look at your tongue, take note of where the clues lie on the tongue according to mapping.
In order to identify clues, we first need to establish what a healthy tongue should look like! The best time to look for clues is first thing in the morning (just like the Candida spit test!), before brushing your teeth and tongue.
👅Color should be consistent across the entire tongue, and should be a light pinkish red, with a very thin white coating over it.
👅It should be moist but not too wet or too dry.
👅Small cylindrical taste buds on the entire top surface of the tongue.
👅No cracks, ulcers, teeth marks, lumps, or discolored patches should be present.
As you look at your tongue, first note the color of the tongue itself (not the film on the tongue just yet).
🔎A very pale or light colored tongue may be indicative of iron deficiency, and is sometimes paired with taste bud atrophy, tongue pain, and occasionally cracks on the side of the mouth. A pale tongue may also indicate poor circulation in the body.
🔎A red inflamed tongue (sometimes known as beefy tongue) may indicate a folate or Vitamin B12 deficiency. Roughly 40% of the adult US population have a B12 deficiency. Frankly, that is not surprising considering the Standard American Diet and extreme overuse of antacids and acid blocking medications which inhibit Vitamin B12 absorption and assimilation.
Now take a look at the “coat” color your tongue is wearing (Remember, a thin white coat is healthy!):
🔎A thicker white or yellowish coating on the tongue may indicate sluggish digestion and even possibly chronic constipation. Digestive enzymes (Essentialzyme, Essentialzymes-4, Allerzyme, or Detoxzyme) and Life 9 probiotic would be an optimal choice to add to your next Young Living order!
🔎A “sticky looking” coating is suggestive of excess phlegm or mucus production in the body.
🔎A black or brownish tinted tongue is most often diet and habit related. This is often related to trapped bacteria and yeast. A permanent brown coating may be an indication of lung dysfunction and is often seen in smokers. There are a few medications that can cause a darker coating on the tongue, but this is normally a transient effect that stops once the medication is discontinued.
🔎Painful white or red patches on the tongue is usually a sign of thrush….evidence of candida overgrowth. It is commonly seen in poorly managed diabetes, after a round of antibiotic therapy, or steroid use (inhaled steroids are notorious for causing this!). All dis-ease begins in the gut, and candida overgrowth anywhere on the body is a sure sign that diet and digestion support desperately need addressing. #lovethegutyourwith
Everything looking good so far? Next week we’ll cover more tongue clues!
xoxo~ liz 😘
www.goodmedicine.info (just holler if you are in need of a little personalized help!)
Breath Clues: Part II
Becoming aware of HOW you breathe is important both as a health clue and an (inexpensive and valuable!) wellness tool.
Did you take the quick quiz on the graphic? If not, take a moment to do so!
Statistically, chronic shallow (mouth, neck, and upper chest) breathing is the most common type of breathing in Westernized cultures. This type of breathing perpetuates stress and anxiety, activates the "fight or flight" (sympathetic response), and suppresses the immune system.
Conversely, diaphragmatic (deep belly) breathing balances the nervous system, supports heart health, improves circulation, promotes lymphatic drainage, reduces stress, calms the mind, and brings the body back into a more homeostatic state.
Do you notice how some people remain calm, cool, and collected while others become a tightly wound spring with every stressor? The ability to pivot from "fight or flight" to "rest and digest" is incredibly important to health outcomes! ( Pharmacist tip: Learning to do this is helpful in keeping you away from the pharmacy!)
The longest nerve in the body is called the 👉vagus nerve 👈. It runs from the brain thru the lungs and on to the gut, and affects every organ and body system it comes in contact with along the way ..... stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder, heart, lungs, and the immune, endocrine, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems. In other words, the vagal nerve pathway is kind of a big deal! 😍
High vagal tone is incredibly important to overall health and wellbeing..... really, it's a use it or lose it situation. Low vagal tone is associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, GI disorders, and depression. Diaphragmatic breathing increases vagal tone!
If deep belly breathing is not something you do on the regular (ie: it's become second nature to you), Here are a few tips and tricks:
👉 Start with just 2 minutes several times a day.
1. Place one hand on your upper chest and the other just below your rib cage, so you can feel your diaphragm move as you breathe.
2. Inhale deeply thru your nose for the count of 6-8 seconds (or 4-5 seconds if that's too much).... allowing your belly to expand. Try to fill your lungs with air. NOTE! The hand on your chest should remain as still as possible.
3. Slowly exhale through your nose for the count of 6-8 (or 4-5) drawing your belly button in and down as your abdomen moves inward.
4. As you breathe inward deeply, envision oxygen flowing inward and recharging your body. As you exhale, envision all the stress and tension leaving your body.
5. Practice this for 2-3 minutes at a time (20-30 breath cycles). Graduate to 5 minutes as you are able!
Scientifically noted benefits of diaphragmatic breathing can be further enhanced when you pair your breathing practice with Young Living essential oils known for their supportive roles in health and wellness goals:
🌿Want to improve mood? Pair your practice with Citrus Fresh eo blend!
🌿 Looking for better concentration? Try Brain Power or Frankincense!
