Principal Body System: Integumentary
Definition: The skin and structures derived from it, i.e. hair, sweat, oil glands.
Function: Helps regulate body temperature; protects the body; eliminates wastes; synthesizes Vit.D; receives certain stimuli, i.e. temperature, pressure and pain.
The horse's skin is incredibly sensitive - look at the way they flinch when a fly lands on them. Shampoos, fly repellents, midges, toxic pollens (buttercups), mud, bacteria, and poor health. All potential irritants to the skin, causing an abundance of intense conditions that affect thousands of equines.
As the saying goes, 'Beauty comes from within'. If your horse has skin problems, it's usually a sign of something else going on in the body. The way to healthy skin is about what nutrients we feed into the body - not about what we put on the body.
The skin is the largest - and most visible - organ of the body, so understandably it's all too easy to slap on topical creams or oils, inject steroids or feed antibiotics, in the hope that these will fix a skin 'problem'.
However, unless the immune system is strong enough to deal with any chemical residue in these products, they'll simply bury the problem even deeper, as well as adding more toxins into an already overburdened system.
Skin health goes much deeper than this. Gut imbalances, food intolerances and nutrient deficiencies all contribute to the health of the whole body, yet present outwardly on the skin. So what we see as a skin issue is more likely to be a whole body, poor immunity issue, and a major part of immunity is the lymphatic system, upon which skin, and the lungs, rely entirely upon to drain toxins and congestion away. Which means, if the lymphatics are overburdened and clogged up, the skin will be too.
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