209: Where To Start Dealing With Skin Rashes

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It’s not uncommon for people to ask me “Where is the best place to start working on my skin rashes?”

While I have resources in place to help you with that like my Skin Rash Root Cause Finder, I want to give you a bit more of a road map to deal with things.

It’s important to realize that this is a general conversation since everyone’s journey is so different. I can’t account for the many different variations in cases within one podcast which is why this tool I’m about to introduce you to will hopefully help provide you with more direction!

This is really the next step once you have a better handle on what your root cause combo is, so if you haven’t figured that out yet, make a point to use my Skin Rash Root Cause Finder first.

Alright… let’s talk about where you start and how to begin addressing your root causes!

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In this episode:

  • Why the order of the steps you take REALLY matters
  • My tool to help you identify your root cause combo
  • How to prioritize your root causes
  • Biggest mistakes commonly made when fixing skin rashes
  • Are there exceptions to the Priority Pyramid?


Too many people mistakenly think that they needed to do one month or one bottle of something and they’re done and can move on — that’s often not the case!

The foundational level of the pyramid is so incredibly important that you have to maintain gut function + liver detox support during the entire journey.

Woman thinking about where to start with skin rashes while looking at post it notes

Where To Start Dealing With Skin Rashes (FULL TRANSCRIPT)

Welcome back to episode #209 of the Healthy Skin Show!

In today’s episode, I’m going to share how to start addressing your chronic rashes! I’m often asked what you should do especially after community members have used my Skin Rash Root Cause Finder guide to help them nail down what’s actually driving the rashes.

If you haven’t downloaded and done this exercise yet, I highly recommend that you do it (get this free guide HERE). The Skin Rash Root Cause Finder is the same process I use in my private practice working with clients to help them identify those hidden root causes that we talk about here on the Healthy Skin Show.

You don’t necessarily need to go through this exercise first, BUT order does really matter. I realize that sometimes you want to just skip steps that seem unnecessary, but that can result in missed opportunities or even having to start over to some degree.

Let me give you an example of what I mean here so it’s crystal clear…

Many people struggling with rashes (or even just gut issues) come to believe that the best thing to do is to “heal their leaky gut”. They buy all these “leaky gut formulas” with l-glutamine and start taking them without realizing that you can’t “heal your gut” without addressing what caused the issue in the first place. It certainly won’t be fixed by taking these “leaky gut formulas” or l-glutamine or bone broth.

Ultimately this wastes time and money — and I understand how it can feel really frustrating to be told that all this well-intentioned work didn’t help because the actual problem was never addressed.

That’s why you’ll hear this theme about how “Order Matters” again and again from me because it then applies to HOW you start dealing with your skin rashes.

So I strongly encourage you to start with the guide if you haven’t done so yet. Get it completed so that you’re ready to move on to your next steps.

I’m going to preface the following conversation to make it clear that this is not any sort of advice specific to your case. If you want specific steps or protocols, it’s best to work with a practitioner (like myself or my associate) who can tailor your journey to your specific needs.

This is a general overview of how to look at your case from my clinical experience so you can start working on it in an order that is more efficient.

Woman doing research on skin rashes

Where Do I Start Working On My Rashes?

If you’ve completed your Skin Rash Root Cause Finder, you’ll have a number next to the different 16 root causes on the final page. You want to pick the top three to six root causes with the largest tallies.

I will add to this that some of these root causes require labs to understand what’s going on. Specific areas include thyroid function and nutrient deficiencies. Here’s a great list of labs you can ask your doctor for!

Then the question is — where do you start?

The following graphic should help you better understand the journey because it really makes a huge difference in my clients because it also emphasizes that your body is prepared for the things that you’ll eventually work on.

I cannot emphasize enough how crucial preparation is!

Priority of Addressing Skin Rashes diagram

My Root Cause Priority Pyramid clearly shows you that the areas listed closer to the base are of higher priority — specifically liver detoxification and gut function.

As you know, I’m a strong proponent of supporting liver detox rather than doing liver detoxes (for very specific reasons). You can check out my liver detoxification series HERE that clearly explains this for you.

Optimizing gut function is also crucial and we do this by looking for issues that impact digestion of food and absorption of their respective nutrients. And this includes:

  • Gut motility and stool transit time (ie. are you constipated vs. having diarrhea?)
  • Stool color
  • Gas production (burping, flatulence)
  • Bloating
  • Stomach acidity (here’s my at-home test to check your stomach acid level)
  • Gut discomfort (or even pain)
  • Nausea, Vomiting
  • Autoimmunity (ie. Celiac disease) or Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

A crucial point that so many people miss is that they think doing something for one month or using one bottle of something to help with liver detox or gut function means they’re done and to simply move on.

