Dr.Hauschka Med

Interview with Dr. Brigitte Roesler, an anthroposophic dermatologist from Germany

Dr.Hauschka Med: Dry skin is a common problem. What causes it, and does dry skin always require special treatment?

Dr. Brigitte Roesler: Dry skin can be caused by many different factors. Many people experience dry skin in winter, when the cold air outside and the heated air inside are both very dry. But being outside in the sun or spending the day at the swimming pool in summer can also dry out the skin. In these cases, dry skin can usually be treated using high-quality, nourishing skin care products that allow the skin to regenerate.

Dry skin is sometimes accompanied by itchiness. Are the causes the same?

There is often no clear boundary between itching caused by extremely dry skin and itching with internal, organic or emotional origins. The skin is our protective organ, and it also provides us with a spiritual boundary. Sometimes we are ready to jump out of our skins, or could scratch ourselves bloody. This is an expression of nervous tension or emotional stress.

Should I see a dermatologist immediately when my skin gets itchy?

That will certainly depend on whether you find the itching unbearable. People who scratch their skin until it is raw – which can lead to infection – should definitely consult a dermatologist. In some cases, itching or eczema is caused by intolerance for a certain substance or debility of an internal organ such as the kidneys or liver.

Itchiness can also be a symptom of atopic eczema. What is that exactly?

Atopic eczema, often called dermatitis, belongs to a group of atopic diseases that includes hay fever and allergic asthma. Unfortunately, these illnesses are becoming increasingly widespread. They are an expression of hypersensitivity that can be caused by a combination of environmental factors and societal pressures. People who suffer from atopic eczema are often individuals who could be called cerebral, i.e. they are more driven by their heads than their hearts.

What sort of therapy would you recommend to a patient suffering from atopic eczema?

The skin is not only a mirror of our general state of being, but also of our internal organs – and both of these should be fortified with the help of naturopathic therapies. The internal treatment consists of medicinal preparations containing herbs that have a therapeutic effect on the skin and potentised minerals. Art therapy, talk therapy or therapeutic eurhythmy can be used to strengthen the patient. These therapies allow patients to address the question of how to make their lives more positive – so they can once again feel comfortable in their own skins. Nourishing skin care forges a link between these positive emotions, the feeling of restoring one’s own protective layer, and a sense of being in tune with one’s body. The optimal skin care in these cases is one that strengthens the skin’s natural protective functions and has a moisturising oil base that is suitable for dry skin.