The Gut-Skin Connection: How Altered Gut Function Affects the Skin | Chris Kresser

The Gut-Skin Connection: How Altered Gut Function Affects the Skin

by Chris Kresser

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I’m preparing for my talk at the upcoming Wise Traditions Conference in Santa Clara, CA on November 10th. I’ll speaking on the “gut-brain-skin axis”, a fascinating topic that I’ve been exploring for some time. I hope some of you will be able to come to the conference, but I thought I’d share a little slice of my research here for those of you who can’t. (If you don’t make the conference and want to watch my entire presentation, I believe the Weston A. Price Foundation sells DVDs of the talks after the fact.)

I’ve discussed the gut-brain axis several times on my radio show, and I’ve at least mentioned the triangular connection between the gut, brain and skin. In this post I’d like to go a little deeper on the gut-skin connection.

Researchers as far back as 1930 suspected a link between gut and skin health, and modern research has now confirmed the importance of this relationship.

And as a clinician who works with people on these conditions, I’d go as far as to say this:

If you want to heal your skin, you have to heal your gut.Tweet This

Associations between Gut Disorders and Skin Conditions

Epidemiological evidence shows a clear association between gut problems and skin disorders. A recent report indicated that small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), a condition involving inappropriate growth of bacteria in the small intestine, is 10 times more prevalent in people with acne rosacea than in healthy controls, and that correction of SIBO in these individuals led to marked clinical improvement. (1) 14% of patients with ulcerative colitis and 24% of patients with Crohn’s disease have skin manifestations. (Interestingly enough, a study just came out showing that a drug normally used to treat psoriasis is also effective for Crohn’s disease.) Celiac disease also has cutaneous manifestations, such as dermatitis herpetiformis, which occurs in 1/4 of celiac sufferers. Celiacs also have increased frequency of oral mucosal lesions, alopecia and vitiligo. (2)

How Altered Gut Function Impacts the Skin

Intestinal permeability (a.k.a. “leaky gut”) causes both systemic and local inflammation, which in turn contributes to skin disease.

In a study way back in 1916, acne patients were more likely to show enhanced reactivity to bacterial strains isolated from stool. 66 percent of the 57 patients with acne in the study showed positive reactivity to stool-isolated bacteria compared to none of the control patients without active skin disease. 1 In a more recent study involving 80 patients, those with acne had higher levels of and reactivity to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) endotoxins in the blood. None of the matched healthy controls reacted to the e. coli LPS, while 65% of the acne patients had a positive reaction. Both of these studies suggest that increased intestinal permeability is an issue for a significant number of acne patients. (4)

Speaking of permeable barriers: most of you have heard of leaky gut by now, but what about “leaky skin”? The main function of the skin is to act as a physical, chemical and antimicrobial defense system. Studies have shown that both stress and gut inflammation can impair the integrity and protective function of the epidermal barrier. This in turn leads to a decrease in antimicrobial peptides produced in the skin, and an increase in the severity of infection and inflammation in the skin. (5)

The gut flora also influences the skin. Substance P is a neuropeptide produced in the gut, brain and skin that plays a major role in skin conditions. An altered gut microbiome promotes the release of substance P in both the gut and the skin, and probiotics can attenuate this response. (6) The gut microbiota influences lipids and tissue fatty acid profiles, and may influence sebum production as well as the fatty acid composition of the sebum. (7) This may explain why a Russian study found that 54% of acne patients have significant alterations to the gut flora (8), and a Chinese study involving patients with seborrheic dermatitis also noted disruptions in the normal gut flora. 2

Probiotics Improve Skin Conditions

Another line of evidence suggesting a connection between the gut and skin is the observation that probiotics improve skin conditions. Oral probiotics have been shown to decrease lipopolysaccharide, improve intestinal barrier function and reduce inflammation.

The first formal case report series on the value of using lactobacilli to treat skin conditions was published in 1961 by a physician named Robert Siver. He followed 300 patients who were given a commercially available probiotic and found that 80 percent of those with acne had some clinical improvement. 3 In a more recent Italian study involving 40 patients, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum in addition to standard care led to better clinical outcomes than standard care alone. (9) And another recent study of 56 patients with acne showed that the consumption of a Lactobacillus fermented dairy beverage improved clinical aspects of acne over a 12-week period. (10)

The beneficial effect of probioitics on skin may explain why pasteurized, unfermented dairy is associated with acne, but fermented dairy is not. I haven’t seen any studies on raw dairy and skin conditions, but my guess is that it wouldn’t be associated either. Orally consumed probiotics reduce systemic markers of inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which are elevated locally in those with acne. (11) Oral probiotics can also regulate the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines within the skin. (12) The fermentation of dairy reduces levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) by more than four-fold. (13) This is significant because studies show that acne is driven by IGF-1, and IGF-1 can be absorbed across colonic tissue. (14) This would be particularly problematic when increased intestinal permeability is present, which as I mentioned above is often the case in people with acne.

Now I’d like to hear from you. Have you noticed a connection between gut health and skin conditions in your own experience? Has healing your gut improved your skin? Let us know in the comments section.

  1. Strickler A, Kolmer JA, Schamberg JF: Complement fixation in acne vulgaris. J Cutaneous Dis 1916, 34:166-78.
  2. Zhang H, Yu L, Yi M, Li K: Quantitative studies on normal flora of seborrhoeic dermatitis. Chin J Dermatol 1999, 32:399-400.
  3. Siver RH: Lactobacillus for the control of acne. J Med Soc New Jersey 1961, 59:52-53.


Join the conversation

  1. I have not noticed any connection between food, gut and pustular rosacea. The ONLY connection is what I put on topically and as of yet have found nothing I don’t react to.

  2. I have recently finished a round of IVF and had severe symptoms throughout the medication phase. Pre-IVF I knew I already had gut issues, fructose malabsorbtion, slight lactose intolerance. I am certain the IVF medication has made my conditions a lot worse. The IVF doctors didn’t mention anything about gut related side effects, only that I may experience pregnancy like symptoms and flu symptoms. The past 3 weeks, I have had severe gut pains, my face / throat skin has dried up, I look 20 years older ( wrinkles) and I feel like my face / neck are being sucked in from the inside – i.e.moisture is being zapped from my body. My gut also feelings like it’s pulling inward. I feel weak, have regular head tightness / numbness (migraine like) and episodes (daily) of severe heart throbbing that is hard to slow down with deep breathing.
    I’m certain the drugs have affected my hormones, my gut and my flight or fight response.

    I’m having heart tests and my doctor is checking for a particular gut bacteria, but so far I’ve not been offered anything to relieve the symptoms. I’m drinking bone broth daily, and trying more warming food / vegetables, but so far nothing is really helping.

    I’d be interested to know if anyone has experience anything like this from IVF medication and how they dealt with it.

    I’m about to start another round of IVF as this last one was unsuccessful, but I’m nervous about the drug impacts again.

    I would greatly appreciate some advice.

    • Jen hi
      It must have been the most horrible experience especially as you were trying to concieve. I’m sorry I haven’t been through ivf treatment. But I am suffering with leaky gut. I definitely can relate to some of your unpleasant symptoms. I hope you had a successful pregnancy. If you didn’t I’m sure you will soon. The only thing I can add is yes you probably have leaky gut, along with some of the horrible side effects. And I know to be healthy you must heal your gut. Then if you haven’t already conceived you will after you give the body the right conditions to heal and thrive. I just wanted you to know there are things you can do other than ivf . X

  3. Hi you guys,
    My friend started using a product a year ago and her friends commented about her skin and hair without her telling them she was using an all natural plant-based product. This product helps people with skin problems, losing weight, diabetes, and restores gut health. It is a probiotic that also contains enzymes which remove unwanted microbes (unlike other probiotics). I’ve been taking it a week now and have noticed I sleep better, have reduced sugar cravings, and my baby is moving around a lot more in my womb. Anyway, if anyone is interested just let me know and I’ll take you from there. I truly want to help other people be healthier and happier. I want to start this business from home to eventually helps the orphans, widows, and poor. Have a blessed day.

  4. I have a sense of hope after reading everyone’s posts, and for that, I thank you. I have a skin condition, yet to be diagnosed or officially named, where I develop extreme itching after being exposed to water. This can be a shower, pool, ocean, (I don’t go into lakes, as I live near the ocean), and even sweating, particularly in humid weather. I have tried elimination diets of sugar, glutens, meats, coffee, etc. Nothing has helped. But…the confusing part is that there are times when I can shower without the an itching episode, but those are rare, and a clue to the difference remains unknown. I have tried benadryl, xyzal, loratidine, and hydroxyzine (aka vistaril), but the best remedy is an ice pack. Seriously an ice pack directly on the skin is the only real relief I get until the episode subsides. I have been to an allergist, primary care physician and dermatologist, as well as acupuncture, all with no relief. I had my gall bladder removed, which I had actually hoped was the real cause, but it was not. I have had every kind of test for cancer and liver disease imaginable, and thankfully have none of the diseases typically associated with pruritis (itching). So this leads me to start thinking about leaky gut syndrome.

    New to the leaky gut idea, all these posts have been helpful in helping me decide my next step, which I think should be some kind of detox, and good probiotics. I would be very appreciative of anyone’s comment or information on their experience with this or something similar. By the way, I drink a lot of water, and have absolutely no problem with water ingestion. Weird huh?

    Anyway, I look forward to comments, and thank you in advance!

    • Hi Peggy,

      I’ve been fighting nighttime itching for 25 years, which seemed to start after a trip to Mexico, but that’s also when I took a 6-month course of antibiotics for minor acne, so I’m not sure what caused what, but my gut got messed up, and it affected my immunity and caused bad cystic acne. I eventually got rid of the acne by cutting out processed foods, grains, dairy and bad oils, but I still had the itching. I tried every elimination diet possible to find a food cause. Cleaner foods caused it less, but nothing completely stopped it.

      I do some armchair microbiology research, and I ascertain that our bodies are full of microbes, and that everyone has a different population- their own signature. The ones we really know about are the ones that can kill us, because that’s where the research interest and money goes. All of the others (viruses, yeasts, bacteria) are considered harmless, but I don’t think that’s actually true. I think they just aren’t deadly, and some people are somewhat harmed by them.

      I’d like to suggest the possibility that you have a population of microbes in your gut (and perhaps in other parts of your body) that are causing a modest allergic response in the form of itching. We all know that skin manifests a wide variety of allergic responses.

      What we still need to learn is whether or not strengthening the immune system OR killing certain microbes is the best approach. It’s probably a little of both.

      I hope this serves as welcome food for thought.

  5. I get an alert of sorts to the agony of my gastrointestinal issues. Dry patches of skin show up on the same spots on my hands, they crack open and won’t close without me removing the dry skin and taking great care of them. I then get sick, can’t eat much of anything, get stabbing pain in my stomach and guts, bloat, irragular&bloody stool, and become lethargic. Keifer & antifungals help for a bit, but it keeps coming back… I’m miserable and doctors keep running me in circles😔

  6. I’m 52 and had moderate adult acne for 30 years, which got worse when I fell ill with severe ME/CFS. Nothing I tried worked. At the height of my illness I had huge, hard boils all over my neck, and big blocked pores on my face, back and chest. Then my specialist ME doctor diagnosed gut dysbiosis and put me on a strict stoneage (ie ‘Paleo’) diet + long-term oral Nystatin. I also made kefir, first with dairy then tinned coconut milk. My skin is totally clear and glowy. Occasionally I have a very minor flare-up which seems to relate to allergies – to both foods and gut flora – which is part of my wider health problems and is still a work in progress.

    • That’s interesting about the Nystatin. I’ve only given that to patients with oral thrush from steroids puffers.

      I may try kefir. That’s one thing I haven’t tried. Sauerkraut helps alot too but cabbage causes me more pain. I do eat yoghurt daily and have tried all different probiotics. I think I will try the kefir.

      I am on FODMAP diet to try help my pain.

      • Barb, not all probiotics are created equal.😮 Do a probiotic test…. dissolve your probiotic in 1-/4cup of homo milk, let sit for 1 hour… it should congel, curdle, thicken. If it does not, you are wasting your money! As it is mot digesting the proteins.😬😉

        I have found by trial and error, an exceptional probiotic/enzyme/antifubgal blend, for a fraction of the price I was paying for ones that were not doing much for me.😉

    • Carolyn, my husband has suffered from severe acne his whole adult life. Presently he has uncontrolled boils and breakout all over his neck. What is a ME doctor? He really needs help but none of the skin doctors we’ve been to seem to know what to do? Gail

  7. I had surgery following bowel obstruction 4 years ago to remove adhesions. I had flare ups off and on after and then 2 years ago my bowels stopped working completely without laxatives. 1 year ago I developed a rash on my chest. I thought it might be related to meds but it hasn’t changed even when I went off. I’ve tried topical antibiotic cream. I’m realising it must be related to my bowels as my symptoms have been getting worse and so is the rash. I have taken and usually take probiotics but haven’t noticed a difference. Is there a specific brand that’s best? Refrigerated or not?

    • Hi Barb. Although my issues are different, I can definitely say that not all probiotics are the same. I’ve done over the counter, $70 refrigerated, and the list goes only to finally come to the conclusion that they’re not all the same. We read and hear so much about how probiotics are one of the keys to helping with our guts, but most of the time we don’t “feel” the difference. I had given up on them altogether, but tried yet another one. Since no other probiotics in the past had helped I figured I try this new probiotic at the maximum dosage of 4 per night. Yup, I still had the “I’m tough and not even this may help” attitude. I used this probiotic with a gentle detox (poop stuff). The idea was to get control of the overgrown bad bacteria and detox it while repopulating the good stuff. It sounded harmonious and within a week I had major toxic withdrawal symptoms. At this point I was sitting in the ER wondering where my heart palpitations were coming from and why. Doctors couldn’t tell me anything so I went home, scratched my head and decided to quit drinking caffeine. Meanwhile, I was having conversations with my husband and children about how great I was feeling. I wasn’t napping, I was pooping great every single day (I thought that was a myth because it wasn’t normal for me), my troubled facial skin smoothed out, I wasn’t itchy down there as usual, and my foot had cleared up from a foot fungus breakout (this had become normal for over a year on a monthly basis). The best part was I was in a great mood. Apparently, when you’ve got a bunch of issues your mood can really stink…my poor husband. Anyway, yes, toxins finally coming out, my microbiomes being rebalanced and I’m feeling like the luckiest kid ever at 41! I knew I was on to something good so I researched until I came to the conclusion that I should have been taking “baby steps.” I should not have taken the maximum dosage even though nothing in the past had changed or helped. Thankfully I had a great support system and went from there. Since then I’ve also been able to successfully change my diet. In the past I would get cravings and cave in to the carbs or sweets. Now I’ve got it under control. Whew! This response was longer than I expected. If you’d like more info please let me know. Aloha for now.

      • I appreciate you responding except I’m not really sure what you are saying. I am an RN and I realize probiotics are different. I’ve tried various ones that we trust in hospital and others directed by Naturopath, and even just whatever. As of yet, none have helped. So your response is you took it with a laxative and it helped? That’s awesome. 🙂

        My problem is a bit different maybe as my bowels don’t work so I chronically have stool rotting inside me. I am on a $200/month med for chronic constipation that was starting to keep my bowels moving but it seems to have stopped working. I also get distended whenever I eat and sometimes randomly. I can look 7-8 months pregnant. I’ve been hoping the probiotics would help that (not yet), and just now connecting the rash on my chest, and flu-like achiness to my sluggish bowels.

        I know alot of ppl who find the probiotics in sauerkraut really helps, but it causes me pain. I also eat yoghurt every day. Hopefully I will find that right one that works for me! The rash is awful

        • Have you tried milk thistle or silymarin or a combination of milk thistle, dandelion and artichoke to first clean out the liver? When the liver is on overload,most times nothing else works as efficiently

        • Barb, I had trouble digesting my food and couldn’t get my bowels moving then I started taking enzymes with every meal they work to break down your food take a lot it worked for me!

        • HI Barb,
          I saw your post and couldn’t help but let you know my personal experience. I’m currently pregnant and my obgyn told me to eat an apple every day drink three cups of tea within thirty minutes to relieve my constipation. It was so relieving afterwards when I started having two bowel movements a day. I also thought I’d like to introduce you to a product I started taking a week ago. It is more than a probiotic because it contains enzymes which remove bad microbes and substances from your gut instead of just adding good bacteria. Furthermore, it comes with biocleanse which helps the body’s natural ability to flush out the bad stuff. It is an all natural plant-based product. I want to help other feel better and be healthier and happier. Constipation isn’t fun. Oh, and I have no more sugar cravings from this product as well. If you’re interested, don’t hesitate to let me know. Blessings.

  8. I’ve had systemic candida and food intolerances (fructose, gluten, lactose), IBS like symptoms for years. Now my skin exudes any spices, garlic or onion that I eat. It is really strong. If I eat chilli and then touch my eyes, it burns. Even my eyeballs and the roof of my mouth exude the spices. Is that a known result of poor gut health?

  9. My son is 3 and I am going to say that he has cyclical bouts with diarrhea in the spring and fall. (typically March and November). He doesn’t show any fever and he feels pretty good overall, but he will be “loose” for about 5-7 days each time. He also does have some skin issues. I would say that he has some eczema and blotchy skin. However, his skin issue during this current bout is not any worse than any other time. I talked to someone the other day and they mentioned that there could be a correlation and I am just trying to learn a little more so we can avoid these in the future.

  10. I was diagnosed with lupus in 2012, and I also was being treated for rosacea. When I took a product (an easy 8-week regimen) that effectively balanced the gut, in week 5, unexpectedly my redness cleared. The company that makes this product is called Le-Vel, and the product I used was called Thrive. I deliberately made my autoimmune/inflammatory blood work for after the 8th week of the protocol. Two of my three inflammatory markers had dropped dramatically. My rheumatologist was amazed and very happy with this significant shift. I have become a gut-health enthusiast. If you want to talk more about this, please contact me at flynitta[at] You can check out the product at if it interests you at all.

  11. Hi there, I have suffered with different forms of gastritis for 12 years. It initially started with food intolerances which lead to my stomach swelling to 7months pregnant and pain in my abdomen. The doctors could not diagnose what that was. It reduced after I was given an enema before an endoscopy. I still suffer with this sometimes but use omeprazole and it calms it down. However for the last year I have developed a new condition. I am constantly belching whether I eat or not. Now a days this can get coupled with hiccups. I have broken out with pimple with pus which I have never had before in my life. I rarely ever used to break out. My face skin is showing pigmentation that is growing. I have stopped gluten and lactose and that is helping but I don’t know w whether this is gut, intestine or colon related. The doctors have just put it down to IBS! I don’t think that is the case. I am wondering whether to take pre and pro biotics. Please guide me. Thank you.

  12. I healed my oozing yellow crusty bumps which the dermatologist had no idea were and the biopsy lab also was clueless. All she could recommend was an anti-biotic. I healed these horrible oozy bumps in 3 weeks by adding raw sauerkraut to each meal, oil of oregano drops, IntestiNew, Barley grass juice and a probiotic in the morning. It had been an on going problem for 2 years since I had been on Prednisone and anti-biotics for 3 years for my COPD. I stopped eating gluten, tomatoes and a few other things during this healing process. Now I can eat anything. I will eat raw sauerkraut the rest of my life. It has made an amazing difference in the way I feel. Please do yourself a favor and say no thanks to the drugs and eat organic food. I promise your life will turn around. I went through a healing crisis in those 3 weeks, my face (where all the bumps were) swelled up and hardened under the skin but the bumps stopped oozing and no new bumps appeared once I started the Oil of Oregano and raw sauerkraut, etc. Even my ears swelled up as well as my eyes. My body was telling me it was getting rid of the bad. I just had to wait it out. Good luck to all that suffer from this unnamed skin inflammation. Once you heal your gut your skin will be perfect!! best to all, Sally

    • Hi Sally,

      Sally – So great to hear your healing story! I have been experiencing papulopustular rosacea symptoms (oozy crusty bumps like you) sometime taking azithromycin for an infection, and then was prescribed minocycline 50 mg four months later for a month to clear my acne (which I think was caused by a candida imbalance due to the z pack). Needless to say, the antibiotics hurt instead of helping. I am going to try a candida diet and was wondering if I could get your advice. Thank you!

    • Try applying kefir ( fermented dairy ) topically 1 or 2 X day. It has nearly eliminated my teenage son’s severe acne and my chronically itchy fungal skin infection. We also drink it first thing in the morning. Kefir is much cheaper and more effective than buying probiotics in my experience. Look up Donna Schwenk A Cultured Life on how to make kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, Kim chi, etc. Fermented foods have changed our lives!

  13. My dad has chronic gastritis keeps him up all the time and now his skin is flaky and itching and gout also some how it has to be related any suggestions? Thank you

    • prayer for your dad, start by eliminating these:
      Anger ( note allergic reactions to food and environment is also a form of anger, fear, jealousy, paranoia etc gets converted to anger)
      always check food content.
      Avoid anything from China

  14. Hi Everyone,

    I have had seborrheic demerits for over 9 years now. Gastritis and reflux twice in the last 3 years. Unfortunately it seems impossible to tell how much of my gut and skin condition is caused by what I would consider normal stress or a diet that needs to be changed. Perhaps both. My question is about taking a probiotic while trying to fix/eliminate SIBO. Wouldn’t the probiotic add to the bacteria population in the small intestine? I have read that it should be free of bacteria etc. I have wondered this for a few years now. Secondly, I have taken antibiotics a number of times over the last decade for a few surgeries and other needs. It is possible that my issue is more of a fungal overgrowth rather than a bacterial issue. Doctors continually tell me that a fungal overgrowth is only possible in patients who suffer from HIV or have incredibly poor immune systems. I do know that mine is slightly over active.

    Any insight is appreciated as I try and solve my second flare up of gasritis. I have ordered Black Seed oil, it seemed to be the one thing that worked the last time I spent the better half of a year trying to heal my stomach lining. That and good old bone broth. HiPep mediherb is a lifesaver as well.



    • Hi KEVIN
      I would suggest taking a tablespoon everyday of Great Lakes Beef gelatin. 1 tablespoon in the morning in a hot liquid like tea or coffee and then again before bed in some soup. I got better results using the beef kind than any other. In fact, I make kind of Jell-O shots, and that makes it so much easier to eat. I use 2 1/2 cups heated liquid( any juice you like or water flavored with 1/3 cup lemon or lime juice and sweetener of your choice, ( I use about 1/3 cup xylitol. Heat the water and xylitol and lemon/lime juice until almost boiling then slowly stir in the gelatin( 5 tablespoons per 2 1/2 cups liquid). Stir until gelatin is dissolved. If there are any lumps just pour through a mesh strainer. I poured my liquid into a mini muffin cup baking tray and put in fridge for an hour until really firm. Voila’! Kind of like a softer version of Gummy Bears candy. This is super healing to the mucosal lining in your esophagus, stomach and intestinal tract. L-glutamine is the most beneficial amino acid to help heal the lining.

    • I have suffered with terrible skin problems for the last 8 years. I have dermatitis that use to flare on a regular basis. I have tried everything!!! Diet, all natural, gluten free everything to clear my skin. I have recently stumbled on the gut to skin relationship and decided to try probiotics. Within two days my face Began to heal. I’m now a week into my probiotic and it is a game changer. Do your research to ensure you purchase the right one. I’m taken one with 10 different strains and 30 million cultures. It has changed my life!!!!!!

      • Hi there – just curious – which probiotic supplement are you taking specifically? I’m researching probiotics myself and wondering what has worked for others!


  15. I began making Kombucha and drinking quite a bit of it when I broke out with perioral dermatitis. I am wondering if the yeast in the Kombucha is the cause. Do you have any comments on this? I am still battling the dermatitis and it has been 3 months.
    Thank you.

    • Wow, I have the SAME issue! It started from Kombucha. I haven’t drank the Kombucha in 2 weeks and I still have it! I’m taking a probiotic capsule daily now in hopes it clears it up. A good reaction from Kombucha shouldn’t be lasting this long. Therefore, in my opinion, it’s not from getting toxins out, it’s a bad reaction to the Kombucha.

      • Grains, starches, powders with stuff in it, vinegars, corn syrups, plain white sugar, organic cane sugar all contribute to your mess. I know! Try meat with vegetables as a meal. Avoid the nuts and seeds for 1 month. Eat whole fruit. Watch the effect citrus has on you.

        • I have had similar problems with fermented foods…I was told about Histamine Intolerance. It also affects the intestines. Check out low histamine diet. Vinegar and kombucha, nuts, chocolate, tomato, etc contribute to histamine problems. I’ve found that diet to be very difficult, but with motivation and time, your tolerance should improve. Good luck.

      • Just watched a video on utube yesterday about candida/yeast overgrowth in the gut, small intestine, and they said 3 food items were the main causes of yeast over growth and they were beer, sugar and kombucha ( apologies if thats spelt wrong but cant see your letter while typing). The guy on the video who was the interviewer said he was drinking 3 bottles a day so was told to stop. A low or no sugar, no fruit to start with,no yeast, low carbohydrate and no refined food would be a good start. I know your message is older now and you may know all this but thought it worth replying to.

    • Kombucha ! I started making kombucha and taking it around the same time as my facial dermatitis started too! I do have a healthy probiotic rich diet most of the time but haven’t been able to heal the face rash. Should I stop taking kombucha?

    • I don’t think the yeast in the Kombucha eats all of the sugar that is used to make it. At least in my case when I tested my blood sugar it was too high after drinking Kombucha. Wonder if the sugar in the Kombucha may be feeding candida and causing an overgrowth and contributing to inflammation? Also, if you are sensitive to Histamines, fermented foods are high in Histamines and you can get a Histamine rash. Try stopping fermented foods and take some liver cleansing herbs. If that doesn’t do it, maybe do a candida cleanse.

  16. Hello, I am suffering from perioral dermatitis which has become really bad on my whole face. I was using steroid-antibiotic-antifungal cream which was keeping flare ups at bay, but as soon as I stop it comes right back. I have that for almost 9 months now…! I am desperate. I am working with a gut specialist for my intestinal dysbiosis and leaky gut, but I am afraid it will not help my condition. Is there a good chance that my skin will clear up if I am currently doing an extensive gut detox/treatment to rebalance my microbiome. What if it is not curable? Has anyone suffering from peri-oral dermatitis had success after doing such treatment ?

    • Maggie,
      My horrible facial skin condition finally responded to using oral anti fungal diflucan or generic fluconase
      To address what turned out to be fungal infection from eating shredded cheese!
      Took daily for 1 month then 2xs wk for 2 mos. Then weekly 1 month.
      Then… daily for now 10 days and almost gone.
      It never was acne. Facial fungus.
      Ps cortisone cream makes it much worse. Used monostadt.
      Serious stuff

      • What kind of shredded cheese, specifically?
        Thank you for your post. I have fungal skin infection on my arms.
        I have severe eczema, leaky gut and Hashimotos.
        I eat lots of cheese, so would appreciate knowing which ones bothered you.

        • Ok here’s the deal with cheese. I ate organic shredded motzarella cheese with powhere’d cellulose. If it doesn’t say vegetable cellulose it is tree pulp or cotton! This filler is used to keep the bagged cheese to keep it fry. Probles is , this filler is also a host for growing fungus! Weakened immune systems and leasy gut provides body with need to flush out through the skin as it enters the blood stream.
          Avoid bagged cheese with cellulose!

            • I had a horrible skin condition that was linked to eating packaged shredded cheese with cellulose powder in it. The powder is a filler used to absorb moisture and is made from wood pulp or cotton.
              I got 3 large cysts from eating 3 separate meals made with this cheese. Within 24-48 hours after ingesting, large bumps appeared. They then surfaced and scabbed up.
              Inside were splinters of fungus spores that had to be removed. The spores traveled under the skin and spread.
              When I realized what it was I started taking diflucan or fluconizol, an anti fungal medication. This worked!
              The skin began to flush out the fungus. I took diflucan daily for a month, then 2xs a week for 2 months, then 1x per week for 3 months.
              Bagged shredded cheese harbors the moisture and fungus may grow in the wood pulp cellulose fibers.
              I no longer eat cheese or milk products.

          • During my own research, I found that Cows milk and cows cheese should be avoided. It is not as easily digestible by humans and especially by people who have a compromised digestive system. Replace with goat milk or goat cheese or goat yoghurt to allow the gut to heal. For anyone with skin problems, consider applying a diluted amount of braggs or solanagold apple cider vinegar (see Earth Clinic) – that has helped me. For topical application, also natures sunshine “silver shield rescue” in gel form has helped.

      • Maggie, Thank you for posting your follow up response about your dermatitis. I have had it for 3 months and it gave me hope.

    • Have you tried eliminating all oils and anything with grains including the whole organic grains?? Potatoes can cause skin allergies depending on the genetics and preparation process. Eliminate all processed stuff.

    • Hi there Maggie: I have similar symptoms, and also sometimes get weeping skin on my eyelids and face (why EYELIDS???). In November 2014, my dermatologist considered hospitalizing me because my skin was so inflamed with hives. Putting on clothes was physically painful. My skin is now better than it has ever been, and though I cannot tell you the direct cause, I can certainly tell you what I have been doing:
      1) Began an elimination diet Nov. 2014, and slowly, over months of time, eliminated dairy, gluten, caffeine from my diet. I was already allergic to nuts, tomatoes, eggplant and others. Trust me, eliminating coffee was the worst, but I did it, because I learned that it was causing massive inflammation for me. After I eliminated caffeine, my inflammation went from an 8 or 9 on a scale of 1 to 10 down to about a 6.

      2) I created an allergy card that I could give to restaurants, and that has been a massive help in helping me to avoid food allergens at restaurants, and the restaurants love the allergy card. I have discovered that 60% of the restaurants I used to dine at regularly use hidden food ingredients and additives (milked chicken, milk in the chicken with broccoli sauce). I reduced my allergic reactions to about one every 2 to 3 weeks by using the allergy card, and right now I am starting a 3 week streak. Oh, and when I avoid food allergens, many of the symptoms you’re mentioning went away for me.