🌿 Looking to better manage pain? (Yes, deep breathing helps with this too!) Add in PanAway or Deep Relief
🌿 Wanting to lower your blood pressure (Yep, deep breathing exercises does this too!)..... support happy vascular system breathing practices with Joy, Aroma Life, Ylang Ylang, or Lavender.
🌿Lowering blood sugar (amazing what regular deep breathing may do! Consider deep inhalations of Coriander, Melissa, or Christmas Spirit!
🌿 Improve your sleep. Pair pre bedtime deep breathing with a diffuser loaded with Cedarwood, Orange, and Lavender!
🌿 Use as a tool in your weight loss journey. Have you tried Grapefruit essential oil or Thieves on the bottom of the feet?
🌿 Strengthen the pelvic floor muscle (which will also improve bladder and bowel elimination function!). Consider pairing with Clary Sage, Cypress, or (Digize 👈 for colon support).
🌿Better lymphatic flow?.... You'll love Lemon essential oil (both regular and vitality!)!
Noticing how you are breathing, and then making corrections as needed is a simple, but VIP wellness tool and health clue! Just as diaphragmatic breathing is helpful, chronic shallow breathing will exacerbate many health problems, and over time, may also contribute to lung infections and lung diseases.
Just breathe...... deeply!
www.goodmedicine.info (👈 if you'd like to know more about additional breathing practices or the oils mentioned above, let's chat!)
I’m not going to lie, sometimes looking for clues can get a wee bit uncomfortable. Nobody likes to be told they have bad breath, and this is a clue that will likely require some help from someone who loves you. Kinda like scratching your own back… not easy!..... neither is smelling your own breath! So grab a partner should you be inclined, and let’s talk about odiferous exhalations.
There are roughly 10 major causes of halitosis. Gums, mints, and mouthwashes will only do so much good if you don’t address the root of the clue! Of course, some foods can leave malingering odors in the pie-hole and are not of concern. It’s the chronic bad breath that will be leaving you notable clues.
*Rotten or Decaying odors: This is most commonly caused by gingivitis, a rotten tooth, or medications that cause dry mouth. Dry mouth sets the stage for bacterial invasion, which of course, ultimately leads to tooth decay and plaque-induced gingivitis. There are over 400 medications that are known to cause dry mouth. This is but one reason to work really hard not to need medication in my opinion. Oral health and hygiene goes a LONG way to preventing other dis-ease states in the body (we will chat more about that topic another day). If you are not already using Thieves toothpaste and Thieves mouthwash, I encourage you to add it to your next order! Both are highly effective means for neutralizing odor caused by bad breath bacteria and help fight plaque induced gingivitis.
*A sweet / fruity odor: Officially, this is called ketoacidosis, and some people say it this type of breath also smells like acetone (nail polish remover). An odor like this often indicates an imminent health crisis if related to a diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) event. The body is burning fat instead of glucose at a high rate. It’s not harmful for the body to burn fat, as long as blood ketone levels do not rise too high in the process. Occasionally, people who engage in a “keto diet” may develop keto breath on the short term. In this instance, it’s not dangerous, but keep your Thieves mints or lozenges handy!
*Sour Acidic: This odor is most often related to reflux. Contrary to common thought, reflux is not often the result of too much acid in the stomach (oftentimes, the opposite is true!). If the very important process of enzymatic & acidic digestion is not occurring in an efficient manner, reflux may result. Essentialzyme caplets might well become your new BFF, should you choose to give them a try!
*Metallic: This is often a taste as much as a smell. An H. Pylori infection (which can be paired with reflux sometimes too) or certain medications are the most common contributors. Medications that have been found to leave the breath smelling/tasting metallic include some antibiotics, chemo meds, lithium, some arthritis meds, metformin, and some blood pressure meds.
*Faintly mothball like: Chronic allergies, sinus infections, and post nasal drip are the common contributors to this one. Yuck, right? Ya’ll have access to all the healthy tools to make this one go away! Not sure where to start? Ask a seasoned oily pro about their favorite diffuser recipes or DIY nasal spray recipe! Nobody’s got time to run around smelling like mothballs!
*Moldy-Musty: Also called “fetor hepaticus”...this is a symptom of liver disease.
*Significant morning breath: Everyone has some sort of dragon breath in the morning, but this is the difference between dragon and gecko breath. People who sleep with their mouth open ultimately wake up with a dry mouth which is prime real estate for bacteria colonization. Pair this with certain sleep medications (or any of the other 399 meds) that cause dry mouth, and tooth decay will often soon follow (refer to point #1!)
*Fishy-ammonia: This particular odor is typically related to kidney disease.
*Sour milk: Typically, this odor will be transient following the consumption of dairy products. It is indicative of lactose intolerance.
*Dirty Diapers: Gross, right? An estimated 10% of the adult population is prone to an odd little thing called tonsil stones. A tonsil stone is a semi solid “stone-like” build up of debris that gets lodged in the folds of the tonsils…… kind of like acne of the tonsils! Tonsil stones don’t generally lead to health complications, but they DO cause gross breath. Other tonsil stone clues may include: (no fever), sore throat, tonsil swelling, and ear pain of unknown origin. Tonsil stones are caused by chronic sinus issues or inadequate dental hygiene. Thankfully there are natural ways to dislodge them and prevent them! Gargling daily (hello Thieves mouthwash!), Oil pulling, staying well hydrated, and consuming probiotics daily are all helpful tools to avoid the dreaded dirty diaper breath!
