053: 16 Root Causes Driving Skin Rashes (Like Eczema, Psoriasis, Dandruff, Rosacea & More)

The truth is that chronic skin rashes issues like eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, rosacea, lichen sclerosus, etc. are complicated.

You’re clearly not one of those lucky people who discovered ONE THING that made their rashes a thing of the past.

I certainly didn’t experience any magical creams or potions when my eczema was in full angry monster mode!

And it can be more frustrating when what worked for other people with the same condition doesn’t really work for you.

But there’s a reason WHY your skin rash puzzle is complicated.

AND why what works for someone else doesn’t help you one bit.

I’m going to break this all down today for you!

Or, listen on your favorite app: iTunes (Apple Podcasts) | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn

In this episode:

  • 16 Root Causes driving chronic skin rash conditions
  • Why what works for someone else doesn’t help you at all
  • Why you’re right to feel like your skin rash puzzle is complicated
  • Benefits of finding your unique combo of Skin Rash Root Causes

Quotes:

Drug reactions are another root cause that’s often overlooked! Common drugs like NSAIDs, some blood pressure medications and even certain drugs that are used for Lupus like Plaquinel can have dramatic impacts on your skin. They can also be an underlying trigger that you wouldn't necessarily consider. Take a look at all the medications that you currently take (even over-the-counter meds). Then review what medications that you were taking around the time when you had your initial flare.

Using this process to identify root causes that I implement in my practice, my client shared with me that she finally had answers and knew what was wrong. The plan was a refreshing and welcome change from just fixating on all these food sensitivity panels results that only limited her diet further without alleviating her debilitating symptoms. Because of our work together she's actually able to start adding back in some of these foods without any reaction while her skin is staying calm.

Small plant roots

16 Root Causes Driving Skin Rashes (Like Eczema, Psoriasis, Dandruff, Rosacea and More) (FULL TRANSCRIPT)

Welcome back to episode number 53 of the Healthy Skin Show!

Today I want to dive into the concept of root causes and lay out all of the factors that I consider when working on a case. This is important because I found that it's not just one thing that typically drives rashes!

Sometimes you get lucky and you do one thing and Poof!! — your rashes go away.

But for many of us out there with chronic issues, it's a combo of root causes to blame. The biggest mistake that I find is thinking that you’ve just got one thing that's going wrong.

And that you’re just one cream away or one supplement or one medication from that perfect skin feeling normal again. Unfortunately, that's not the case.

I'm not here to be a bubble burster, but I also want to make sure to help manage your expectations so that you don't burn out and throw in the towel. Because people have this mentality that is the result of only having experience with conventional medicine.

Knowing that there’s so much more out there also partially explains why elimination diets and blaming all of your symptoms on food oftentimes doesn't work.

So many of my clients have tried different diets, some of which are very well known as the diet solution of choice for their particular skin issue. And yet they don't get lasting results (and sometimes see no difference in their skin).

Woman thinking about her root cause combo

You’ve Got To Figure Out Your Root Cause Combo

I talk a lot about looking for the root causes here on the Healthy Skin Show, so I figured that I take some time today to share with you the 16 different root causes that I have identified as triggers for chronic skin rash conditions.

Now it's possible that there could be more than 16 but at the moment this is the most current list as of the publishing of this episode.

Now a word of caution – I'm not implying that you have all 16 of these issues. That would be overwhelming and untrue.

Typically, clients have a combination of somewhere between three to five on average. This explains why one person’s solution, like what worked for me, may not work at all for you… even if you have the same exact diagnosis.

It's why even functional medicine at times can have a hard time getting results with skin issues when we just make these claims that you just fix the gut and you're going to be better.

Unfortunately with complicated skin rash cases, I and my colleagues who work in this arena know that's fixing the gut will not always solve the skin issues.

Yes, the gut is critical. It's a big piece and you're gonna hear more about that in a moment, but it's not everything. And you can't just “fix the gut” and be better. That's not true. I wish it was, but in my experience it's not.

So here's the list of the root causes that I've identified from all of my ongoing research, my clinical experience working with clients as well as the many interviews that I do here for the healthy skin show and all the other events that I've hosted that center around helping you look at your chronic skin rashes from a much different perspective.

Root causes of skin rashes diagram

16 Root Causes Driving Chronic Skin Rashes

Now this list is going to start in no particular order. So none of these are more important than the others based on which order that they come in.

We're going to start with environmental toxins. So this includes things that are in your environment. They could be chemicals and even mold.

Genes play a role here! We know that the filaggrin gene plays a critical role in skin barrier function.

Next up, diet and food reactions must be considered. Many people here are aware of or potentially suspect issues in this category, but as I said, don't assume that food reactions are the end all, be all to your skin rashes.

Because we also have things like microbiome dysbiosis that must be taken into account! I break microbiome dysbiosis into two subcategories — the gut microbiome and the skin microbiome.

You can experience dysbiosis in both areas! Dysbiosis means that there's an imbalance in the bugs that currently reside in a particular microbiome.

Plants with pollen

Also, environmental allergies certainly play a role, especially those that are pollen and dander. Sometimes you can have allergies that seem random or are very uncommon as well.

Nutritional deficiencies are usually a major factor for most people with chronic skin rash issues because the skin requires an awful lot of nutrients in order to rebuild correctly. We need to look and make sure that those wells are full. If they are dry, we must address them.

Next up, we have autoimmunity and autoinflammation. I've lumped them together because both are initiated from within the body. It's not an exterior trigger per se that's driving the issue.

However, exterior triggers certainly play a role. Oftentimes they are what initiated the process in the first place. In the case of autoimmunity, your body has built antibodies to protect you from some sort of enemy or intruder invader. However this goes off the rails because your body gets confused and begins to attack your own tissue.