      3) You may not believe in this, but I am a believer. I went to an acupuncturist in June 2016, and he’s helped me get over the hump. Today, my skin is as smooth as baby’s skin, and my digestion and elimination is better than it has been for at least 10 years. I ate something I was allergic to about 3 weeks ago by accident, and with the acupuncture, my skin barely even itched, and was only uncomfortable when there was no cream on it. Even with a massive allergic reaction and flare, my skin and pain was only about a 3 out of 10 on the pain scale compared to what it was in Nov. 2014. No doubt, I am better off now than I was. I even went about 2 to 3 days without applying steroid cream – that’s how low the inflammation was during my last allergic reaction.

      If you need more proof – by November 2014 my IgE had climbed steadily to 14,000. Yes. And the normal range is about 0 to 100. I took a test about 6 months ago, and it is down to 6,900. So, a huge improvement!

      I don’t have the answer to your question – I can only tell you what has been working for me. Good luck to you.

      • I think accupuncture could be an answer to my exfoliation problem, notwithstanding I never really believed in accupuncture. As I am shedding my entire skin especially around my head and face daily I just have try something before it drives one insane, yes it’s that bed.

        • Fascinating reading! Thanks all. I had granuloma anulare for three years and was covered in hives from my elbows to my knees and feet. Dr. said steroids would keep it at bay but would not get rid of it. I suggested a connection to my leaky gut which I was addressing through eating AIP, and doc said there was absolutely no connection between belly health and skin . In my shock I said are you xxxx kidding me ?? We parted ways.

          I have happily healed my body and gut over the past three years but got exposed to gluten on vacation last spring and the skin issues came roaring back. Started weekly acupuncture at a nearby acupuncture school and they suggested I try Chinese herbs to target the underlying skin issues at the organs’ level. Over three months I watched my skin irritations and “scars ” recede and they are gone completely for the first time in years. Was on holiday recently and inadvertently exposed to gluten and had absolutely no side effects. Will this work for you/anyone? I don’t know, but it works for me. Chinese medicine believes it starts in the gut and then targets the underlying organs supporting the belly. I hope this gets you thinking about the multiple ways we can heal ourselves. My goal is to fill my toolbox with modalities and information . Thanks! I welcome everyone of your experiences so I can become a greater detective for my best health.

    • I suffered with peri oral dermatitis for almost a year trying the natural route with paleo, allergen free diets, etc. A round of doxycycline for one month cleared it up. Steroids make it worse.

    • Maggie…I was one of those that suffered from ACNE as well. As a matter of fact I was on antibiotics, birth control pills, and chemical peels to try to help it. At first they all helped, but I was beginning to feel “weird” on the inside. So I quit after 9 months of continuous use. My acne returned, but not as vicious. Throughout the next few years I tried cleansers, creams, ice packs, oils, and numerous probiotics. I had nearly given up…by the time I made it to Hawaii about 3 years ago I started having foot fungus breakouts. Then I tried a probiotic with a gentle detox (that I still take daily) and within a week’s time my all the blisters from my foot went away and my acne settled down…both were clear and smooth and I almost could not believe it. So I did some more research and am in total agreement with this article. There is a definite connection between the gut, skin, and brain. Speaking of the brain…I also quit having daily headaches and my moodiness was a thing of the past. It just goes to show that when you’re feeling great again and you’ve got energy then of course your mood will improve. Anyway, if you or somebody else would like some information about my regiment please do not hesitate to ask.

  17. Taking a cortisone shot and simultaneously taking excessive antibiotics led to an overgrowth of Candida in my colon which then led to a Tinea versicolor skin infection. I used caprylic acid which did not help. I needed to take fluconazole for 5 weeks and noticed the Candida after going to the bathroom. I took a colon probiotic. I don’t eat much sugar and stay away from refined carbohydrates. Do not have a colonoscopy until you build up the beneficial bacteria because that procedure will kill all of the beneficial bacteria. What also helped was getting 50 minutes of sun and only using sunscreen on my face. Vitamin D from the sun strengthens your immunity. Don’t over do it though.

  18. Chris,
    Dr. Bodo Melnik, a German dermatologist who has studied extensively the milk-acne-prostate cancer connection, explains the dairy-disease link in two ways. I’d love to hear your comments.

    Milk has a software–microRNAs–that transfer gene-regulatory material from mom to child, from commercial milk to the consumer, and these mRNAs increase mTOR signaling (growth signaling within a cell.) In turn, increased mTOR signaling leads to increased IGF-1 signaling (growth signaling between cells), and IGF-1 stimulates a potent form of testosterone that in turn activates more mTOR signaling. Fermentation and boiling seem to destroy the bioactive mRNAs, but pasteurization does not. So fresh milk, even pasteurized, still has the software to drive abnormal cell growth.

    Milk also has a hardware–its amino acids, including leucine and glutamine, which also activate mTOR and IGF-1. In addition, leucine induces an insulin response, thus increasing blood sugar, and stimulates oil producing glands (hence, the acne connection.) Many dairy foods are high in leucine, including raw and fermented ones ( See, and it’s the leucine that appears to be the culprit for prostate cancer.

    Your thoughts?

  19. Hello,

    I study skintherapy and at the moment I am working on my thesis. I study the effect of probiotics on skin diseases, in connection with the gut-brain-skin theory.
    Are there people here who have tried probiotics? Then maybe you could send me a message. You would really help me. I hope that I can contribute knowledge to the skintherapists/ dermatologists.

    Kind regards,

    • I’m interested in what you find out. I’m an esthetician with a BS in health sciences who is thinking about adding a nutrition certificate to my resume. I see the gut/skin connection all the time. I was even recently diagnosed with SIBO and know firsthand the connection…

    • Hi there Ruby! I have been taking Probiotics for about 2 years now, and what I have deduced is that the largest impact you can have on your skin is to eliminate food allergens from your diet. The biggest change in my skin I have observed from removing gluten, caffeine, white sugar, alcohol and other acid reflux-inducing irritants from my diet. I also started seeing an acupuncturist, and his advice, which was to drink lots of water before each meal, and drink water afterwards but not during a meal, has also greatly improved my digestion. I noticed a clear and strong connection between acid reflux and my itchy, red skin. So, I focus on reducing the acid reflux, and my skin looks amazing. Oh yes, the other thing I have to do is ensure that I do not over eat, which is hard for me, because I love food and my eyes are bigger than my stomach. So, the summary is that probiotics are OK, but reducing or eliminating your acid reflux and food allergens is better.

      • Hi Heather ..
        Just wanted to say thank you for your comments and helpful information that you received from your accupuncturist / Chinese Physician. I ended up going to a accupuncturist this year as well; it did help ! And; I will agree 100% on reducing *anything* and everything in ones diet that will cause acid issues. I’ve read many, many comments here from people that now have leaky gut syndrome. I think a lot of it boils down to: most people are not being honest with sticking to a whole food / clean eating way of life. It’s critical if you want to heal your gut; and feel better. I’ve had at least 5 years experience with on going issues from leaky gut. I just read where: juicing the hard inner core of fresh pineapple, adding tumeric and ginger ( taken as a drink ). Can really help digestion. Drink this before a meal; at least 30 minutes before a meal would probably be best. Probably once a day to start. And, I’m thinking that 1 of these drinks would probably be plenty for adding back enzymes. I’m glad I read what you mentioned about drinking plenty of water before and after meals. My accupuncturist ( also said the same thing about water. ) And, I trust her 100%.

    • Hi Ruby-
      Since I got on probiotics 2 years ago, it has helped me greatly.
      I’m 60, and had eczema resurface from childhood again when in late 40’s. I also had leaky gut, Hashimoto’s and candida. In fact, so badly I lost my fingernails. Been to countless doctors of all types, including allergists and functional med drs. From the onset of using probiotics, my gi tract settled down. The eczema on my face was gone! I could live again! But, it never left my body’s skin. Also, after 8 months on that first probiotic, it stopped working as well. Found another good one, and it too lasted as well for about 10 months. I have no idea why.
      Right now, my body skin has eczema and I think a fungal infection on my arms. I was tested 8 months ago for food allergies, and have stuck to that completely. I’ve been gluten free for a year, and switched from drinking wine (which I loved), to Titos vodka with unsweetened cran juice when social.
      So, in response to you, I could never be without a probiotic again I go right back to severe leaky gut syndrome. And, have to change brands about every year.

      • Please help! I feel i may have the same symptons you have had. Tell me, what was the cause of you almost loosing your fingernails?

    • Aloha Ruby,

      I would love to talk with you about the success I had with my own skin issues and how well I’m doing now. I’d also like to discuss what I’m learning about my body and its relation to carbs and sugars….

      Is there an email I can get from you so we can connect? Or shall I leave my social media address? How do we go about this. Just lmk and we can go from there.


  20. Hi. I’m really hoping that you can offer a viable explanation for the issue that in experiencing. The dermatologist is stumped as well as the functional medicine doctor that I’ve been working with. I have hashimotos disease. My symptoms have just now started to manifest on my skin within the past 6 months. It seems as though my pores can no longer clear by themselves and Ive got tiny clogged pores all over the lower portion of my face and temples. They feel like hard grains of rice. I’m not sure if it is a build up of keratin in my pores that’s unable to clear. I have facials and get them extracted but over the course of a month between appointments, they come right back. It’s very frustrating. Some have speculated that it could be a vitamin A deficiency side effect of perhaps a vitamin D deficiency that’s causing it… I have been checked and I’m severely deficient in both. I’m considering using a topical vitamin A if that would help.
    Any help that you can offer would be great. Thank you.

    • HI Desirae,
      I would look at the lymphatics and liver function. If your deficient in vit A & D, you also need to look at why, is there absorption issues in the gut are you getting enough sun exposure? Vitamin D levels are also affected by kidney and liver function.
      In regards to external vitamin A, I would look at an internal powder would probably be more beneficial. The skin also needs vit A, D, E & Zinc for repair. You don’t want to be on Vit A if your pregnant though, or trying.
      Does your functional medicine practitioner prescribe herbs or supplements. There are some great practitoner brand formulas out there.

      All the best,
      Sarah (Naturopath).

      • Please tell me what dosages of A, E, D and Zinc you recommend, I take e-400, D50,000 weekly. Have minimal A in multivitamin, but want to add that and Zinc.

        • I had little sebum bumps under my skin on my chin area. The only thing that helped was making sure my omega 3 intake was higher than my omega 6. Krill oil is the best

    • No pills potions or gut bugs will fix it. You I suggest have a food choice problem. Consider stopping anything with oils in it. Processed oils cause a great deal of problems with many peoples’ skin. Be weary of the amount of protein you eat. That includes fish, poultry, animals and their by-products such as dairy and any other unnamed living creature. Nuts are NOT a protein source for humans. Nuts have imbalanced ingredients and by-products. I have developed hard bumps on my head and skin from nuts and seeds. Birds have very acid stomachs. We are acid based, but not like birds or carnivores. Enzymes and ?-biotics do NOT solve the problem of what you put in your mouth. The enzyme industry is now a trillion dollar industry gimmick. All processed food has to go. Often the manufacturers put tons of chemicals, emulsifiers and preservatives in their big batches to increase shelf life. That is bad for us humans. Grains are dangerous for thousands of people. I mean all grains, even soaked and fermented, very bad. My story with grains is very long. My research proves that all the food doctors lie just to keep people from eating certain foods. Lying is prevalent in the natural healing industry. Egos and lies make men and women look like big smart folks. I am 61 and finally had to look up the longevity and health of all the so-called gurus. What they said about themselves and what they put on television did not match up with the hard core truth. Grains destroyed my skin with rashes, splits, pus, infection, I was susceptible to catching MRSA infection many times, bloody sheets and clothing all because I ate 100% all organic grains-every last kind of grain-including processed grain products. Stay away from processed sugar products. They increase the likelihood of the spread of yeast oriented diseases. All sodas are out. Avocados can be very problematic. People want to say they are wholesome and natural. They can send fat and more bumps to skin. Eat a very small amount. 1 level tablespoon and put the rest in a closed sealed small mason jar. I suggest you take a critical view of what Dr. McDougall has to say on his website. He corrects more than 90% of many problems with diet. He does prescribe drugs if absolutely necessary. Think like an animal when considering the cleanliness of the food you buy and eat. Dr. McDougall has trainings where you can stay at a hotel and eat while taking classes and gaining knowledge. By the way, we really do not need oils the way people keep saying. Dr. McDougall is not a supplement person. He is a food educator. It’s the food that is mostly killing the people and making us sick or well. At home, we distill our water. Two gallons a day for our needs. We keep 20 gallons ready at all times. There is more but this is a start. Good wishes to you. Art

      • Hello Art ..
        Just want to say thank you for your great message and helpful information. After; years of dealing with leaky gut and all of the same identical issues that everyone is has or is experiencing; I 100% agree with you. It really IS a food issue. SO many people are addicted to processed foods; that just reek havoc on our bodies over time. It’s almost like a slow clicking time bomb. I’m definitely going to look up Dr. Mc Dougall; and research the diet / food thoughts from him. And after trial and error; I agree with you on “oils”. Even, olive oil on a salad; seems to irritate my skin. I love avocados; and usually eat 1 a day. I will hate to give them up to be honest; but I might have to. I truly want to heal my gut. After 5 years of living on roller coaster; of skin rashes, digestion upsets … I’m done !! I just ended up with my upper chest breaking out in tiny bumps 2 weeks ago; and my digestion was all over the map. I know without a doubt it was caused from: gluten, oils. Thank you again for your message and good comments.

      • I have to disagree, Art. I had GERD for a full year (constant, daily, severe GERD – a nightmare). My first plan of action was a gradually ramped up elimination diet. To the point where I was consuming olive oil, hemp protein w/o fiber, and salmon for the majority of my food consumption (plus a minor bit of other things to get 100% of all micro nutrients).

        I tried some of the strictest diets known to man, for months. Didn’t help.

        What did help? Probiotics. Not the first kind I tried, but this other kind by Garden of Life (I think?) that are refridgerated. They are quite common. I can’t say for certain that ‘cured’ me, but the problem was gone, FOR GOOD, shortly after I began taking them. Maybe it was coincidence.

        My hunch, is that poor diet and alcohol consumption CAUSED by GERD, by wiping out my good gut bacteria, thus leaving ample room and resources for BAD gut bacteria to move in. I upset and redesigned the ecosystem with nasty stuff. I think largely, intestinal gas or under-digestion played a role in the GERD from my stomach. It’s all linked.

        Once the ‘bad bacteria’ has moved into the neighborhood, the purest diet in the word isn’t going to jack dong. They’ll feast on whatever you’re eating.

        The problem – caused by diet – can only be solved by probiotics. You keep dumping enough of this alternate bacteria in your gut, they start multiplying and consuming all the resources … starving out whatever other bacteria is down there, and re-establishing the equilibrium.

        And also (consult a doctor first) stop taking PPIs — those cause and prolong GERD.

      • Has anyone had a problem after taking fish oil supplements??? I feel like my skin rash is worse and so are my allergies??or could it be something else not related?

    • I had that type of bumps and they all went away after 3 weeks on The Body Ecology Diet. As the sticker says, heal the gut, heal the skin

    • Hi Desirae, my mum has hashimotos too… Was v d deficient too. Has recently given up drinking tea (used to drink 10 cups a day) and has seen so many health benefits. She read stuff about the high levels of fluoride in tea being linked to hypothyroidism and numerous other issues, including that it inhibits vit d absorption. We also saw some info on ‘fluoridema’ I think it’s called… Basically acne on the chin caused by fluoride in toothpaste and drinks… Maybe worth checking out if u drink much tea or live in an area where fluoride is added to the tap water? Xx

    • Hi Desirae: I actually have the same problem, but the issue is all over my arms and thighs. I have some good news for you – I am seeing some positive results and a reduction and then elimination of the bumps if I do two things:
      1) Minimize sugar intake.
      2) Use a thinner lotion or cream on the bumpy areas. I was using a cream with an additional application of Aquaphor, which is a thick ointment. The bumps soon arrived.

      I began to use just the cream, and to apply the cream more frequently throughout the day, instead of applying the cream (Cetaphil Cream) plus the Aquaphor. So far, I am having great results. Take a look at the moisturizer you are using and see if applying a thinner or oil-free moisturizer on those areas helps you. In addition, remove sweets from your diet for about 4 to 5 days and see what happens. Good luck.

      • Hi,

        In my experience these bumps on the back of my arms are linked to gluten and maybe dairy sensitivity. However, when taking high dose iodine and dextoxing, I get lots of red bumps on the top of my thighs and forearms. While eradicating h pylori with monolaurin and triphala, I developed little vitiligo spots in the same areas – not sure why. Am gluten and mostly dairy free.

        Perhaps the bumps on your skin are related to detox as well? There’s a TCM organ face chart which might help you discover the culprit.

  21. Hi,I am 39.My main problems for over 15 years seem to be Gastric disorders. The symptoms increased recently. I have appetite to eat but if I eat, I have these problems:

    – headache
    – constipation
    -feeling my face and my head’ skin are swollen.
    -loosing the sense of tasting and then smelling.
    – a very taste -less in mouth
    – ulcer in my mouth and my throat just like sore throat. recently in worse case I have painful full-pus pimples in genitals( very big ball lump outside genitals), hips and hands.
    – Joint pain
    -fever and shaking (in aggravating stage).
    I am feeling something like fluids in my head and ears and nose mostly.
    I am sure this is a definite link between gut issues and skin pimples. could you give me an advice please. I couldn’t fix it yet even by referring many doctors.
    Thank you

    • Leaky gut is the cause of most of your problems I am sure. Please stop eating all grains, dairy, soy, corn. Take a probiotic religiously.
      Eat foods low in salicylates as this will lessen your reactions when you eat. Try and eat them in soups. Also bone broths. Please take my advice seriously you must be very careful with what you eat. Salicylates are not that bad per say, but because of the inflammation in your gut lining is in bad shape from eating gluten – dairy and the like over the years – the more salicylates you eat, the worse your symptoms will be, your body reacts to them as intruders when they enter your blood via weak gut barrier

    • What are you eating? I suggest making a journal; include anything you ingest- food, beverage, medicines, tobacco, etc. Include all symptoms you have after consuming anything.

      It sounds like you have a food allergy. I would see a naturopath and/or allergy specialist to determine if that is what causes your symptoms.

  22. I had terrible acne and chronic urticaria for almost 20 years. I cleaned up my diet, and researched myself out of it. My skin is clear now and I don’t get hives.

    I decided to become a certified health coach to help others with autoimmune and skin conditions.

    Many of you need to have thorough testing and proper lab work to figure out precisely what is going wrong. What causes an ailment could be different for each person.

    If I can be of any help to any of you, please let me know.

    • Hi Jodi –
      Can you provide some advise on proper testing? I deal with widespread dermatitis and it seems to get worse with each winter. I’ve had slight improvement with using glutagenics and following an AIP diet. Ive also recently started supplementing with pancreatic enzymes. I’m still waiting results of a comprehensive stool analysis. Any advice would be appreciated!

    • I have suffered with a skin disorder called granuloma annulate for about six years..left for awhile but is now back…can you offer me some advice.. I am anemic and was low in vit d but I take supplements now and just started drinking a blood toning tea… I also apply tea tree oil… I’m trying everything..

    • PERIORAL.. this is what derms are telling my now 22 yr old daughter that she has. Been dealing with since high school, above lip and around chin, red bumps some with whiteheads. On diff antibiotics thru the years, minocin and bactrim, both worked temporarily but coming back. Also used topical Aczone. Staying away from fluoride toothpaste, caffeine, sulfates and all dairy as she is lactose intolerant. Such a good girl I feel so bad for her. Now looking into eating clean also. Any advice? God Bless.

      • i had the same problem for 5 years and recenlty i was able to controled my PD after trial and error regimens. Try to use herbal set from head to toe (like shmapoo, toothpaste facial wash) all your be herbal or organic with out parabens or SLS then stay away from spicy, chiken and dairy and guten food… take probiotic vitamins and garlic vitamins it will realy helps a lot believe me..

        • Have you tried eliminating all oils and anything with grains including the whole organic grains?? Potatoes can cause skin allergies depending on the genetics and preparation process. Eliminate all processed stuff.

          • Art, I have perioral dermatitis also and I have been eating clean for 5 months. My case began after drinking a lot of Kombucha one weekend with a friend who brought me some.
            I finally managed to get some control of it with retin a but drank Kombucha this weekend and it is coming back in force. I don’t think it ever went away although it did get so much better I was happy.

    • Hi Jodi Franklin, I think I need a Naturopath but I don’t know where to start. This February after being not allergic to anything my whole life – I did a slow motion break out into hives, or some mystery urticaria on my legs. First two itchy dime sized down by my ankles, and now it has marched all over my legs covering 80% of my calves and 20% of my thighs and arms. My doctor thought it was ringworm, and another doctor thought it was psoriasis. Nothing works on it and I’m taking now high doses of probiotics which seems to make it calmer, but it looks terrible. At this rate I’ll be covered including my face in three months. What tests will a Naturopath do? Will digestive enzymes help in addotion to probiotics?

      Thank you,


      • Hi Joan
        I’m wondering how things are going?
        I wa thinking that 2 drops of oil of oregano every 4 hours for a week might kill what big caused your problem. Please update your post as I am really interested to know if you are any better. ?

    • Hi Jodi Franklin ..

      I’ve been dealing with what seems to be a leaky gut syndrome for about 5 years now; possibly longer. I’ve been to a accupuncturist this past year. Having at least 10 treatments over the course of several months. And, drinking special herb tea that she gave me. I definitely “felt better” after each appointment. But, I still have skin irritations, rashes will appear all along my chin, cheeks, forehead. I had been getting a rash in one single spot on the front of my neck as well. Two weeks ago: my upper chest completely broke out. It’s finally starting to heal a bit. But, I feel ( prickly ) inside and I’m sure it’s from some stress. Because yes, folks: these gut issues will make you feel bummed out and stressed. I’m trying to keep as positive attitude; but I get very sad from all of these on going issues. My hair also shedds more than I think it should be. I’m a cosmetologist by trade; so I’m aware that losing a certain amount of hair every day is normal. I’m really watching what I eat; sticking to a clean natural foods. I gave up gluten, all grains and sugar completely 3 weeks ago. My foods now consist of: *lightly* cooked vegetables, some salads, chicken, salmon, small amounts of red meat = once a week for iron + B vitamins. Eggs, pinto beans, avocados, olive oil, fresh lemon with water, and basic vitamin supplements. Fresh fruits are: peaches, apples, cherries and blueberries, some times red grapes and watermelon. And trying to drink lots of water before and after meals. I can see the effect that the olive oil and possibly avocados may not be beneficial foods for me at this time. I’ve limited coffee down to a tiny tiny amount. ( 1/2 a cup a day ). And I stopped eating Greek yogurt, and stopped drinking milk. I’m not taking probiotics at this time; because I ran out and they were getting pricey for me. I would love LOVE to resolve my health issues; once and for all. This is draining the life out of me. As, I was typing this: I just ate mashed avocado with olive oil, and sea salt: and my skin felt very irritated within the last hour.

      • I think that when people change their current diet they may not be aware that their bodies go into detox mode. This could explain why you are reacting in this way as the liver needs supporting during detox.

    • Hello, Jodi Franklin! I have acne and urticaria too! I have been trying to deal with them 4 years now. I couldn’t find a cure for them. Can you share with me how you got rid of these diseases?

    • I am covered with a terrible bumpy rash all over my body. My back is covered in itchy bumps. My arms. Legs. I am stumped. I did develop what the doc said was imperial. He gave me a steroid pack and after that the impetigo never went away anf now I have a itchy red rash all over. Its driving me crazy. I need help.

    • Hello, Jodi Franklin! I have acne and urticaria too! I have been trying to deal with them 4 years now. I couldn’t find a cure for them. Can you share with me how you got rid of these diseases?

  23. Hello,
    Last year I got Dengue and I had been given antibiotics as usual. Dengue cured but I have got a new problem i.e itching all over my body.
    Still I have itching but when I eat certain food like egg, grains meat it goes up.
    Can you give me a solution for this problem?

  24. I’ve just recently come to the realization that I have a a gluten intolerance. I’m nearly 49 years old. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s at 36 and then PCOS at 39, all while trying to conceive. In my mid to late 20’s, and until I got was FINALLY able to get pregnant at 39, I suffered with cycstic acne on my chin and neck. I also had a clogged pore on the right side of my neck, under my ear, which I could squeeze out a thick, white substance that did not smell good at all! Eventually this grew rather large and I was unable to get anything out of it and had to have it surgically removed. The surgeon said that he sees these type of clogged pores quite often, but he didn’t elaborate and I didn’t ask any more questions. Recently, the cyctic acne has returned. I also am able to pull little white things out of my pores on my face with tweezers. The pores aren’t inflamed, but clearly clogged. I also have several very large pores on different parts of my body. One in particular is on my face. It’s on the left side of my nose, closer to the bridge. This pore is large as in approximately 2mm in circumference. I literally have a hole on my face! It’s grown larger and larger over the years. But I’ve discovered several more on different area’s of my body. Not as large, but there non-the-less. Could this be from gluten as well? Has anyone ever heard of this? I’ve not been to a dermatologist as we really can’t afford it and so it is what it is, but if I knew that gluten is causing this – it would be a relief.
    I have several other issues, including infertility, digestive issues, etc.
    I’ve only been off gluten for several weeks, and I already feel better.
    Can anyone enlighten me on the pore issue?


    • Angie,
      I just responded to Shiela about these white fiberous splinters coming out of cysts on the face. I stay on a rotation diet to be sure of the effects of all foods. 4 months ago I ate organic mossarella and parmessean shreaded cheese with a filler called “cellulose”. I now believe this is the cause of the splinters .The news today just mentioned that the cellulose in some cheese is wood pulp and the FDA is investigating! So I got two huge cysts with rolling splinters after eating this cheese 4 months ago.. The open wounds will not heal until the splinters are removed. I use mud pack to calm the cyst, then Opaline wound crystals in a warm compact on the skin to isolate the splinters, for removal with surgical tweezers. Then I use hydrogen peroxide to keep the swelling down. The scab will not stay on if there are more, but will remove some splinters when it falls off. I take a strong Probiotic Healthy Trinity and Opaline oxygen pills to control the bad gut flora. Now, I eat NO DAIRY, or ever will again as hormones and antibiotics given to cows causes inflamation and Cystiic acne with foreign material inside! Eat no processed foods at all. A friend got these from eating a sausage (fillers again!).
      This is becoming more common as the food we eat is manipulated. My cysts are almost healed. Now, to tackle the scars!

      • I have a condition on my face mostly, little lumps with what feels like sharp grains of sand embedded in them. They are very difficult to remove. Does this sound like your condition? I’ve had it for years. No GPs know what it is. I’d love to know the name of this condition and then I might have a chance of healing it. I too have leaky gut so I suspect food allergies (I’ll see what happens if I eliminate cheese).

    • Gail,
      They are spraying the skies with all sorts of chemicals, which are causing our immune system to get sick and when that is out of balance, our gut, there can be consequences on our skin!
      I know, because I have had this of late…look into geo. engineering on its website and read what this can do to one’s health…hope this helps, Patti

      • Hi Jodi Franklin ..

        I’ve been dealing with what seems to be a leaky gut syndrome for about 5 years now; possibly longer. I’ve been to a accupuncturist this past year. Having at least 10 treatments over the course of several months. And, drinking special herb tea that she gave me. I definitely “felt better” after each appointment. But, I still have skin irritations, rashes will appear all along my chin, cheeks, forehead. I had been getting a rash in one single spot on the front of my neck as well. Two weeks ago: my upper chest completely broke out. It’s finally starting to heal a bit. But, I feel ( prickly ) inside and I’m sure it’s from some stress. Because yes, folks: these gut issues will make you feel bummed out and stressed. I’m trying to keep as positive attitude; but I get very sad from all of these on going issues. My hair also shedds more than I think it should be. I’m a cosmetologist by trade; so I’m aware that losing a certain amount of hair every day is normal. I’m really watching what I eat; sticking to a clean natural foods. I gave up gluten, all grains and sugar completely 3 weeks ago. My foods now consist of: *lightly* cooked vegetables, some salads, chicken, salmon, small amounts of red meat = once a week for iron + B vitamins. Eggs, pinto beans, avocados, olive oil, fresh lemon with water, and basic vitamin supplements. Fresh fruits are: peaches, apples, cherries and blueberries, some times red grapes and watermelon. And trying to drink lots of water before and after meals. I can see the effect that the olive oil and possibly avocados may not be beneficial foods for me at this time. I’ve limited coffee down to a tiny tiny amount. ( 1/2 a cup a day ). And I stopped eating Greek yogurt, and stopped drinking milk. I’m not taking probiotics at this time; because I ran out and they were getting pricey for me. I would love LOVE to resolve my health issues; once and for all. This is draining the life out of me. As, I was typing this: I just ate mashed avocado with olive oil, and sea salt: and my skin felt very irritated within the last hour.

      • YUP !! CHEM TRAILS . All over our skies now. What a strange, dirty polluted world we are now forced to live in. It’s making humans sicker and sicker. No wonder hospitals all over the U.S. are now FULL with patients. And thousands of doctors; laughing all the way to bank with big fat healthy paychecks. While their patients remain un-healthy. Things needs to radically change here in the U.S., doctors should be educating their patients on healthy LIVING .. instead of: prescribing chemical cocktails with worse side EFFECTS. It’s completely out of hand. People should be getting their hands on as much organic fruits and vegetables that they can afford. I agree it’s not almost cost effective; especially when feeding a family. But, it’s worth it. And, on that turn: people need to stop buying processed junk food. Save “that” money and apply it to: Organic foods. I used to love a good burger, fries, etc: but, now I walk away from all of it; knowing it’s just not worth risking my health. There are so many good healthy options with vegetables and real / whole food. I think once people start eating super clean and super healthy; they won’t miss those trips to their favorite fast food joints.