If you’re like me, you just went and brushed your teeth and gargled with #alltheThieves oral care products after reading this! Truly tho, these are important health clues and identifying a trending of clues may give you the time to nip a problem before it has a strong foothold.
Health Clues You Can Use: The Candida Spit Test
We’ve moved on to the mouth ya’ll! Today we’re only going to cover one topic because it is large and important: Candida. Candida traditionally gets a bad rap as a fungus amongst us, but it actually has a valuable job in digestion and nutrient absorption. The problem is that a little goes a long way, and when its environment is favorable, Candida will take over in a hot minute…...and in our modern world, it doesn’t take long for that to happen! A few of the most common triggers for candida run amok include:
🔥A high carb, high sugar diet
🔥Excessive alcohol consumption
🔥Certain medications (eg: Statins, antacids, birth control pills and synthetic hormone replacement therapies for both men and women, antibiotics, steroids -including inhaled, immunosuppressants typically given to treat autoimmune disorders)
🔥Heavy metals (think fillings and some tattoo inks)
🔥Even a diet excessively rich in fermented foods can aggravate the healthy gut flora balance. #everythinginmoderationfriends!
A healthy gut generally keeps Candida levels under control. This is but one reason to embrace the daily ritual of taking 👉Young Living’s Life 9 probiotic. Candida is often a contributor to leaky gut. In a perfect world, everything stays inside the gut, but the little tentacle-like fingers that candida grows may push thru the gut lining causing the digestive tract to leak into the body. This is problematic for many reasons, but for the point here…….Candida can now invade other parts of the body, transitioning into a full-body attack.
Symptoms of candida overgrowth can be experienced in many different forms:
👉Skin infections and disorders (athlete's foot, jock itch, vaginal yeast infections, ringworm, and fungal infections in folds of skin, eczema, hives and rashes of unknown origin )
👉Nail infections including toenail fungus (go back and check your nail clues notes!)
👉Digestive issues including diarrhea, constipation, and/or bloating
Flareups of autoimmune diseases (including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis)
👉Severe seasonal allergies
👉Strong sugar and refined carb cravings
👉Difficulty concentrating, brain fog, poor memory and/or lack of focus
Are your spidey senses humming with some of these clues? If so, it’s time to try the “Candida Spit Test”.
CANDIDA SPIT TEST:
This simple test is best done first thing in the morning before ANYTHING is put into the mouth (even water!).
Spit into a clear glass filled with water.
Observe your spit every 15 minutes for one hour.
A “positive” test would include the following features:
* Strings of saliva resembling jellyfish tentacles traveling down into the water
* Cloudy specs suspended in the water
* Cloudy saliva that sinks to the bottom of the glass
If there are none of these features in the glass after one hour, the odds are in your favor that your Candida population is under control. Remember that our bodies change daily, especially if there has been an extended season of stress or exposure to Candida triggers. This is a good test to consider employing whenever you have a few of the symptoms (ahem, clues!) mentioned above.
If you discover that you likely do have a candida population explosion, remember to work on eliminating the triggers mentioned above, make sure you are taking Life 9 and one of Young Living’s digestive enzymes (Essentialzymes-4, Essentialzyme, Allerzyme, Detoxzyme, or for the kiddos - MightyZyme) daily for healthy gut support, and consider incorporating “candida diet” eating habits into your life!
A healthy immune system will help keep Candida growth in check too! You know what to do, right? Support your body with all the tools available to us through Young Living and nature!
* Although we could explore skin clues for the rest of the year, today we’ll wrap up dermal geographical points of interest. You’re getting the idea, right? The body, especially its “packaging” gives loads and loads of early clues as to the direction a body’s health may be headed. As with GPS, you can pay attention to the map and gain control over where you are heading, or you can ignore the map/clues……... and who knows where you may end up!
* Acanthosis nigricans (AN) is a skin abnormality that results in velvety darker discolorations found most often in body folds and creases. The discoloration develops gradually over time and is most often seen across the back of the neck, armpits, and groin area. Although acanthosis nigricans is sometimes an inherited skin characteristic, the most common cause is diabetes and obesity. Endocrine abnormalities (thyroid) and certain cancers (adenocarcinomas) can also cause this type of skin change.
Chronic use of certain medications can also cause AN. Birth Control Pills and some hormone replacement therapies, steroids, high dose niacin, and a class of drugs used to treat HIV (protease inhibitors) are the most common offenders.
* Keratosis pilaris (KP) is an annoying but harmless skin condition which causes dry rough patches and tiny bumps often seen on the upper arms, thighs, cheeks, or buttocks. You may have heard it sometimes called “chicken skin”. An estimated 40% of the population has experienced it, and though often related to a Vitamin A deficiency (which is seen in roughly 51% of adults in the USA), KP is most often seen in people who regularly eat a very specific set of food triggers.
