By now, you’ve heard the cliche’ – and may be tired of hearing – that your health is a mirror reflection of your skin. It’s true! In my 24 years working with skin and hearing my clients talk about their health concerns and situations and my continuous studying of skin as an organ – not as a beauty statement – have led me to recognize this fact – the skin is a mirror reflection of your overall health. In today’s blog, I will use myself as an example of this fact.
For several months now, I had been experiencing an unbearable itch all over my body. I developed sensitivities to soap, even to the non-latex gloves I use to perform skin treatments! There have been countless sleepless nights and nothing – nothing – can take the itch away. We changed our laundry detergent, dish washing soap, shower gels, shampoo, you name it. At some point, I thought we were infested with bed bugs, but that wasn’t the case, to my relief!
Shortly after the itching began, I ended up in the ER and after 2 months of tests and appointments with several specialists, they discovered I had gallstones. This is the reason I needed surgery – I had my gallbladder removed. Because my gallbladder was blocked, I was accumulating the bile, which started to become toxic and caused to liver to become fatty. My liver just couldn’t handle or process anything, so it began to become enlarged. Throughout this ordeal of medical appointments, I began to notice that I was developing some sores on random places of my body (not scratch related – see picture below).
So, I began to share with friends, family and acquaintances about my severe case of itchiness. Until finally someone mentioned that they had known people with gallstones who had the same symptoms. So, I decided to do more research on this.
Sure enough! Although not very common, it is not unusual either for people to experience itchy skin when having gallstones. When a stone blocks the bile duct, the bile collects and becomes toxic, and this toxicity may reflect as itchy skin.
The day after surgery, the itchiness almost went away in its entirety! I am still dealing with itchy skin because I am still healing and my liver is now in the process of cleansing and repairing itself but nothing compared to what I was experiencing! And I am not even going to address the fact that even my melasma has cleared! But this is another topic for another time.
I cannot convey in my writing how horrendous this itchiness has been. There were times that I left my skin raw, other areas with rash-like bumps. In my travels through the internet researching this itch, I came across this excellent article about gallbladder and liver health and I thought it would be nice to share. Gallbladder and liver diseases are sometimes masked by other health issues. An innocent (or not so innocent) itch that has no apparent reason might be a symptom. Please take care of your health and your skin will treat you well.