  25. Nothing I have done has completely cured my skin issues. I try to follow a Paleo diet. I do eat carbs once in a while and I love eating 75 to 85 % chocolate with raw almonds and cashews. I eat no processed foods and all meat, fruit and vegetables are organic, with some exceptions when I travel. I use all natural soap and raw organ honey as cleansers on my face and hair. I eat fermented vegetables throughout the day, mostly cabbage, bought or prepared at home, for natural probiotics. Many of these things have improved my symptoms but I still get red irritated flaky skin on my upper torso, mainly my face and scalp. I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis when I was 23 but I haven’t had any symptoms since changed my diet and stopped eating dairy in my late 20s. I take no meds. I am now 50. I am very fit and healthy in every way other then the seborrheic dermatitis. I have been using natural oils with anti-fungal properties topically and orally. Again slight improvements but always a daily fight. Any suggestions?

    • I too have Seb Derm on the face. I managed to reduce the itching and burning by supplementing with Glutagenics, but the redness never goes away. it wasn’t always red, the redness just started this past October. My face is congested with tiny bumps that just burn..especially around my chin. This is all part of the seb derm i believe. I’ve been following an AIP diet and doing acupuncture weekly but the seb derm still persists and, like you said, it is a daily battle. I never know what i’ll wake up with. If it’ll be worse or slightly better. I also do manuka honey masks every other day. And i only wash my face with water and remove makeup with jojoba oil. And i use natural shea butter with avocado oil to moisturize. Aside from the seb derm, i have eczema all over my body which i’ve had persistently for two years now. Two years ago i was also diagnosed with Sjogrens and UCTD. I’ve been on plaquenil since. This summer i also experienced the worst case of TMJ, i took a lot of aleve which then led to digestive issues which i am still dealing with. The seb derm seemed to act up shortly after the digestive issues started. Next week i will be running a comprehensive stool analysis so i hope it gives me some answers, although my naturopath doesn’t seem confident it will. If anyone has success stories on seb derm, i’d love to hear it!

      • Cae,
        Please look at what I posted above you with Gail. I have Seb. dermatis, and at first, it was red, itch (unfortunately I didn’t know what it was and scratched, which made it angry and mean, and more red and itchy. I went to the dermatologist and he gave me a steriod cream, only used for a few days, as I have heard that they are bad, and now use coconut oil, and it it is still red and slightly itchy, but the scaling has gone away. I had a comphrensive stool test and it showed that I was elevated in many catagories and now the natural doctor wants me to wait a month and do it again, as I didn’t eat real healthy for the three days that I did the stool part and mine even showed blood in my stool, another thing to worry about!!! I feel like I am falling apart, believe me! You know that they are spraying the skies with all sorts of chemicals and many people are getting sick….hope this helps, Patti

    • Try a cream with Pyrithione Zinc in it. Just type “Pyrithione Zinc Cream” in amazon. You could also use a soap with Pyrithione Zinc as well. I don’t know if it’s a “cure” but some people go from using it 3x a day and get SD cleared in a few days to a couple weeks and then use it once a day as maintenance. You can read others reviews.

  26. Late last year I started having chronic gut problems that I thought might be diverticulitis. I took a course of antibiotics (prescribed by my GP) which didn’t help at all, and when I was finally able to get into see a GI doc she said I have IBS. Around about the same time my lips began to swell and bleed and shed skin. I’m trying to adjust to the low FODMAP diet now but keep having GI issues and my lips just don’t seem to get better no matter what I try to do.

  27. I have had gut issues all nearly all my life. I was diagnosed with a milk allergy as a baby, although I “outgrew it” when I was about 3 years old. I was also diagnosed with MS about 13 years ago. I cured my MS by eliminating dairy from my diet. My MS has recently returned with a vengence, and so has my gut issues. I have noticed that when I get bloated, I also get intensely itchy skin across my lower back and around my front hips. I have been on a low chemical diet for a while now, and the itching and bloating have subsided, but still get it occasionally, both happening at the same time. My health issues are still a “work in progress” at the moment, but I definitely believe in the gut-brain link, also the gut-skin link.

    • I completely understand some of what you’re going through I also was diagnosed with MS in 2012. But a wonderful friend of mine introduced me to a supplemental drink that helps give you the nutrients that your body needs to get better. It has really made a huge difference in my life and I’m so thankful so maybe it could also help you. I would love to talk to you and know more of your story.I’m so sorry to hear about the relapse with your MS.

  28. I’ve been following the GAPS intro diet, unable to add in many foods in the later phases due to SIBO and histamine reactions. My skin has become so dry, it appears I have aged ten years in a couple of months. Extreme weight loss (15 pounds on a slight 5’3″ frame) may also be a factor. And, my eyes are so dry at night, it is difficult to open them without a horrible scratchy sensation. I’m concerned I’m doing damage on this diet. Why, considering the claimed benefits of meat/bone broth on the skin is mine looking worse than it ever has, rather than better?

    • I just started the SCD diet in earnest (after avoiding grains for a month, I finally dropped fluid dairy) and my skin has really dried up. I too feel like I’ve aged ten years in the last 10 days, despite eating significant quantities of fats. My eyes are also very dry, especially in the evening. My acne is better but the dryness is terrible and concerning. I wonder if it has something to do with the change in diet and may be an indication that it’s not the right fit.

  29. After reading a lot of these comments and made me think wow a lot of people have seb derm like me………
    I’m 18 now. when i was in year 9 or year 10 i had a haircut from a shop and supposingly they never cleaned there shavers, after i had my hair cut i had these big red patches on my head which was very embarrassing, i kept touching it and all of a sudden it came on my face after that i had break outs out of break outs i went to a dermatologist and basically they gave me an ointment, when it worked I thought it cured me forever but it didn’t sadly, I kept breaking out and then I’ll just apply the ointment and it will disappear…. After a good 6months the ointment stopped working, I was then given steroid creams which I heard was bad but I kept putting it on my face as I was desperate so I started with natural treatments like honey, avc, coconut oil etc. what we all already heard off but it helped but not for long but then I heard it was to do with my diet after watching a guy called ‘rob Stuart’ who CURED his dermatitis for years which meant no sugar, gluten, dairy yeast etc, but he ate as a vegan and i only stopped all them but I couldn’t become a began as I love chicken but eliminating all these foods helped me from break outs but I still have little patches of seb derm on my face, I drink only volvic water, fluoride free toothpaste, only use natural rollers on your under arm I have loads to say but I have no time but I believe there is a cure for everything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. I cured my perioral dermatitis without antibiotics. I have taken antibiotics before with good results but did not want to take them anymore due to them being hard on my gut flora.
    First I stopped drinking kombucha due to the high floride levels in tea. I stopped eating all dairy, eggs, tomatoes, nitrates and basically any foods that cause a histamine response. You can search a list of foods on the net for this. Next I started taking digestive enzymes and HCL with meals. It took 3 to 4 weeks for my facial rash to dissappear.
    I am slowly reintroducing small amounts of these foods again. This is what helped me and I hope this may help others too.

    • what kinds of enzymes and what is hcl? my 22 yr old daughter has been dealing with perioral since high school and on and off with antibiotics with the perioral always coming back. Such a hard thing to get rid of. thanks!

      • Hi Karen,
        Yes it is hard to get rid of and make us feel so self conscious.
        I believe the key for me was avoiding the foods that cause a histamine response. I am still free of the perioral dermatitis, but if I eat too many of these foods, my face starts feeling itchy, and I know I have to avoid these foods for a while. Bad triggers for me are yogurt and Komucha (which from the responses seem to be triggers for others as well). For 4 weeks I avoided: dairy, chocolate, tomatoes, oranges, nitrates, tea, eggs, vinegars and alcohol.
        The enzymes I took were DigestMore by Renew Life. HCL is hydrochloric acid that I take for low stomach acid.
        I hope this helps 🙂

  31. I have been dealing with these horrible lesions on one side of my face. If I pick them a white something comes out like a splinter. Then it bleeds, one drematoligist accused me of being in meth. :(. It’s that bad however I’ve never done drugs so it can’t be. It’s so very painful I can’t even describe it. Three years I’ve had no quality of life because when it inflames about 2 times a day u have to get them out so I can stand it. If I don’t it swells they grow larger I wind up with little bumps every were and a pocket full of fluid in my neck. I’ve recently was was wondering if it could be coming from my intestines because I’m finding thes white things in my feces my gut hurts all the time. My deem can’t seem to figure out what it is or what’s causing it. I have multiple pictures of it but I’m asking any professional who reads this can give me a glimmer of hope. Desperate

    • Shiela,
      You are not crazy. My sister and I got the same thing. I figured out it was related to cheese. I ate organic shreaded parmesean and motzarella cheese with cellulose or filler in it. The news reported today that this is wood pulp!. I believe this is what is coming out of the skin. celulouse splinters
      Treatment. Don’t eat any cheese or dairy ever again. There is also a hormone connection with antibiotics and hormones added to dairy that causes inflamation. So. Take a strong probiotic I use Healthy Trinity from Natrin. And I use Opaline crystal detox solution to bathe my face in it 2xs a day. This brings the splinters out. With surgical tweezers the spinters are removed. I use hydrogen peroxide to keep infection down and a mud pack to soothe the welts when first coming in .And, I take opaline oxygen pills to clear out the bad flora in the gut as well There is a cure. It works!

    • Everything starts in the gut! I had a comphrensive stool test and it showed all sorts of abnormalities so maybe this what started my skin problems…I have done a lot of research and this seems to go together, the skin and the gut and the brain. I have been on a strict diet and done all the right things, but it is still red and slightly itchy, but no scales lately…it is making me depressed, to say the least! Patti

    • I’ve got something going on as well the last cpl. Years with my skin and as far As I configure it was results from The ChemTrail of poision. My body is scared from the lesion that I had A crazy timewith trying to get them to close.. Tried everything to get what was hurting in them out. Soaked my arm in bleach one day for an hour.. All that done was burn my arm moreless.. But Then I found something that would make it come out. I then started scrubbing my arms an legs with Simple Green 4 times a day. After the 2-3 time tring it I noticed they were starting to heal an close. But now.. 2 yrs. Later this last week my face an around my ears have soar lesion/bumps an Im hopeing that the vinigar lemon water I was drinking daily tring to help my swollen nodes awhile back will perhaps work for this.. with what I’ve learned I try to stay out of the gov. Fog from the trails of poision an the rain. Shower an change right after. And the whole eating safe food as long as there poisoning the air.. the water and food is tainted too. Plus all the heavy metals in our food. Good Ol America. Mandatory Fluoride being put in the city’s water. Cause there’s no where to dump it cause its so harsh. Probly eating our skin from consuming it and bathIng in it. My point… sorry about going on an on is Organic Apple cider Vinegar with lemon in a cup of water.. help free our body’s of toxins I guess. Thanks for all the input an I hope everyone gets better! Take Care!

  32. Hi

    I am just a patient who had a staph infection in my arm about a month ago. Since then, Ive had this rash on my face and I just got diagnosed with colitis. I went to the ER cuz I was bleeding really bad from my rectum. I think all of this is a result of the staph infection which I was under the assumption was gone.

  33. I have had a rash that moves all over my body. My GP and a dermatologist could not find a cause or cure. I had a person at a whole foods store recommend that I try a probiotic. Thank goodness I listened to that person. I started taking a probiotic and after 4 years of constant itching and horrible looking places on my body the rash is gone and stays gone so long as I take a probiotic. I have never found out what caused the rash nor found a cure.

    • Donna,
      I am am so encouraged by your post. My mom, aged 72, has been dealing with chronic itching from a skin rash that has spread over most of her body. She has been to so many doctors and even wholistic doctors. All of them had their “theories” but my mom got no relief.

      After seeing a Facebook ad, and watched a video on probiotics, I started researching online. I am going to share this info with my mom, in addition to your testimony. Thank you. May I ask, which probiotics did you use? I understand they are not all effective. You have to know what you’re buying.

      Encouraged Kelley

  34. Hi

    My son of now age 7 has had eczema from birth, he was diagnosed with a cow dairy intollerance, so dairy has been eliminated from his diet and the eczema isn’t as bad now but still flares up,so I elimanated sugars not completely and I see a slight difference so what I’m asking is it possible that a certain strain of probiotic would help his gut and in turn skin barrier and prevent eczema flare ups ? If so would anybody recommend strains of probiotic for him please?


    • Dean, it does sound like your son has compromised gut health. Sometimes people find it hard to understand why children can have bad gut health when they have barely had more than a few years to even ingest reactive foods. It is interesting to note that in some cases children’s gut health is directly attributed to the health of their mother’s micro biome when carrying the child.
      I have used Bio-Kult probiotics with great success – the capsules do not need to be refrigerated and is a lot stronger than generic strains you will find in a pharmacy.
      As a side note, trying to have him drink organic bone broths will be amazingly healing for his gut lining (you can hide in soups etc)…here is a great article that might be useful…

      I hope that helps! Best of luck. It can be a long journey but it is well worth it I promise you.

  35. I just started taking minocycline this week for my cycstic acne that has been flaring up. I thought it was caused by stress. However, I noticed an immediate improvement in my ibs. The last two days my ibs has completely cleared up. I cross my fingers it will go away 🙂

    • I had the same skin condition as yourself , I could not get rid of the condition tried everything .I went wheat , barley oats and rye free , so no gluten at all , and it’s cleared ALL up , also have a digestive issue . Give it a go.

  36. I’ve had psoriasis for 40 years. I take lots of probiotic yogurt (17 bacterial strains), the hormones hydrocortisone, DHEA & T3 (for energy problems), stomach enzymes, betaine hydrochloride, & lots of zinc. Plus quite a few support supps, & the paleo diet + rice & yogurt.

    The psoriasis is still there.

    • You should take “Herpanacine” by Diamond. Have been managing health food store for 30 years and have never seen anything work better for ANY skin problem, including psoriasis, than Herpanacine. Google it and go to the website for many many testimonials. I have no financial interest in the company, I just know it works.

    • Perhaps you should research the FODMAP diet. I follow it, dietician supervised, after stomach surgery for serious reflux and vile problems post op. I have tried probiotics, can’t honestly say they help but mostly take them daily, and recently gave up white wine which I drank almost daily limiting myself to one or two standard drinks (small). I can’t say my IBS is cured but it is better, and instead of every 2nd or 3rd day spent in agony, I can go a bit longer up to a week before being struck again. This is a joy, but I still have swallowing problems and cannot dare to eat away from home without risk. I will be thrilled if my rosacea improves.

      • Hi Tonya, how did you use the flaxseed to cure your skin problems? I have noticed a bit of sebbhoric dermatitis on my face. I am worried it might worsen.

  37. About 3 years ago I strted having stomach issues and noticed white patches on my hands. I think they are related. I was tested for crohn’s bc it runs in my family but not diagnosed. They just called it ibs. They did diagnose me with vitiligo and I am miserable. I follow a FODMAP diet mostly. However, I have started introducing some gluten back into my diet. I feel if I could heal my stomach the skin issues would get better. But I’m very depressed over both.

    • I recently diagnosed myself with IBS (which as you know is a very vague diagnosis). Within a week of following the FODMAP diet I was 100% better. Looking back I’ve probably had IBS since I was a child (I’m now 33). I’ve been eating probiotics like tic-tacs and following the FODMAP diet for about 6 months…and losing my mind. I’m also vegan. So basically I eat brown rice and bok choy everyday. Finally, 2 weeks ago I decided to try healing my gut with Traditional Chinese Medicine (acupuncture and Chinese herbs). I’d read about it months ago, and TOTALLY believe in its healing power. But I’d been putting it off because it’s so expensive. Three weeks ago I ran into a friend who actually HEALED the same tummy troubles with TCM. I couldn’t believe it! It was a sign! As of now, all I can say is: so far so good. During the first week I felt like I was detoxing: lingering headache (which I never get) and sluggish. This week I’m breaking out (acne) like crazy. But I’ve noticed much less bloating and gas if I accidentally eat or drink something high FODMAP. Where before I’d be miserable and wearing baggy shirts due to my tummy bloat. My friend said she noticed a difference in 4 weeks and was all better in 8 weeks. Can’t wait to be able to eat garlic again!!

        • It’s actually going GREAT!! My tummy hardly gets bloated or gassy. I can have a little garlic here and there. Same with beans, only a small amount here and there. Onions are still a no-go! Haha! I’d say I’m probably 80-85% better. I think my job will prevent me from ever getting 100% better unfortunately. But I’m VERY happy with my current status. Thanks for asking ??

  38. I got a bottle of Ultimate Flora to try. Just finished the 30 capsules. About the third week my ears became so dry and itchy, it’s driving me nuts. There are hard bits and flaky pieces in there. My tongue feels like I burned it, like on hot coffee. Nothing else has changed that I can think of.

    • I have had flakey dry extreamly itchy ears for years now I have ringing and loss of hearing. I also experience the sensation of burnt tongue or bumps. I don’t eat wheat ever or any other grains , milk products, stevia or carageen no one has been able to help me in 10 years or more. I have digestive issues to the point where I rarely eat out and NEVER eat fast food.

  39. Although I have been almost dairy, sugar and grain free for over a year, I have a condition called granuloma annulare which is not all that common and yet it continues to get worse. I am also on candida supplements and probiotics. I wish I could figure out the gut-skin connection and rid myself of this disfiguration that is taking over my extremities.Doesn’t seem so easy. My daughter’;s acne responded to this diet changes but not my granuloma. I don’t see any articles related to this condition anywhere on your site. Wish someone would tackle this problem. I am on a FB group with over 1,000 other sufferers and everyone is desperate for some help. any ideas?

  40. Probiotic supplements can be expensive. I am working to improve my digestion health. I get outbreaks on my skin if I have milk products and I am thinking sugar also is the culprit.
    I have nasal polyps and take regular medication of singular and claritin, this is a daily thing. it has helped me pretty well. I started to take Align (probiotic pills) $50/9week supply. in the beginning it was good sinuses were quite better than just the singular and claritin. but lately sinuses and skin conditions have not been good, but summer and icecream go hand in hand, so trying to avoid it now.

    I also brewed my very first Water Kefir probiotic drink at home and will be switching to the water kefir instead of the supplement pills. Let see how this goes.

    For those who get relief from probiotics I wanted to mention water kefir as another option to expensive store probiotics. It take a little effort but saves you a lot.

  41. I’ve noticed a direct correlation with my acne and my bowels. Whenever my bowels are disrupted for a period of a couple days (or more), my acne erupts. I take probiotics on a daily basis and have been for well over a year now; they seem to help to some extent. Last week, when I ate healthy, my skin was clear, and I splurged this past weekend and now my gut and skin are experiencing setbacks.

  42. I have noticed that when I abrade or otherwise palpate (squeeze, scrape, pick) some skin blemishes (pustules that may be folliculitis), I can often hear and feel an immediate rumbling in my intestines, as gas is transported and often released. I therefore suspected a connection, and decided to research.
    It is my opinion that the body knows exactly where to create a blemish, so that extra sensation is applied to that specific area and the intestines are affected in some positive manner. There may even be a connection between the location of the skin lesions and acupuncture points.

    • That’s a parasympathetic response. Maybe you feel relaxed and relieved when you pick at your skin and this is observed by a parasympathetic response in your gut.

  43. My 6 year old daughter first showed eczema at 18mths. It got steadily worse till she was 4 when we were in a cycle of itchy eczema skin, infected eczema, antibiotics, itchy flare ups. Thankfully we had her tested for food intolerances and the nutrionalist introduced us to probiotics. We believe our daughter had 8 ,lots of antibiotics by the time she was 4, the first being the course I took for mastitis when I was breast feeding her. Now at 6 years the eczema has finally gone. I believe we broke the cycle with heavy doses of probiotics which she took for 18mths solid. She has also had extra oils such as evening primrose oil and Odos choice oils. Her diet has been dairy free and in the early days it was free of fish and eggs. Food additives in jellies, sweets, lollies etc have also been avoided. Homemade spelt bread, gluten free pasta etc have also reduced her gluten consumption.
    Unfortunately she did have infected eczema earlier this year so she did take a course of antibiotics but her skin just bounced back into health. It was almost as if her gut could tolerate the antibiotics. No eczema has recurred.

    • Dear Michelle Hathaway,

      Could you please tell us what brand of Probiotics your daughter was on for 18 months. My daughter was also on a large dose of antibiotics the wrecked her gut and it has been a long journey. We would love to know the probiotics that worked for you and what brand it was! Please!!!! Thank you so much!

  44. I have a 13 yr old daughter who was born at 29+ weeks gestation. She had emergency bowel surgery for Necrotizing Entrocolitis at 4 weeks of age. Had a colosomty bag for 5 1/2 months, Since then she has undergone a total of 15 surgeries (only 5 on her bowels), and about to under go one more sowel sugery.
    Almost 2 years ago she was in foster care and for some unknown reason, the foster mom took her off her medication for her bowels. Upon her coming home I started the medication again and she continued to have problems. Last summer I was told she had an impact of feces and the surgeon wanted to just try the increased medication to “soften” it up for it to come out naturally. So we used triple the medication for a couple weeks under the dr’s directions, then down to just double. This spring she had to go back in and had found out that even though the medication did it’s job, her bowels became very lazy, and had to drain over 10 lbs of liguid fecus out. All this time she was dealing with a face that had very violent break out in acne. It cleared up 90 % of her problem. Now she is having to go back in to repair the damage from the stretched bowel, and her acne is becoming worse again. Today I noticed the color of her skin changing as well. As well as the last couple of days all she wants to do is sleep.
    Has anyone else dealt with this type of issue as well?

    • I don’t have any suggestions for your daughter, but I have a daughter the same age, and I feel so terribly for her. I pray she heals one day and can live a normal, healthy and productive life. Please hug her tight.

    • Acné is directly related to blood sugar disorders. Please check dr glidden and/or dr wallach sietes. They will helpmyour daughter for dure. Have faith and trust.
      Best wishes for you…..

    • Try her on a wheat free diet please no gluten , it stuffs there small intestine up. My daughter also has a colostomy bag , she had a bowel perfaration , a little different situation then your daughter. Don’t let them take out the appendix , it’s responsible for B cell immune response. These little things don’t deserve this . Please see a good naturopath if you can, hope this help a bit.

    • Hi, I like your daughter had problems with my bowel when I was 3 days old. It had a perforated bowel and was expected to die, however surgery saved me and I am now 33 years old. However, this hasn’t come without cost and I have suffered with diarrhoea for my whole life and annoying stomache issues. I also have had eczema my whole life that gets better and worse, right now it isn’t so bad but 6 months ago it was as bad as it’s ever been. I believe I am not as tall as I should have been due to my stomache not absorbing nutrients and minerals properly when I was growing as both of my brothers at 6′ and I am 5’6 and of a much smaller build. All of this hasn’t stopped me trying to find solutions to my problem and I have recently started on a combination of GAPS and FODMAP diets and I feel like things are getting better but it’s too early to say. I am also taking bio-kult probiotics with meals and drink coconut milk kefir. I am allergy to casein so I’m unable to drink milk or eat yoghurt but that’s okay because there are good alternatives. I am 99% sure that my skin condition is linked to my stomache problems so at the moment I am concentrating on fixing my stomache issues with the belief that my skin will then remedy itself. I hope find a way to settle your daughters stomache issues, I have found that doing an elimination diet and going right back to the basics is a great help and I have learnt a lot by doing this. Jimmy

      • Sounds like celiac disease! Have u been tested? My daughter has it and also had gut surgery after birth- there is a link between trauma and celiac! God bless and good luck!!!

  45. I have Hashimotos I started the Autoimmune Paleo diet 4 months ago. In the first week rash started in my arms and legs. I have large welts and it itches horrible. It will clear up and then flair again. I have removed things from my diet I take probiotics. My doctor says it is from the diet but it has been four months. I would appreciate any help.

    • I started my daughter on Gaps because she was showing autism symptoms and lost her speech. She has severe food intolerance that has been going on since day 1 even while I was nursing. She had steroids basically every month her first year and from March to June she had probably 5 antibiotics for RsV and then staph 4x. No doubt in my mind the antibiotics is what kicked this into such a mess. But I started Gaps without having the book yet and I’ve not began fermented kefir or veggies because every time I tried to add vegetables she has a reaction. But she’s so bad that even just giving her chicken and broth she was scratching and flared. I have just this week started rotating in different meat. Her arms and the top of her legs are flared horrible too..I know her gut is so damaged that she is just reacting to everything but I don’t know what to do to speed her healing. I feel like the bone broth was making her worse and I read about histamine response with leaky gut. So I guess im just trying to figure out how to deal with it all. I’m scared to give Her meds because I’m afraid of making her gut worse but I know she is miserable. She wakes up crying and scratching all night. Do you have any advice about supplements or natural skin remedies to get through this? She takes probiotic (just culturelle right now, we’ve been waiting on biokult). Do you think this issue will change once I add fermented diary and veggies? I am just spinning in circles. She’s only 2(May 1) and in such bad shape.

      • Michelle, my heart goes out to you. I imagine you could get some excellent guidance from a certified GAPS practitioner (listed on Dr Natasha’s website, and many of whom can help you remotely).

        In the mean time, note that the first GAPS broths should be meat broth, not bone broth. So that’s broth from fresh meats cooked for a shorter time than longer-cooked bone broth (among other benefits, less histamine if that is indeed an issue). This might help significantly. Best of luck to you both.

      • HI Michelle
        My heart goes out to you and your daughter. I’m dealing with a flare of my eczema and I’m just 50. It’s taking all my skills and resources of self-regulation to not go absolutely nuts with scratching. I have become very paranoid about food. I do suspect a histamine intolerance. I have read many stories about eczema and it’s all very confusing. (I have a health coach certification, I have studied homeopathic medicine, my sister is a doctor, I have an IQ of 115 and have spent my entire adult life concentrating on self-care and studying nutrition/healing/psychology. I say this just to point out how challenging it is for anyone who has resources or not. I have recently started working with Amy Nett who works with Chris K). One woman found that after a “healthy diet” of kale etc her kid was sensitive to salycilates and the diet that worked for her looked more conventional than “healthy”. The thing that scares me is that it may not be food related (while, yes, still being gut related) and how do we heal our guts without totally flaring up eczema? I can only encourage you to get really good professional support. Check out the low histamine chef. She has her own bias but it is interesting. I would forget about fermented foods for awhile if you do think histamine is a problem. To be honest, I’m pretty sure my return of eczema (after 40 years) was due to living on chicken soup. My advice to you: I would learn all the nervous system regulation/stress management that you can. That’s what you need to be sharing with your child (just by being with her in this serious discomfort and soothing yourself). And I wouldn’t rule out using cortisone for awhile either. Oh and oatmeal baths and poltice (put a cup in gauze and apply directly to the skin, it’s really soothing. I was just reading about cardiospermum (a plant extract) that is becoming popular int he UK for itching and eczema.

        • sorry, with the oatmeal I mean put a cup in gauze or muslin and then take it into the bath with her. The water makes the oatmeal mucilaginous and you apply this to the skin. It’s soothing.

      • I’m so sorry about your daughter! I can only imagine how painful it must be to watch someone you love so much suffer like this. Have you ever heard of using Plexus products for gut health and autism? While probiotics are good, not all probiotics are created equal. The Plexus probio5 has not only all the good bacteria, but also 4 different strains of digestive enzymes plus grape seed extract, making it superior to any other probiotic out there. I have had huge success with this probiotic and have close friends who are treating their autistic children with amazing and life-changing results. It has truly been an answer to prayer for our family!

        • I actually had a lady at security checkout give me the info for probio5 about 2 weeks ago and she was using it for her daughters eczema. We have Biokult right now which is very therapeutic grade, designed with the help of Dr. Natasha that created Gaps diet and cured her sons autism. But I will definitely look into the different strains and compare. I know that it’s good to get as many strains as possible so I may alternate. The Biokult has 14 strains but there’s also another brand that our nutritionist told us about that has 29. It is very hard not knowing the future when it comes to your child but I’m very hopeful that she will heal completely from this. It is a learning experience and I’ve learned more than ever thought possible within a very short time. I think when this is done she will be healthier than most anyone around. I am very adamant about having my kids have a full, healthy life and it is changing my life for the better. We are soon starting kefir and I am going to be a full on cultures foods momma. Aaysia is already making a lot of progress and I’ve still not started the kefir because I’ve been waiting to get time to order the grains and make homemade. Thank you all for your comments!

      • Nutrition iis the answer. She is in need of minerals, enzymes, vitamins, aminoacids and specially essential fatty acids. Please Google dr glidden or dr wallach and follow their protocols. Do not worry, They will help you and relief will come…
        Best wishes for you…

        • Thank you! I will look them up! I am always interested in learning more and connecting all the Dots! When you see more and more doctors confirming what you’ve learned it is eye opening.

      • Hi Michelle! I am a life long eczematic with a long list of food allergies from birth as well. I cannot imagine what you are going through with your daughter right now and so I am sending you positive energy and prayers. Also, I will share what has had a massive impact on me. You are already doing most of these things for your daughter, but keep reading.
        1. Diet rich in fresh and raw vegetables, avoiding fried foods and processed foods. (You know this one.)
        2. Avoid known food triggers
        3. DIGESTIVE ENZYMES. And not those sissy ones. I am using Similase Digestive Enzymes, Enzy-Gest and Mycostat Complex (candida). Within 48 to 72 hours the itching STOPPED.
        My current line of supplements, in addition to the above, includes 4000 mgs of Zone Diet pharmacy grade fish oil, daily probiotic from GNC, and Dr. Furhman’s prenatal vitamins. The digestive enzymes had a huge impact. Itching STOPPED and on night 2 I slept SOUNDLY. I have slept more soundly since the enzymes than I have in the past 7 years. Currently, I am still addicted to gluten (It’s the bagels, man.) and so I have recently begun to accept that I may have to remove even that from my diet, which makes me angry. I still have flares sometimes and (sigh) think it is my gleeful bagel overdoses that are the culprit.

