Acne, eczema, rosacea, vitiligo, warts, hives, bumps, rashes, dandruff, cellulitis, chaffing, open sores, candidiasis or skin fungal infection, these all appear to be skin issues, but the truth is “the issues are in the tissues” and are merely outward signs that you are imbalanced; whether too many toxins or nutritional deficiencies or many times both. True root cause healing of these issues is about incorporating a real food nutrition philosophy and being patient as your body corrects its own imbalances.
Key Players in Root Cause Skin Issues
- Diet. In order to heal your body from skin issues, eating a clean, traditional diet high in good fats, proteins and fermented foods is essential. Processed foods, dead devitalized food, sugars, grains and dairy can contribute to clogging your flow system which in turn can create skin issues.
- Antibiotic Use. Did you know that just 1 antibiotic pill throws your beneficial bacteria off, many times allowing the pathogenic to thrive and flourish.
- Gut. Did you know that you are 10 times more microorganism cells than you are human cells! The gut really does run the show when it comes to our good and bad microorganisms whether internally or externally. If the gut has more pathogenic microbes than beneficial this imbalance manifests outwardly. Read how to rebuild, repair and heal the gut.
- Liver. Your liver helps filter out toxins and when it becomes congested, you will start to see issues manifesting elsewhere such as your hormones, emotions and skin. Your liver helps break down hormones, toxic substances, & medicines so they can be safely removed from the body, synthesizes the hormone required to regulate blood pressure, stores glucose, Vitamins A, D, & B-12, iron, and copper — all necessary for keeping your body in homeostasis. (Source)
- Lymph, Kidneys and other Channels of Elimination. The function of your flow system dictates your health, period. This is what I assess with my clients to determine their health status. If your channels of elimination are blocked, that will create issues throughout the body. Our lymph system is like the garbage collector and if the garbage collector stops collecting fats, fluids and waste…toxins build up and accumulate inside and outside of the body.
Recommendations To Help Heal and Correct Acne and Other Skin Issues
- Eat a paleo / ketogenic diet high in real foods, grass fed fats and proteins and local, organic vegetables. This includes; salmon, grass fed meats, fatty seafood, avocados, lots of vegetables, including beets and green leafy organic vegetables, nuts, seeds, good oils such as coconut oil, tallow, duck fat, and extra virgin olive oil. Green apples as well, they are rich in Malic Acid which is excellent to help support liver and gallbladder function. Read my baby steps guide to living a real food lifestyle.
- Consume fermented foods and beverages such as homemade kombucha tea, sauerkraut, kim chi, beet kvaas, kefir (water and dairy), homemade yogurt, etc. on a daily basis. We are 10 times more microorganism cells then we are human cells, that shows you how important it is to replenish them by eating fermented/probiotic foods. Read more on this here.
- Drink homemade bone broth daily. Bone broth is packed with vitamins and minerals and helps to heal and seal the gut.
- Do a liver, gut, kidney and lymphatic cleanse. Here is an effective ultimate liver detox smoothie.
- Strongly consider implementing the GAPS protocol. Read more on the GAPS protocol here. THe GAPS protocol is intended to heal even the most imbalanced ecosystems and digestive systems and boost the immune system.
- Rehydrate your skin with good fats and oil internally and externally. Coconut oil and beef tallow used topically for their anti-microbial properties. Note: topical coconut oil may not be right for everyone, but topical tallow balm works quite well for even those with sensitive skin.
- Hydrate your cells, glands, tissues and skin and help flush out toxins. I recommend drinking 6-8 ounces of filtered water with fresh squeezed lemon juice daily.
- Avoid dairy and grains. These are pro-inflammatory foods and usually contribute to skin ailments. Gluten has been coined as today's tobacco.
- Avoid ALL sugar, starchy foods, processed food, fast food, pop, packaged/boxed food and GMO's. These are food for pathogenic microbes.
- Ditch caffeine and alcohol. These substances wreak havoc on the body, especially the adrenal glands. If your blood sugar is imbalanced, so are your hormones and this greatly upsets your microbiome and skin.
- Get the bad oils out. Omega 6 proinflammatory vegetable oils are key players in causing acne and other inflammatory conditions. Avoid canola, soybean and cottonseed oils.