And in the case of autoinflammation, we have these immune cascades that get triggered causing a whole slew of issues that result in tons of inflammation within the system.

As you know, gut dysfunction is one of the things that I talk about a lot and that can range from having gut symptoms like diarrhea to constipation as well as gas, bloating, heartburn. This also includes having issues of not being able to fully digest and absorb nutrition that you eat.

Now, liver detoxification challenges are certainly a huge, huge factor and I cannot underscore them more. If you haven't taken a listen yet to the liver detox episode that I recorded, it's a few episodes back, please go after those and take a listen.

It is important that you understand that a “liver detox” or detoxing your liver will not help you. That is not what I mean.

I am looking at and speaking about liver detoxification from a biochemical perspective. It's a lot more complicated than just taking a supplement or doing a smoothie every day or something else that you see online.

This is really about giving your liver the support that it needs in order to do the things that it's meant to do.

Sad young woman with trauma

Next up is trauma. And when I say trauma, it can be both the big t trauma and the little t trauma. And this concept of the big T and little T comes from Dr. Keesha Ewers. I encourage you to check out her episode because she dives deep into this concept.

Just because something happened to you in the past does not mean that it doesn't still impact your entire system and wellbeing.

It certainly is a factor and you should give it a second thought because those events can have an effect further down the line.

As an example, I was teased a lot as a young child and the effects of that, even as I approach 40 years old, still linger.

And then when I was in college, I experienced 9/11 living in New York City. So yes, those are pretty big T traumas in my life! But there have been smaller ones of being in relationships that were not supportive of me or learning to deal with difficult challenges that I faced throughout my business, my career, being in school, etc.

So take a look in your own life and be honest with yourself about things that might be uncomfortable and may be easily dismissed. They often need some love, attention and acceptance.

Woman having thyroid checked by doctor

Thyroid dysfunction is another major factor. It's one thing that I always want to take a look at because if your thyroid isn't operating optimally, it can certainly play a detrimental role in rebuilding skin healthfully.

Drug reactions are another big one that a lot of people don't realize! Common drugs like NSAIDs, certain blood pressure medications and even certain drugs that are used for Lupus like Plaquinel can have dramatic impacts on your skin. They can also be an underlying trigger that you wouldn't necessarily consider.

Take a look at all the medications that you currently take (even over-the-counter meds). Then review what medications that you were taking around the time when you had your initial flare.

And if you've been tuning in for a while, you heard me talk about mitochondrial dysfunction. Take a listen to THIS episode because healthy mitochondrial function is pretty critical for healthy skin.

Poor mitochondrial function doesn't mean that you're not able to make energy at all. Typically it’s the result of not having enough of the nutrients available to power up and fuel your body’s power plants.

Hormone imbalances play a role as well. This also includes the thyroid, but we also should look at it to include other hormonal issues including blood sugar regulation and sex hormones like estrogen.

Stressed out girl at desk

Unmanaged stress is another major factor. Most people admit that stress plays a huge role in their flares and yet so often they don't do things to better manage their stress.

I certainly understand that the things you need to do in order to manage stress either can feel a little bit too woo woo. Or they're free or they feel very time consuming and you just don't want to make the time and really commit to the time to doing them.

One of the easiest ways to help manage stress is through breathing exercises. Things that you could do in two minutes a day or less. If you're interested in some of the breathing exercises that I share with clients, here’s 3 super short video tutorials where I show you how to do them.

And last but not least, heavy metals certainly play a role.

What we are exposed to can lead to heavy metal toxicity. This includes the air that you breathe, the water that you drink (I’m a big fan of THIS water filter), the food that you consume, and the products that you place on your skin.

Heavy metals can block specific biochemical pathways and sometimes can be difficult to clear.

Woman who triumphed over her skin rashes

The Power Of The Root Cause Approach For Chronic Skin Rashes

Before we wrap up, I want to underscore for you why it is so critical and also equally rewarding to look at your skin issues from a root cause approach.

Recently, I saw a client whom I've been working with on her eczema and long-standing digestive issues.

She shared with me how grateful she was to have started working together because she was seeing and feeling results!

Using this process to identify root causes that I implement in my practice, she finally had answers and knew what was going wrong. AND we also have a specific plan based on her unique combo of root causes.

She feels like it is a refreshing and welcome change from just fixating on all these food sensitivity panels that a previous practitioner had run on her. Ultimately this had resulted in removing more and more food from her diet. And yet still, she was having these debilitating symptoms.

Instead of focusing on avoiding food, because of our work together she's actually able to start adding back in some of these foods without any reaction.

So I hope this gives you some clarity on why skin rashes can be tricky to address. I wish that there was a super simple one shot thing you could do, but unfortunately that's not the case.

And now that you see that there are so many factors in play that underscores why you must figure out your unique combination of root causes.

I hope that my client's success is something that keeps you going, gives you some hope, and also shows you that you can see progress, especially if you've just not found help from using creams alone.

If you've got any questions or thoughts, leave a comment below so we can continue the conversation!

If you know somebody who's struggling and frustrated about and why nothing works, share this episode with them. This could be their A-HA moment!

And don't forget to subscribe to the show and share your thoughts on how I'm doing by rating and reviewing the Healthy Skin Show on your podcast platform of choice.

I appreciate you for tuning in and I'll see you in the next episode!

Drug reactions are another root cause that’s often overlooked! Common drugs like NSAIDs, some blood pressure medications and even certain drugs that are used for Lupus like Plaquinel can have dramatic impacts on your skin. They can also be an underlying trigger that you wouldn't necessarily consider. Take a look at all the medications that you currently take (even over-the-counter meds). Then review what medications that you were taking around the time when you had your initial flare.