        So, Michelle: Identifying food triggers is critical and so is the diet, even with enzymes, but if you can do all three life could get better for your daughter and you. So the next problem after this is, how do you heal your gut so that you have fewer food triggers? Why am I SO allergic to everything? Well, I plan to schedule a consultation with the folks at to see if they can recommend a diet that will help me rebuild my gut flora. I feel sure that the steroids and drugs unbalanced my gut ecosystem, and so my immune system, and that is why I have so many issues. Oh yes, and I am allergic to the usual suspects, dairy, eggs, nuts, fish, coconut, peas,lentils, tomatoes, and later in life (no longer angry…in acceptance now…) alcohol and caffeine. Goodbye beloved coffee. And whiskey. Not your daughter’s problem, thank goodness. 🙂 If I have any success with Nourish I will come back and post.

        • Thank you. I started to use digestive enzymes in the beginning of starting diet. But then was scared it would cause a reaction. It’s so hard to know whats going to help it or make worse when your in such bad shape. Her system reacts to Everything. I am not exaggerating. I really have no idea of any food that’s totally safe for her. She reacts to everything but I have lately by accident really been giving her raw cabbage which she loves and it seems to be better than most other food. I give lots of fatty boiled meat because GAPS diet says it helps heal the gut lining but I’m starting to feel like she’s more reactive to meat. Her itching is literally killing us. She’s awake all night crying and scratching. I’m either sitting in a chair or standing and holding her trying to calm her. I have so much anxiety. We’ve got to get her better: we have just started a protocol with biodynamic wellness in Cali. And I am hopeful that they can help us. But the plan was to start Intro gaps with the fermented foods(I haven’t been doing them). We started today with boiled chicken and brussel sprouts and she broke out into hives all over her entire neck and her stomach is covered in eczema now. She’s just Miserable. Nothing worse than having your child suffer and not beig able to stop it and the guilt of the things done that caused this. I just wish I could go back and never have given her any steroids or antibiotics. But here we are now. Now I have to figure out how to get her better. I will definitely ask our practitioner about adding digestive enzymes. I think we may be actually getting something like that through UNDA drops? We just started them today. Praying they help. I’ve heard good things about them and our practitioner was very positive about them helping us. She said she knew they would begin to help the itching.
          I think you are right about the raw veggies. I think she may do better with more raw veggies but The only issue is her body doesn’t seem to be able to break them down completely. But hopefully that’s what the drops will begin to help with.

        • I’m not sure if my other comment came through from my phone, but was wondering if you’ve tried adding homemade yoghurt or kefir to your diet. I’ve so badly wanted to be able to start my daughter on them because I think they will speed her gut healing but she’s so reactive to milk and trying to access raw milk in Kentucky is nuts. I think she would do fine if I could get raw milk. But I’m waiting on a yoghurt maker as I’ve tried kefir and she reacted to it. So I’m hoping the yoghurt is easier for her to handle. I’m just so desperate to get her better. I’ve been so anxious and depressed thinking that there are so many people suffering with a sick child their entire life. I try to be optimistic but then being in the situation it is hard not to worry with the “what-ifs”…I hope we can all find a way to have healthy happy lives as they Should be lived.

      • Id try a different angle.. perhaps something is irrataten it. The rash.. baking soda baths and mild laundry soap and off any carpets.. for a start.. an see.

    • Have you ever heard of using Plexus products for gut health and thyroid issues? They have an amazing probiotic called Probio5 that has been a awesome answer to prayer for my family. My sister-in-law had Hashimotos and was healed and able to go off her medications after using their probiotic.

      • I’ve heard a lot of people talking about hoshimotos. What exactly is it because it is coming up when I boding my researching a lot.

        • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease. The patient’s own immune system creates antibodies that attack and damage the thyroid gland.

    • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease. The patient’s own immune system creates antibodies that attack and damage the thyroid gland.

    • It sounds like you may be having a histamine reaction- avocados are a high histamine food, I’ve noticed it in a lot of AIP recipes.

  46. Since I was about 14 years old, I have had terrible stomach problems. At the same time I developed dermatitis and rosacea. I am now 60, am in remission from stage 4 colon cancer, still have stomach problems and skin rashes which occur together. It is clear to me that there is a gut skin connection, yet every doctor I say this to just looks at me blankly and gives me some medicine for my rash. These doctors ignore the connection and I am not getting better.

    • Have you been tested for celiac? I have a relative that was diagnosed with celiac who also had chronic eczema. She did not have any GI issues.

  47. I suffer from seborrheic dermatitis on the scalp for several years and under alot of stress from work.

    I have seen a dermatoligist who prescribed head and shoulders and T Gel shampoo and for break outs an ointment which has ingredients i did not want to use long term as it was not healthy.

    It did not help much more then a few hours after applying it.

    Recently in the last month what did help topically is raw honey applied to the scalp.

    Please see medical study here “Therapeutic and prophylactic effects of crude honey on chronic seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff.”

    You need to follow the steps followed here to use the crude honey every other day for 3 hours as a treatment.

    Its definitely improved my condition but i have only used it for 1 month.

    Also i am on a vegan diet for the last 3 years and will see my nutritionist about trying a probiotic to take after reading your blog post

    Thank you

  48. Absolutely! I was diagnosed with SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) about five years ago. I started the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) diet which is based on the Specific Carbohydrate diet and is designed to heal and seal the intestinal tract while balancing the bacteria in the gut. I struggled with acne my whole life up to that point (45 years old). After a few weeks on the diet, my skin was completely clear! There is most definitely a connection between gut health and skin health!

  49. I have been suffering from seborrheic dermatitis and seborrhea for many years.
    In the last couple of years it has gotten worse. Now I get these pimples in my scalp. These pimples make my scalp a mess with blood and pus. I think diet has lots to do with my problems. The last few days I’ve been trying to eat better, and there’s less itching. It’s very hard for me to follow a strict diet. Sometimes I just get an overwhelming urge to eat junk food( pizza, ice cream, pop, doughnuts, etc). I stay away from liquor bacause it makes the seborrhea worse. I’ve tried to eat keffir or yogurt but I find that the itching gets worse. I know that the only thing that will help me is to eat a better diet. If I eat junkfood my scalp will be extremely itchy and full of pimples…

  50. I had been struggling with horrible cracked, peeling skin on my hands and fingers for several years. I tried everything, to no avail. I decided to kick the artificial sweeteners out of my diet after research published ~ September 2014 talked about how it disrupted gut bacteria. Never making the connection to my skin, amazingly all the skin issues are completely resolved and have not reoccurred.

    • I find my skin problem is similar to yours and I also have gut problem likely IBS. Can you describe more about your treatment.

  51. In Oct 2014 I developed oral thrush out of nowhere (never had candida before) and later, dermatitis herpetiformis on my face and other candida related problems with my body which also triggered my psoriasis. I started taking massive amounts of probiotics (dr prescribed Nystatin for my thrush) and continue to take them. Everything has cleared up and my skin looks and feels great!! I take a refrigerated kefir-based liquid probiotic that I stumbled upon at the health food store after a couple of months of taking probiotic capsules. This is not only far cheaper than the capsules (this is $12/mo), but it works far better (literally after one dose (1 tablespoon, which has 1 billion cfu), the remaining bit of rash on my face healed up, where I had to take a lot of capsules and the rash was just not going away completely). I just find it to be superior. I’m being checked for celiac, btw.

  52. I have vitiligo and issues with my stomach. I can’t eat bread, pasta or the like , especially when I’m highly stressed or I vomit quite violently. I haven’t tried anything and don’t know what to try.

    • The gut….affects everything. Stress affects the gut, the gut affects stress. I read a LOT. Watercure website by Dr. Batmanghelidj is very helpful , Coconut cures by Bruce Fife, What your doctor may not tell you books by Dr. John Lee ,
      The water / mineral balance affects allergic responses to eveything , Histamine is the created by the body to warn us of an imbalance . Coconut is anti bacterial, anti mircobial, anti fungal, and anit viral, the liver does not have to process it and it helps heal the body from teeth to rectum.
      Stress affects hormones and John Lee gives many tips on how to correct hormonal issues. Vit D is a hormone.
      John Bergman was hit by a car and in a wheel chair and taking pain meds.He began to study to find solutions to his problems and now teaches on Youtube videos
      Fermented foods heal the gut and the body , Yogurt helps but Kefir is a powerhouse , if you use it start with a tsp and work your way up till you get a cup or more a day.
      Wellness mama has an awesome site on remineralizing teeth.
      Earthclinic helps you ask the world questions and find what helped them . Hope you find your solutions .

    • Sounds like you might have celiac. All what you mentioned has gluten in it. You might have gluten intolerance and vitiligo is very common in celiac (I’m a leaving example). All above are autoimmune diseases which come from Leakey gut syndrome. Since I switch to vegan my symptoms improved but it is work in progress and I hope to resolve it with correct detox and raw vegan diet in my nearest future

  53. I have been suffering from eczema for over 2 years. Currently I am taking a lot of supplements that my Naturopath prescribed me along with Prednisone. I had to take prednisone due to the extend of the damage on my body. It was all covered and I was dehydrated. I am decreasing the dose of prednisone now so I can rely only on the supplements. The redness comes an goes but definitely comes back when I eat food containing histamines. How can I know what exactly is happening with me? Is it hormones, infection. My Naturopath says that it is hard to know until I had left prednisone completely so we can make some tests. I am tired of looking red and irritaded almost all the time.

    • You should be aware of something very important for eczema sufferers: TOPICAL STEROID ADDICTION. I used betamethasone/desonide/protopic (and a whole slew of antihistamines) for roughly two-three years to treat my spreading eczema. I wish i had realized sooner that my eczema was induced BY the steroids. Please check out It’s helped me so much, I’m currently 3 weeks into Topical Steroid Withdrawal.

  54. I got a notification about someone trying Whole 30. I can’t find the comment. But I’m curious if Whole 30 does in fact improve acne rosacea? I also was curious about weight loss. Have any of you had success with both/either?

    • Hi the whole 30 worked for me and my acne rosacea!! I demoed the diet for my 5 year old with psoriatic arthritis. A friend swore that this diet would help her but before starting her on it, I decided to try it myself. I had no idea that all of my skin conditions would disappear! But it was so much more than that. I felt GREAT! Had so much energy, and mental clarity and weight that I had been trying to loose since my 5th child just melted away with no effort. I felt fully satisfied and was finally able to resist unhealthy food. Check out this book from the library and give it a try- “It Starts with Food” by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. It was a game changer for me. I have had rosacea and psoriasis for years and have tried all of the lotions and potions and they might work for a time, but both conditions just seemed to keep getting worse. Any stress in my life would result in a massive flare. On this eating plan, I feel much less daily stress and have had no flares! I just think it’s great! After about 45 days on the whole 30 diet, I transitioned to a paleo style of eating. Pinterest has some great recipes for both plans. Just try it! Good luck!! 🙂

      • For 2 years or so I was told by a dermatologist that I trusted and thought very highly of that I had seborrhea dermatitis. I tried eating healthier, used creams, face washes, antibiotics, steroids. Nothing seemed to work, and about a month or so ago I went to a family nurse practitioner. He researched and told me that I have a type of rosacea that causes pustular bumps that turn into scars. I was literally to my breaking point I was too embarrassed to go anywhere and I was seriously depressed. He put me on doxycycline 100mg twice a day. The doxy seemed to help , but as for the cream he prescribed me I personally didn’t think it worked. I started drinking the Alkaline water, I heard it’s supposed to heal you and it’s really good for you. So I was like well it’s worth a try because I was feeling pretty desperate. Then I found an awesome face wash and cream at Walgreens; it’s called Triderma Care for rosacea and inflammation. They also make this for eszema as well. This stuff is amazing. My face has drastically cleared up and I’m not as embarrassed anymore. I still have a lot of scars but oh well. My question for y’all is there a good diet I could try? I tried the gluten free and it bought killed me I starved to death and it didn’t help me. Haha. I also feel like the weather has a big part in it. During the winter I had horrible flare ups now since it’s closer to spring it’s calmed down a lot. Question for the ladies- Also is there a type of make up that is best for you to use? I tried Clinique liquid foundation for redness inflammation/rosacea and I feel like it makes It worse and it clogs my pores. If you feel like responding you can always send me an email at [email protected]

  55. I suffered from persistent acne and was able to reduce the severity by consuming absolutely no more than 30 g of carbohydrates in a 24-hour time window and avoiding excessive protein. The more carbohydrates I eat above 30 g, the more acne will appear and the longer they will last. I did this after watching a video from Dr. Mercola:

    However, I was still susceptible to developing several acne pimples even when I did not overeat carbohydrates.

    It was not until I took a 4-strain probiotic formula that contained DDS-1 for 2 months that my acne became less severe.

    It has been about 3 months since I started taking probiotics and my acne is not as persistent, large, or numerous as it was before.

    Unfortunately, I have been left with noticeable acne dents on my cheeks that will likely remain there for life.

    What is even worse is that in some places like Singapore, organic meat and probiotics are extremely costly, so although this tactic may work to treat acne, it is impossible for many people to afford.

    • Before all of this, I was taking clindamycin phosphate, which is a topical antibiotic for the acne. After 2 months of usage, it stopped working.

      My guess was that the bacteria was becoming resistant to clindamycin phosphate.

      I was later prescribed with a stronger antibiotic called doxycycline. It worked, but I stopped taking it after several days when I found out about the video from Dr. Mercola.

      I was hesitant at first, because I did not want to give up carbohydrates, but I figured that it’s better than taking toxic medications.

    • Peter….Why not look into creating your own fermented vegetables like sauerkraut. The fermented veggies are not only a nutritionally dense food filled with enzymes, vitamins and minerals, but are also proven to be a gold mine of homemade (thus free) probiotics.

      hope this bit of info helps ……judy

      • post script: Make sure you eat this food raw! Cooking the fermented veggies would destroy most of its nutritional value

  56. I have struggled with acne all my life. Was recently taking antibiotics for the third time and was trying to wean myself off but the acne would flare again. Got tired of it and figured if antibiotics helped then why not probiotics instead? I tried it and switched to just taking probiotics- it has been almost three months since I took the antibiotic and my acne is clearer than it has ever been.

  57. Both my daughter and I do well with lacto varieties of probiotics. However, bi fido strains result in cystic acne on the chin. We have tried three times and it happens every time. The acne starts the very next day.

    I suffered from acne my entire adult life. My daughter who is now in her 20s had terrible acne in her teens. We both gave up milk and our skin never looked better. It has been 2 years and I have never had such beautiful skin. The only eruptions happened with adding bi fido strains of probiotics.

    I don’t know if it is lactose or hormones or something else, but dairy was definitely the culprit.

    • Is there a particular brand that works for you and your daughter? I bought Jarrow for my daughter to try but looked on the label and it has b longum and b lactis

  58. i’ve suffered with eczema all my life (37 years) and have had ups and downs that whole time. I recently had the worst flare up I’ve experienced and have been researching day and night to find the right healing process. I had taken little exercise for over a year and had eaten a lot of junk including huge amounts of sugar and very little fresh veg/fruit, etc. For the last 4 weeks I’ve cut out sugar and pretty much all processed foods, starting juicing and taking probiotics. I also started rebounding. I definitely think my ill guy has played a major role in this aweful flare up – and the other thing I think has contributed a lot is stagnant toxic lymph. I’m still on the road to recovery but feel positive that having such a terrible experience has kick started me into finally working towards long term health. Guy health has become of if my key priorities.

  59. Can you give me any information on treatments for vitilago, my son 22yrs had had it since early childhood, causing self esteem issues etc.

    • Hi, from what I’ve read, vitalligo is caused due to undigested food particles going into the bloodstream, but what all vitalligo people have in common is low stomach acid, one bacteria know to cause low stomach acid is H. Pylori, it can be killed using Triphala powder ( an ayuveda supplement ), mastic gum ( a resin from a greek tree), I dont remember if Vitaminc C can kill it, maybe. But there are a lot of stuff that can kills this bacteria. And in the meantime your son can supplement with HCL or maybe try apple cider vinegar, but if you check on iherb people who used HCL had improvements on the vitalligo.
      Best wishes!

  60. Hi,

    I have seborrheic dermatitis&dandruff since 5 years now.
    Also I sometimes have acne problems, I noticed my skin clearing up on a paleo diet, but when things got better I cheated and eated fries with cheese and chocolate with soy in it etc. etc. Now I started 5 days ago with the paleo autoimmune protocol. My face I think is slowly clearing up again, dandruff takes longer I think. I really hope to clear it all up because it’s so annoying. I also try to eat sauerkraut more frequently because I think it could be due to a combination or one of the two things. Candida/yeast overgrowth and or leaky gut. I had a bloodtest on grains I never had problems with them when I was younger, but now I reacted to all of them incl. soy corn etc. So I hope this new journey will help, if anybody has tips for me (and others) I would appreciate it.
    I hope anyone who suffers from whatsoever finds health and a possible cure!

    • Tim, have you tried using Tea Tree Oil in your shampoo to clear up your dandruff? Buy a bottle of 100% TTO and add one drop to your shampoo. Lather it together between your hands and then massage it for one minute into your scalp and let the shampoo/oil mixture sit on your scalp as you shower. Rinse thoroughly. You should notice a difference pretty fast.

  61. I was diagnosed Crohn’s disease when I was 20. Developed alopecia areata at 31. I feel very strongly they are connected as they are both auto-immune conditions. It is very hard to get a doctor that feels the same and to treat them both- the GI tells me to see the dermatologist and vice versa. Since developing alopecia I tried Cimzia for Crohns, but it made almost all of my hair fall out in a couple of weeks. So frustrating…

    • Angela, I suggest and encourage you to do the GAPS diet with the guidance of a certified GAPS practitioner. Some of them work long distance. Another possible approach is the auto-immune paleo protocol. Best of luck in addressing the heart of the matter and resolving the underlying cause. It can be done.

  62. hi there

    My name is francesca. My journey is an ongoing battle but started i believe to this day few years back when i took a few rounds of antibiotics for a bladder infection. This that episode iv taken antibiotics every year for impetigo, cysts and also for ongoing mysterious facial condition.
    I have never had any problems with food and my test results prove i have no allergic response to gluten or dairy however i can not seem to tolerate it. Last december it all started when i ate way to much dairy and a few days later i had a horrendous facial rash which spread all over my face , swollen and all i can explain it was like ants under my skin. It was unbearable. Please contact me if you wish to see my pictures. Your mouth will drop

    I believe food was creating these symptons. I just felt when i ate certain foods like dairy or starchy foods or gluten i get now these little spots around my face which will get out of control if i continue eating them. When i stop eating these triggers my skin clears completely. I have been sent to dermatologists, gp after gp visits, antibiotics, steroid cream and also had an endoscopy appointment. I have told doctors my theory on overuse of antibiotics and maybe this has damaged my intestinal lining causing inflamation and even leaky gut. NO ONE takes my seriously. NO ONE sees the connection and they all believe food can not been creating my problems with my skin. I dont use make up or facial products apart from basic emoliant.

    Doctors tell me all these things i dont have but after a year i am no closer to getting an answer. I have been treating myself through food, no gluten, no sugar, starchy foods and no dairy. I have turned my life around with food that no medicine has been able to do.

    I have now been diagnoised with gastritis but they think can be because of the hellibacter bacteria. Therefore another round of antibiotics…. But heres my theory… Aparently half the population has the hallibacter bacteria and causes no problems apart from 15% which suffers from digestion, gas and stomach ulcers. I do not have any of these problems and only noticed food intolerance after taking antibiotics. BUT what if i had this bacteria inside my stomach way before my gastritis. How can they be 100% sure that this is the cause and NOT the antibiotics. Is it worth to take antibiotics even though i do not siffer from stomach ulcers.???

    I have flaxseed oil, L glutamine, probiotics, dygestive enzymes, b complex vitamins on a daily basis along with my modified diet and i am seeing results. Does anyone have any advise which can help my recovery?

    • Yes! We can help. You haven’t mentioned anything about Chris Kresser, his book, his blog his approach. There is so much information here on healing your guy and also other related places. You also have not said where you are located? Maybe people can recommend a Functional Medicine practitioner. It seems like you have discovered alot for yourself and now you need some support. god luck!

    • I finished a course of tablets 2 week ago for h-pylori but wish I hadn’t of bothered .
      My doctors sent me for bloods/urine/stool tests based on my symptoms (heartburn/stomch aches/excess gass/abnormal BM) they found hpylori and give me the meds.
      Think I feel worse now if anything and after a little research it seems that unless you have an ulcer then treatment for hpylori can cause a whole list of other issues.

    • Francesca, I healed my gastritis by cutting all acidic foods (Google acid vs alkaline foods, you may be surprised), 2-4 oz. aloe vera juice every morning, and a cayenne pepper capsule with every meal. Best wishes, gastritis is painful. X

    • Caprylic Acid was the key to bloating, acne and fatigue. I have Hoshimotos Thyroiditis as well. After about 3 months, I had so much more energy, regular bowel movements and a very clear complexion. Caprylic Acid is expensive and a large pill, but WELL worth it!,,,

  63. I’ve had psoriasis since childhood and tried many different treatments. Things improved a lot when I started making my own fermented food like yogurt, kefir, fermented vegetables and sauerkraut. Combining this with juicing turned out a 75% improvement after just a few weeks. That was amazing. So for sure, the diet affects health very much.

  64. “The most common misconception is that dietary changes alone can cure inflammatory skin diseases like eczema, psoriasis, acne and rosacea. After treating a great many skin disease sufferers and hearing their stories, I have come to understand this is very much the exception, not the rule. The great effort these patients expend to modify their diet often leads to disappointment.” – Adina Stanescu, C.Ac., DCHM

    • If I am understanding you correctly, I disagree. I have had eczema and seborrheic dermatitis since I was a kid. Earlier this year I had a severe flare up. It got so bad that the entire back of my scalp was like one large open wound. It was bright red and weeped constantly. The ithching was unberable. It had spread down to my scalp and into my ears leading to ear infections. My arms itched constantly and were covered in eczema. I went to many medical doctors who all prescribed me steroid creams. I went to a walk-in clinic one day because I thought I had gotten shingles on my shoulder. Turned out to be eczema. He looked at my scalp, my ears, and my arms. He looked up what creams I had been prescribed. He turned to me and said, “I highly suggest you change your diet. Creams obviously aren’t helping and you have been prescribed the strongest stuff available.” I left that day and did hours of research. I found the Paleo diet, Chris, Robb Wolf, and various other resources. I changed my diet right away eliminating grains. Today I am eczema free. My scalp cleared up and even the dandruff that plagued me since I was a child is gone. Changing my diet has saved me from clutches of debilitating itch and oozing infections.

      • Well, then you are the exception and congrats on that.
        In the overwhelming vast majority of cases, this result does not occur. The etiology of inflammatory skin conditions is obviously quite varied and complex and diet usually figures little or not at all in the process. I know that may seem counterintuitive and certainly counters the rallying cries of various proponents of fad diets, but after years of personal experience, research, and compiling of peoples’ stories, I have found this to be the case.

        • Anyone you chat to who’s cleaned up their diet almost always mentions their skin having improved as well. You can see it. When stress and poor diet kicks in, skin is the first thing to show it – breaking out in spots. My mum and I both had our annual Christmas-indulgence spots this January.

          My friends who manage their eczema and rosacea know which foods trigger their condition. For example, my friend who’s an actor, only eats her trigger-foods when she knows she’s not on camera for a few weeks and her appearance isn’t such an issue.

          The connection between food and skin condition is so visible, tangible, commonplace… maybe the dietary changes that were so disappointing to the skin patients in your quote, weren’t paleo-inspired changes. Years ago, when I strove to ‘improve’ my diet – replacing sugar with ‘healthy’ whole-grains – the poor skin condition that persisted was pretty disappointing, sure enough.

        • Then my son, my husband and myself are all exceptions. We have all suffered life-long conditions and tried everything under the sun, only to find that changing to a paleo-type diet is the one thing that works for all of us. That’s kind of strange, right? You might say my son and I share genes and that could be a link to our success, but since my husband and I are obviously not blood relation there must be something more to it. As someone who suffers from Autoimmune disease, I have done mountains of research. It would seem after reading countless experiences of others that we ARE NOT the exception. My doctors for the most part are always impressed with what I have figured out on my own, the others feel threatened by it. Rightly so, because finding out that so much of today’s illness is treatable without conventional medicine really doesn’t help the future of their careers! Conventional medicine practitioners can take heart though, most people are not willing to make the changes in their lives that will help them so they are in no danger of losing their livelihoods any time soon 🙂

        • Then I am an exception as well! Got rid of all of the processed foods, sugar, gluten, grains and diary and my skin problems COMPLETELY disappeared! But you have to be compliant…which is VERY hard to do. You cannot cheat! Most people do. I believe that most skin conditions are caused by food sensitivities. We might share the same skin condition but it might be caused by a different food. If you strip your diet of all bad foods and concentrate on eating healthy proteins, LOTS of green leafy veggies and veggies in general with limited fruit -(depending on your activity level), and LOTS of water…..and NO alcohol, you will feel GREAT and your skin conditions will greatly improve if not completely go away!

      • I can confirm that changing to a diet like paleo does cure skin conditions such as eczema. I use to suffer from bad dandruff and eczema with frequent flair ups. I also take Spirulina, fish oil and astaxanthin every morning.

        • Hey I am 24. I started having these outbreaks about 2 years ago. They recently found out what it is. I have seborrehea dermatitis. I have tried all kinds of creams. Ive found the only thing to calm it down is UV lights. Now they have me on Doxycycline, Aczone cream, benzoyl peroxide. I have tried everything. I’m trying to learn more about this and I’m wondering if I change my diet what would help control this. About 2 years ago I was diagnosed with PCOS (polycysytic ovarian syndrome) it has caused me to become insulin resistant. I use a tar shampoo and head and shoulders for my scalp. I use purpose face wash that is dermatologist recommended. I have the outbreaks all over my forehead, top lip and in between my eyebrows. Its beyond embarrassing I hate going out in public and I’m just trying to find out if I can take something to help it. I did some research and it said you could possibly have a biotin,vitamin deficiency. It even could even be a liver issue. I just really need some advice. Thank you so much. Here is my email address if anyone wants to contact me through there
          [email protected]

          • You might be on to something with vitamin/mineral deficiency. PCOS and insulin resistance can be symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Any type of antibiotics would drive your levels of magnesium down even further. Taking a calcium supplement does the same thing. Magnesium is often suggested to help with dermatitis as well. A soak in Epsom salt (pure magnesium) might help your skin. Salt from the dead sea is very high and magnesium and is reported to help dramatically with skin conditions…. Epsoms would be much cheaper to try first!

              • in the US a naturopath is a “Naturopathic Doctor” ND or someone who practices naturopathy which is a mixture of natural medicine styles: herbal, nutrition etc. I would suggest since you are on Chris Kresser’s blog that you read more deeply into his approach (the blog, the book) and if you want to see someone, you see a Functional Medicine practitioner (could be an ND could be an MD could be an L.Ac like Chris) as they will be trained in a similar way and that is, in my opinion , much more up to date with the research than just any old “naturopath”.

            • Yes it does flare up after I shower. I have been trying a few different things recently. I put vinager water on my face and its really helped it. I’ve also been laying in the tanning bed a few times a week and that’s really made big change. I just wonder if it’s something I eat or something in my body triggers the flare ups. It’s very frustrating.

        • i just started taking krill oil with astaxanthin in it per Dr, Mercola’s suggestions for inflammation. I had never heard of it before this past year. I’m hoping it helps me as I have perioral dermatitis….although it’s not nearly as bad as it used to be, I still get an occasional flare up. I follow Dave Aspery’s Bulletproof diet with HIGH fat and do a little bit of sweet potato in the evening… far I’m feeling pretty good on it.

          • Hi Tracy! I have had perioral dermatitis for over 10 years now. I have recently followed the paleo diet and am losing lots of weight, but so far no improvement in my skin. It remains red and flaky. Let me know how you do with the krill oil! I have been using fermented cod liver oil for a couple of months now, also no improvement in my skin. I wonder if this has a strong emotional component. Do you consider yourself a very sensitive person? Good luck!

        • David, if you have digestive issues, this is a very good diet to start with: Fast Track Digestion:IBS (the book) and read the blog posts on Fiber, SIBO and other at

    • This person is a specialist practitioner with lots of success stories on her website. If I lived anywhere near Toronto I would see her. But since she didn’t actually post that herself here, I am going to say that TCM, when practiced by someone like herself, with specialist experience in skin issues is working with the body, the gut, the whole system, in a different but comparable way to “healing the gut” in other ways, like Chris is talking about here. I think what she is saying that people who have ongoing chronic problems like eczema and perioral dermatitis often get no relief from changing their diet and they come to her and she helps them. Eczema is hugely widespread, it afffects something like 25% of the population. Many people do find relief by avoid foods and many people get a complete “cure” by combining this with actually healing their gut. It’s not one thing or the other, it’s finding what your body needs and giving it that.