Who’d have thought that 51% of adults in the USA would have a Vitamin A deficiency?.... And yet we do. Vitamin A deficiency will ultimately affect the eyes in addition to the skin. Young Living has a super eye health supplement called Illumineyes which happens to be loaded with Vitamin A. #killtwobirdswithonestone
Those with KP would do best to avoid common skin irritants found in mainstream bath and body care products. Thankfully, Young Living has us covered here too! They make caring for ourselves so very easy! Have you tried any of the YL bath and shower gels and bar soaps? I’m especially fond of the Morning Start Shower Gel!
Food triggers are a serious influencer of keratosis pilaris. Thankfully, the foods that tend to trigger the outbreaks are 100% unnecessary and are generally void of quality nutritional value. These would include:
🔥Refined white sugar
🔥High fructose corn syrup
🔥Trans fats (found predominantly in junk and fast foods)
🔥Refined carbs (white bread, pastries, soda, sugary breakfast cereals, etc)
🔥Artificial flavorings and colorings
🔥Commercial (homogenized/pasteurized) dairy
My feeling about KP is that, while annoying and harmless, it is an early red flag clue that bumpy waters may lay ahead if reparations are not in order. If food is a trigger, then the gut is compromised and showing early signs of stress. Don’t let this stress escalate…. It’s a slippery slope. The gut is at the root of all chronic disease throughout the body, not the least of which is digestive disorders themselves! YL’s Life 9 probiotic and a digestive enzyme (Essentialzyme, Essentialzymes-4, Allerzyme, or Detoxzyme) would be excellent supportive measures to get and keep your gut on track.
KP is a common skin condition among children too….. It’s far better to nip things in the bud than it is to let a situation escalate, even if it means going thru a season of junk food withdrawal. Good eating habits are perhaps one of the best gifts you can give a kiddo! Don’t forget that Young Living has Kidscents Mightypro probiotic packets and Mightyzyme chewable digestive enzymes for little tummies too!
Because KP is actually a buildup of dead tissue, a gentle but effective way to minimize the bumps is by using a “clean” DIY sugar scrub on the areas 3-4 times a week.
2 cups organic brown sugar
½ cup organic fractionated coconut oil
½ cup honey
5 drops of lavender essential oil
* Dandruff affects roughly 50% of the population and comes in a few common types. It too is more annoying than harmful, but clues are flying with each brushing of the hair!
Possible causes of dandruff include:
🔥Chronic inflammatory skin condition(s).... Remember skin is a mirror of the gut!
🔥Allergy or sensitivity to something either applied or ingested (again, gut flag!)
🔥Yeast overgrowth (gut flag!)
🔥Omega 3 deficiency
Managing stress is key with any inflammatory condition. Stress reduction techniques include yoga, prayer, meditation, deep breathing, and utilizing your favorite calming essential oils.
A whopping 98% of the US population fails when it comes to optimal Omega 3’s in their diet. OmegaGize3 is loaded with what we need so as not to be a part of that epic fail statistic. Other clues of Omega 3 deficiencies may include dry hair, dry skin, depression, dry eyes, joint pain and stiffness.
* Thinning hair is something that happens gradually over time. While it is normal to lose around 100 hairs a day, hairs should also be growing back in as they are falling out. Very few people have the hair in their 50’s+ that they had in their 20’s. #aginghappens
Factors that affect thinning hair may include:
Genetics (family pattern hair loss)
Emotional & physical stress
Medical conditions (thyroid or hormone imbalance, and heart disorders)
Poor nutrition or poor absorption of nutrients
Hair products that make thinning worse
Decrease in collagen production as we age
---Ways to minimize thinning hair include eating nutrient dense foods (and utilizing the YL digestive enzymes mentioned above!), OmegaGize3 !!!, and supplemental collagen (internally).
Medications will always and forever have side effects. By their very definition they are a toxin, and many of them cause hair loss. Some of the top offenders include:
Certain acne meds
Anti-coagulants (after about 3-4 months)
Immunosuppressants (methotrexate, Enbrel, Humira etc)
Some anti seizure meds
Blood pressure meds (those whose generic name ends in -olol or -pril)
Mood stabilizer meds (including paxil, zoloft, amitriptyline, and prozac)
Weight loss meds (eg: phentermine)
Gout meds (allopurinol)
Many chemotherapy agents
Steroids (which are also immunosuppressants)
NSAIDS (ex: ibuprofen, naproxen )
I am not a doctor, and cannot diagnose, treat or cure you. I will however, continue to provide you with clues you can use to help you find your way back to the vibrant healthy person God designed you to be (or to support the vibrant health person you already are!). Which body part should we cover next as we continue to unearth clues?
SKIN PART IV : Moles, Skin tags, Bruising, and Early Aging
Isn’t the skin an amazing treasure map of health clues? Today we’re going to dive into some of the signs we’ve all noticed either on ourselves (or others). Bumps, bruises, and wrinkles ….. Oh my!
