The Benefits of Eating an Alkaline Diet: PART I


Healthy Skin – A True Balancing Act

We’ve all heard a lot of hype about it, but what is an alkaline diet?  To begin with, pH measures the amount of acid or alkaline present. Our blood pH is slightly alkaline at 7.35 to 7.45. Our body depends on a tightly controlled pH level to survive. Luckily, the human body maintains this level naturally. However we can make the body function more efficiently and with less stress by eating foods, which promote alkalinity in the body.  When we maintain alkalinity, we detoxify naturally through our bowels and kidneys and we keep minerals in our blood and in our bones where we need them to sustain energy and vitality. Bodily functions are carried out optimally at a pH of 7.0 or higher, which is an alkaline pH. Studies show that a drop in pH in body tissues toward an acidic state leads to inflammation. An acidic state makes losing weight more difficult. We can help our body stay balanced by our food choices.

Skin issues that may benefit from an alkaline diet include yeast overgrowth, dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis), rosacea and other forms of skin inflammation such as psoriasis and eczema. Alkaline diets also decrease inflammation in the body and help improve chronic diseases.

Think plants! Fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, fermented soy products (miso, natto, tempeh), and other legumes, along with a lot of water are good options. Eat fruits in moderation because they are high in sugar. Berries are best! It is important to understand that alkaline promoting foods may actually be acidic —- but their effect in the body raises the pH.  Try keeping fresh lemons and limes on hand to squeeze into every glass of water that you drink – this is the quickest ticket to a more alkaline diet!

The typical Western diet is comprised of foods, which lower the pH in the body (wrong direction!). Sugar, meat, coffee, tea and sodas sugar, alcohol, white flour, dairy, and packaged & processed foods can worsen inflammatory conditions of the skin as well as the joints, muscles and internal organs, promote yeast overgrowth and may even cause a bad mood.  A more acidic pH causes minerals to leach out of our bones and speeds osteoporosis and mineral loss (which slows our cellular function). In the end, eating a diet that is mainly comprised of acidic foods can cause the body to work harder to stay balanced.

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Part II: Measuring pH of the body at home and when to incorporate acidic foods to balance the diet


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Summer Sticky Skin Remedy


Rashes and skin conditions that worsen in the heat include acne, rosacea, eczema, and fungal infections.

Prevention is key for these types of rashes as they are commonly chronic. Since we can not avoid the heat and humidity, here are our suggestions for prevention:

  • Acne- This sticky August can cause your skin to become more oily and cause breakouts, it is also important to reestablish a hydration balance to the skin. Best prevention is a cleanser for face and body to deep clean the pores followed by glycol and salicylic acid pads (available for purchase at our office, ~$25) after a sticky day or activities.
  • Rosacea- If you have redness on the cheeks, it may be rosacea. Heat is a known trigger for rosacea, and we offer many products to combat that flushing. A daily sunscreen with Zinc oxide and Titanium dioxide as the active ingredients can calm the skin and prevent facial flushing. Skin Ceuticals company has developed a product, Redness Neutralizer used twice daily and can be helpful with rosacea or just “redness”.
  • Eczema- If you have been told you have Eczema, if it important to prevent this chronic condition from flaring. Atopic Dermatitis and Contact Dermatitis are inflammatory conditions that are made worse in the summer months from a variety of factors. If you have seasonal allergies along with a rash, daily antihistamines can prevent. The best prevention is avoidance of triggers along with an emollient cream head to toe every day,  our favorites are Vanicream and Epionce Medical Barrier cream.
  • Fungal and yeast Infections- We all have yeast living on our skin. When the yeast grows out of control, a person can get a skin rash called tinea. This can be as mild as discoloration on the shoulders, athletes foot, or more severe, like jock itch. Zeasorb powder is our “go to” for prevention of jock itch and athletes foot, along with Kavi coral sulfa based bar soap. Tinea that has established itself on the skin may need a prescription anti-fungal treatment.
  • Heat Rash-  This rash is caused by accumulation of sweat beneath clogged pores on the skin. The rash will usually go away after the individual cools down, but it may persist if and need antibiotic therapy. Best first line treatment is a cool shower.
  • Bug Bites- Avoiding bug bites it difficult this time of year! We offer an all natural insect repellant here in the office, you can pick up any time. Avoiding peak insect hours is a great idea as well. If you get stung, pick up some hydrocortisone and saran anti itch cream from the drug store. If that doesn’t do the trick, come see us!

