When we view skin problems from a functional medicine perspective and go deeper and look for the cause we need to ask the same basic questions. 

As always we look at the whole person and invariably we start with the health of your gut.

Do you have symptoms of increased intestinal permeability, do you have gut dysbiosis, are you getting enough sleep, is stress a trigger and are you nutritionally depleted in certain key nutrients ?

Of course, as is so often the case,  the cause of your skin issue might be multifactorial.


Let’s look at eczema.

The orthodox approach to eczema is to treat the symptoms. Give creams to moisturise, steroids to dampen down inflammation and antibiotics to clear infection. The functional medicine approach on the other hand is to treat the cause. Again the invitation is to go deeper and find out the underlying triggers and drivers.

As Dr Mark Hyman (a highly respected American functional medicine doctor) says :

“Simply put, eczema is a sign that your body is inflamed and your immune system is not functioning as well as it should.” 

So for eczema again we look at the person’s whole system – not just the skin. 

There was a young lad whom I saw with really bad eczema. Testing showed that he was severely vitamin D and zinc deficient. We corrected those deficiencies and his eczema cleared up. However several months later, he then went through a period of high stress and his eczema flared up again. So for him it was important to not only encourage him to keep eating well and making sure his nutrition was good and also to have safe daily sun exposure but also he needed some help to navigate the stressors in his life. 

Then there was a young girl who had had eczema for years and we discovered that she had a zinc deficiency. Three months after starting on the zinc her mother couldn’t believe that her eczema had actually ” disappeared “. For this girl, stress wasn’t an issue. The cause of her skin problem was merely a deficiency of zinc. 

Whether you have been suffering from psoriasis, rosacea or eczema, I encourage you to look deeper.