Moles (nevi) are a common feature on dermal landscape, especially among the fair skinned population. Genetics, sun exposure and certain medications (eg: medications which suppress the immune system, certain antibiotics,synthetic hormones, and some antidepressants) can contribute to mole formation. Additionally, chronic nerve pain or nerve conditions often causes changes in color (mole production being part of those changes!) and temperature of skin. It’s not uncommon to develop a mole pattern on the back, legs, arms, neck etc when there has been damage to the “mothership” spinal cord from surgery or injury.
The most important thing to consider when looking yourself over for moles is noticing changes. Do you know your ABCDE’s of moles?
A: Asymmetry (one side doesn’t match the other)
B: Border (ragged, blurred, or irregular)
C: Color (different colors or shades within a singular mole)
D: Diameter (is it larger than a pencil eraser?)
E: Evolving (is it different from other moles you may have, and has it changed in size, shape or color?)
You’ll notice that the picture included in the graphic has several moles. The one with a red arrow pointing to it is an example of a concerning mole which should be seen by a health professional.
If you have any of the health risks listed above, consider having a skin check done every year by a thorough dermatologist. (I do!)
Other interesting historical and scientific factoids:
*Studies indicated that very “moley” skin have an increased risk for skin, colon and breast cancers
*Studies also indicate that very “moley” skin (greater than 100 moles) tend to have less risk for osteoporosis
*In the 18th century, men and women wore small velvet patches made to look like moles to cover up scars from smallpox.
*On average, only 1 in 100 people are born with a congenital mole.
*Moles come in different colors and shades: Black, red and brown most typically.
Just as moles can “appear”, they can also disappear when healing to the nerve circuitry occurs.
Skin Tags are different from moles. They may be considered an unappealing dermal feature and they are usually very harmless. That said, they are LOADED with health clues.
HPV (human papillomavirus) comes in more than 100 different varieties and affects all areas of the body. HPV is not deadly and it can be difficult to detect. Studies have found that nearly 70% of people with skin tags had a form of HPV. HPV is transmitted thru skin to skin transmission of any kind. While there is a vaccine sold for HPV, I am not a fan of it. As a pharmacist, I’ve done my research, and I feel that the benefits do not outweigh the risks of the vaccine. It is far more beneficial to boost the immune system daily in all the ways you are learning to do here in this group and to practice healthy lifestyle choices.
Skin tags are also an early indicator of diabetes. Diabetes causes a person’s hormones to fall further out of balance, and when hormones that are responsible for healthy skin grown are affected, skin tags may appear. Once normal blood sugar levels are restored AND MAINTAINED, skin tags tend to disappear on their own. If you notice you have skin tags, it may be worthwhile to check your blood sugar with either lab work or a home testing kit.
Obesity paired with friction (hormones and collagen production cannot keep up with the body’s repair needs)
Hormone imbalances (often seen in poly cystic ovarian syndrome PCOS…. In PCOS, skin tags generally start appearing rapidly…. Like a new one every month)
Age (its harder to balance hormones and collagen production is weaker)
All of these scenarios revolve around unbalanced hormones and impaired collagen production to some degree or another. Remember that you are the ultimate CEO of you, and only you can make changes for the betterment of your health long term. God is giving us “check engine lights” with these clues and it is to our individual benefit to heed these built in warning signs. #Sulfurzymesupportshealthycollagenproduction
Bruising, or rather “easy bruising” or bruises that can take weeks to heal have multiple causes:
>>Certain medications can cause this effect (especially blood thinners and “anti-platelet” medications). Other drugs that can do this too include some anti-depressants (prozac, celexa, and paxil), prednisone, and some chemotherapy agents.
>>Aged blood vessels become weaker and skin thins (collagen is depleted).
>>Vasculitis (inflamed blood vessels)
>>A small percentage of “easy bruisers” have a genetic bruising disorder, an autoimmune disorder, or another acquired deficiency.
>>Vitamin deficiencies (Vitamins C, K and/or B12)
>>Peripheral Vascular Disease can lead to decreased blood flow and cause unexplained bruising (most often in the legs)
Helichrysum essential oil has a chemical constituent within it called italidione. Italidione is known for being able to keep blood inside a vessel even after an injury has occurred. Italidione also supports the efficient breakdown of bruising and swelling which contributes to efficient healing time.
Roman Chamomile essential oil also helps support a healthy inflammatory response (not to be confused with the “run away train” variety!) and thereby also supports an efficient healing process.
Premature Aging. Everyone’s favorite right? Have you ever heard the term “sugar face”? This refers to a forehead with deeply carved lines and it happens when too much sugar is consumed on the regular. Overconsumption of processed sugary foods causes a breakdown of collagen and elastin, two substances in our bodies that keep our skin firm and taut. Sugar inflames the skin and generally will aggravate skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis. Because of what sugar does to our skin, it doesn’t just cause the breakdown of collagen, it also makes skin stiffer and more brittle. This will ultimately lead to fine lines and wrinkles we are all trying to avoid! Sulfurzyme will always be a helpful tool, but it can only do so much if excess sugar remains in the picture. Ultimately, our job is to give the body the tools it needs and to also take away that which is causing the problems to begin with.
