Disordered eating, encompassing a range of eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder, can have far-reaching effects on various aspects of a person's health.
One area often overlooked is the impact on skin health.
In this article, we will explore the unique ways in which different eating disorders can affect the skin. At Empowered RX we believe the best skin routine is an inside job. We believe the best product for healthy skin is good health and nutrition. We spend so much time and money on beauty products and skin care procedures but continue to neglect our inner needs. Healing is an inside job, prioritize it and your whole body will thank you!
Anorexia Nervosa and Skin Health:
1. Dryness and Flakiness: Inadequate intake of essential nutrients, particularly fats and proteins, can lead to dry and flaky skin. The body's natural ability to retain moisture is compromised, resulting in dull and dehydrated skin.
2. Lanugo Hair: In response to severe malnutrition, the body may grow fine, downy hair called lanugo, which is an attempt to keep the body warm. This hair growth is most noticeable on the face, back, and arms.
3. Poor Wound Healing: Malnutrition and a deficiency in essential nutrients can impair the body's ability to heal wounds effectively. Skin injuries may take longer to heal, and scars may be more prominent.
Bulimia Nervosa and Skin Health:
1. Dental Issues: Frequent vomiting associated with bulimia can lead to dental erosion and cavities, as stomach acid repeatedly contacts the teeth. This can impact the overall health and appearance of the oral cavity.
2. Facial Swelling: The act of purging, which involves self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, can cause facial swelling, particularly around the cheeks and jawline. This swelling can give the face a puffy appearance.
3. Salivary Gland Enlargement: Repeated vomiting can lead to swelling of the salivary glands, causing pain, discomfort, and noticeable swelling around the jaw and neck area.
Binge Eating Disorder and Skin Health:
1. Weight Fluctuations: Individuals with binge eating disorder often experience significant weight fluctuations, which can impact the elasticity and suppleness of the skin. Rapid weight gain and loss can contribute to the development of stretch marks.
2. Acne and Breakouts: Binge eating episodes may involve the consumption of foods high in refined sugars and unhealthy fats, which can contribute to inflammation and an increased risk of acne breakouts.
3. Emotional Impact: The psychological stress and emotional turmoil associated with binge eating disorder can trigger an increase in stress hormones, which can exacerbate existing skin conditions such as acne, eczema, or psoriasis.
Recovery and Skin Health:
Recovery does wonderful things for our entire body, even our skin!
1. Balanced Nutrition: A crucial step in recovering from any eating disorder is establishing a well-balanced and nutrient-dense diet. Adequate intake of essential vitamins, minerals, proteins, and healthy fats is essential for supporting overall skin health.
2. Hydration: Staying hydrated is important for maintaining skin moisture and promoting skin elasticity. Aim to drink sufficient water throughout the day to support skin hydration.
3. Skincare Routine: Develop a gentle skincare routine that includes cleansing, moisturizing, and sun protection. Avoid harsh products that may further irritate the skin.
4. Professional Support: Seek professional help from healthcare providers, including dermatologists and mental health professionals, who can address both the physical and psychological aspects of disordered eating and provide appropriate treatment.