Top 3 Root Causes to Skin Issues: Is This You?


December, 2023

Do you struggle skin issues like acne, eczema, psoriasis or dermatitis?

You’re not alone.

Fun Fact: Before diving into Functional Medicine, I’ve worked over 20 years in practice specializing in dermatology (and still do!)


Over the last 2 decades, I’ve seen these issues grow in number and more people embarrassed and frustrated about what to do.
walls covered in mold

The Conventional Approach

Psoriasis is recognized as an autoimmune condition, where the immune system is under stress and attacks the healthy skin cells.

Unfortunately, many researchers don’t know what really causes eczema. 

While the symptoms are slightly different (plaque and build up of skin in psoriasis and dry itchy red skin in eczema) the triggers can be similar: stress, dry or cold weather, allergic reactions, chemical exposure etc.

But here is the thing…the conventional approach doesn’t truly look for the ROOT CAUSES and long term HEALING. Most dermatologists will focus on treating symptoms using things like medications, creams, steroids etc. These all come with side effects and aren’t actually supporting the immune system and the underlying triggers.

Acne, Psoriasis, Eczema, Dermatitis, Rosacea….

There are THREE common underlying factors linking all of these issues.

They are…

  1. Your Stress
  2. Your Gut
  3. Your Nutrition


Stress, in essence, is when the body’s demands are higher than it’s resources.

👉 Stress can be: physical, mental/emotional & environmental/chemical.


  • Poor diet
  • Pesticides & Herbicides
  • Conventional self care, skincare, beauty AND cleaning products
  • Heavy Metals
  • Chemicals through work exposure, air supply, pollution


  • Injuries (acute or chronic)
  • Repetitive motions as during work
  • Poor posture
  • Excessive exercise or NO exercise
  • Infection, major illness, surgery
  • Any health condition, autoimmune disease etc


  • Poor/toxic relationships
  • Lack of social connection and/or isolation
  • Death of loved one
  • Divorce or Separation
  • Poor self esteem & confidence
  • Negative work environment
  • Perfectionist mindset

👉Sudden change in life: job loss, new family member, fertility issues, financial issues, debt

👉”Positive” stressors: pregnancy, childbirth, engagement, wedding, travel, new job, going to school etc.

Obviously stress can be so much, & this isn’t even everything! Stress manifests itself in different ways for everyone. 

walls covered in mold

Gut Health

Hippocrates said “All Disease begins in the Gut”. More research is proving this to be true-that all major health conditions can be traced back to an unhealthy gut.

In Functional Medicine, we focus on improving all systems of the body & recognize the importance of a healthy digestive system.

Functional Medicine refers to the Gut as the Microbiome, because research has found that the Gut is home to beneficial bacteria, fungi and cells. In fact, we are more bacteria than DNA! 😉

More research is finding the “Microbiome” plays a huge role in our brain function, immune health and regulating hormones to name a few. In Functional Medicine, we ask WHY. So when someone is coming in with any digestive issue or with one of those issues above, a major part of their journey will involve healing Leaky Gut & improving the digestive tract overall.


What and how you eat makes a huge difference in your skin health. Your nutrition will also directly affect your gut health (which can add to internal stress). As you can see, everything is connected!

Big nutrition stressors would include:

  • Nutritional deficiencies like omega 3 and zinc
  • Not enough water (most people are chronically dehydrated)
  • Inflammatory foods and ingredients, such as dairy, gluten, sugars and vegetable oils 

Our skin is our largest organ (!) of the body. When we don’t support our Nutritional needs and encounter foreign substances (like poor ingredients) the body goes into “attack” mode, which can signal an inflammatory response.

Breakouts and flare ups can be linked back to having these stressors present in your lifestyle. 

Where To Start:

Here are my fave 5 tips on keeping your skin healthy… all year long 😄

  1.  Hydrate! Consume at least half of your body weight in ounces of water every day. More if you are active. Unsweetened herbal teas are also great.
  2. Skip the sugar: It creates inflammation in the body & leaves skin looking dull, puffy, can increase breakouts & make conditions worse. Culprits include obvious candy, sweets, soda, processed/packaged foods, but also alcohol 😳 dairy, breads, juices etc.
  3. Sleep: They don’t call it beauty sleep for no reason! 7-9 hrs of quality rest a night is ideal. You will feel AND look the benefits.
  4. Eat your veggies & WHOLE real foods: Phytonutrients, vitamins & minerals, such as B vitamins & omega 3 fats, are needed for hormone production & improves the quality of hair, skin and nails.
  5. Use Non Toxic Skincare: this is SO important!! Using the right products will limit your chemical exposure, balance hormones & improve your overall (skin) health!

I use a Functional Medicine based protocol with patients so that they can start healing their gut, eliminate symptoms & start feeling like themselves again!

If you’re curious of how to get rid of your skin issues once and for all, please reach out to our office at to set up a complimentary call with me.