About the Functional Nurse
I haven't always been this passionate about skin, in fact I have spent most of my life loathing it. I, like 10-15% of Australia's population suffer from a 21st century autoimmune disorder, eczema. Eczema is a skin condition we now know is closely linked to gut and liver health and internal inflammation. A skin condition however, that is treated with a bandaid approach of harsh steroids and topical creams.
For a good six years of my adolescent life, I followed the same cycle; Expensive Dermatologist appointment, expensive prescription for steroid cream, followed by the return of my eczema three months later. By the age of 18, I found myself at a loss with my skin, the eczema was in full force and I now had a face full of acne to match.
Visiting the Dermatoligist or GP for these concerns, would take all of 10 minutes. They would visually assess my skin and then hand over a script for steroids, antibiotics and the contraceptive pill to ‘clear up my acne’. If one contraceptive pill did not succeed in clearing it up, I would then be put on to the next.
The amount of money my parents and I spent on beauty creams and Dermatology appointments in that time, is frightening to look back on! What's even more frightening is that in all the years of trusting my Doctors expertise, never once did I hear the words ‘nutrition’ or ‘genetics’. Who would have known the fact that I was living off a diet full of inflammatory foods and finding myself constantly bloated, fatigued and moody, had such a major correlation with my skin? Certainly not my Doctors!
Failed by the conventional medical system, I began to delve into the world of functional medicine. I took a closer look at my diet and lifestyle, listened to my bodies reaction to certain foods and spent most of my spare time researching articles, podcasts and forums by Functional Doctors and Naturopaths. It has been seven years since my last prescription steroid cream and I have successfully managed both my acne and eczema through nutrition and functional medicine alone. Of course I still have a flare up here and there, but it's usually the odd pizza or bottle of wine that's to blame. (Totally worth it though!)
My experience with problematic skin, drove me to become a Paremedical Dermal Therapist, where I worked for a Cosmetic Doctor for four years. I am now a Registered Nurse with my grad year spent working on a gastrointestinal ward, understanding the westernised methods of treating patients. My primary role now is as a Registered Cosmetic Nurse in a skin clinic, where I utilise my injectable and liase with Naturopaths to help patients create glowing skin from inside out and outside in.
This blog is a way for me to share my struggles with not only my, but my patients skin also. I hope you as the reader find The Functional Nurse Blog enlightening and educational and help you with any skin or health problems you may be struggling with.