    • Diet worked for me! I went on the whole 30 diet and got rid of all grains, dairy, sugar and all processed foods. Amazing skin results. All my skin issues cleared up within days! No more dry skin…at all in the middle of the winter. My acne Rosacea totally went away! Skin was completely clear, although redness remained. But my skin had a healthy glow. Also my Seborrheic Dermatitis totally cleared up. Had it in my hair and on my face below my eyebrows and behind both ears. Just changing my diet WAS AMAZING!!! It is definitely worth a try for anyone who suffers and I would absolutely recommend it to your patients. You have to be compliant with the diet in order for it to work, which can be difficult at first. Beyond my skin totally clearing up, it made me feel amazing! I had energy, mental clarity and just overall felt so peaceful and happy! I didn’t know how bad I was feeling until I went on the whole 30 and felt better than I ever have. Thanks

  65. Hello everyone. I just stumbled across this article while I was researching skin problems I’ve been having. I’ve heard about this gut health connection before but never really researched it. So I wanted to ask those of you that have experience with this your thoughts on the problems I am having. I’m 29 years old 6’2 185lbs in pretty good shape and not overweight. I developed psoriasis when I was 16. My doc said it was genetic but when I looked into it no body else in my family has or had it; not in my immediate or extended. For the first 5 or so years it would only pop up every couple months; now I have it all over my scalp, in my groin area, and armpits. It is most prevalent on my scalp and only in small patches on the other areas. I never had a problem with dandruff then I started getting that about 6 years ago. I always had pretty good skin up until my mid 20s. I would get a small breakout maybe once every 3 or 4 weeks. Now I get small pimples every week and have a lot of blackheads mostly all over my nose. I get small cystic body ance on my side and back that I can’t pop. I never ever had body acne until about 3 years ago. The skin in my butt crack is cracked and tender, I have a very hard time getting it to heal. Oh and now on the left side of my scalp I have about a half dollar coin sized spot where my hair is thinning and the skin feels smooth like alopecia haha that started about a year ago. It’s like some new problem everyday and it’s extremely frustrating. I try to eat well, I cook my meals from scratch. I eat fruits and vegetables daily and drink only water. I do drink beer but only on the weekends. I am very stressed at my job and I work very long hours. Sorry for the long post haha any comments would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • hi man,
      (hope you’ll see this)
      actually I’m 29 too and few months ago I got alopecia areata (that small coin-like hair loss) on my beard.
      I did quite a lot of research about it and that’s what I found so far:
      1. low levels of vitamin D are highly correlated with alopcia areata (check out this study from earlier this year:
      I did a blood test for vitamin D which was about 20 ng/ml (it’s low) and started supplementing in order to bring it to about 40-45 ng/ml and above.
      actually from what I read lake in vitamin D is connected to many diseases (including skin diseases) so making sure your vitmain D is high enough should be on your *TOP proirities*.
      I’ve found this site to be a valuable source for data about vitamin D:
      after raising you vitamin D level make sure to supplement with about 100mg/day of Vitamin K2 (MK-4 or M-7) as well (there is info of why in Chris’s website (this website)).

      2. lake of essential bacteria in the gut is probably the main cuase to autoimmune diseases (such as alopcia areata and psoriasis).
      after reading this blog:
      and taking advice from this page:
      I’m now conviced that lake of soil-based bacteria is the problem (read about it to underdstand).
      The solution I’ve found (didn’t implement it yet myself – I’ve ordered needed stuff from Amazon but since I’m living out of the US (Israel) it takes some time for me to get it):
      a. taking probiotics – 3 kinds of soil-based probiotics (those which are recommended in the ‘freetheanimal’ website above). also I want to start eating Kefir daily.
      b. taking prebiotic – resistant starch and soluble fibers (to feed the good bacteria).
      c. get out more of the house to soil-terrains (I’ve been studying alot the last year and almost didn’t go out at all during the day) – so I would be more exposed to mud and soil (that way you can get the needed bacteria).

      3. there’s a study that found that onion juice is effective to treat alopecia areata:
      I haven’t tried it yet but I believe it may be affective for the short run but not necessarily for the long run (without fixing the above mentioned problems) especially in the case you have more than one autoimmune disease which clearly indicate a deeper problem TMHO.

      Anyways (didn’t intend to make it this long but wanted to cover much),
      I really hope it’ll help you, good luck!

      • Thanks for all the info Chen! I will look into this. My psoriasis is steadily getting worse and the doctors keep prescribing steroid cream that is not very affective anymore. Hopefully a modified diet will help. We’ll see. Thanks again.

        • Hi there,

          I have a very similar problem to you. Psoriasis from about 16 (Im 40 now) and recent unexplainable acne for the last two years. I am vegetarian (not sure if thats relevant) and pretty healthy as it goes.

          My psoriasis is now calm and stable (though still around) and my acne is gone!
          Here is what has worked for me:
          1. No milk or caffine
          2. viridian organic soul food greens
          3. Kombucha

          Honestly it has made such a difference. I swear by the green food supplement in particular which I take on an empty stomach first thing in the morning 15 mins before any other food as it works best in an alkaline environment.

          I wish you all the best!

  66. I have had Rosacea for many years and it has gotten a lot worse in the past several years. My skin is incredibly dry – Hands, feet and face. My face will feel really dry and tight, like a bad sunburn and then turn red on my forehead. My skin on my forehead will start to flake especially by my hairline and my eyebrows. Its like I get burned from the inside out. I went on the Whole 30 diet last year – Removed everything from my diet except healthy protein ie meat, chicken, fish and fresh fruits and veggies, some nuts and olives and ALL of my skin issues disappeared! I did it for 45 days and have NEVER felt better. All of my dry skin went away and my Rosacea bumps and flaky skin disappeared. It was amazing! I am not on the diet anymore and my skin is worse than ever!

  67. I had a skin condition called Dermographia………it was horrible. I went to my doctor and an allergist and was told that it was probably caused by stress. I noticed that at the same time this condition presented itself, I was having lots of problems with my stomach. I began taking nearly anything and everything that would help to heal my gut…………..Glutamine, DGL, Colostrum, probiotics. Within a few months the condition vanished. I still use the DGL before most meals.

  68. I was on strong antibiotics as a kid. I’ve been on gluten and dairy free diets while on probiotics but nothing seems to help my eczema and acne.
    Only eczema and acne are shown on my face and no where else and this has been a problem for years.

  69. The right side of my hand stays inflamed and has cracking and splitting skin that bleeds often. I do notice if I eat super clean then my hand will heal

  70. I have been suffering with painful cystic acne for almost a year now. I have always been acne prone but nothing like this. I am now figuring out that I have a candida overgrowth and am modifying my diet because of it even though I ate pretty close to the paleo diet anyway. My question is on fermented foods and candida. I have read a couple studies that say you should not have fermented foods like kombucha and sauerkraut. Can anyone give me a recommendation?

    • Hello Rachel,
      My recommendation would be to avoid it for now. The fermented food is good for your gut (probiotics) but it can also feed the Candida. So I would remove it from your diet and in about a month or so you could try reintroducing it and if you notice any reactions/symptoms that’s a sign that you need to continue to keep it out of your diet. And this applies to all foods that you aren’t sure about, test them out.

  71. There is a definite connection with me. I am suffering from a systemic Candida Infection in my gut along with a leaky gut. This is causing me to react to almost any food I eat. I have been on a super restrictive diet (mostly meats and cooked veggies) for the past 4 months. The closest thing to it would have to be a even stricter version of the AIP diet. One of my reactions is that my hands and fingers will get really dry and lose some of their elasticity. Then my fingers will crack badly and form all of these funky looking lines that can sometimes be painful.

    • Hey Caleb, I too get cracks on my hand and it’ll bleed. It comes and go. So how’s the diet going for you thus far? What diet are you doing? I’m contemplating trying to remove high FODMAP, then Candida diet, and then GAPS. Thoughts? The reason for those 3 steps is because I’m nursing and don’t want to detox too much. Any tips you have will be greatly appreciated!

  72. I suffered from cystic acne as a teenager that progressed into seb derm & rosacea into my 20’s plus hair fell out when none of my brothers or father have any hair loss(or skin issues). I can’t for the life of me figure out what triggered this. I definitely have some constipation issues and frequent bloating. Mostly 99% dairy and gluten free but symptoms still persist. Gave up on doctors a long time ago.

    • Hello Steven

      You probably were on a course of antibiotics during childhood.

      Try slippery elm powder. 2 teaspoons 3 times per day, away from meals.

    • Hi, Steven.

      I am guessing you have leaky gut. Check out the GAPS protocol by Dr. Campbell-McBride as well as the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). I had terrible acne and severe joint and neurologic conditions that have plagued me throughout my life but I believe they all stem from leaky gut. A strict Paleo diet has taken much of the issues away, but not entirely. I think I need to heal my gut entirely (I believe I now have SIBO from a misguided attempt at probiotics) and am waiting for test results now. I received massive amounts of antibiotics as a child and, but for the miracle of modern medicine, I would likely not have survived infancy. Good luck to you!

    • Try the Whole 30 diet for one month and then switch to a paleo diet. No fast food or anything processed and drink LOTS of plain water- fresh lemons & limes can be added for flavor if you want. It’s not easy but will be life-changing!! I have the same conditions as you and if i’m compliant, all my skin issues go away completely away! Good luck!!!

  73. I’m a 27yo guy… been taking antibiotics for my acne since i was about 18. It always kept it manageable, but it never fully cured it. Creams never worked for me… I have the deep cystic acne that starts deep below the skin and forms painful boils as well as the associated whiteheads.

    I ran into this page and was reading about candida overgrowth in the gut. I took the advice seriously, got off the Bactrim. I am pretty strict on the Paleo diet already, so my diet modification didn’t take too much effort.

    In place of the Bactrim, I got the strongest probiotics around – 15 billion units. Its been a few months, but I have not had any major acne breakouts. (My skin is not perfect, but no worse than it was on the Bactrim).

    It blows my mind that the very medication that we take to cure acne could actually be causing it or making it worse.

    • There is a Ultimate Flora Super Critical 200 billion probiotic. I took it for a skin condition I had…………..worked great.

  74. Awww Chris! I just got your email about accepting NEW patients and it’s already full. I hope you’ll accept new patients soon!!!!

    So I have rash that comes and goes on my hands (starting last year). I’m 33 years old. I definitely had/have bloatness all my life, bouts of depression, strong sugar cravings, etc. I typically eat a Paleo type diet. I have tried GAPS but not strictly as I am nursing. I am currently reading Sarah’s book on AIP. It seems that I react to nuts and nightshades but its hard to tell with a 3 year old asking me “Why” for the 100th time and my 9 months old needing attention.

    Anyway, I’m rambling but I hope to become your patient one day because I feel that you’re the only one who can truly get to the bottom of this. Thanks!

    • Forgot to mention. (I’m not being prideful here) I actually have amazing skin (just a few pimples here and there as a teenager). Which is odd to me that I would get this rash on my hands when I have great looking skin everywhere else. I did get a new rash on the side of my left breast when I tried the GAPS about 3 months ago….I thought that perhaps I was detoxing. Strange!

    • Cindy, your sx sound a lot like mine. Have a Look at Dr. Norm Robillard’s FAST TRACK Diet for IBS. I stopped eating foods with high fermentation potential and it really cleared up confusion about what foods I was reacting too. Read his blog post on IBS and SIBO. He is REALLY onto something that I think Chris and others will be following. He explains why there are a few foods on some of the digestive health diets that are really problematic for Sibo. I started following his diet and my bloating cleared up in THREE DAYS. And I stopped having undigested food in my stool, no more gas and burping is WAY Down. It is like a miracle. I can still digest well chewed Jasmine rice. He will explain why in his book. It is a really do-able diet as nuts and low-lactose and fermented dairy are allowed if tollerated. Good luck.

  75. need some advise. live in lake oswego, or. just went on fodmap diet a month or so ago. working well except just had surgery for huge hiatal hernia plus achelasia which means only liquids for min. of 6 weeks. don’t like coconuts but other than that am open for suggestions where can find tasty drinks with some nutitional value. thanks, les

  76. I am sitting here wondering ..I am just getting over a terrible bout of c-diff and have been drinking two glasses of kifer a day to get my gut flora up…and I have notice my the skin on my face looks better…I didn’t have dry patches but a reddish looking face and I was trying to cover up my face skin with liquid make-up.the past few days I have been not used liquid makeup ( after 69 years of using makeup) and I think my skin is looking better everyday ..after reading these posts I wonder if it is the probiotics making my skin better…

  77. I had acne throughout my teenage years, but as my hormones changed (I am female so my male hormone levels are decreasing as I am leaving puberty) I began to get symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. I find this very interesting but I cannot seem to find any websites directly approaching this connection. Does anyone know anything about acne + IBS specifically?

  78. I’m a 27 yo male who has had acne since puberty. I have been prescribed several antibiotics over the years (currently Bactrim) to control my breakouts. It really does work, however I have been developing lots of symptoms which I only recently became informed of.

    Since the Bactrim is indiscriminately killing off my gut flora, I am sure that my gut has some serious issues. It may explain my frequent nausea which always intensifies on an empty stomach.

    I have also ready about Candida overgrowth which can occur when bacteria are out of balance. The Candida fungus releases toxic byproducts into the blood stream.

    To treat this, I am now committing to stopping with Bactrim, taking 15 billion units of oral probiotic per day, as well as adding more unpasteurized/fermented foods to my diet. I also just began taking Caprylic Acid which is supposed to reduce the Candida overgrowth without killing good bacteria off.

    I already eat a pretty healthy diet by trying to stick to the Paleo eating plan. The Paleo plan’s goal is reduced inflammation and optimal gut health and I’m already pretty accustomed to this diet. I have noticed some improvement in my skin since beginning it a few years ago.

    Is there any topical treatment that you or any reader recommends? I usually alternate between Benzyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid facial washes and an occasional dab from my last tube of retinol renewal complex (Clean and Clear Brand, no longer available in stores as far as I know). I have tried things like Tea Tree Oil, however applying any oil to my skin seems two only make things worse.

    • Apple cider vinegar (alive and unpasteurized, with the mother) morning and evening would probably be a good topical treatment for you. Dilute it 50/50 with water and adjust as needed. Give it some time and you’ll probably see good results.

    • Hi Matt, you need to stop using all chemicals on your face and begin to restore the natural ph and friendly bacteria to your skin as well as your gut. Our skin is the largest organ in our bodies, therefore, anything you put on your skin will sink in and enter your blood stream and affect your organs. You need to re-alkaline your gut and skin and a wonderful way to do this is by using Apple Cider Vinegar and coconut oil. I know putting more oil on your face seems scary but it will actually permeate the cell walls of much of the unfriendly bacteria and essentially “blow it up”. On another note you will want to detoxify your body and help the unwanted bacteria leave so I recommend Epsom Salt baths 3x per week. Lastly, while Paleo is an excellent diet for people who are already healthy, for someone trying to recover, most meat and all sugar types sans Stevia must be eliminated for 1-3 months. Also, you will want to buy everything organic and chemical free for a speedy recovery. In addition to caprylic acid, I highly recommend these supplements and herbs: N-A-C, CoQ10, Zinc, Biotin, Selenium, milk thistle, goldenseal, oil of oregano, pau d’arco, garlic supplement by Kyolic (they make one for candida and digestion), extra vitamin C, chlorophyll, vitamins A,E and B complex. I know it sounds like a lot but recovering from leaky gut takes a lot for your body to correct and it may take months but it will work! Drink tons of water as well and make sure that you allow your body to sweat often! I hope all of this helps. Just remember you will notice a difference in your appearance when your gut heals. The easiest way to figure out what someone is going through on the inside is by how they look on the outside. You will heal. I promise!

  79. This summer I have had a full blown skin rash on one arm, then the other. The dermatologists said I had dry skin. My medical (very holistic) doctor said my blood work was perfect and it had to be something external. I did 3 weeks of gluten free diet and still had the rash. I did discover a bacteria problem in our hot water heater which is now resolved, the rash is some better but still hanging in there.

    About a month ago I had a thermographic imaging breast exam done. The image went from my throat to my pelvic area. The ta-tas are all good but a huge red mass in my stomach/pancreas/liver area and the diagnosis was that I had some kind of “gut” problem. I have changed my diet to diary free (except some fermented yogurt in my green smoothies), lots of dark green veges, fermented veges (sauerkraut…), sustainable seafood and chicken. and an organic Kombucha daily.

    I have not been able to lose weight for the last 7-8 years. I have now lost 3 pounds in one week on this diet. My rash is considerably better (at least until I had wine last night).

    There is a lot to this gut-skin connection. I think I may have been headed toward an auto-immune problem had I not begun a focus on my digestive system.

    • Hey Gail,

      How did you find out that you had bad bacteria in your hot water heater?

      I got my hand rash shortly after replacing our hot water heater but never thought about that until I read your message.

      Any other you have will be greatly appreciated! -Cindy

  80. Been putting on cream and Oitments perscription for is severe psoriasis.. He can’t use Bo stuff or anything else. He has had cancer and stintnts in heart plus light treatment so this is it if he wants knee replacement surgery. Sincence then I now had small lump on throat below jaw that everyone said looked like spider bite. No redness and it won’t go away had it for3weeks.

  81. after two weeks of lactoferrin and peppermint oil caps this red spot between my eyes i had for years cleared up, so did my beard ‘dandruff’. could this mean my gut improved a little as well?

  82. I made my own Kvass (fermented beet drink), but it CAUSES Rosacea flair-ups, which runs counter to the findings of this article. I am wondering, if I push through and keep drinking Kvass, which is supposed to help gut flora, will the Rosacea eventually dissipate?

    Thank you.

  83. I have had constipation problems all my life, in my thirties my doctor showed me my colon is about 8-9 feet long, now in my f40’s I have been tested by a functional doctor who says I have a leaky gut, ulcerative colitis, adrenal and thyroid problems and hypoglycemia. I have been on a strict paleo diet (with no beans or nuts etc.) since May, acne gone. Not even medication for acne was working.

  84. I had this horrible rash on my left hand which kept coming back over the last few years and was slowly spreading. It was like a dry red scaly rash which I just couldn’t get rid of know matter what tried and only on my left hand. Vasaline was the only thing that was slowing the spread down. Even the doctors didn’t know how to get rid of it. Then about a month ago I just randomly wanted to try the 3 litres of water a day challenge after reading an article on facebook and within about a week the dermatitis was gone!! All the creams i bought from doctors and all I needed was a water detox for a month. So anyone suffering any kind of dry skin or dematitis seriously try the 3 litres of water a day!!

  85. Since our clinic switched from allopathic (traditional) to functional medicine, we no longer treat acne with anything but high powered probiotics and dietary changes (usually grain free/casein free). It does wonders for complexion problems and other A/I skin conditions. No more meds!

  86. Hi Chris,

    I’ve had rosacea since a small child along with constipation. I’ve also been very depressed and fatigued my whole life. Ive also suffered from sinus infections and put on antibiotics most of my adult years 2-3 times a year and also antidepressants off an on for migraines and depression. The last 9 months (since menopause started), my life has been a nightmare. My depression couldn’t be worse and if I had to pick one reason for it, that would be due to my rosacea among many other health issues! I have to admit I’ve abused my body all my life with the worst foods (comfort food) fast food, gluten, sugar, salt, dairy, cheese and processed foods and never ate fruits and veggies… Inhaled my food.

    I’ve done so much studying in the past 9 months and I truly believe that if I can heal my gut, my rosacea would heal too although my doctor and family don’t agree. I’ve cut out dairy, wheat and gluten for the most part since the last 9 months and my sinus issues, migraines diminished until recently (beginning of July) had an infection (due to being off my multi vitamin and stress from not sleeping for months… I was seeing a chiro/nutritionist which was a waste of money and then getting sick.

    I’ve also stopped taking all medications since last December as I truly wanted to heal naturally. I’ve done the 10 day master cleanse twice earlier in the year which didn’t help any.

    To date my depression got so bad I’ve admitted I needed help so I am back on an anti-depressant and metronidazole cream for my face… This is the first time I have ever used this cream and it’s been 4 weeks since using it.

    I need some advice (from anyone who can help me). I’m 47 years old and so want to be ‘normal’.

    How can I heal my gut? And is it possible to heal it while on an antidepressant and metronidazole?

    By the way, in June for the very 1st time in my life, I believe I experienced what it felt to have a normal bowel movement for a week or so. I was eating a lot of fruit (smoothies), etc. Currently, I have been eating lots of fruits and started exercising 20 minutes a day the last 3 out of 4 days. I realize after all these troubled years I’ve experienced, things are not going to happen over night. I am hanging on to a string and am seeking some hope no matter how anyone feels around me. Thanking anyone for a reply in advance:(. I feel so alone.

    • You might want to consider working with a trained practitioner to do the GAPS diet or the Nutritional Balancing program. Both require commitment, but I think you’d be amazed. Best of luck to you.

    • You sure seem to be showing a lot of magnesium deficiency symptoms. Thats to be expected if you have gut issues… magnesium and B vitamins. Looking back I’ve struggled with magnesium deficiency my whole life but just figuring it out in the last 7 or 8 years. It was food allergies this entire time! Oh well, better late than never, huh?

      I had frequent sinus infections too… no surprise that antibiotics drive down magnesium levels even further so thats a vicious cycle. Drinking alcohol is a quick way to lower mag levels too. Anyway…infections, insomnia, migraines, depression, constipation… absolutely, had all that! I had more classic signs of magnesium deficiency as well. Exaggerated startle response and sensitive hearing, sensitivity to bright lights, panic, adult acne and skin sensitivity.

      What kind of magnesium supplements and what mgs have you taken? I couldn’t restore my levels orally because my gut was in such bad condition…. I needed IV’s of magnesium even after 6 months of 1200mgs of magnesium glycinate taken daily in divided doses. Its a tough thing to overcome…. add to that that if you are indeed profoundly magnesium deficient then you are potassium deficient as well and they need to be cured together.

      “The range of pathologies associated with Mg deficiency is staggering: hypertension (cardiovascular disease, kidney and liver damage, etc.), peroxynitrite damage (migraine, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.), recurrent bacterial infection due to low levels of nitric oxide in the cavities (sinuses, vagina, middle ear, lungs, throat, etc.), fungal infections due to a depressed immune system, thiamine deactivation (low gastric acid, behavioral disorders, etc.), premenstrual syndrome, Ca deficiency (osteoporosis, hypertension, mood swings, etc.), tooth cavities, hearing loss, diabetes type II, cramps, muscle weakness, impotence (lack of NO), aggression (lack of NO), fibromas, K deficiency (arrhythmia, hypertension, some forms of cancer), Fe accumulation, etc. Finally, because there are so many variables involved in the Mg metabolism, evaluating the effect of Mg in many diseases has frustrated many researchers who have simply tried supplementation with Mg, without undertaking the task of ensuring its absorption and preventing excessive elimination, rendering the study of Mg deficiency much more difficult than for most other nutrients.”

    • Try healing your gut with a healthy source of protein and LOTS of green leafy vegetables. Limited fruit unless you are very active. Drink LOTS of water!!! NO processed food of any kind. Get outside and take a walk for 30 mins a day and make sleep a priority!! You will feel GREAT!! Check out the Whole 30 diet and Paleo eating plan. They totally worked for me! Good luck!!

  87. What about rosacea guys? I’ll be honest, the comments were a hundred miles long so it might have already been addressed. I am twenty three and have had acne for years. But now? I’m getting little broken capillaries under my eyes. It MIGHT be rosacea. It might be genetic (my father has them). Docs tend to say there is no cure and they don’t know the cause. But, is it POSSIBLE that it’s linked to diet/inflammation? I really feel hopeless about my face a ton. As if there’s not a million more things to be insecure about at twenty three years old!

    • Hi autumn
      if they are broken capiliaries, not rosacea is very much a cosmetic thing. sensitive skin, sun damage, sudden hot and cold (maybe spicy food, I cant remember) I think estheticians call it couperose. People get a kind of laser treatment where the blood is pulled out to the surface of the skin, scabs up and falls off. You look drastic for a few days but it’s supposed to cure it if you then take steps to prevent. I had a friend who was incredibly fair haired and skinned and she had the treatment. get a diagnosis first. There is a big difference between rosacea and broken capilaries and all kinds of other skin erythema (redness). And yes, lots of people have talked about rosacea. Take the time to read through the comments, I learned alot.

  88. Hi Chris,

    I’m curious if you have ever come across individuals with Tinea Versicolor (or similar fungal infections) and if you have found wether there is any relation to the gut. I’m 37 years old and have had it in my upper torso as long as I can remember. Dermatologist usually have prescribed topical fungal medications and have warned that it can not be permanently cured, meaning that it would (and it has) come back after treatments. I have learned to live with it and have it relatively under control, but I have always wondered if it’s connected to what we eat.

    Thank you very much for your work.

  89. YES! I know that gut health is related from my own two children… My daughter is an athlete and was injured requiring 2 surgeries and many antibiotics. Her face was broken out badly. The pain meds from the surgeries are also constipating. I had to give her an enima…when all those toxins were eliminated. ….her skin cleared up and was glowing! YES, all health begins in the gut!

  90. Hello, I came across this forum because I was wondering if there may be any connection between my recent digestive issues and simultaneous skin issues, so I googled it!

    I was recently diagnosed with seborrheic dermatitis and it’s been really bothering me because I used to have lovely skin, and I just don’t feel like myself. I also have been having horrible heart burn, and got an endoscopy done around the same time I saw the dermatologist, and the gastroenterologist said that he could see a lot of bile in my stomach, and I am now waiting for the results of the biopsy.

    I have had heartburn since I was a young teenager, and I have also had slight eczema since that age as well, but I never did anything about either issue, and I definitely never made the connection between the two. But recently, both skin and gut have gotten so much worse (surely due to major life changes that have caused me much stress) and I can feel almost instinctively that the two are related. When my heartburn is worse, my skin is worse.

    I take probiotics because I have also been having constipation, and the probiotics really help me stay regular. They do not seem to relieve the heartburn at all, though. I’ve used coconut oil as a skin moisturizer very frequently over the past four years, but it honestly does not seem to help when I have a flare-up of seborrheic dermatitis. No cream or anything seems to make it better. I have been using ketoderm cream every day since seeing the dermatologist. My skin got much better for two weeks, then I had another flare up. I don’t know what brings it on. My cheeks get red and burn, especially when I put cream on them, and I get flaky dry skin on my cheeks, chin, eyebrows, throat, and behind my ears. It’s like having dandruff on my skin. I also get flare-ups on my scalp, where it becomes so inflamed and itchy that scabs develop and it hurts. But sebiprox shampoo has helped to keep that under control.

    I don’t know anything about Paleo, or this website, but your information is very interesting, and hopefully I can find something that will help me understand what I need to do to get all of these issues under control.

    PS. I eat rather healthy, but perhaps more fat and sugar than I should. I was also a vegetarian for 12 years but started eating a little meat one year ago.

    PPS. I have definitely noticed that my skin flares up when I drink alcohol. Not all the time, but when it does flare up, the reaction is almost immediate- one beer, one glass of wine, and my cheeks are red and bumpy and burning.

    • Sulphites and food additives can cause these problems – wine is loaded artificially with them now, as are other drinks like cider. Even things like apples in the US are shipped from Canada in baths of sulphites so they arrive at the super-market fresh and won’t bruise or rot. Preservatives int he bread and most other non-fresh foods are often hidden. A fresh veg organic or known source diet and check your water doesn’t have sulphites in, as it often does.

    • Hi,

      I have heartburn too! I am trying to figure that out… I usually get it whenever I’m hungry or if I had something spicy (or worse, if I get hungry after something spicy.) my girlfriend who is a nurse seems to think I have a hiatal hernia. I have been taking heavy doses of probiotics lately which has not really helped. I also try to stick as close to the Paleo diet as possible, which is helps reduce inflammation in the body.

      I have pretty terrible acne too, however my skin has seen improvements lately. I quit the Bactrim (antibiotic that I was taking long-term for acne) and my skin actually got BETTER! I notice my skin gets extra irritated when I have dairy and when I use certain topical acne cream and then go in the sun. Thats a bad combination that will dry you out and make you flake bad, especially in winter when its dry and windy.

  91. I have been suffering horribly with vitiligo for almost 5 years, after it being pretty much dormant for about 15 years prior (I developed it at age 14). My medical doctor and dermatologist haven’t offered much advice, only prescribed a cortisone cream and have told me that there is nothing that can be done and I will sadly die with this disease. Ultraviolet light is a treatment, but with so much covering my body and having to take an oral medication to make me even more sensitive to the sun, doesn’t seem like a sensible solution since my white patches would then be bright pink and most likely painful. I have recently started to work with a Naturopath in hopes that she can get to the root of things as it is starting to adversely affect my life and being able to do things with my kids. I have to stay out of the sun as no amount of sunscreen and constant reapplication will keep my unpigmented skin from burning. People often stare and ask if I’ve been burned because of the way my exposed skin looks. I am having my thyroid tested and will be going gluten free and perhaps this will make a difference. Is there any link to vitiligo and other things like yeast intolerance or certain vitamin deficiencies? Any advice would be most helpful as I am at a loss….

    • I started suffering from vitiligo a few years ago. I did the whole U/V + steroid treatment with very minimal effect. A year ago it became really aggressive all over my body. I did a bunch of research, tried the AIP diet and started taking supplements. The most effective treatment to date has been Cat’s claw extract (pills). It stops the spread as long as I’m taking it. I’ve been taking it for ~8 months. If I stop for a couple days, I will see the patches appear which then become really hard to treat back. Hope this helps.

  92. I have been suffering from skin break outs and sores that are slow to heal. My upper respiratory and sinusis have been affected plus internal abdominal pain. My doctors have been useless. They have treated me for scabies, folliculitis, MRSA, now they want to assume I’m crazy or don’t want to run tests because it will drive up the health care system. Yeah that’s right can you believe a doctor said that to me. I have been tested for lupus, MS. I do have IBS and have suffered with dermatitis and gastrointestinal inflammation. After almost a year I have been doing my own research. Something is feeding on me. First on the inside then comes to the skin. I treat the skin with apple cider vinegar which helps tremendously and ivermectin does kill but it keeps returning. One thing is after taking the ivermectin I haven’t had one outbreak of dermatitis or had an episode of IBS. I think I have had this longer then I thought. I came across an article about the leaky gut and I thought I hadn’t taken my aciphex for awhile. I also started taking some proboitics. In three days I was better not healed completely yet but feel I’m on the right track. This diet thing is so hard. How long do you have to be on it. I eat pretty good but this thing craves sugar and it is so hard to refrain. Since I have been able to keep my skin at bay now I’m having major pain in my left side and middle of my rip cage. Would love to hear a response.