That’s incredibly short-sighted because you have to make sure to support these two areas the entire time!

For example, if you start getting constipated as you move on to the next root cause, then you’ve got to address constipation with the tools necessary to keep you pooping normally. You don’t simply ignore it because you feel like “you dealt with it already”.

Once you have gut function humming along and liver detox better supported, now you start working through the root cause you’ve identified that’s in the next level of the pyramid. For some, that could be addressing histamine issues, thyroid problems, or realizing that you’ll probably need to get a comprehensive stool test done to look at microbiome imbalances.

Slowly you work your way up the pyramid addressing what’s true for your case.

And I say that because…

Woman who just made a big mistake

Big Mistakes Commonly Made Trying To Fix Skin Rashes

You don’t have all 16 root causes going on. Typically you have a specific combo of three to potentially six root causes to focus on.

That means your root cause issues won’t look the same as someone you know who may have the same diagnosis from their doctor.

And it also means you don’t have to work on every box or level found on my Priority Pyramid.

The foundational level of the pyramid is so incredibly important that you have to maintain gut function and liver detox support during the entire journey. As things improve, less effort is required to keep them humming along.

And even if you swear it’s your hormones, don’t just start working there because all of the areas lower on the Priority Pyramid directly impact hormone function.

You might find that by the time you finish working on the more foundational root causes, your hormones are in a much better spot.

So don’t get sucked in by popular detoxes (like a heavy metal cleanse or parasite cleanse) that make grand promises because if they don’t address your root causes, you may not get anywhere.

Avoid putting too much weight on a diet to address things. It may improve your symptoms in some cases, but it’s often very difficult or impossible to get off of these restrictive diets without flaring again.

This is complicated and there may be times where your level of knowledge and ability to “do your own research” may be limited or frankly just overwhelmed. That’s why it’s okay to reach out for help or find tools like my Skin Rash Rebuild program that can be an incredible asset for you!

Roots from a large tree

Are There Exceptions To When You Address A Root Cause?

Yes and one of those instances would be someone going through Topical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW). In this case, appropriate adrenal support cannot wait in TSW until you get further along.

Depending on how significant the issue, adrenal support can take different forms from hormone supplementation to mitochondrial support to adaptogenic herbs or even potentially considering licorice as a tool (more about this controversial issue here).

My TSW clients all have different adrenal pictures so it’s important to clarify the severity and specific steps that will be helpful in your case. Symptoms and how long you’ve been dealing with TSW are certainly factors, but testing like the Cortisol Awakening Response test from DUTCH can be very helpful!

Another instance would be if you’re living or working in an extremely moldy environment. This would fall under environmental exposures which is obviously higher up on the Priority Pyramid, but would be crucial to consider from the beginning.

Or being under an extreme amount of stress due to commitments and work that is not conducive to your well-being. This is something that would need to be assessed early on and changes implemented immediately.

So you can see, the Priority Pyramid isn’t a hard rule — it’s a guideline that I’ve created from working directly with clients since 2017.

It’s certainly been really helpful for those who’ve gone through the Skin Rash Rebuild, as it provides a framework of where to begin and how to layer approaches and protocols.

Yes, there could be exceptions other than the ones I’ve mentioned here, but a shift should be made by your practitioner who knows your case.

By combining the Skin Rash Root Cause Finder and the Priority Pyramid, you have more direction on where to dig and what needs support in each phase of your journey to rebuild healthy skin.

If you’ve got any questions or thoughts to share about this, leave a comment below so I can address them.

And then make a point to share this episode with someone you know who’s been looking for a more systematic approach to addressing skin issues instead of just trying everything. I know from experience just how frustrating it can be to feel like you’re throwing darts in the dark only to find that nothing worked simply because it wasn’t done in the right order or it wasn’t right for you.

Thank you so much for turning in and I look forward to seeing you in the next episode!

Too many people mistakenly think that they needed to do one month or one bottle of something and they’re done and can move on -- that’s often not the case!

Jennifer Fugo, MS, CNS

Jennifer Fugo, MS, CNS is an integrative Clinical Nutritionist and the founder of Skinterrupt. She works with women who are fed up with chronic gut and skin rash issues discover the root causes and create a plan to get them back to a fuller, richer life.

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