 If you would like to discuss your skin care regimen, our Nurse Practitioner Dr. Kingslea Moore can see you quickly for an evaluation and treatment.

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Safe Celebrating on our Independence Day!

Happy Fourth of July everyone!


Don’t let this be you…pocey3tns0






Sun protection is key when we are enjoying this beautiful place we call home. Sunscreen is one of the many avenues we can protect ourselves from skin cancer and aging.

#1 Mineral Based Sunscreen

Why “Mineral Based”?

Titanium dioxide and Zinc oxide have reflective characteristics due to these particles residing on the surface of the skin that ricochet UVA/UVB off of the skin rather than penetrating the skin like other non-mineral based absorptive sunscreens.

Other sunscreens on the market are chemical based sunscreens that work by absorbing the photons of light and convert them to heat. The reaction takes place on the surface of your skin and produces free radicals-this may contribute to the creation of skin cancer. This is also why chemical sunscreens feel “hot”, “burn” or sometimes sting the eyes.

Look for sunscreen with active ingredients of Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, they are the best available to fight against cancer causing beasts and for prevention against the not-so-pretty age and sun spots to strengthen – not weaken the glow of our youth.


If you’re accomplishing proper protection:

  • FACE: 1 teaspoon amt. (adult face)
  • BODY: 1oz. or shot glass size amt. (adult body)

#2 Sun Protective Clothing

Clothing and hats have as much or more sun protection than sunscreens. And the thicker the material, the more protection. For example, a white cotton t-shirt has an SPF of about 8-10. A baseball cap will protect the scalp, but is a very insignificant SPF for the face. Wide brimmed hats and SPF shirts or rash guard/shirts shirts are key. A quick test is to hold it up to light or the sun and see f you can see through the fabric, that is the amount of rays coming through to your skin.

#3 Daily Antioxidant Serum

Vitamins are critical for your body and play an important role in maintaining healthy, skin. Aging skin naturally loses Vitamins over time and exposure to UV light, pollutants and cigarette smoke.  You can fight aging by replenishing your skin’s vitamin levels to help to combat and even reverse time’s effect on your face. Two antioxidant serums that the Sheperd Integrative Dermatology team stands behind are Skin Ceuticals C E Ferulic®, and Epionce Intense Defense Serum.


Skin Ceuticals C E Ferulic® is an antioxidant combination that delivers advanced environmental protection against photoaging by neutralizing free radicals that cause accelerated signs of aging. It provides advanced environmental protection against damaging free radicals induced by UVA, UVB, and infrared radiation A (while protecting your collagen!). Also,increases firmness and replenishes lipids to visibly reduce wrinkles. Once absorbed, this serum can’t be washed or rubbed off. It remains effective for a minimum of 72 hours, making it an excellent addition to sunscreen


Epionce Intense Defense Serum is a complete multivitamin for your skin. This highly advanced anti-aging serum stimulates skin rejuvenation to help reverse fine lines, wrinkles, roughness and uneven skin tone while improving firmness, elasticity and texture.

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May = Melanoma Awareness Month

Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the United States, especially with the sunny days when we live in this beautiful city!



Periodic health exams are important to be proactive about your health; a cancer-related check-up should include skin checks. An annual total body skin check is a head to toe skin cancer screening performed by a dermatologist.

You can also monitor yourself monthly at home using the ABCDE’s of melanoma.