Note: While cleaning up the diet is important, I have found taking nutrient dense supplementation is just as important for rebuilding and repairing the gut and body.
- Take a strong probiotic and yeastbiotic to help rebalance your microbiome. This step is essential for clearing the terrain, read more here.
- Liquid Magnesium. Over 80% of the population is deficient in Mg, read more on how this inexpensive nutrient is a health game changer.
- Emu Oil. This oil is rich in vitamins A, D, and K2 – all critical for healthy skin at the cellular level. Take internally and use topically.
- In cases of extreme skin issues I recommend also adding liquid fermented cod liver oil as well.
- Opening up the lymph system and allowing for healthy flow with a good homeopathic is vital. Homeopathy is a needle mover to bring the gut back to health – and undo years of antibiotics and poor eating.
- Drink Pau d'Arco tea. This tea is anti-viral and extremely cleansing on the liver, gut and skin. It helps balance fungal/bacterial levels, maintains normal levels of flora in the digestive tract, supports normal immune function and helps decrease sugar cravings. You may notice a “die-off” effect for a couple of days because of the effectiveness, see below for more information. Bagged tea, loose leaf, and tea ball.
Chris Kresser writes about the root cause and how to correct Acne in this article.
Acne is another common condition that can be influenced by probiotics, despite its seemingly distant relationship with the gut. In reality, the skin is very closely connected to the gut through the ‘gut-skin axis,’ which I’ve previously mentioned on the blog and podcast. (9, 10, 11) Just as inflammation in the gut can cause inflammation in the brain, it can also lead to inflammation in the skin. This inflammation can manifest as acne, psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, or other skin conditions. So in the same way probiotics ameliorate symptoms of depression by reducing inflammation, they also improve skin disorders through a similar mechanism. (12)
In addition to taking probiotics internally, there’s some research showing that topical probiotics can reduce acne. (13, 14, 15) The skin is naturally home to beneficial flora that protect the skin from pathogens and regulate inflammation, but these friendly populations of bacteria can be disturbed through harsh soaps and other environmental toxins. Restoring beneficial bacteria through probiotic lotions or spot treatments appears to reduce skin inflammation from the outside, thus improving acne.
Other Helpful Therapies
- Use DIY non-toxic skin and beauty products to heal your skin from the inside out. Avoid harsh toxic chemical skin treatments.
- My nourishing body balm works amazingly well for soothing skin issues, including chapped lips, scars and other skin concerns.
- Sunlight through natural sources as the liver needs vitamin D to function and the best source is sunlight.
- Use probiotic beverages on the outside of your skin. A cold paste or adding them to a bath (such as using coconut milk kefir) is very effective for not only soothing chaffed skin, eczema, burns and acne but is important in rebalancing our microorganisms on the outside of your skin.
- Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats
- Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia
- 30 Days on the GAPS Intro Diet What Can I Eat Now? Helpful guide to get started on the GAPS protocol.
- The Microbiome Diet: The Scientifically Proven Way to Restore Your Gut Health and Achieve Permanent Weight Loss
- Missing Microbes
- Here is my step-by step guide to what to stock in your kitchen, fridge and pantry.
Mircroorganism (candida, bacteria, virus, yeast) Die Off/Hurximer's Reaction
A die off or Hurx reaction is one in which your body is fully engaged and working, detoxing and filtering out toxins, perhaps for the first time in a long time or ever and it is the process of those toxins exiting your cells, glands and tissues.
Signs of detox:
- Issues appearing to get worse for a couple of days
- Acne and other skin issue flaring up more for a couple of days
- Feeling like you are coming down with the flu/cold/infection
- Swollen lymph nodes
What to do if you are detoxing:
- Continue to move through the detox with the protocol, increasing water, rest and gentle movement/stretching
- If you are experiencing major detox of your toxins, cut back your protocol, give your body time, then slowly ramp back up
If you have further questions or are not achieving your goals, please contact me for a one-on-one assessment and I can help answer your questions.
Photo credit: Istock Photo
Have you implemented any of these healing and nourishing therapies, are there any that you would add to my list? Please let me know in the comments below.