Hello beautiful. You can treat your skin health naturally.
You can also treat your poor digestion, your anxiety, your chronic fatigue, and more…
I’m going to let you in on a little secret that the skin care and cosmetic industry doesn’t want you to know:
If you have chronic acne, eczema, or psoriasis, then what you put ON your skin has far less to do with your skin health than what you put INTO your body.
Gut health = skin health.
Just look as far as the conventional, pharmaceutical treatment options we have for all 3 chronic skin conditions: steroids, drying agents like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics, immune modifiers, birth control, and more steroids.
Any or all of these treatments may improve the outward symptoms, but they don’t address the root cause—and many of them bring additional, unwanted side effects.
Holistic Treatments for acne, eczema, and psoriasis
Acne, eczema, and psoriasis all have slightly different approaches when being treated holistically, but in general the factors that can drastically improve your skin are diet, stress, sleep, gut health, and addressing your overall mental health.
A cool research tidbit: the inflammatory cascade (known as cytokines) related to your diet and mental health actually links with severity of psoriasis, acne, and eczema. So, change your diet, improve your mental health, improve your sleep…this stuff really does help your skin.
If you are on this page, and therefore probably dealing with some type of skin condition yourself, then what you will experience at our practice is a doctor who finally takes the whole picture into consideration.
Our first appointment will be 55 minutes. During this time we’ll talk about the role that lifestyle choices make on your skin health and we’ll create a custom plan to address it.
For some, diet doesn’t need to be changed. For others, we’ll be investigating your diet and/or completing a food sensitivity test to diagnose the foods that may be causing your symptoms. Everyone will get a holistic, integrative intake and treatment plan that includes your goals for health alongside my expertise in treating the whole person to alleviate skin conditions.
Does food sensitivity testing work? Is food sensitivity testing accurate?
If you have acne or eczema, then food sensitivity testing is a cornerstone to finding you the quickest short-term solution to improving your health.
We have found that IgG and/or IgA food sensitivity tests are accurate about 80% of the time. They tend to more false positives than false negatives, and when reviewing the results we always advise patients to follow the symptoms rather than just looking at the test results.
We’ll start by removing all foods that came back positive for a total of 3 weeks, with a slow reintroduction to unveil any truly positive triggers. If removing a food for 3 weeks doesn’t help your skin, then you won’t need to keep avoiding it. If it does, then you may need to avoid that food for 3-6 months as we do the underlying work to alleviate your immune system flaring when you eat this food type.
For people with psoriasis, the benefits of IgG and IgA testing are less clear. Often a general reduction in saturated fats and an increase in healthy fats, more veggies, and more fruit will help. Also, for psoriasis as well as acne and eczema: functional stool testing is central to skin health.
What is functional stool testing?
Functional stool testing involves PCR genetic testing or cultures used to identify all of the bacteria, yeast, and/or parasite species that are living in your gastrointestinal system. In my practice, and in the philosophy of naturopathic medicine in general, gut health is core to clearing your skin.
This is because we need lots of good, beneficial bacteria to process our food, to access our vitamins and minerals, to keep inflammation down, and to properly eliminate toxins, hormones, and waste our body doesn’t need. Our goal will be a daily well-formed, easy to pass bowel movement, no gas, no bloating, no acid reflux or GERD, no burping, and no abdominal pain.
These key indicators of gut health will be reviewed during our first appointment and if there are any red flags in this area then get ready because I’ll probably want to complete a functional stool test.
How does a naturopathic doctor treat acne?
For more information on our specific approach to acne read more in this blog post.
4 Natural Cures for Adult Female Acne through Hormone Regulation
There are 4 main causes for adult female acne. Let’s review these and talk about the ways that natural medicine can help. #1 Inflammation Inflammation is such a buzzword these days. If you’re following the health trends you know it’s something you don’t want, but...
What is the link between Vitamin D and psoriasis and eczema?
Vitamin D is so important in treating both of these conditions that we wanted to talk about it before you even come in to see us.
There is very clear evidence linking Vitamin D, direct sunlight exposure, and skin health as it relates to eczema and psoriasis13. So, if you have one or both of these conditions, not only is it important that you have adequate Vitamin D levels (tested as Vitamin D 25-OH, with an ideal level of 40-60) but also that this comes from natural sun exposure (with a little supplementation as needed) during the fall and winter months.
If you are curious how much time you need outdoors, which varies based on your skin tone, here are 2 great resources:
— This website can be a little cumbersome and it’s for the true science nerds among us. https://fastrt.nilu.no/VitD_quartMEDandMED_v2.html
— To simplify things a bit, here is an app that will do all the work for you: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/d-minder-pro/id547102495
In fact, we can link low Vitamin D levels with all sorts of medical concerns including heart disease, inflammatory conditions, “all-cause mortality”, mood disorders, metabolic abnormality, autoimmune diseases, inflammatory diseases, and even COVID mortality. 22
22 Cherrie, M et al. “Ultraviolet A radiation and COVID-19 deaths in the USA with replication studies in England and Italy.” The British journal of dermatology vol. 185,2 (2021): 363-370.
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Dr. Sara Norris and Dr. Shauna Birdsall are Naturopathic Doctors serving California & Wisconsin residents (see our FAQs page for a list of all states we can see patients in) via telemedicine, specializing in women’s health, hormones, skin, digestive health, and integrative oncology. Joining Wagner Integrative Health in De Pere, WI on August 1, 2023 for in person care (too).
Mailing address 2275 Huntington Dr #238, San Marino, CA 91108
Phone (323) 844-3374
Fax (866) 469-2721
Mailing address 905 George St Suite 189, De Pere, WI 54115
Phone (920) 307-1209
Fax (866) 469-2721