Source: NCI Visuals Online. Skin Cancer Foundation.

Source: NCI Visuals Online. Skin Cancer Foundation.

A)  Asymmetry; If you draw a line through this mole, the two halves will not match.

B)   Border; The borders of an early melanoma tend to be uneven. The edges may be scalloped or notched.

C)   Color; A number of different shades of brown, tan or black could appear. A melanoma may also become red, blue or some other color.

D)  Diameter; Melanomas usually are larger in diameter than the size of the eraser on your pencil, but they may sometimes be smaller when first detected.

E)   Evolving; Any change in size, shape, color, elevation, or another trait, or any new symptom such as bleeding, itching or crusting points to danger.

Take control of your health, and reduce your cancer risk.

  • Protect your skin.
  • Know yourself, your family history, and your risks.

More information at the skin cancer foundation

Speaking of Prevention…

While sporting our mineral based sunscreen, we participated in Coastal Expeditions Shem Creek Sweep to protect and give back to our town.



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Spring Update: Integrative Healthcare Symposium



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Doctor Sheperd and I (Dr. Kingslea, Family Nurse Practitioner) had the opportunity to attend the Integrative Healthcare Symposium (IHS) in New York City this February. The IHS brings together multi-disciplinary healthcare professionals dedicated to improving patient care. I want to keep y’all in the loop of the exciting future of our practice.


MKnycWhat is Integrative Healthcare?

In addition to our passion for Dermatology, healthy skin, and healthy living, integrative health care motivates our transition to the Sheperd Medical Institute and patient centered care.

The topics of most interest to us at the conference included cardiovascular health, nutrition, fertility, gut health, autoimmune conditions, integrative nursing, and mind body spirit medicine.

Our focus is tailoring a person’s healthcare to their individual characteristics, medical conditions, genes, circumstances, and values. Putting the patient at the center of the plan, not the disease, will advance personalized, proactive, and patient driven medicine.

How are we going create health and prevent disease?

An Integrative approach includes care based on prevention rather than treatment while fostering continuous healing relationships. The patients (you!) are the source of control with customized care according to patient needs and values.

Compare this to a more traditional medical approach where the physician or insurance company in more in control of the health care choices and where the insurers limit visits and restrict them to conditions where illness is present, rather than educating on prevention.

 Fundamentals of Health

1. Stress management

2. Diet/Nutritional status & Detoxification

3. Exercise

4. Rest

5. Connectedness/social support system

I like to think of these as your “Top 5 for Ultimate Wellness”. Dr. James Gordon from the Center of Mind Body Medicine gave an enlightening lecture on creating health and promoting whole body wellness, watch an interview with him here.  

You can meet these 5 criteria by:

1. What are ways you like to cope with stress, these can be very personal. Such as meditation, massage, counseling, exercise, social activity, and prayer.

2. No Alcohol, No Smoking, How can you incorporate clean eating and non-toxic substances into your daily routine?

Superfood Immune Supporters include: Almond, Apple, Broccoli, Carrot, Chile pepper, Cocoa, Cranberries, Halibut, Pumpkin, Sweet potato, Tumeric, Scallions, Brazil nuts, Eggs, Spinach, Onions.

3. Walking (not running) 30 minutes at least 5 times a week. Start slow and build yourself up for this. If you are an athlete, remember that walking engages the immune system, not running.

4. Sleeping 8 consecutive hours nightly.

5. Having 2 social activities a week with 2 or more people that are not related to you (spouses don’t count), think a book club, bowling league, or spiritual devotion.




Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM), such as Chiropractic and Acupuncture, practitioners were also represented. I was able to participate in ear acupuncture, also known as auricular therapy, widely used for many conditions. Auricular therapy emphasizes a holistic approach to medicine, an approach that treats the whole person. The acupuncture points found on the ear help to regulate the body’s internal organs, structures, and functions.

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