  93. Paleo Autoimmune Protocol made my skin clearer than I ever remember it being when I stick with it.

    In my experience what Chris is saying holds water.

  94. I have long had a very sensitive intolerance to gluten despite no IgA markers indicating celiac disease. This has been associated with a serious skin rash (not dermatitis herpetiformis) and hormonal disturbances (diabetes, etc.).
    I am currently being treated with strong corticosteroids to improve my skin condition. Interestingly this is having a powerful daytime sedative effect, which my doctor denies can possibly be related to the steroid treatment, but which clearly is connected to it (when I skip the treatment the effect goes away in a matter of a few hours). It triggered the thought of a poor skin barrier i.e. leaky skin in association with the leaky gut apparent from the gluten intolerance. Has anyone experienced anything similar?

  95. I’ve never had horrible stomach pains or stomach upset from eating any foods. So I’ve never considered myself as having a gut problem or IBS or such.

    However, for one or two years (yes, really!) I have had large and tiny scabs (from nicks and spider bites) that were healing very, very slowly. Also, the “new” skin was often very rough.

    Before these bites and scabs, I had already been cleaning up my eating as informed by Weston Price Foundation principles. I’m eating simpler, less processed foods, weaning off the junk food. I drank raw milk, took coconut oil, CLO, and I occasionally took a probiotic with multiple live strains. My overall health has improved, but not my skin.

    Then I read an explanation online that went something like this: if your skin is the largest organ in your body, then surely if you have issues on your skin’s outside, then there are issues on its inside. I decided to focus more on gut healing then I had before.

    Three weeks ago, I started taking Bio-kult, building up slowly. I also have been eating more bone broth, and really limiting the sugar. My body has definitely been detoxing, but I am keeping it at a controlled pace. In the last few days, the scabs on my arms have started drying up and healing normally. There has been more change in my skin in this time than in months or years before. I am convinced there is a gut-skin connection!

  96. Started taking oral probiotics about two weeks ago, and although I feel much better and the constant bloating and water retention have subsided just a tiny bit, but now the skin on my fingers began peeling, and no I am not in a swimming pool or even prolonged exposure to water.

    I am not worried but would like to know if anyone else had this problem, how long it lasted and if it ever went away?

    • My finger tips have been peeling (it is not just dry skin) for years. While on antibiotics and probiotics for a systemic strep pneumonia infection (6 weeks) the peeling stopped. Now one week into metronidazole for C. diff without probiotics, the peeling is back. I’m going back on the probiotics to see if the peeling stops. The peeling follows unprovoked yellow callusing.

  97. I desperately need any advice please. I don’t have the funds to go to a natural doctor/homeopath/naturopath etc. I have been to one last year. But I really stuggled to pay for it. So any help that you can give me would be great.I feel like I want to give up hope.
    Here’s the thing. I got treated for candida last year(last few months of 2013) and after about 3 months I successfully got rid of my candida. I followd the diet and got herbal medicine from a homeopath in pretoria. My symptoms was: inability to concentrate, brain fog, memory loss, acne(adult acne-moderate), folliculitis(on my legs), scalp sores, fatigue, teary eyes (also burning eyes sometimes). I got sick of my acne that didn’t want to go away and also my pimple-like bumps on my legs. Whether I shave or not(but worse when I shave). And I was also just tired of feeling the way I felt(sick and tired, literally).
    I have been on antibiotics (for acne, tetralysal and purbac when I was in high school) and also on birth control pills(for my acne, 2years ago approxiamately). This was all before I went to see the homeopath. I weigh 52kg and I am 1,68 m. I don’t smoke. Drink occassionaly. But only moderately. I eat healthy most of the time but I do indulge in junk food or less healthy food sometimes. I drink a lot of water(we filter our water). I drink tap water in little amounts, not everyday, only when I am not at home.
    so that said. I have a few other symptoms now. And a few symptoms is gone(that I had when I had candida).

    I have the following symptoms:

    Ringing in ears(hissing)
    Dry skin (mostly my legs)
    Itchy legs(mostly my lower legs and it is worse at night)
    Still acne(not severe, but mostly on my chin, and jawline and around mouth)
    Scalp sores(sometimes, it comes and goes)
    Low blood pressure(I tested it a few weeks ago)
    High cholesterol
    Hungry feeling(shortly after I eat)
    Not soft stools, rather hard(and hard to pass also)
    I also have acne on my butt(sometimes severe sometimes mild, on and off)
    I wake up in the early morning and struggle to fall back to sleep(so a bit insomnia I guess)
    And I get pain in my leg bones at night while I sleep

    I feel really miserable because of all this. I did a bit of research and I feel it can either be candida(again), hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, or metal toxicity. I don’t know. It can also be malabsorption(just my opinion). But have a feeling it is metal toxicity.

    Please help me. What do you think it is? What can I do about it.. Any natural remedies or natural supplements you would suggest(vitamins or supplements or food). Please I am desperate. I can’t afford expensive stuff and I really need help. Let me know if you need other info regarding medical history etc…

    Currently I am taking vit D3, vitC, Solar’s natural antibiotic and a multivitamin/mineral supplement that’s yeast free, gluten, lactose free and soy free. I have been taking this for 2 weeks or so (because of my symptoms.)And I am taking swedish bitters. I also drink green tea sometimes.

    Let me know what you think.
    Thank you so much for helping me.

    • Candida and SIBO symptoms are often confused. If you have alreayd treated your candida, look at SIBO. Follow the Fast Track Diet for IBS to curb any SIBO sx. GIve it 3 months. Avoid sugar almost always, especially while trying to get to a better baseline of health. The Fast Track Diet limits the amount of food left over in the gut for bad microbes to feed on (and also, candida). It is really easy to follow and can be followed on a budget. Post questions at digestive health institute website you will get lots of support. It can’t hurt and I have seen it help a lot of people. When you can afford a good Chinese Medicine or Natropath go back fo more guidance. When you have sibo you don’t absorb vitamins and minerals and lots of things go haywire. Give it time to heal your gut.

  98. I had a rash around the mouth and an increase of saliva (drooling constantly). I had this rash for 4 months, and had been to four doctors with no help. I found a Holistic web site that stated all my symptoms, it explained too much bacteria in my colon, and to use a probiotic. After three weeks using the probiotic faithfully the rash was gone and the drooling stopped, I continue to use the probiotic. Hope this helps.

  99. Hi, Can anybody explain sweaty hands to me? I have a daughter who has unbelievably sweaty hands and feet, can’t find an answer anywhere and would appreciate any help……

    She also has a dairy problem, diagnosed by my homeopath at about 2 years old,

  100. I went paleo for a few a month in 2013 and after that perioral dermatitis showed up. I have been working on gut issues for about 9 months. I use only steroid free products for cleansing. However, my skin condition recently flared up and I am in an acute state of perioral dermatitis with no end in sight. I take Jarrowdophilus and have for over five years and have gotten rid of yeast in my system. I’m not sure how long I can keep dealing with this and wonder if there is more I need to do to clean up my diet. I have changed it dramatically and eat fruits, vegetables, meats, bonemarrow soup, and sprouted grains but can not get to the bottom of this Leaky gut. Do you have any suggestions of what more I can do?

  101. I have vitiligo. I have done the paleo, autoimmune protocal 2x and each time after about 8 weeks I noticed some repigminting. I was also taking a probiotic and aloe juice. However, I lost so much weight and I had to add back in some grains and dairy to gain weight…I am 5’7 and was down to 95 pounds. I couldn’t gain weight no matter what I did and it got to the point of me having to force food down my throat. After adding foods back in, I have gained weight, but have subsequently noticed new spots and any repigminting has stopped. So…I know it is tied to what I am eating but I have no idea what and I obviously cannot sustain an autoimmune protocal forever…I have not been able to find a doctor who will work with me on this so I continue to experiment on my own. I wish there were more global studies on vitiligo and diet/nutrition/digestion…

    • Elizabeth I’m not sure what “Paleo” you are doing. Hopefully an individual one like Chris K recommends. Take a look at Jaminet and Jaminet Perfect Health Diet. I have autoimmune disease (vitiligo a few years ago too) I found that if I ate starchy vegetables at all meals and then brought some white basmati rice back in, I stabilised my weight and have even been gaining if I want to.

      • Thanks! I just recently heard about the perfect health diet. I will look into it. I have done the autoimmune protocal…elimination diet. No nightshades, dairy, grains, eggs, nuts, legumes or sweeteners. I actually felt great doing it. My joint pain subsided considerably, my brain fog went away and I had more energy. It also got rid of my “chicken skin” on my upper arms which doctors told me I would never get rid of. It was all great until it wasn’t:) Sounds like the perfect health diet might be what I need to keep the weight on. Thanks again

        • Im not sure teh PHD will be any different from what you were doing but (for me) it was helpful to hypothesize why no legumes etc. I went on a similar diet for lupus 25 years ago. I do want to say that the key to not losing too much weight is carbs. Thats why I said make sure you eat sweet starchy veggies at all meals and if you can tolerate it, white rice. The Jaminets and others are calling them “safe starches” or “gentle carbs”. Here is a post from Chris (since you are on his site already)

  102. I added fermented vegetables and began reducing carbohydrates in my diet about 2 years ago. I’ve more recently added liver and bone broth as well. It is hard to pin point exactly what has affected my skin, but my skin is much clearer, and oiler (my hair is also oiler and stronger). Also, I suffered from dry patchy areas caused by a viral infection (like warts but superficial). These dry itchy areas are now gone.

  103. I had undiagnosed stomach problems for 5 years, ultimately diagnosed celiac. During the end of those 5 years, I developed vitiligo on my forehead. Since going gluten free, the vitiligo stopped spreading.

  104. You may want to look into a fecal transplant (nearly 100% effective from all that I’ve read), followed by something like the Gerson diet.

  105. I tend to have skin blisters that peel and sometimes bleed. I have been diagnosed with eczema and psoriasis. Never had it TV before. Now when this happens, my digestions acting up or the skin happens months before I end up in ER. I have had c-diff. Skin cancer in the bowel. I need this to end. Last time had worse problems with bloody stool. Irritated lining of colon. I need help.

  106. Huge pores not nearly a problem now with probiotics,in my Mid 50s, finally got rid of blotchy red skin ,it is almost totally clear now.

  107. Hi, I would like to know if eating Greek yogurt with probiotics and raw milk on a regular basis would be enough for intestinal health, or if an oral probiotic in addition would be helpful. I’m not sure if any of these food products contain the two probiotics mentioned above (lactobacillus and bifido), but I have heard mixed things about oral probiotics making much of a difference in skin health.

    Someone else here mentioned taking 5,000 mg glutamine, but don’t we get enough in dairy products, for example, if we eat a substantial amount in our diet?

    Another person mentioned a bile-thinning product, but gave no recommendation of brand or name — that would be nice to know.

    I don’t think we’ll know for sure what causes various forms of dermatitis, but we can share with one another what has worked for us. So, if anyone can tell me the answer to my first question whether probiotics might be indicated in addition to rich sources in my diet, I would be grateful, and do you have 1 or 2 brands you can recommend? Many thanks.

  108. ps Johnny, perhaps you should find another forum for your thoughts. You don’t seem to be offering anything other than pessimism and negativity filtered through your own personal experience.

    It’s well known medically that gluten intolerance can produce eczema symptoms. There is a medical term for it: Dermatitis Herpetiformis. Celiacs can react to the tiniest amount of gluten.

    Oh and my “joyful throes of initial remission” lasted from age 21-45.

  109. Hi, I’m 43 & I’ve suffered from bouts of eczema most of my life, until 3 years ago I was diagnosed with Coeliac disease. I changed my diet & within 2/3 weeks my eczema completely went. So I strongly believe that yes, there is a definite connection with gut & skin. I eat healthily, keep fit & drink lots of water, I also take vits & supplements. Recently though my eczema has made a reappearance, which concerns me as I haven’t changed anything in my diet but I’ve started taking organic supplements with no fillers or binders (pure). I take organic sulphur, vit C, B complex, calcium with vit D & biotin… it possible that one of the supplements are affecting me? Any suggestions as the eczema is on my shoulder blades & driving me mad!

    • “I changed my diet & within 2/3 weeks my eczema completely went… Recently though my eczema has made a reappearance, which concerns me as I haven’t changed anything in my diet…”

      This is actually the classic scenario. Diets can and often do offer short-term relief but they are, in the end, ineffective as the cure they are purported to be, and promoted as. Inflammatory skin conditions such as various types of dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis tend to be highly adaptive diseases and almost always reappear.

      So much praise for various diets for various diets are often written by people in the joyful throes of that initial remission, thinking that a long term treatment has finally been discovered. Check in with them later down the road and you almost always find someone who is again dealing with the skin condition, which has resurfaced, sometimes with a greater vengeance and resilience than preciously witnessed.

    • Hi Soraya
      I can relate, my eczema suddenly returned after years. For me, I’m pretty sure it was associated with perimenopause. Anyway, the obvious first step is to stop taking those supplements. Wait several months. See how you respond. The sulphur is a red flag to me. Good luck!

  110. I have lichen planopilaris. I believe it was caused from trauma to my scalp. At the same time I developed gut problems/ irritable bowel-like symptoms. I wonder if skin/hair problems such as LPP can trigger gut problems, just as gut problems can trigger skin problems. It seems to make sense to me that if they’re linked, then any one component of the brain-skin-gut axis can trigger another component. If the LPP triggered gut problems, does it make sense to heal the gut in an effort to treat LPP? Many thanks for your response.

    • Hi Tammy
      I can see the way you are thinking about the two way connection but I honestly think in this case, if you look at the way that the skin is an elimination system *after* the gut that your theory is probably not correct. In many modalities, you treat the gut/whole system and the skin improves as a result. In fact there are systems of medicine that suggest that if you suppress a skin condition (eg eczema with cortisone) it will manifest in deeper systems like asthma in the lungs. I know lichen planus is an autoimmune disease but haven’t heard of lichen planopilaris (dermatology is so often just taxonomy). Anyway if its AI then you definitely want to heal your gut/immune system/whole system and then your skin will respond.

      • I agree that it makes sense to heal the gut. Definitely wise. I suspect that the relationship between gut and LPP is not so straightforward. I’m one of many who developed LPP and then got GI problems thereafter. It’s a system after all, and so it intuitively makes sense to me that there can be some bi-directional feedback involved.

  111. I can testify to the gut-skin connection. I have rosacea and take probiotics. My rosacea is pretty much under control. If I stop the probiotics, the rosacea is worse. You must make sure you buy a good quality probiotic. If you are not sure yours is active, do like I do. When buying a new bottle, I use one open capsule and l cup of milk and make yogurt or kefir. If it ferments–your probiotic is alive!!!

  112. I was diagnosed with acne rosacea by a dermatologist. I am 72 and have never had skin problems in my whole life until two years ago, when I became gluten intolerant, sugar intolerant, and preservative intolerant. The medical community in my town is totally clueless as to how to help me, and they are very resistant to anything that deviates from their textbook cases,, so I have had to do my own research to find the answers I need. A vein doctor, who is a health nut, referred me to your website. I feel like I am now on the right track. I have changed the way I eat, gone gluten free, milk free, and preservative free. My H-pylori is gone, and I am back to about 90% of what I used to be. I just wish the doctors would get on board with this. Thanks for the work you do. I read everything you write.

  113. I was completely dairy free for about 3 years straight. This did absolutely nothing for my eczema. Then added to this, I went gluten free, then completely grain free, then nightshade free, and so on…
    My skin never improved even slightly. Chronic inflammatory skin conditions are most often genetic in origin, which is why they never respond these types of interventions. Short of re-writing your genome, there is nothing that can be done in terms of reversing these conditions. Diet has absolutely no effect on a genetic condition. This is the equivalent of someone with dwarfism believing that a diet can make them grow to a normal height. It is absolute lunacy and I truly feel sorry for all of the credulous people that submit themselves to this nonsense. They are just inviting more frustration and dashed hope. People on this message board describing skin conditions disappearing after adopting a special diet or eliminating a particular food were clearly dealing with a type of allergy. I would call that psuedo-eczema, as it may present similarly but it is not the same disease process as an inherited case of eczema, psoriasis, xerosis, dermatitis, ichthyosis, etc.

    • Johnny, you experimented with diet and nothing appeared to affect your eczema, however this cannot be extrapolated to everyone else. No matter how much scientific language you use, it’s still not scientific. There are many many people who discover that dietary interventions make a difference to their medically diagnosed eczema and when they reintroduce a food, it flares up. Just as an example, my childhood eczema flared up terribly when i went to stay with my cousin’s who had just got a milkshake machine in the 70s and we were making lots of milkshakes. My skin settled down when I went back home to my usual diet with dairy products but much less milk (just 1/3 cup max on my cereal every day. Casein is a well known trigger for eczema as well as gluten and gliadin. That is not to say that all eczema is affected by dietary changes or any other single factor. But I feel sorry for anyone listening to you when their child has terrible eczema and they think that they can do nothing to help it. You may call something that doesn’t fit with your beliefs “pseudo eczema” but I am more likely to believe my dermatologist, who performed a biopsy before she confirmed my childhood diagnosis of “eczema” or “atopic dermatitis”.

      • “But I feel sorry for anyone listening to you when their child has terrible eczema and they think that they can do nothing to help it.”

        There is something they can do to help it- use steroids, both topically and systemically. Yes, it will only help it, if it is not an allergic reaction. Genetic skin conditions cannot be reversed. If you believe they can, you set yourself up for a lifetime of the misery of frustration. Go and get a workup with an allergist. See if your skin inflammation is the result of an allergy. If it is not, diet interventions will make absolutely no long term effect. This may sound unduly harsh, but such is the reality of genetic disease.

        • The problem is Johnny, you seem to be very blinkered in your view. I HAVE BEEN a child with eczema and I have used topical steroids. So has my sister. She used more, she got asthma BTW. I have been a young adult with exczema and resolved it without steroids for about 30 years. Then is returned at 48 and again I have resolved it without steroids. I have also been to an allergist and as I said in my post, he was disappointed I had no allergic reactions whatsoever (only to the control). Not dustmite, not cockroach feces which is very common in Sydney Australia. So get off your personal hypothesis that its genetic and the ONLY thing that helps is topical steroids. And stop defining anything that doesn’t fit your own hypothesis as “pseudo eczema”. Nothing is purely genetic. Have you heard of epigenetics? Get with the new century dude and stop spreading falsehoods in disguise as “the harsh truth”. PS in Germany they treat it with Vitamin B12 cream and stress management. Then there is Omega 3, many studies… probiotics… I could go on and on. By all means enjoy your hydrocortisone but leave the rest of us to explore the wide world of alternatives and complimentary medicine. Most people who use steroid creams (especially on children) find that its only palliative and isn’t enough. That’s why people try everything else that you disparage.

        • Steroid use actually CAUSES skin problems such as perioral dermatitis down the road by thinning out the skin and making it susceptible to irritants and chemicals. That is a scientifically researched FACT. Stop spreading bogus information! Many people, including myself, have found diet and skin to be DIRECTLY related. A gluten free/lactose free diet doesn’t amount to squat if you are still eating processed junk (which includes gluten free alternative foods) fast food and/or lots of sugars. I noticed you didn’t mention those…

    • Johnny, I am sorry your dietary interventions did not work. I wonder if you have a reaction to chemicals or additives in products you are using such as laundry soaps, body soaps, lotions, maybe even the water supply to your home has been contaminated? Or the pipes that carry the water? What kind of fabrics are your clothes made of? Could their be some kind of industry near by (a factory) that leaks toxins into the environment? Many homes are built with toxic chemicals in furnishings such as the carpet, the furniture, etc. Maybe you suffer from chemical sensitivities.

  114. Hi Chris,
    I’ve been reading many of your posts regarding the gut skin connection. I’ve been dealing with a severe case of perioral dermatitis for almost two months now. I’m 100% committed to healing my gut, as I know it’s caused from leaky gut…I have lupus and have been on prednisone many years. I have completely eliminated sugar, dairy, wheat, all grains, fruit and am following a pretty strict GAPS diet. I’m basically eating vegetables, raw and cooked, meat, bone broths and eggs…lots of ghee and good fats as well. I’m taking probiotics and fermented cod liver oil faithfully. My question is why don’t I see any improvement with this radical adjustment to my diet and life style? I understand it will take time but I don’t understand why it’s not at least improving slowly? Is it just a matter of time or could there be something in the very limited foods I’m eating that is aggravating it? Any advice would be helpful. I don’t want to give up oh healing my gut but it’s very discouraging. On the flip side, my lupus is doing well, my hair and teeth and nails are beautiful, so why the continued terrible skin issues for 8 weeks…?

    • Hi Danika. Your lack of improvement is not unique. In fact, it is the norm. You are not improving because chronic skin disorders, such as dermatitis, are rarely caused by gut conditions. Furthermore, they are rarely ameliorated with these fad diets. I bought into this gut-skin connection early on in my own personal battle with a chronic skin disorder and through my own experience and extensive research from a wide variety of sources, I can confidently say that it is largely a fallacy. To present this supposed connection as though it is universal, even is an implicit way, demonstrates a serious misunderstanding of this issue. I can only assume it is propagated by people that have little experiential knowledge and are riffing off misapplied theory. The bottom line, chronic skin disorders do not respond to gut therapies for the vast majority of people that use them. It would be great if these fad diets and regimens like gaps, primal, paleo actually worked to reverse chronic skin disorders but they do not.

    • I found that 24 hour cortisol tests showed what time of day I came into contact with something that caused a stress reaction and the resulting cortisol spike. With you I could be something you’re eating or exposed to… helpful to know what time of day it happens or which meal.

      Diagnos-tech expanded GI panel stool test checks for anti-bodies to a number of food proteins, bacteria levels and parasites. Its a very useful test if you think you have leaky gut. You should be taking 5000 mg of L-glutamine daily as well to help rebuild the stomachs mucosal layer.

      Both doctors that helped me reverse my leak gut recommended Mediclear plus by Thorne. I use it to this day for upset stomach. Its like a fire extinguisher. Good luck!

      Don’t listen to Johnny… he’s a downer.

    • Hi Danika,
      I only just saw your post and I want to encourage you to persevere. I have SLE and a few years ago my childhood eczema just flared up horribly. It was disturbing my sleep and I would get up and put ice on it for awhile and try to go back to sleep. I almost went nuts eliminating different things from my diet (I have been on a diet for lupus for 26 years but had slacked right off). I also started getting perioral dermatitis and eczema on my face. It looked so bad that some doctors thought it was allergy but I had no reactions to the allergy tests. Its a detective job living with autoimmune disease and I want to encourage you to completely ignore Johnny who is not really offering anything constructive to this forum. Take heart in the fact that your lupus is doing well and you feel better in yourself and your skin and nails etc. A healthy gut is paramount to someone who has AI and I’m sorry to say, my eczema took months to improve and was quite confusing. I started getting paranoid about food (and dust and other things) but I persevered and am now completely clear. Remember that eczema is also AI so it’s connected to lupus but we don’t know how. For me I think it was perimenopause hormones that triggered this but I really don’t know for sure. The Perfect Health Diet (Jaminet and Jaminet) seemed to confirm and extrapolate on my Dr’s original diet for SLE from the 80s. I currently eat no seeds grains legumes or nuts except for some white basmatic rice that I brought back in after 8 months. I recently brought (home made organic high quality) ghee in as well but that is my only dairy product. If you want to hear about my diet in more detail you could email me if you like. let me know on here if you are interested. I’m following this thread.

      • Hello, I have what looks like eczema only one my face. Itchy rash that never goes away. It’s horrible. I think menopause could be a trigger? I used to have cystic acne and was on accutane 3 times in my life. My face was so bad that I have to be on Prednisone. I’m tapering after 7 days and the flares are coming back. I only eat organic and am in good shape. Never thought about rash/gut connection… This facial rash just came on last year and I was wondering if any women had this happen to them and what to do about it.

  115. I had severe acne as a teen and it lasted well into my thirties. I saw a skin specialist that put me onto roacutane but I still suffered from both rosacea and outbreaks. I’ve been experimenting with eating half a cup of raw sauerkraut and taking probiotics in the last month and have already noticed a huge improvement in my skin.

  116. I developed seborrhoeic dermatitis at 19 years of age. It was very severe and I lost most of my hair as doctors would not refer me to a specialist for something as “simple” as hair loss. I have had a great deal of abdominal surgery and it is now clear I have suffered from SBIO most of my life. I have always noted a one-to-one relationship between the health of my scalp and the health of my gut. I try probiotics but with limited success. Happy to hear of any other treatments for SBIO that might be recommended. Could you send me a copy of the Chinese research article?

  117. The *only* truly noticeable side effect of a paleo-kefir (decently high fish) diet was improvement in skin condition. On a mostly vegetarian diet I was using hand lotion 15x a day, and less than a month after changing the diet “hey! I’m down to once a couple of days” and 5 years later, I use hand lotion maybe once every two or three months.

    As you can tell from the above comments that reflect the rest of the medical field, there are many diseases that share certain similar symptoms. The cause of your skin problem may not be diet. I had a rash that turned out to be laundry detergent sensitivity. My daughter had a rash that was strep. Other kids have a rashfrom poison ivy. My Dad got a rash from yellow food dye. I would be extremely surprised if acne or dry skin had only single causes. Best wishes, don’t give up.

  118. I have for sure noticed this, and I have been diag’d with IBS, Systemic candida and PN from taking a too strong antibiotic with caused gene expression in mdna and the other matters. I started taking probiotics and monolaurin w olive leaf. They help. However, fermented food esp Sourdough Gluten free, causes tingling and stomach upset, foggy head etc. I think this is what they refer to as die off, and I then break out, goes away within 3 days. I eat NO processed foods, NO otc meds. Eat GF and organic very low carb starch sugar.

  119. GO GLUTEN-FREE! Before I started listening to Chris I read Wheat Belly by Dr. Davis. I went gluten-free and about 90% Primal at age 54. My face and skin looked better in about 6 weeks and I had acne at some level most of my life. I told my 23 year old daughter who had struggled with acne for years to try it…again, gluten-free has worked wonders for her. Her acne cleared within 2 weeks! She still eats a lot of carbs but the gluten-free approach has changed her whole attitude!

  120. Hi, I have a history of ulcerative colitis for the last 14 years at least. 6 years ago, I started to get eczema and initially it was all over my body, it then settled back to a mainly legs. In 2012, I ate a bowl of coconut cream yoghurt that I had cultured from water kefir. I made the mistake of eating the whole bowl, as did my partner. My partner had no issues, but I had severe vomiting for 6 hours the next morning, migraine for a week, and chronic fatigue and weight loss (13kgs). My eczema disappeared completely! I assume that the die off from the pathogenic bacteria in my gut produced a toxic substance that went through the lining of my intestine (leaky gut) and into the portal vein to the liver. My liver was overwhelmed. I had ascites and blown up ankles and feet. I have been gradually feeling better. A few months ago, the eczema returned. I would appreciate any information at all on this subject because the doctors and specialists I have seen know nothing of leaky gut and autoimmune issues. Thanks so much. Peter

  121. Nobody can convince me there is no connection between gut & skin. I’ve seen it on myself. For years I suffered with acne – mostly in the chin area, no sooner would a zit go away that another would pop up. During the same time, a gastroenterologist ordered tests 7 ways from Sunday: endoscopy, colonoscopy, barium swallow, etc. Having ruled out stuff this way, dx’d me with IBS, and said diet would have ‘minimal impact in IBS’ – just avoid stress, eat more fiber – the usual. It wasn’t till months later that I ran across the FODMAP info for IBS… Months into it now, not only does my stomach feel largely better, but the acne has cleared. I’m sure some docs would say it’s simple coincidence- I don’t buy it. Kresser is a great source of info, and a refreshing, logical point of view.

  122. Hi Helen.. You problem may be not too much bacteria but the wrong sort of bacteria. There are now topical probiotics that can be used for direct application on the skin. They usually use a robust external species like Bacilus Subtilus (also used to promote plant growth and prevent fungal infections and no refridgeratio required).

    As with internal probiotics, the good bacteria stop the growth of pathogenic or problem causing bacteria. Used as a cleanser or cosmetic enhancement, the bacteria eat dead skin and sebum in a natural process that promotes cellular turnover. The lack of healthy bacteria on the skin is often a problem for people with skin issues these days as so many things are anti-bacterial. This creates a situation where any bad bacteria left or landing on the skin can, within hours, take over.

    As I understand it, bacteria are the first layer of protection on the skin, next is the dead skins cells and sebum. Reguarly swamp the skin with good bacteria and slowly they will restore a healthy balance.

    There are a number of products starting to appear. A quick web search popped this up..

    These guys also have a spray for the bed that provides chemical free probiotic control of dustmites. The poop from those little buggers can also trigger all sorts of skin and allergy issues.

  123. I was diagnosed with IBS in 1998, 2001 diary & wheat/gluten intolerance, as a celiac in 2010 and during that time I’ve always had bad skin, it’s always been very dry and flaky and very sensitive. I’ve been on herbs and high dose probiotics since 2011 and yes my skin is better in that it’s not so sensitive but it is still very dry but I still have gut problems. I believe it’s a bacterial over grow however early this year I had some test which came back with adrenal fatigue. I don’t know if the bacteria have drained the adrenals or if the adrenals were already poor functioning thus allow bacteria to over develop.

  124. Is their a significant connection between low stomach acid, roscea type facial rash, food allergies and cognitve problems (foggy thinking).

  125. Ever since i had a skin infection on my face since using a dirty razor, i get breakouts on the sides of my mouth only. I have tried to research this but i never got breakouts in this area before until i used antibiotics and i feel its more then my diet. its never more then 2 or 3 red ones and sometimes small skin colored pimples. only on the side of my mouth mostly on the ride side of my face. and im tired of this. was this because of the antibiotics?

