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  • Writer's pictureDr. Kari Young

What Your Skin is Telling You

The skin is the largest organ of the human body, in size 22 square feet, and in weight 8 pounds. Although most people don’t give a second thought about the function of their skin, it plays an amazing role as an insulating shield from toxins, the sun, and heat or cold. It also enables the skin-brain connection though its vast network of nerves.

We have all had the occasional skin rash, irritation, or inflammation over our lifetime, while others suffer from chronic skin issues. Chronic skin inflammation can be both painful and embarrassing, and understanding the root cause is the first step toward achieving healthy skin.

Three common skin disorders that we will dive into here are psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea.

Psoriasis is a common skin condition, and is classified as a chronic autoimmune disorder. Psoriasis is caused by the buildup of skin cells which results in red, scaly patches which can be both painful and itchy. Approximately 30% of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis.

Medical doctors often prescribe topical treatments and anti-inflammatory medicines, which are designed to treat the symptoms. Understanding and addressing the root cause of psoriasis and the gut-skin connection is necessary for proper healing.

Common Types of Psoriasis

There are several types of psoriasis, each with their own unique sets of symptoms. Here are the most common types:

Plaque Psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis is by far the most common type of psoriasis, and can affect any part of the body. It results in the development of skin inflammation, redness, raised skin with white scales and plaques that may feel itchy or painful.

Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis causes the symptoms of plaque psoriasis, in addition to other unique inflammatory symptoms. Common are swollen and painful joints, fingers and toes. Some people experience back pain, and inflammation of the eyes.

Nail Psoriasis

Nail psoriasis affects the toenails and fingernails. It can result in abnormal nail growth, discoloration of the nail bed (yellow, pink, brown or red), nail dents or pits, and looseness of the nails.

Inverse Psoriasis

Inverse psoriasis is found in the folds of the body, like the groin, armpits, and under the breasts. It affects overweight people more frequently, and can be irritated by sweating and rubbing of the area. It results in the inflammation of the skin, and does not usually present with the scaling that is present with plaque psoriasis.

Like many forms of autoimmune diseases, people may experience symptoms in cycles, or flare ups. At times, all symptoms may completely disappear, only to appear again later.

Atopic dermatitis (AD), or eczema, is a serious inflammatory skin condition that is becoming more prevalent globally. Most people who suffer from eczema develop the condition in childhood. In fact, over 80% of cases occur in children under the age of 5 years old.

Over the years, most of my clients with eczema are children, and they suffer from painful inflamed skin, rashes, and intense itching. They are often self-conscious, and avoid wearing swimsuits, short sleeves, or shorts.

Symptoms of Eczema

  • Itching

  • Scaly patches

  • Inflammation and swelling of the skin

  • Redness (in lighter-skinned people)

  • Darker brown or purple patches (in people with darker skin)

It is common for eczema symptoms to come as a flare-up to disappear for periods of time.

Rosacea is classified as a chronic inflammatory skin disorder, and is most prevalent in light-skinned women. It is often mistaken for acne since it produces redness and small pus-filled bumps, similar to acne.

Symptoms of Rosacea

Symptoms of rosacea typically affect the middle part of the face. Common symptoms include:

  • Redness

  • Small visible blood vessels (spider veins)

  • Eye redness or itching

  • Pus-filled bumps

  • Inflammation of the skin

  • Blushing

It is common for eczema symptoms to come as a flare-up to disappear for periods of time.

Types of Rosacea

There are four types of rosacea.

  1. Erythematotelangiectatic - reddening of the skin, typically in patches

  2. Ocular - irritation and reddening of the eyes

  3. Papulopustular - acne-like bumps

  4. Phymatous - thickening of the skin

Cellular Inflammation

Cellular inflammation is the root cause of all autoimmune disorders or any symptom, including skin disorders. Cellular inflammation is caused by the bioaccumulation of toxins and interferences over one’s lifetime. This inflammation prevents the permeation of hormones, vitamins and minerals into the cell membrane and mitochondria.

It is vital to understand the exact cause of cellular inflammation in a person’s unique body. Below are the 4 main causes of cellular inflammation discovered over the past 20 years of helping clients fully heal from psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea.

Gut Disorders & Infections

Many skin disorders actually have their root in our gut health. The skin is the body’s largest detoxification organ. When our other internal detox organs are not functioning optimally, this puts a burden on the skin, which can cause a toxic overload.

As mentioned previously, the skin’s function is to shield the body from toxins. Our gut is responsible for creating a healthy environment for our entire body, including the skin. When the gut has an overload of too many pathogens, this can trigger skin disorders and flare-ups.

Research tells us that people with skin disorders are ten times more likely to also have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Achieving a healthy gut is essential to healing from and preventing any skin disorder, including psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea.

Commonly, people with skin disorders also suffer from:

  • Celiac disease (Autoimmune)

  • Crohn’s disease (Autoimmune)

  • Ulcerative Colitis (Autoimmune)

  • H. Pylori

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)

Following an anti-inflammatory food plan is a good first step. In addition, eliminating those foods to which you are allergic or sensitive is also important. The right food plan is essential for good health, however not nearly enough in itself. Completely healing from these gut disorders is important for the health of your entire body.

Our foods and water supply can be highly toxic, and it is important that you consume high nutrient foods and clean water as part of your routine. Avoid processed foods, as they contain toxic packaging, preservatives, and chemicals. And, only consume fresh organic produce in order to avoid pesticides and glyphosates.

Eating the highly-inflammatory Standard American Diet (SAD) is definitely not recommended for good health and longevity. The SAD is filled with sugar-converting foods, lectins, and high levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs).

The most common food triggers and sensitivities include gluten, sugar, grains, and processed foods. The healthiest diets are organic, non-processed whole foods that include animal protein that is grass-fed, pasteurized, and organic.

Nearly all personal care and home cleaning products available in the marketplace are toxic. These include deodorant, perfume, toothpaste, cosmetics, sunscreen, soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, air fresheners, and more. In fact, just reading the warning label on these products will tell you how dangerous they really are.

I recommend to clients that they audit every product in their homes, and replace each with a non-toxic alternative. There are many cost-effective brands that are completely safe and effective.

Go to link:, and review your current products and find new toxic-free products. You can also download their app and scan barcodes before purchasing products from the store.

Would you be surprised to know that the air quality in your home is far more dangerous than the outdoors? This is actually good news, because we can control our indoor air.

Indoor air pollution is caused by toxic products, mold, HVAC systems, cigarette smoke, paint, and off gassing of furniture and carpeting. Being aware of the products that you bring into the home is part of managing your quality or indoor air. Using a high quality air filtration system is also important for monitoring and improving air quality.

Outdoor air pollution is caused by car exhaust, smog, wildfires, and factory fumes.

We obviously have substantially more control over the quality of our indoor air, and learning specific strategies to effectively eliminate toxins that cause poor air quality is an important part of the healing process.

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