Other causes of wrinkles include:
Excess sun exposure (especially in a toxin laden body)#ditchthetoxins
Wearing our emotions on our faces (I personally find laugh lines a beautiful thing…. Frown lines, not so much!) Remember how your mama may have said, “be careful or your face will freeze that way!”.... Turns out she was kind of right. Your emotions will eventually weave a pattern into your face. The world needs more smile lines! Use your emotional releasing/supportive oils. They work when they are used and not kept on the shelf 😉.
Chronic Dehydration ( If you don’t like plain water, give those YL Vitality drops a try! They are delish!! )
Did you find these clues helpful? Remember to work with your favorite healthcare professional if something about any of these clues triggers an “ah ha” moment within in you!
“To know a person’s experiences from the past, examine the body now.” ~ Ancient Anon.
(Here are links to skin clues in this chapter of the ‘Becoming Your Own Health Detective’ series)
Skin Part I: https://www.goodmedicine.info/blog/health-clues-in-our-skin-1
Skin Part II: https://www.goodmedicine.info/blog/health-clues-in-your-skin-part-2
Dry itchy skin is common in the winter, so this is probably a fairly hot topic right about now thanks to the winter climate❄️. Often easier said than remembered…… drink more water if dry skin is your current nemesis! People tend to consume less water in the winter, so be vigilant and conscientious of how much water you are actively consuming daily. If plain water isn’t your cuppa, add in YL’s Vitality Drops (Regular….. Grapefruit Bergamot & Lavender Lemon or for a little extra pep in your step, Energy….. Jade Lemon & Spearmint Tangerine). YL’s Coconut Lime Body Butter is a great tool for combating winter dry skin from the outside, and its smell makes me feel like it’s summer on the beach with a little umbrella adorned drink in my hand!
Beyond dehydration, there is a wide variety of other reasons for dry skin. If fairly localized (or patchy) consider the skin care products you are using. Harsh chemicals in standard skincare products are commonplace, and your skin will recognize the difference! We are blessed by Young Living’s skin care line, Thieves products, and Savvy Minerals makeup and these “clean” products are important tools for healthy skin.
Contact dermatitis is another localized type of dry or irritated skin. As its name suggests, it is inflammation 🔥resulting from contact to a trigger irritant or allergen. It usually clears up on its own over time as long as exposure to the trigger is halted.
Eczema (aka: atopic dermatitis) is a catch-all term for a group of conditions that make skin inflamed🔥 or irritated….. A bigger chronic problem. An estimated 10% of people in the USA have some form of eczema. Research suggests that eczema falls into the autoimmune condition category, and may have a genetic component (as do many autoimmune disorders). The good news is that, thanks to epigenetics (our environment is an enormous influencer of gene expression), WE ALL have a great deal of control of our environment, and can do quite a lot to keep the problematic genes from expressing themselves.
The term eczema comes from the Greek word ‘ekzein’ which means ‘to boil over’..... In this case, it’s an external sign that trouble is brewing in the gut. Keeping skin inflammation🔥 down ultimately lies in healing your digestive tract and avoiding food triggers such as sugar, gluten, and processed foods….. remembering that we are all uniquely made and one man’s trigger may not be another’s! It can be tricky to identify your trigger, but stick with it… it typically takes 6-8 weeks of avoiding a trigger for true healing to reveal itself.
Autoimmune disorders are like cats…. You may start out with one🐈, but people rarely typically end with just one🐈🐈🐈🐈, so it’s best to get eczema under control before it “boils over” into other body system dysfunctions. Sulfurzyme, Life 9 probiotic, and Essentialzyme4 are just a few of the amazing supportive tools we have available to us as Young Living members! #nobodywantstocollectAutoimmunedisorders
“Sallow skin” is another rather broad term for a general unhealthy skin tone that tends towards dullish, yellowish, or pale. Do not misinterpret this. There are very healthy people with a natural bent towards pale or olive complexion…… but if you walk into an oncologist’s waiting room, you’ll immediately know what this skin tone looks like. Sallow skin is very identifiable, and there are varying degrees of “sallow”. Regardless of the degree, it is definitely a clue to perk up and make some health and habit changes! Common causes of sallow skin include:
👉Vitamin Deficiency (esp Vit A, Vit B12, Vit C, Vit D, Vit E) #haveyoutriedMasterFormula
👉Serious chronic stress (long term “heavy” emotional stress)
👉Lack of Sleep
👉Poor skin care
👉An underlying chronic health condition
Rosacea, a red or “ruddy” complexion is also a branch of the autoimmune family tree, so it behooves the bearer of chronic rosy cheeks to support their immune and digestive systems.
Hair in unwanted places is a sure sign of a hormonal imbalance for women. Traditionally, we’ve been led to believe that unwanted hair growth is likely related to excess testosterone, and that is only partially true. The bigger picture is that our hormonal system is a finely tuned instrument and it only takes a fraction of an imbalance to cause significant problems. The balance between circulating testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone is important, as is insulin sensitivity.