  126. Chris I recently was diagnosed with high cholesterol (which I refused the medication for as it is expected by eating with Gaps protocol). I did the GAPS intro diet for about 2 months to heal acid reflux. That worked fine and I also lost 15 lbs in the process! I started to incorporate regular food back into the diet while still continuing with raw milk cultured products like kefir, yogurt, sour cream, as well as coconut oil, ghee, and mostly organic fruits and veggies, quality beef, chicken and eggs. I developed a rash on my forehead which didn’t concern me too much as my bangs hid it. Then it started spreading down my nose onto my cheeks and I panicked. I used some antifungal cream without much success. I am still dealing with this rash. I am wondering if it’s the wheat causing my problems. A couple of days ago I decided to again eliminate the wheat from my diet. I read in earlier posts about fats not being absorbed by the body. Then this morning I had mucus in my stool. Do you think this is due to excessive fat in the diet, it not being properly digested, or the previously eaten wheat causing irritation?

  127. In my case I had what was diagnosed as a sub type of Rosacea which I considered to mild to moderate.I had this condition for number of years and was then treated for a stomach ulcer which had a benificial impact on my over all digestive system. It also had a huge influence on my Rosacea to the point where it was non exsistent. After about 6 months I have started to have stomach issues again, although not to the same degree, and I also have some minor issues, at this stage, with my Rosacea. I certainly feel that the two are interconnected.

  128. Thanks, Chris, for all of the informative articles. I have been working with a nutritionalist and she pointed me to your podcasts and website. It has been a nearly overwhelmingly rich source of information.

    I have suffered from acne since puberty (I’m 28 now), and only birth control kept it at bay (but never completely eradicated it). I curse the modern medical world now, for I was on those poisonous pills for 8 years, doing god knows what to my gut. Not surprisingly, through my journey of health and getting back to natural basics, I abolished the pill and my acne flared up with a wicked vengeance.

    I have now been dealing with the physical and emotional fallout for two years with extremely limited improvement. I have been through paleo, gluten-free, autoimmune paleo, low carb, raw, and even juice and anti-candida cleanses. I’ve been tested for food allergies, hormone levels, etc, and I have Hashimoto’s (thanks to your podcast – I never would have suspected my Armour of containing fillers with cornstarch and GLUTEN!!!). My standard diet is nearly impeccable (organics, grass-fed, lots of veggies, etc), though I do stray from time to time, and I’ve found sugar and alcohol result in the most flare-ups. I’ve tested negative for SIBO, though I strongly believe I have issues with candida, and my gut transition time is far less than optimal, so I know this is my ultimate issue. Taking apple cider vinegar/betaine before every meal has helped with digesting food, and my skin is REALLY soft and smooth.. but my acne stubbornly remains! I even do the castor/olive oil wash at night with the occasional honey/cinnamon mask.

    I’ll keep experimenting, and I’ll try focusing on some of these recommended minerals and vitamins, but I must say, I’m close to giving it all up for hopeless. I’m sick of all the eliminations from my diet, and I feel simply miserable whenever I’m actually doing something that shows some minimal improvement for my skin (which is why I never stick with it for long…). So far, I’ve had no luck with two naturopaths (one specializing in gut health), three acupuncturists, a nutritionalist, and drowning in self-driven internet research :'( I’m new to your site, though, so perhaps there’s something here I have yet to try….

      • The inactive ingredients of Armour:
        calcium stearate – “carboxylate of calcium that is found in some lubricants and surfactants; also the main component of soap scum” (Wikipedia)
        dextrose – “Referred to as high fructose corn syrup, invert sugar and corn syrup” (Livestrong)
        microcrystalline cellulose – “a term for refined wood pulp and is used as a texturizer, an anti-caking agent, a fat substitute, an emulsifier, an extender, and a bulking agent” (Wikipedia)
        sodium starch glycolate – “the sodium salt of carboxymethyl ether, of rice, potato, WHEAT, or corn origin” (
        opadry white (titanium dioxide) – food coloring (Wikipedia)

        Lots of scary stuff.. which is why I’m working to get off it 🙂

        • Almost all sources referring to the Armour formulation say no gluten. I take the Canadian version of Armour called ERFA thyroid with far less ingredients anyway.

          Based on my experience you are trying to get off the one thing that can reverse a lot of your problems once you reach the right dosage. Gut transit time, low stomach enzymes, candida and acne… classic under-treated hypothyroidism.

          If your body temperature is chronically low then chances are you are still suffering hypo symptoms. Good luck!

          By the way… I’m not seeing where Chris says that Armour has gluten in it.

          • He mentions it briefly during this podcast:
            While talking about Armour changing their formula, about 55 minutes in.

            I appreciate your feedback. I’ve been on Armour for years, and I’m convinced most of my symptoms are more derived from candida and poor gut health than thyroid, though I know they’re both extremely similar and very interwoven (chicken or egg?? :)). (I have always had low body temperature, too…) Other techniques haven’t worked well for me, so I’m trying to get my body back to absolute bare basics and work up from there. I was on a high dose (3 grains daily), and I have brought it down to half that (over the course of several months), without noticeable adverse effects (the acne has remained unchanged). This lends credence to my experiment, so I’ll keep going and hope for the best.

            Also, per the aforementioned podcast, I am also working back in some moderate level of carbs. I feel better when I have some (versus none), so it’s a matter of eating the right ones and all in moderation. It’s a constant journey.

            At least I’m oddly motivated by previous above posts by “Johnny” – hearing him so despondent only makes me more determined to actually beat this thing 🙂

            • My thyroid problems started about 12 years ago. After a year or more trying to reverse the Hashimoto’s with various doctors and various protocols…my food allergies that had arisen during all this body stress gave me full blown leak gut syndrome. I looked like I had cancer… dark rings, dehydration, incredible fatigue.

              After frustrating and expensive fruitless visits to some of the best doctors around the country I had the same thought as you do; get back to basics. Quit listening to the alternative doctors that wanted only to aggressively treat the ‘symptoms’ of a body in distress (like candida) instead of focusing on finding the root of the problem.

              To me Candida is a downstream problem. Candida for instance can be cleared up with an antibiotic in about 48 hours, but of course will come back if your immune system is impacted by under-functioning thyroid, vitamin/mineral imbalances it causes not to mention the gut bacteria disruption that comes with it.

              Back to basics to me is to clear up nutritional deficiencies with organic food, supplements and IV’s, avoid foods you’re allergic too and balance your thyroid hormone until at least the most notorious of hypo symptom disappear… constipation, dry hair, low body temperature. When I did that the clouds parted after a decade of jumping from one thing to the next to ‘cure’ my ‘mysterious’ health issues. Everyone made their money off of me along the way.

              If one more doctor with dollar signs in his eyes presented another mercury detox to me I was going to choke someone. With my body temperature being chronically low despite 3 grains of Armour it was obvious that I was still hypo… there is just no other explanation. The thyroid is controlling the body thermostat. If the furnace is out you suspect the thermostat first if you’re truly wanting to get down to basics.

              I had a host of other hypo symptoms like you do. With doctor supervision I finally reached the dosage where my body found balance. The color came back to my face… I no longer had a yellow cast to my skin because the beta carotine was now converting to vit-A. My gut transit time corrected itself. I feel better now than I have in ten years. I no longer have adult acne or the sensitive skin that wouldn’t even let me use chapstick or hair products without breaking out.

              The Gluten problem looks like its here to stay according to regular anti-body tests. Avoiding gluten had no impact on my thyroid and certainly hasn’t allowed me to lower hormone dosage. My TPO antibodies show my thyroid is no longer under the intense attack it once was… maybe due to gluten avoidance?? Could just as easily be the correcting of my B12/folate deficiency that I keep on top of that has quieted the gene that causes hashi’s in the first place. Thats a whole different discussion.

              • I agree candida is a downstream issue. However, I also believe hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s to also be downstream issues, which is why I’m trying to correct the underlying problem. All of my research and years of jumping from one ailment to the next has led me to overall gut health. However, as a disclaimer to any reading this, i certainly do not represent the entire populous, and the “root cause” will undoubtably be completely different for others. For me, I believe I am not absorbing the nutrients I need, leading to a whole host of other issues. I certainly know my diet is near-impeccable, and I should otherwise be the poster child of health.

                Through years of antibiotics and the standard American diet, I have all but destroyed my gut to where it no longer serves me. I have made some progress starting at the beginning of the process, mentally preparing myself to rest and focus on my food, then by increasing my stomach acid with betaine and apple cider vinegar. I have seen slight improvements in my overall health through these measures. Now I’m down to the intestines, and that’s my next area of focus.

                As others have mentioned, I’ve seen many doctors, both western and alternative, and like others, I generally take bits from each that speak to me and have worked for me. No one is like anyone else, and no doctor – no matter the experience – will EVER know your body better than YOU. Part of my process has been to really become in tune with what my body needs, and go from there.

                I do think it’s also worth mentioning that right from the start, I have always tested within the “normal” range for TSH, T3, and T4. However, my first lab results showed off-the-charts antibodies (with a normal range being 20-40ish, I was in the 400s) – hello, Hashimoto’s! My most recent tests, after drastically changing my lifestyle and regular eating habits, are now down to about 62. I’ll be curious to test again now that I’ve decreased my dose of Armour.

                • I hear that quite often that people are going to change their thyroid hormone so drastically like they’re talking about cutting butter from their diets. If I cut a quarter to half a grain I would be laid up in a week.

                  My TSH has never been over six and most of the time during the worst of it was in the three range. I don’t look at TSH anymore I only watch free T3 and free T4. Both need to be in the high range of normal for me to function normally.

                  Hashimoto’s maybe downstream but if you have the gene variation that can cause it then you could question what caused the gene to express itself. With the faulty gene you were given a vase with a flaw in it and a stress has caused a crack in the vase and the water is flowing out. This is a different type of fix that’s needed. Research methylation of DNA to try to reverse this event. It’s already a herculean effort to try to accomplish this let alone making yourself even more hypo and then attempting it.

                  If you are really focused on Armour being a gluten source because an acupuncturist may have mentioned it online perhaps you need to switch to ERFA brand from Canada with far less ingredients.. I see no basis for the gluten claim.

  129. When you say in your article, that the role of the skin is to act as an “antimicrobial defense system”, you give the impression that the skin is antimicrobial rather than it requiring it’s own natural mico-biome to protect you.. I agree that research supports internal probiotics being effective for certain skin issues and overall skin health. But my understanding is that many problem skin conditions are caused by regular assaults on the skin using agents that are truly antimcirobial. Astringents, harsh cleansers, disinfectant wipes/sprays, UV rays, etc, are stripping off the essential layer of good bacteria that is part of our skin’s natural protective mechanism. These topical probiotic bacteria prevent the growth of pathogenic bacteria while consuming dead skin and sebum . AND they do all of this without stimulating the over-production of sebum typical of astrigents, etc which must also play some role in the occurance of acne for example. I think there has to be a balance in this where we mjst be more gentle on our skin and supportive of it’s needs.

  130. Dear Natalie,

    Here is Forever’s Canada site for Aloe Vera Gel (not juice which is what I mistakenly wrote above- this may explain why you couldn’t find it) and a local depot will post to you so postage costs will be minimal!

    Here is Bio Kult on Amazon Canada:

    Interested to see how you get on.

  131. Thank you for this very interesting article. Do you have any recommendations of what brands of probiotics are better?
    I have heard the suggestions of probiotis helping with acne before but when I went to buy some, I was overwhelmed by the varieties and brands (and the cost). I bought the one that was from a brand I knew and was reasonably priced, the Advanced 4-Strain Probiotic by Jamieson Vitamins ( Unfortunately, it made no difference.
    I feel like there is no hope for my acne… I have had it my entire life; I am 26 now. About 6 months ago, it was suggested to me to try a gluten-free diet to help alleviate stomach issues and low and behold, it worked for my stomach issues. I was hoping it would help with my acne as well, as it did help improve my excema on my hands, but my acne has persisted. I have tried everything available by prescription and was told by the dermatologist that my only option is Accutane. Because of other medications that I am on and various conditions that run in my family, I am not a good candidate for Accutane.
    I often have random people stop me in public to try to give me their tips because my acne looks so bad… and I have gotten to the point of desparation where I will try just about anything.
    I would like to give probiotics another try and would really appreciate some suggestions of what kinds are the best to get. I am from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada so if it can be something available in Canada, that would be ideal. Thank you in advance.

    • I have found that BIOCULT is the best. I have tried several and this is the one that gave me the strongest ‘die off’ symptoms to tell me that the toxic bad-bacteria were being killed and replaced by the good stuff. I also like the Forever Aloe Vera plain juice (cold-pressed), which works as a pre-biotic. It has been the best thing for my acne rosacea and I have heard good things for those using it for regular acne outbreaks.

        • Dear Dee.

          The Biocult I use is in capsule powder form. If you want a liquid order some kefir grains online and add them to milk (look at youtube for a video)- use liquid the kefir produces as pro-biotic home made drink or smoothie (great with seasonal berries and ripe banana).

          The aloe is best when you drink it. This morning I drank a lot and it also gave me a ‘die-off’ effect, since I had not taken it for 2 weeks! Forever also does great aloe gelly and aloe propolis (propolis is nature’s antiseptic, which bees line their hives with), and these are great to apply topically.

          Let me know how you get on with any or all of these suggestions.


            • Cheers Finndian. You are absolutely correct. I have actually followed up several of your tips, including getting scales that measure my water levels. I have very low blood pressure and water levels as low as 40%. The booklet that came with the scales says this is still healthy, but I have been taking potassium and magnesium as you advised, and I have noted a 5% increase. Will keep you posted on further progress 🙂

              • how much potassium and magnesium are you taking? also does that come as one supplement or are you taking them separetely?

              • Kate, I love my body water scale; I’m glad its working for you too. Its just a really good way to monitor your body’s balance and to spot disruptions in minerals and electrolyte levels. 45% is still really low… stick with it!

                My water levels stayed low until I dealt with my food allergies… the stomach inflammation is probably what caused the electrolyte and mineral deficiency that in turn brought on the dehydration.

      • Thank you very much for your suggestions. After a quick online search, I cannot find Canadian distributors for either product 🙁

        Do you think another brand of aloe vera juice would work similarly?

        Could you explain what you mean by “die off” symptoms? How long until you experienced them using either product?

  132. I noticed my skin started degeneration when I started having tummy upsets, I have a lot of gas in my tummy, I’m always belching, its like my tummy is always churning, never settled and i think there’s a link between this and the open pores on my face. Is there anything I can do to allevaite this?

    • My open pores closed after I cleared my stomach issues. What was happening is the undiagnosed food allergies were causing B12, potassium and magnesium deficiency. You cannot keep your body water in and the cells hydrated without these electrolytes. I wondered why I craved salt all the time.

      Salt causes the water to stay in the body around the cells to help with the dehydration. with the proper electrolytes all the water is allowed into the cells and that causes the cells to plump themselves. When the cells in the facial skin expand themselves with water the pores close.

      There’s an easy way to check this theory. Buy yourself a body water sensing scale. You can get a good one from Costco. Anything below about 58% body water and you have a problem. Playing with magnesium and potassium and proper hydration will bring that up to a more normal 60%. I was 49% when I was at my worst! Treat the food allergies then hydrate yourself and the pores will close.

  133. Hi Chris, paleo seems to be the only way to completely eliminate all inflamatory symptoms for me. Just eliminating gluten isn’t enough (I’m celiacs), I still get bad inflammatory symptoms from gluten free grains and cereals, dairy etc, despite not being diagnosed lactose intolerant or anything else. Probiotics seems to help sometimes, but not others. The one thing that keeps my skin free from bad acne (even when I do happen to eat dairy and gluten free cereals/grains) is one tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water every day. It also seems to have stopped acid reflux as well. Still a learning process, but paleo has helped enormously.

    • Jen,

      Have you looked into testing yourself for food allergies? I found an interesting technique from the 1950s that uses nothing more than your heart rate to detect a sensitivity. From what I understand, this technique is more sensitive than the standard allergy skin test.

      Here’s how the technique works:
      1) Over the course of a week, establish your minimum heart rate.
      2) Then, 30 minutes before you eat a meal, you take your heart rate.
      2) Five to ten minutes after you finish your meal, take your heart rate again.
      3) If your heart rate goes up more than 12 beats per minute, then you may be sensitive to something in that meal (if not, then you aren’t likely sensitive).
      4) You can then break out all the individual ingredients in that meal, eating them one by one every hour, re-checking your heart rate each time to see exactly what you are reacting to.

      I did this with my wife and we found that she was sensitive to store-bought pasteurized milk (a.k.a., containment dairy), but not raw milk. Hope this helps!


      • Thanks Bryan! Sounds interesting indeed. I don’t have a problem with Raw dairy at all, but it’s hard to source in New Zealand! I grew up on a farm so we had raw dairy growing up (and grass raised meat, plus veges and fruit from the garden), but ran into massive issues my first year away from home on hostel food. Thanks heaps for the tip – will give it a go!

  134. [Marked as spam by Antispam Bee | Spam reason: Server IP]
    Hi Chris, really interesting paper you have done. I was diagnosed with crohn’s disease and underlying IBS about three years ago and I have had acne for 14 years. Could this be the link as I don’t think as a teenager I had any symptoms of chrohn’s. The acne is predominantly on my nose and I have found an improvement after having to avoid dairy and gluten due to the chrohn’s. Is there a particular reason it is on my nose? Also, I had hoped it would fully go after changing my diet but I still get breakouts even though I am on tetracycline.

  135. Any information or insight into how an unnecessary overdosing of strong antibiotics, which destroyed my gut flora, can also cause my severe dry throat/throat irritation, even 6 months later?

  136. The other interesting thing I read was when you wash yourself, you wash the Vit D off your skin, as its secreted on your skin surface, then reabsorbed, so if your washing yourself all the time, your losing the Vit D. Maybe that’s why the French are healthier, as they don’t wash as much 😛

  137. I have rosacea “acne” (breakouts) as well “unspecified” autoimmune issues, so I do my best to keep inflammation down. One thing I do is take probiotics and drink water kefir, but they seem to have both good and bad results for me. I used to suffer from chronic sinus issues, and the probiotics seem to be very beneficial in this respect. However they do not help my skin issues at all– In fact I have to be careful to limit my probiotic intake, because any time I increase my skin breaks out terribly. Doctors don’t seem to believe this is possible, but I’ve repeated it multiple times, always with the same result. I have to wonder if the probiotics are increasing my body’s inflammation in general. I wish I had a doctor who could help me figure these things out, but noone seems to know.

    • It could be that the probiotics are detoxifying your body and that it gets worse before it gets better. Online I have read that the die off’ effect of probiotics includes fever, breakout of pimples, nausea etc… I get nausea when I increase dose and I have to sleep it off. I have acne rosacea and it gets really bad at times. It first appeared when I went on high probiotic and paleo style diet. However, I am still fans of both these things because they helped my body begin to detoxify. Now I am doing more sport, trying to de-stress (major cause of my health problems) and I still eat very low carb diet with kefir milk and Biocult probiotics. However, the one thing that works 100% to keep red flare-ups away from my cheeks (rosie is good but rosacea feels like cheese grater fought with cheeks) is drinking glass of cold-pressed aloe vera juice and the best one I have found is FOREVER aloe sold online or by independent retailers. It is really pure and they don’t destroy its goodness by heating it. It tasted a bit bitter at first, but my body has learnt to ask for it. When I am hard-up at the end of the month, I sometime don’t re-order my aloe juice and within 2 weeks I have dry cheeks that are getting itchy and I feel the rosacea coming back.

  138. I have struggled with acne since my teen years…about 20 years now. For the past 12 years it’s been pretty manageable. In November I decided to see what treatments were available…thinking there had to be something new. I was given minocycline – same medication I took 20 years ago. It helped a bit but not much, I was very hesitant. I am NOT a fan of antibiotic treatments for any condition unless absolutely necessary. And, I was desperate. After that round, my mother unexpectedly died. I have been stressed and my skin has fallen apart. It has gotten as bad as it was in my teens. Extreme inflammation, large inflamed pustules, and hundreds of comeodones. I am now waiting to take accutane. I feel like this is a gut issue or liver issue. However, I cannot find anyone in my area that treats from that perspective. I am also in an extreme amount of discomfort and embarrassment. I really don’t want to take accutane but I don’t feel like I have a choice. I am feeling so powerless…any suggestions would be great.

    • Desi,
      There is hope!

      I was in the same boat as you about 7 years ago, and in desperation, almost started Accutane. I am so grateful that I didn’t and that now I can manage my skin naturally. Not only is my skin clear, but my whole body is healthy and I have gained so much from my experience in terms of personal growth.

      Acne is a symptom of an underlying condition, and it has to be treated that way. Removing the acne with drugs will not heal your underlying imbalance, and this imbalance will cause other disease in your body. Autoimmune disease, cancer, arthritis, etc, whatever you are genetically predisposed to, will prevail if the inflammation is not treated from the root.

      You can do a lot of this on your own, even if you do not have access to natural physicians. Read this website and websites like and follow their advice. The grain-free/Paleo diet is an amazingly healing diet, especially for people with acne. It is what keeps my skin clear, as well as enzyme supplements and probiotics. Eliminating gluten and sugar is absolutely essential to healing acne, and it is a good first step.

      If you would like to email me, I can give you more specific details about how I healed my acne with almost no help from any physicians. lisa_landen_thompson at yahoo dot com.

      Best, Lisa

  139. Definitely! I had a terrible time with acne after stopping birth control after 10 years. I used to have flawless skin and then everything that was covered up came out in full force. I am working to reduce chronic inflammation from chronic stress/adrenal fatigue and have been including lots of fermented foods/drinks, clean eating, no-gluten, minimal grains, etc and still have acne for about 1.5 years now. My digestion still isn’t quite there yet and am working with an holistic practitioner for hormone balance/detoxification…The clearest my skin has been is when I’m not having to digest and cleansing with the Master Cleanse.

    I wasn’t able to read all the comments, but is there any research out there relating acne to compromised liver function/hormone balance? Thanks.

  140. Does meat play a role in Psorasis? I was told that part of the problem is a poor digestion of animal proteins, and to lower my intake by my natural doctor. I don’t believe this, but I’d like to understand it better. Would it hurt to take out meat for a while?

    • I stopped eating red meat and eventually ended up with a profound B12 deficiency AND exercise fatigue that is only cured with high dose Branch Chain Amino Acid dosing.

      A huge change in diet and expecting only good things was my downfall.

    • Andrea,
      Taking a break from eating complex proteins like meat does give the liver a chance to “clean house” and will help with acute illness and inflammation. Skin conditions like psoriasis are often linked to a toxic liver/colon, and giving the liver a break can help. Eating this way in the long-term, however, is probably a bad idea. The Gersen Diet is a good example of the healing that is possible when abstaining from proteins. You may want to adapt to a diet specially designed to treat autoimmune disorders for long-term relief. Figure out what your food allergies/sensitivities are, and eat as clean as you can–no gluten, no sugar, low glycemic if you can.
      Best wishes, Lisa

    • Andrea,
      A few years ago I suddenly developed hives, psoriasis and eczema all within a 3 month period. At 55 I had never had a skin issue except for the occasional acne flare up, but suddenly found myself overwhelmed with so many at once. Of course I was given a different cream for each issue, none of which worked. I did some research and decided to try Hulda Clark’s liver cleanse. I must say that my skin cleared up and only after eating large amounts of almonds and cashews did the skin problems return. So, I did another liver cleanse, quit the nuts and I have not been bothered since. I do not advocate doing liver cleanses every two weeks like some do, because they are quite harsh in my opinion. But I do think they can be a tool in regard to keeping skin issues in check. I tried eating clean (and still do) but found that I needed a kick start that the liver cleanse provided.

  141. Absolutely! I suffered with severe cystic acne for many years, searching high and low for an answer. Antibiotics worked while I was on them, but the acne returned with a vengeance (and damaged my gut even further) when I stopped taking them. When I discovered holistic medicine, I began trying different things and was able to heal my gut. For me, however, diet was just one part of it. I was almost unable to digest any food at all, and had to eliminate most of it for some time, while taking probiotics, proteolytic enzymes in large amounts, and a potent digestive enzyme with my meals containing ox bile and stomach acid. Eating a very low-glycemic diet is very important for my skin health. I drink raw milk and never pasteurized/homogenized milk (although I do tolerate pasteurized yogurt). I avoid gluten completely and limit grains, even in their whole form/gluten free because of how they affect my blood sugar. This regimen began 8 years ago, and while my gut is still not 100% and maybe never will be, I am pleased that I know how to manage my acne and heal myself through diet and ancient wisdom. Thank you for promoting this important information. Someday I hope all dermatologists get on board with this, too 🙂

  142. I’d love some advice and or insight on my situation. I am 27 years old and have been dealing with perioral dermatitis for the past 7 years on and off. Just this past year, my stomach has been hurting when I eat almost anything but now I believe I’ve narrowed it down to dairy (major gas and rumbling) and fiber. I am curious if they are connected and if I should go see my doctor. I’ve seen a dermatologist about my skin and tried a few things that have worked then quit working. First oral antibiotics then steroid creams. I’m willing to adjust to any diet necessary to fix my skin!! I’m a young, professional in sales and need good skin! Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.

    • Nina,
      Try an elimination diet or have yourself tested for food intolerances. Dairy, grains, sugar, corn, soy and egg whites are good foods to eliminate and add back one by one to see if your symptoms improve. Eating a whole-food, low glycemic, grain-free diet such as the diet this website recommends may be just what you need. You could try and see what happens.
      Best wishes,

  143. Dear Chris,

    I started the GAPS diet two years ago to get rid of chronic recurring cystitis. I had low grain, high fermented foods, and high meet broths etc… I also took a probiotic and fermented kaffir milk. However, I started to get dry itchy patches on my cheeks. I thought it was eczema developing. I have since left the GAPS diet after 8 months on it. That was over a year ago. I still eat fermented foods and only fermented dairy.

    However, I still have the dry cheeks and recently they have become red and itchy and I think it is acne rosacea. Is it possible that I have aggravated my gut flora with the changes? How can I settle things down?

    • Kate,
      It’s also possible you are having a reaction to the detoxification your body is going through. Sometimes when we are healing, symptoms get worse for a while or new symptoms appear. Yeast and candida emit toxins when they die off in our bodies, which can make a person feel sick or have other unpleasant symptoms. Make sure you drink lots of clean water to help with the detox. You could also be needing more of certain nutrients, such as fats (coconut oil is great for skin conditions), or more digestive enzymes to help digest your food. Another suggestion is to get yourself tested for food allergies and intolerances and avoid the troublesome foods. You mentioned you eat low-grain; I suggest cutting out grain completely, as this is greatly helpful in skin conditions. Grains that contain gluten should be completely eliminated, whether fermented or not. Dairy could very well be a problem for you, too, whether fermented or not. Try cutting it out, along with grain, and see what happens. Make sure you have your thyroid checked, too, to make sure that’s not an underlying problem.
      All the best, Lisa

  144. Hi Chris,

    I just discovered your writings and your podcast and am really interested in the conversation about the gut-skin connection. In one of your recent podcasts you mention that phytosphingosenes can be helpful in treating acne/acne scarring as well. I’m wondering if there are any products with phytosphingos out there that you would recommend? My initial searches on the internet haven’t turned up anything available in the US.

    Thanks so much!

  145. After seeing a Nautropath about my vitiligo (I’m 55 years old) I found out I have Leaky Gut. My vitiilgo started out in my early 20’s as a little 2 x 2″ patch on my back to spreading all over my body. I am more than 50% vitiligo. I’ve asked Doctors and Dermatologists about it and they’ve given me cream prescriptions and suggested going under lights everyday. I refused those treatments and opted for the Nautropath. I’ve been doing various cleanses and restricting my diet. Gluten free, wheat free, egg white are only a few of many food sensitivities I have. I would like to know if after curing my Leaky Gut will my Vitiligo go away and hopefully my pigment returns. Has anyone else experienced this?

  146. I have been diagnosed with chronic Gastritis since I was 19. I’m now 29 with terrible cystic Acne flare ups, as well as hairloss. Usually, it all comes on with my Gastritis flare ups. No doctors have ever helped me. I was wondering what type of “diet” I can try to help heal my gut? I don’t drink any soda or eat a lot of processed/fast food. I do eat a lot of dairy though. Any thoughts?

    • Danielle,
      Have you heard of the GAPS diet? That may help your gut heal. In the meantime, you could avoid dairy and grains completely, as these are difficult for the gut to deal with. Also take probiotics and digestive enzymes, and eat whole, organic foods that are gently cooked and not from a box.

  147. Hi Chris

    Just curious, do you buy into the “face mapping” concept i.e. the location of the breakout predicts the particular area organ/function that may be lagging within your body?

    I’d like to put some faith in this, but it seems that there are various “maps” out there that often disagree with one another. This must somehow be related to acupuncture?


  148. Hi Matt and Finndian,

    Thanks for your replies.

    Matt :

    I’m taking one tablespoon of organic nori seaweed everyday since a month to get enough iodine, the Vit A I’m using is Country Life, Gluten Free, Vitamin A, 10,000 IU.

    Finndian :

    Thank you so much for your exhaustive reply and for your words of encouragements.

    I’m drinking enough water but I might be potassium deficient so I will look into that.

    I’m a little reluctant to take that much Vit A for a few weeks, maybe I will try it for a few days, I will add liver to my diet too.

    I checked Mediclear Plus and there’s a lot of ingredients in it, it’s hard to tell which one helped the most, the amount of L-glutamine is quite low so I’m not sure it’s that one.

    Don’t worry if I ever cure myself I will do my utmost best to help other people to cure themselves too.

    Thanks again and good luck to you too!

