The body naturally detoxifies itself daily, but toxic residues may remain. The amount of toxic residues depends on exposure to pollution and other harmful sources, which are sometimes self-ingested, like alcohol. When the body experiences detoxification, or cleansing, symptoms occur with an intensity contingent on the speed of the detoxification and the amount of toxins to be rid. Just as other symptoms occur during a detoxification process, the skin will exhibit visible signs of the body cleansing itself.
The skin is made up of two layers, the epidermis and, beneath it, the dermis. The outermost level of the epidermis is called the stratum corneum. It is important for allergy and sensitivity, as well as protection from external toxins, like pollution. It also helps restrict the loss of water. This skin layer requires ceramides, cholesterol and essential fatty acids to form a healthy, protective barrier. When a heavy amount of toxins enters the body, the strength of the skin becomes weaker and therefore even more likely to allow toxins in. As the body cleanses itself during detoxification and toxins are pushed out of the skin from the inside, the stratum corneum becomes more sensitive.
Skin detoxification symptoms occur in any detoxification process. The symptoms include breakouts, rashes or eruptions and sweat, which may produce a distasteful odor. Hives, eczema, very dry or oily skin, dark eye circles, puffy eyes or rashes are experienced if the dermal system is not working properly.
Skin breakouts are the most common detox symptom and vary in visibility and intensity. Breakouts most often occur on the face but also occur on the neck, chest and back. Pimples appear singly or in groups or clumps, like acne, in the form of whiteheads and deep red and sometimes painful pimples. Rashes most commonly come from allergic reactions and are usually patches of red and bumpy skin. Allergic reactions are a form of skin detox in that the skin is sending visible warnings that there are poisons in the body.
The duration of the skin reaction has variables, including the individual's skin type, the addition or depletion of more toxins to the body and the primary trigger for the reaction, such as a change in contraception method; premenstrual symptom; quitting alcohol, cigarettes, or other substances; change in diet; or an herbal detox. The skin detox symptoms could last from few days to a few weeks, depending on these variables.
Skin detox symptoms are a NOT a bad thing. They show that the body is working properly and ridding itself of toxins. It is often assumed that the skin reaction means that something has gone wrong when, in fact, the skin will be fresher and clearer once the detox process is complete.
In detox, it is best to allow the body to do what it has to, so waiting out a skin reaction is necessary. It is possible, however, to expedite the process in the following ways: 1) Drink a lot of water. 2) Use a loofah sponge or dry skin brush to remove oils and dead skin, help unclog pores and enhance the skin's ability to detoxify. 3) Use a sauna and clear the body of fat-soluble toxins. 4) Do not further irritate the skin by picking, rubbing or squeezing it or by clogging the pores with cosmetic products.