Insulin (a hormone too!) resistance is typically caused by years of a diet high in sugar and refined carbs. In the insulin resistant individual, the body is losing its ability to respond to glucose and to properly metabolize food. Someone who is insulin resistant will have a hard time balancing sex hormones without addressing the insulin resistance component first. Insulin resistance is often seen in tandem with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Diet and exercise are absolutely critical tools to use when addressing the root cause. Advanced labwork is also a key tool. Simply measuring basic glucose is not enough. You’ll also want HbA1c and fasting insulin tested (as well as a hormone panel). Find your favorite holistic or integrative health provider to help walk you thru hormone balancing, and listen to you body! Insulin resistance will ultimately lead to Insulin injections if not addressed properly, and nobody wants that! We farmgirls call this “fish or cut bait time.” As the CEO of your own body, important decisions need to be made for your VIP company’s health.
As a reminder: I am not a doctor, and cannot diagnose, treat, or offer to cure you. The goal of this series is to provide thought provoking clues so that you can manage your own health a little more effectively and efficiently! I CAN help you learn to navigate how to do this in a way that honors your unique body and life.
That said, tried and true beginner thru advanced steps geared to improved health will ALWAYS include:
✅Getting rid of toxins
✅Cleaning up your diet
✅Staying well hydrated with “clean” water
✅Getting 7-8 hr of sleep
✅Managing stress properly
✅Working on decreasing inflammation
Have a beautiful day friends!
www.goodmedicine.info (👈 links to a complimentary health coaching call can be found here, as well as to the products mentioned above. )
Acne Face Mapping….. Have you heard of it? We tend to look at acne as an unpleasant teenage memory, but blemishes, whether adolescent or adult, contains valuable health clues! There are some incredibly toxic prescription medications for acne, and if they can be avoided they should be. Young Living has a Maximum Strength Acne Treatment cream (item #23795) and the Charcoal Bar Soap (item #23799) that are both incredible tools in defeating acne from the outside. However, acne is representative of an imbalance within the body that should be addressed if a chronic situation is to be overcome in a healthy manner.
Clues can be found knowing the location of the blemish breakout, the “style” of the breakout, and the “type” of the breakout, and the frequency of the breakout.
Clue Type: Frequency
A chronic blemish problem on a specific area of the face is a strong indicator of which body system is lacking support. If the root cause goes unaddressed, there may eventually be spillover to other parts of the face or body.
Clue Type: Acne Appearance
Red Inflamed Skin in combination with acne- usually due to poor detoxification, so there is a buildup of toxins the body cannot get rid of fast enough. This is a key indicator that lifestyle changes must happen and that the liver is in need of supportive tender loving care.. Most often, a processed food diet and/or toxic skincare products are causative culprits. Genetically, we are all very different, and some people process toxins better than others, even within families. #MTHFRgenevarianceisagoodstudytopic
Painful red cystic acne- poor liver detoxification and a sluggish lymphatic system. (Note to self: are you supporting your lymphatic system with gentle lymphatic massage you can do yourself? #YouTubeisyourfriend Are you adding YL’s Lemon Vitality essential oil to your water on the regular for lymphatic system support?)
Acne closely surrounding the mouth: may indicate digestive system inflammation, food intolerances, underactive liver function, and too little hydrochloric acid in the stomach….. A quite common thing! There are other health clues indicating low stomach acid out #tobecoveredlater…. And EssentialZyme (regular EZyme, not the EZyme4) is an excellent product Young Living has which supports healthy stomach acid production as well as digestive enzymes. #haveyouhadyourdigestiveenzymestoday
Rash like pimples and uneven skin tone - may indicate candida (a yeast) overgrowth in the body. You may also find a rash in warm moist areas of the body such as armpits, groin, folds of skin on the torso, and on the feet. Investigate what a “candida diet” might mean for you. If you are not taking Young Living’s Life 9 probiotic, now would also be a good time to start in addition to changing eating habits. Candida overgrowth is a VERY common problem, especially for those whose diet is high in sugar and processed foods.
Breakouts along the jawline- these tend to wax and wane in a cyclic nature and are usually related to a hormonal imbalance. (Ex: Poly cystic ovarian syndrome, androgen dominance, or estrogen dominance are frequent offenders here). Be patient!! These can sometimes take awhile to get under control once you’ve begun addressing the problem. As many of you ladies already know, Progessence Plus can be a game changer for this type of acne as it supports healthy hormones (note: not recommended to be used in combination with Birth Control Pills containing progesterone. I’m not a fan of Birth Control Pills as a pharmacist…… they really do a number on your body, including adversely affecting your thyroid function. Many young women are put on BCP’s to control acne (not realizing they will be trading one problem for a host of others ) when all they usually need to do is clean up their diet and skincare and learn to detoxify properly.
Whiteheads or Blackheads- often due to the use of chemically “dirty” skincare or makeup, or failure to clean the skin properly with healthy skincare options (Have you tried Young Living’s ART , Bloom, or Orange Blossom skincare lines? YL’s Charcoal bar soap is a must have for anyone who need to up their skincare game.
Breakouts on the cheeks- often the result of a high fat and mucus forming diet, and also ….. This would be a diet high in “bad” fats, commercial dairy (not raw), refined sugar, and processed foods. Cheek acne, when paired with gum disease, tooth sensitivity, or tooth pain may also indicate a subclinical infection somewhere within the mouth.
