Psoriasis and Other Skin Issues

Psoriasis, eczema, and other skin issues all have two things in common. One, they’re painful and embarrassing to deal with. Two, they are not just skin deep. As I child I dealt with these all regularly, and now even into adulthood my eczema has made a comeback on my hands. Yes, even health practitioners still have healing to do.

Can you coconut oil away your issues?

In short, no. In fact coconut oil is rarely my first choice when it comes to problematic skin as it can be pretty drying. Jojoba oil would be my go-to. But, unfortunately no cream, oil, or magic potion will get to the underlying cause (trust me, I tried).

Underlying causes

As I stated above, skin issues are not merely an issue with the skin. They’re a symptom, or a sign to the body, that something else is going on. Whether you were exposed to some toxin, are dealing with an immune imbalance, or have a gut infection, the psoriasis is a clue that you need to do a little digging.

While rashes alone aren’t an autoimmune disorder, more and more research is showing that both psoriasis and eczema are. And once you have one autoimmune disease, you’re more likely to get another. If this is news to you, check out a previous post HERE.

By now you’re probably asking “ok Kira, what other causes lead to skin issues?” First, stress. Oh yes, that pesky thing that we seem to ignore and think everyone deals with can lead to any type of skin issue. In fact, a cortisol deficiency has been found in many psoriasis patients in the epidural layer of their skin. This leads to further inflammation, and then autoimmunity.

Diet is of course another factor. Alcohol and gluten unfortunately are the two biggest issues when it comes to skin, but also nightshade vegetables (bell peppers, eggplant, potatoes, etc). Refined vegetable oils like soy and canola can be problematic, as can anything that’s been highly processed.

Nutrient deficiencies are also a possibility, with vitamins D and A being two of the most common. It’s almost summertime, and I can’t tell you the amount of people I see slathering themselves in sunscreen and not leaving their house without sunglasses. Stop. You won’t absorb the vitamin D. Don’t believe me? Go check out the work of Dr Jack Kruse.

And as I mentioned above, any type of infection or exposure will also lead to skin issues. That could be something like an imbalance of gut bacteria, SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), parasites, mold toxicity, or the like. I will say though, more often than not it’s something going on in the gut. Especially since there are so many environmental factors we are hit with daily that impact our microbiome.

Next steps

If you’ve read this far and realized, ‘oh crap,’ I have some work to do in regards to skin issues, you’re not alone. Start with the basics like adopting a gluten, alcohol and nightshade diet for a few weeks to see if you get any improvement. Check those vitamin D levels and work on stress management. And if you’re still not any better, you might want to consider working with someone like a functional medicine trained nutritionist (ahem, me) to help you get to the root of the problem.

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