Breakouts on the line from the outside corner of the nostril to the corner of the mouth- the colon!!!! I speak from personal experience on this one…. Whenever my personal “house” is out of order, I occasionally get a really interesting rash in this very location. Young Living’s Juvatone is very much one of my best friends, and I use it to support my liver which in turn supports my colon health!
Internal and External Factors Causing Acne: This list is not comprehensive, but it’s a great place to start! With nearly all of these factors, the root cause lies within the realm of “things we can control” if we choose to do the work.
🔥Candida, fungus and molds - usually will cause “shiny” skin that will be oilier than normal, most often affecting the T-Zone. Fungus and molds can hide quite easily in a home or office building, and it’s worth the effort to track it down and clean it up, especially if you have other health clues indicating that fungus/mold may indeed be amongst you and your loved ones.
🔥Congested Liver- lots of blackheads and clogged pores that are red and sore to the touch.
🔥PCOS, childbirth, menopause, estrogen dominance, breast feeding (all hormonal imbalance events)- acne most often sits just below the skin and is often tender to the touch. Women most often experience most of this type of acne along their jawline. Do not underestimate the power of a good friend like Progessence Plus in times such as these.
🔥Blemishes along the very edges of the hairline only are often a reaction to chemicals in skincare, makeup, or shampoo. #haveyoutriedtoxinfreeYLSavvyMinerals
Acne face mapping is quite revealing in terms of health clues as is face mapping in general! I could write for weeks on this particular topic, so hopefully this brief overview has given you the spark to do a little more digging on your own. Ultimately, inflammation, hormones, and/or an overtaxed liver are the three main causative agents of acne. Now it’s your turn…. What products have you found to be helpful in managing your skin’s health?
We have much more to cover on skin health clues…...stay tuned!
My goal is to teach you how to discerningly care for yourself! 😘
We’ve moved on to new terrain! Skin holds sooo many clues friends. Please continue to be mindful of the difference between a singular clue and a diagnosis! A clue by itself may mean next to nothing, but if you can pair multiple clues together, the savvy personal health detective can often head off big health concerns by being proactive and using the right tools and lifestyle habits to get back on track!
Bags and Circles around the eyes👀 are separate clues, but often paired together. Common causes of dark circles include stress, anemia, dehydration, fatigue, allergies, nasal congestion, a parasite load, chronic eye strain, thinning of skin, and unhealthy habits.
Chronic stress and fatigue often (and usually) go hand in hand. It’s awfully hard to get a good night’s sleep if you are under a great deal of stress. Conversely, if you are missing out on sleep for whatever reason, a chronically stressed body will ultimately result. We, in the Young Living community, have an arsenal of tools to help us sleep and keep our bodies and minds balanced even during stressful seasons. My bedtime regimen always includes oils (Tranquil or Rutavala are my go to!) to support healthy sleeping habits, and my nightly pre-bedtime ImmuPro supports both sleep and immune system function. I also mitigate stress with regular exercise, plenty of time outdoors, prayerful meditation time and faith based yoga.
Thinning of the skin happens naturally as we age simply because collagen production begins decreasing after about the age of 25…….the older we get the less our body produces! A couple of key ingredients that our body needs for collagen production include Vitamin C complex (hint: Super C Chewables for the win!) and elemental sulfur (hint: Sulfurzyme ). Pair this clue with a quick look at your fingernails and make note of any evidence of pitting!
Perhaps you are feeling your dark circles might be clues related to allergies or chronic congestion? Allergies always have a digestive dysfunction component, and it may behoove you to look into Young Living’s AllerZyme capsules for digestive enzyme support. I’ve personally also found several essential oils that work quite well in our home for seasonal respiratory support when used topically, diffused, or taken internally (in vitality form)..... What have you found that works for you?
As we discussed over in the fingernails section, parasites are not an uncommon first world problem. Check your fingernails for Beau’s lines for an additional clue!
Puffiness under the eyes is often a sign of inflammation or water retention. How might you pair puffiness with other signs of inflammation in the body?
Xanthelasma is the formation of cholesterol deposits around the eyes. While it can occasionally be hereditary, most often it is a clue that cholesterol levels are high. Recent research has also linked xanthelasma to type II diabetes. If you have found this clue around your eyes, I suggest reaching out to your favorite healthcare provider to schedule labwork to evaluate both cholesterol and blood sugar levels. (If you don't have a healthcare provider handy, message me, and I can walk you thru setting up labwork analysis!) Both high cholesterol and type II diabetes are largely correctable with changes to lifestyle and eating habits….. So be encouraged! You are the CEO of your own body, and that gives you the power to make healthy changes!
Are you starting to put clues together? It’s kinda fun, isn’t it? Agatha Christie would be proud!
Stay tuned for more skin clues coming your way…..
(holler if you need labwork or are interested in any of the above mentioned products. I'd love to help you help yourself!)
Hey there....thanks for stopping by! This is me (Liz James)... an eclectic mixture of holistic (and organic) farmgirl meets pharmacist. It's a synergy that works well as I speak truths and dissect fact from fiction. If you're looking for healthier living options, you've come to the right place!