    • Though it is not spoken of often, chronic skin conditions are among the most difficult medical conditions to treat and nearly impossible to reverse. Long standing inflammatory skin conditions are some of the most recalcitrant, i.e. treatment-resistant, conditions one can possibly confront, from a medical perspective. Nutritional interventions, diet, and supplementation routinely fail. Statistically, one has a better chance of beating an aggressive cancer or reversing late stage cardiovascular disease than eliminating a chronic skin condition. The paleo diet has become quite the latest fad diet for addressing various skin conditions. From my research I have gleaned that some people are helped but most are not. For those that are helped, the improvements usually wane with time and the skin condition eventually returns. Various other diets have produced almost identical effects in people- an initial improvement (sometimes to near complete clearance) followed by a slow and gradual return of the skin condition. Why therse skin conditions follow this particular trend is unresolved and obviously problematic. Skin conditions are well known to respond in this manner with topical interventions as well. Speak to someone with a severe chronic skin condition and ask them how many times a topical compound produced great results initially, only to become completely ineffective with time. Skin conditions seem to have an incredible way of “adapting” to various treatments. Thus, chronic skin conditions remain one of the most resistant diseases to treat, much less reverse. From my personal experience of over 15 years of battling numerous inflammatory skin conditions- I have come to the conclusion that they are indeed wholly incurable and, in my case, wholly untreatable. This includes my psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and acne. Almost all of my integrative doctors eventually told me to just seek counseling to learn coping strategies for learning to live with it. I have followed the advice to the best of my ability and have utterly abandoned hope of ever reversing my skin conditions. Diets, supplementation, cleansing/fasting, topicals, meditation/stress reduction, hypnosis/NLP, light/laser therapy, etc have been 100% completely and totally ineffective at even slightly improving any of my skin problems. Accepting the inevitability of my skin condition is only thing to do.

      • That is very interesting thing you say. I am starting to learn a little bit about immune deficiencies (whether that incorporates auto-immune or not).

        I would no doubt believe that diet alone or even w/ supplementation can cure some things since as you say it some how ‘adapts’. I would of course advocate for next best thing: that which might minimize the hazards. For example you would probably find some foods or allergens to worsen your condition versus others.

        When you say supplementation, does that include those of the hormone variety, BHRT? I don’t want to insult you by suggesting this, but it is a possibility which might not have been explored yet.

        But if it’s an immune deficiency then you can’t replace the missing antibody …so what do you do? I guess try to build up all the other immune anitbodies in the body to help offset the deficit, unless if you have more than just one immune antibody deficiency.

        My heart goes out to you. I would not wish to have any skin conditions. I think skin is the worst to have and not even GI and joint pains can come close. (Although obviously they cause pain, duh).

        Good luck!

        Also, do you do rotating therapies then to try to keep one step ahead of immune problem from adapting?

        • Hi Zorica, I spent months with numerous allergists and had all manner of allergy/ food sensitivity tests done. I also underwent elimination diets as well to try and identify any hidden food intolerances. As far as hormone therapy, I spent time with an endocrinologist and had a complete hormonal panel completed, and they checked out as normal. Anyways, I’m a 32 year old man,mso not exactly a candidate for hormonal replacement therapy and I have never read anything about that in terms of inflammatory skin conditions. I spent years trying to correct suspected immune imbalances and/or autoimmunity. This was addressed through an auto immune diet along with supplementation such as sterol/sterolin, arabinogalactan, etc.

          Yes, a chronic severe disfiguring skin disease is among the worst diseases a person could possibly endure. And yes, I do have physical pain with this skin condition as well- perpetual burning, chapped skin, painful pustular sores, etc. Yes, you are right, there is no condition that even comes close to the level of suffering you will endure with a condition like I have. I would be overjoyed to switch places with a person that has digestive or joint pain rather than skin that is hideously infected all the time.

          Add to this the fact that I also have severe sunken scarring from years of this untreatable skin infection. This has only compounded the degree of suffering.

          I don’t engage in any treatments for my skin any more. I have entirely given up on healing my skin. I know that my skin condition is entirely untreatable and no longer waste any time or effort engaging in a losing battle trying to heal my skin. It is an absolute exercise in futility. Like I said, I am taking what ended up being the advice from most of the practitioners that I sought help with- learning to live with it. The vast majority of the 20+ practitioners that I visited all ended up being thoroughly convicted that my skin condition is wholly untreatable seeing as it never even slightly responded to any treatment in over 15 years. So no, I do not rotate therapies. I have given up trying to heal my skin. Now I focus on learning to live my life with a debilitating and disfiguring condition.

          • Johnny I would be hard pressed to see if they even checked a full range for hormones. I am under the impression that sometimes proper hormone functioning can affect immune system too. I do not gaurentee this is ‘the answer’ or anything like that, but I think it would be a possible avenue to explore. Although as you already mentioned it would be tough to get ‘medical help’ with this since they would likely dismiss you as ‘young male wtf do you need about hormone replacement’. This is where turning to online sources might help. If it’s possible to get tests whether through normal dr or pay out of pocket (if you have financial resources) and knowing your lab values then you can try to source from online.

            Also another thing to look at is cortisol patterns. The 24 hr cortisol saliva test. I would imagine with your condition that your cortisol is tanked. Stuff like that. So it seems ‘unrelated’ but when the skin stone is turned over with no result (and that includes the allergists and diets etc.) then it’s time to look at the next stone. So yes, give up on the skin condition. Don’t look at that anymore. Try to look at the hormones and cortisol instaed. Pretend you’re looking at those independent of your skin condition (if that makes sense).

            I don’t know what Kresser says about this….and if you can get a consult with him? But tell him you’re not interested in the ‘allergy’ aspect of it since you already did that strategy. If he doesn’t do that, then look for dr. or ND or etc. for someone with experience on hormones and adrenal health etc.

            p.s. I am sorry if it seems in any way that I am minimizing your suffering. I do not wish to come across as a know it all. I only have the desire that out of anything that I say can be useful some how some way. As I said I could never even imagine a skin condition, ever.

            So please I hope my message is understood as compassion and somehow useful.

          • I’ve read your posts where you reject the thought of infecting yourself with a parasite to reverse your skin condition despite numerous studies showing that it can be very successful. If it doesn’t work, you take a drug to kill the parasite. So, you haven’t tried everything. You also keep mentioning how many doctors you’ve been to. I’ve been to as many doctors for my gut problems that brought on a slew of food allergies and caused the gene for Hashimoto’s syndrome to express itself. I was a mess and looked like death warmed over.

            There is not one particular doctor that ‘cured’ me. I cured myself… I took a bit away from each doctor and pieced the puzzle together and treated myself. I’ve prescribed and gotten injectible B-12 despite doctors trying to stop me and mega dosed nutrients that I was deficient in and slowly rebuilt my health. Doctors are not trained in nutrition… if they have any knowledge at all they learned it after medical school and I’m finding its a rare trait. They prefer to call a ‘mysterious’ condition untreatable or ‘idiopathic’. Love that word, idiopathic…. in other words… the idiot couldn’t figure it out.

            We are living in time of great innovation just at the time you have given up. Fecal implants and parasite introduction may be disgusting but apparently it works. Methylation and stem cell treatment to reverse is scarring is being done with great success. I know you’re discouraged and won’t listen to this but my comment to you is the no doctor is going to cure you, you must cure yourself and you certain cannot give up at 32 years old.

            Just the facts of the text below from a couple studies would have me megadosing L-carnitine for a while. Especially if you eat little or no red meat.

            “When the skin is exposed to a “triggering” stimulus, such as UV radiation, an irritant (e.g. soaps or fragrances), or to allergens, the cells in the skin produce a variety of inflammatory “hormones” called cytokines and chemokines. These “inflammatory messengers” bind to specific receptors on target cells and stimulate the production of additional inflammatory signaling “hormones”. Some of these cause vasodilation while others activate nerve cells. Still other cytokines cause immune cells to leave the blood and migrate into the skin where they then produce more inflammatory hormones, as well as enzymes, free radicals, and chemicals that damage the skin.”

            “More recently these studies were expanded to examine the ability of L-carnitine to modulate cytokine production at higher doses.”

            Good luck!

            • Hi Finndian, In terms of the parasite “cure”, there is no demonstrable evidence that it reverses chronic skin conditions. I have no desire to travel to a mexican clinic for insertion with parasites. Hell, why not just try every unconventional “cure” being proffered? When I say I have tried everything, obviously this means within the bounds of conventional, integrative, and mainstream naturopathic medicine. Obviously I have not tried “everything”- i have not tried goat urine enemas, megadosed yellow-bellied caterpillar embryos, or conducted a seance to enlist the help of deceased ancestors. I guess I have to draw the line somewhere. So yes, you are correct. I have not tried *everything*.

              I have tried to cure myself. I researched every day for years on end. I have megadosed numerous nutrients on my own. Interesting enough, carnitine was one of them. Half of the treatments I have tried have been initiated by myself, through my own research. No, I have not relied solely upon doctors but sought help from them in addition to my own constant comprehensive research and tireless experimentation.

              Whenever I mention scarring, I know someone will always remind me that we now have stem cell treatments so scars will be history within a couple of months. Unfortunately that is not the case. The overseas clinics that are offering stem cell treatments right now do not offer them for scarring. You may wonder why this is. I have been in contact with numerous stem cell clinics and they have all informed me that stem cells do not restructure existing dermal scars. In short, it doesn’t work. But that doesn’t seem to diminish the ubiquitous legend that stem cells will erase scars. The current leaders in stem cell research admit that we are a long long time away from knowing how to harness stem cells for the remodeling of scar tissue. Methylation for removing scars? I’ve never heard of that. Can you cite some evidence for that.

              • Johnny, talking about parasite therapy like its a bunch of weirdo’s in Mexico kinda indicates you are not keeping up. See… I’m the type that reads the research then I’m on the phone with the doctors involved asking question. I don’t wait for it to come to me. I bulldoze with questions and if it didn’t pan out or didn’t pass my BS meter I moved on. I think you need to keep your eye on the research… if this is autoimmune with you it might help.


                My friend was terribly scarred when burned during a laser resurfacing for minor acne scarring on his face. It was an erbium laser which shouldn’t have done what it did but in the wrong hands he was scarred for life. To compound things after the laser burn there was an ensuing bacterial infection that consumed facial fat and he was disfigured even further.. it got worse over the following 3-4 months.

                After a lawsuit won him 30k he went about trying to restore his face… after many appointments with some of the best surgeons in the world he settled on the Dr Coleman in NYC. He’s an expert in facial fat grafting. The doctor mentioned that the stem cells in the harvested fat would help the scarring over time, that was his theory anyway. I was with my friend during this appointment. We were more focused on flattening the dents and divots caused by the fat loss and every surgeon in L.A. said this was the guy with the best fat grafting technique. He had demonstrated years of cases of permanent results. My friend wanted a permanent fix without having to resort to silicone fillers.

                He ended up having the surgery with Dr Sabeiro, she is trained in the “Coleman” techique and shares Colemans office space with him. She is the only female plastic surgeon in Manhattan believe it or not. She is cheaper and thats why by friend went with her.

                I saw the facial fat damage and the scar tissue before and then for the following 3-4 years. I saw the tightened scar tissue relax and flatten and improve dramatically in that time. No, its not gone now but he looks amazing. The fat has stayed and I do believe that the stem cell have something to do with the flattening and smoothing of the scars.

                Both doctors would love to enrich the fat with stem cells before layering into the skin but it is still illegal in the US and very highly regulated inside and outside of studies. If you can get your skin under control I’m telling you its amazing what a good surgeon can do and stem cells are restoring scarred heart tissue studies as well and I’ve seen it work with indented facial scars. Go to to see some of their fat grafting work… I believe they show a slice-type of facial scar before and a couple years after and its very faint.

                I didn’t mean methylation for scarring. I was talking about trying to stop this out of control gene expression you have that is reeking havoc on your skin.

                • Finndian….

                  Really, I don’t care about trying to heal my skin anymore. I have given up. People find that so abjectly disconcerting and they simply cannot wrap their heads around that reality- that someone gets to the point of stopping the wild goose trying to treat a wholly untreatable disease. It may be unfathomable for you – I don’t doubt that it is. I guess it goes against the crusading, conquering spirit of humanity, but at some point you just give up and give in to that which is inevitable.

                  dermal fat grafting is NOT a permanent fix for scars. The fat is invariably reabsorbed by the body. Granted, the rate of reabsorption varies per individual, but it is absorbed nonetheless. I followed numous individuals at who had various fat transfers done on minor acne scarring and their scars returned in full. In addition to that fat transfers being temporary, even then it doesn’t remove the scars. It just softens their appearance for a period of time. As you said, “No, its not gone now…”
                  Scarring is permanent, period.

                  But of all this is a moot point, really. With an untreatable skin condition, the scarring is just the icing on the cake.

      • Johnny I would not give up nor would I believe anything the doctors told you. They said for me to live with it too but I ended up in emergency and begged the doctor for ivermectin which helped kill a lot of the parasites but without healing the leaky gut the problem comes back. Doctors most are useless unless they have gone through this themselves or God has given them mercy towards His children. I have found one recently who is going to be helping me get back on track but so many before him the story to long to tell and to disgusted to even mention the lack of knowledge and bed side manner. God Bless you in your walk.

  149. I have extremely oily skin since about 8 years, and seborrheic dermatitis because of it.

    I highly suspect my skin and other health problems are due to a leaky gut and my plan has been elaborated with that in mind.

    Here’s my current plan :

    – Diet : Autoimmune Protocol since nearly a month, and no FODMAPS since 2 weeks, (Very low/ no carbs Paleo diet for 3 years before).

    Macro ratios : 60% Fat, 25% Protein, 15% Carbs.

    – Supplements : Vit A, C, E, B complex, Magnesium, Omega 3s.

    Vit D3 10,000 IU + Probiotics since 1 1/2 month.

    Beef Gelatin + L-Glutamine To heal gut, since a week.

    These days I’m experiencing with 50,000 IU natural Vit A per day, it seems to lower the inflammation and my skin looks better, but no change in sebum so far.

    That’s an awful amount of supplements but I look and feel worst without them at the moment, I will stop as soon as I’m better or healed.

    I wash face with an aloe vera lotion 3 times/day and hair with a coconut oil liquid soap everyday with okay results, any better ideas?

    Walking 1 hour everyday since two months has improved my overall health.

    I’m planing to add :

    – Relaxation techniques like Autogenic Training, because I realized that stress might affects me very negatively.

    – Offal meats to my diet.

    – Weight lifting at least once or twice a week.

    Could taking Gamma Linolenic Acid rich oils like evening primrose oil be helpful?

    Is there anything else I can do specifically against oily skin?

    Please tell me if I’m on the right track, and if there’s something that I’m missing.


    • Adrien, I admire your determination in getting this under control. I’m not telling you to do this but if it were me I’d do a couple things. I’d make sure you don’t have a problem with dehydration. When I had gut issues I’d have terribly sensitive skin. I know for certain the gut issues disrupted my electrolytes and I became potassium and magnesium deficient. As a result my facial pores were constantly open because of the skin not being fully plump and hydrated. I fixed the issue by curing the deficiencies and suddenly the dirt and bacteria couldn’t enter the pores any more to clog them. I got an inexpensive body water sensing weight scale and saw that I didn’t have proper body water levels and I took action.

      The second thing I would do is quadruple the vitamin A for a few weeks and get the dose closer to the prescription levels used to treat severe acne. The danger would be if you do this for months ad months… but I’d be damn curious if you see improvement in just a few weeks.

      The most valuable thing I’ve learned from the thousands of dollars I spent going to doctors when I was at my worst (I’m 90% better now) was the one product that helped my gut inflammation was Mediclear Plus once or twice a day. The ingredients look just like a simple vitamin drink but let me tell you it was like pouring water on the smoldering embers in my gut. Its got curcumin in it and I’m not sure if that is what does it but it was along with L-glutamine this stuff is what stopped the turmoil in my stomach. I paid hundreds to one doctor who prescribed it to me. He was right.

      When you cure yourself and I believe you will, be a good person and stay on the internet and tell other how you did it… there are so many people profiting on people that need help and its so disgusting!

      As for the suggestion about the iodine… I megadosed that for a few months. There are some forums that tell you how to do it. The idea is that your acne is a result of too much bromine in your body tissues and its irritating the skin… its added to bread and other products. The megadosing of iodine will displace the bromine slowly and but as the bromine leaves your body through urine and sweat… you’re skin may get worse before it get better… this is over a number of months.

      Google Dr Abrams and Dr Brownstein if you’re interested in megadosing iodine and need help… couple good forums that can answer questions.

      Good Luck!

    • Look at Norm Robillard’s Book Fast Track Diet. I curbed my SIBO symptoms dramatically and he points out some foods from SCD, FODMAPS, GAPS, Paloe and even, yes, AIPaleo and other digestive health diets that can be VERY problematic fo SIBO. Having said that, he says some of the foods to take out can be confounders so once they are removed, you can actaully have things like low lactose dairy, nuts, and all things paleo, except sweet potatoes and apples, pears, a few of those things need to be left out for a while.

  150. many years of over-actived oil glands on face & scalp. tried it all-dermatologist, anti-biotics special shampoos. dr. told me to wash face with nizoral, another said head&shoulders. works for a while.
    the best result i’ve had is baking soda. after washing my hands i sprinkle a very small amount of arm & hammer on my wet hands and rub in gently on my face. leave it on for 10 mins, then rinse twice a day. skin is in the best shape ever.
    acv mixed with water sprayed on scalp 10-15 min. before rinsing helps somewhat.

  151. I have horrible skin and have been actively trying to heal it for over 15 years. I have been to over 30 doctors, derms, naturopaths, etc. I have literally spent years focusing on my gut with absolutely no benefits whatsoever. I have utilized every probiotic I have ever found, eliminated grains, sugars. I was on the paleo diet for about a year. I have done all manner of fasting and cleansing, etc. My entire body is still covered (head to toe) in the most angry, inflamed chapped skin year round. I am also covered in acne on my face, chest, back, upper arms, shoulders, scalp. This combined with the most severe seborrheic dermatitis you could ever imagine in those same areas. I have been to numerous integrative doctors who specifically have focused on gut issues including an incredibly expensive time with doctor le galland in manhattan. Nothing has ever helped. My skin is as raw, oozing, and pustule-laden ever. I have to admit, I get pretty frustrated when I hear people speak about the cause of skin conditions being digestive. I have spent years and have gone way beyond anything that anyone has ever done here and my skin is as bad as it has ever been. My severe dry scaling skin, severe pustular acne and derrmatitis are not digestive, as those interventions never even produced the tiniest of changes in my skin. I know that my skin condition is incurable and I will suffer with it every day for the rest of my life. So far it has been 15 years of literally unrelenting torture. My suffering has only begun. So for anyone reading this, not all chronic skin conditions are gut related. Mine is a perfect example. Some will have these conditions for the rest of their lives. So many people on here make it sound so simple….heal your gut and your skin problems will go
    away. Not so.

    • Johnny, one thought is to explore your situation from another angle: dental materials. Many mysterious maladies can be traced back to conventional dentistry procedures and not only the toxic materials used but the resulting issues they can trigger from smoldering infections, poisonous anaerobic bacteria, disrupted meridians, harmful electrical currents, etc. You may want to find a holistic biological dentist. It’s worth a try, good luck to you.

      • I have explored every avenue over the past 15 years. All derms, naturopathic docs, integrative docs just shrug their shoulders and tell me to that I just have to learn to live with it since my skin condition is wholly intractable. The vast majority of the practitioners I have seen over the years ended up essentially giving up and saying that they are completely stumped by me. My skin literally does not respond to anything…including environmental changes…I have lived in many different areas and that does not alter the situation at all. My skin condition is completely hopeless and I have already given up trying to heal it. I know in my heart that it is a physical impossibility. I know people may scoff at that, but some things you just know. I am as sure that this skin condition is untreatable as I am sure of anything. I just came on to warm others not to fall for what is becoming the cliche catch-all diagnosis that skin condition=digestive condition. I don’t even try to heal my skin anymore- that is an incredibly useless waste of time and effort. Some things truly are hopeless.

        • I hear your frustration and I empathize. It still may be helpful to explore the options suggested by Matt, above, and Britt, below, as well as mine if these are not on your already long list of explorations.

          • Let me try this again since my last comment was deleted. Thanks for your advice but I really have given up trying to heal my skin. I know that it is completely impossible. I just wrote to keep others from falling from the utterly pervasive myth that skin condition=gut condition. More and more people with chronic skin conditions that have been led to believe this are finding out that it is an abject fallacy.

            • Please read the book I recommended.

              I understand that you’re very upset. Once upon a time I also had terrible skin.
              The steps that helped me were:
              1. Going gluten free.
              2. I would make water kefir everday. My grains would grow to an extra cup each day. I would then swallow the all the surplous grains (300 ml) each day. Never drank the liquid though. I did that for about 2 months. And it completely changed my gut bacteria. No matter what I eat now the colour of my stool is the same as that of water kefir grains. lol!
              During those 2 months I didn’t even need to brush my teeth the bacteria were protecting me from head to toe. No bad breath or plaque – that was awesome.
              3. I now supplement with the probiotic strain LP299V 10 billion cfu/day. This strain is incredibly good at reducing IL-6.
              4. I’m going to infect myself soon with Necator Americanus.

              If it’s the last thing you ever do read the book.

              • My skin problems are not gut related. I spent years on that silly wild goose chase. It is also not related to dental work, environmental mold, and anything else that either I or any other the 30+ ( mostly integrative) doctors could think of. I am taking their advice and just learning to live with it. It is entirely untreatable. Thus, I have given up trying to treat it. It is most certainly genetic but either way compeltely and totally intractable. I have given up trying to find something that will treat it. I know, deep down, no such thing exists. It is a burden I will have to carry until I die. For those, like me, that spent years desparately trying to find some kind of connection between their chronic skin condition and an assumed gut connection but have found nothing and still continue…that is because you have fallen for the skin condition=gut condition myth.

                • The skin/gut connection is not a myth. Maybe not the absolute truth for everyone. I’m sorry that you haven’t found your cure. But nothing in life is black and white. If someone has a skin problem, I do think it is worth it to try dietary changes, like the SCD diet, the paleo diet, the elimination diet. It takes extreme effort and time, but it can help. Maybe not for everyone.

                  For me its true. I have Celiac and Alopecia. I have to scrutinize everything I eat, for the rest of my life. I wish I could eat anything I wanted. I have discovered gluten and soy are issues for me.

                • We must all sound like broken records to you but let me quickly share my story – not about skin but related. I have a 20+ year history of migraines. They started when I was 21. Horrible, awful, 10-13 days a month. No regular doctor helped. Alternative docs sorta helped. Not until recently did I learn that celiacs who went gluteno-free also saw a resolution in their headaches. This info. passed to the migraine folks. I went gluten-free and 70% of my headaches resolved. I am not celiac positive but the hyper-glutenized foods that I believe began in the early 90s are wreaking havoc on LOTS of people. Look at the labels of almost every Peppridge Farm or Arnold bread: the first ingredient is of course something like “whole wheat flour”, the 4th ingredient will be “wheat gluten”. These breads are not the breads of my youthe. They add extra gluten in order to make it doughy and chewy. These heavy duty proteins are the culprit. So different from “self” proteins, and in our diets so much, our immune systems attack them but also any protein in our bodies that look a little like these proteins. Gluten wouldn’t be an issue if we ate it as often as spinach. But, we eat typically eat it multiple times a day, every day. Also, dairy is much like this. Foreign proteins that are immune systems get the opportunity to respond to often. My son had eczema, after removing dairy, no more. Hope this helps, but if not, good to rule out.

                • I was eating paleo for ages…before that completely gluten free, grain free, sugar free, common allergenic food free (nuts, eggs, soy, etc). That is just the tip of the iceberg. It was 16 years of tirelessly working on treating my skin before I gave up. I never seven recieved the slightest benefit from anything I ever did. If you knew my whole story, you’d agree that my skin condition is untreatable. You’d tell me to just learn to live with. I had dozens of self-assured doctors who essentially promised me they would get to the bottom of this only to tell me that it must be genetic because it is the most unresponsive condition that had ever seen. This skin condition in no way responds to diet, nutrition, supplementation, drugs, cleansing/detox, stress reduction techniques, etc. Hence, I know that there is nothing that I can do to change my skin.

                • Hi Johnny

                  How old are you?
                  Does anyone else in your family have this type of skin condition?
                  What about other auto-immune conditions like type-1 diabetes?

                  Have you ever had your gut bacteria characterised?
                  If not, do it. The American Gut Project is recommended.
                  I think it’s $100 they will send everything to you.

                  I bet they’ll get back to you and tell you that you have the weirdest gut bacterial profile.

                • I would also add to Matt’s comment to try proteolytic enzymes in large quantities. This was the winning ticket for me. I took 21 tablets of Biotics Intenzyme Forte per day, divided into three doses (6 at a time) on an empty stomach. Also no dairy, no grain, no sugar whatsoever. And you have to do it for a very long time. A parasite cleanse and candida cleanse and any other cleanse you can do is also essential, plus eliminating all processed foods including vegetable oils and foods that are allergenic, which varies from person to person. Another part of healing that seems to be forgotten by this thread is the emotional aspect. Read Louise Hay, learn how to heal yourself from the inside out and about the power of attitude and self-love. If you believe you will find an answer, you will. If you believe there is no answer, you will be misguided and lead only to things that do not work. Love yourself, have gratitude, and trust that the answer is there. Keep your eyes and heart open and aware and it will come to you.

              • You are absoultely crazy to infect yourself with Hookworm. I got it from a trip to the Dominican Republic 5 years ago and it wasnt discovered for 3 years. That’s 3 yrs of that thing living inside me and destroying my skin and body. Its still reeking havoc on my body as I have severe rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis and daily breakouts of pimples. I agree with Jonny, I feel hopeless too. I tried the Paleo diet, anti candida diet and did two types of intolerant testing (alcat and Leap) and strictly followed all these diets and my skin is worse than ever.. In fact it was better when I ate crappy. Diet is not the end all be all like everyone says. It just doesnt work for everyone. It is a daily struggle for me to even continue on this planet. I too have gone to ever derm, specialist, naturopath, homeopath, holistic, accupuncture, chiropractor and have no money left and bad skin. Maybe if chris reads this he will respond to me directly and offer me some shred of hope because I dont want this life!!!

        • Hi Johnny,
          IT’S ALL ABOUT EATING QUALITY ANIMAL FAT!!!! I used to suffer from really bad dandruff/psoriasis/dermatitis/arthritis/depression for over 15 years. I too have tried many avenues for healing. Doctors couldn’t help me at all and most weren’t allowed to give me any dietary advice. I strongly believe diet is related to the disease as a number 1 factor. The body can filter out toxins and deal with bacteria and repair skin, hormones, genetics etc, but if the proteins, fats, nutrients, water aren’t coming in then the body withers and malnutrition, bad bacteria, fungi, cancer, skin diseases, parasites take over. The body can heal itself, the skin, the bones, tissue! All you have to do is feed it. Have you ever wonder why so many people are healthy? Why so many people seem to be able to eat many different foods, do hard work/exercise, grow thick hair, have great skin, look good, eat grains, even sweets, etc. The answer lies in FAT – animal fat. The most highly prized foods of ancient cultures was any food high in pure animal FAT – fish, beef lard, etc. And also fatty animal organs such as liver, kidneys, and fish eggs, etc. These foods are also the worlds most NUTRITIOUS and nutritionally assimilable foods. North American Indians sometimes hunted large beasts only for their FAT and organs, like kidneys, livers, and tongues – they highly prized these! Inuits would NOT have survived without FAT in their diet. The human brain is 60-70% fat. People who take higher doses of fish oils also find that it helps their depression! Fat helps to store nutrients in the body. FAT helps to feed and moisturise skin, cells, etc. Raw fruit & vegetables/greens help to detox the liver/kidneys during spring/summer/diet change but they should not replace animal FAT consumption, followed by moderate-low amounts of daily meat/protein (eat fatty meat), and more vegetables. It’s great to avoid grains, dairy, legumes, nuts, starchy veggies, alcohol, and sweet fruit for a while at first. This makes you more thirsty and forces you to drink more pure water and eat more vegetables (lightly cooked), proteins, fats, and some raw salads. This diet, together with sleep (rest and fasting at night), gentle exercise, stress- free, fresh air, mineral baths, will heal your skin and repair your body. You need to supplement with ORGANIC animal fat/omega3 oil and reduce plant oils until it’s 1:1 ratio. Eat lots of fatty fish, fatty lamb, fish oils, pure animal lard, chicken skin/fat. Buy fish oil, cod liver oil, butter oil, primrose oil, and lecithin (fat emulsifier) and take them a spoon each, take all together, once a day after small meal, before bed. You will see your skin, nails, hair, energy, brain, working better than ever!
          Never ever give up! All the best…….Jul

    • Hi, have u ever considered your environment. Had similar skin issues as u describe. No food changes helped. Ended up being mold toxicity, twice the upper. Took a while to figure out since my house doesn’t look moldy anywhere. Had some pipes leak. Functional medicine md helped put the puzzle together. Hope the best for you, don’t ignore your environment

  152. I have had dry skin for years and the last 5 years it has turned severly itchy in certain spots and at times drives me crazy.I have tried many topicals including jojoba,cortisone cream,florazone and many other items with temporary relief at best.I have been gluten free for one year;with no noticeable improvement,and went off dairy for two months with no help.I have been to Homeopaths,Naturopaths.They all throw their hands.I think it is environmental/allergen based.I take Krill oil and various other nutrients and probiotics.Any ideas?Marc

  153. Chris,

    I have had rosacea since I was probably 10 years old. I have photographic evidence and painful memories of my bright red cheeks. I also suffered from acid reflux at an early age. I can remember have toast and orange juice for breakfast and suffering all day with “heartburn” as early as 2nd grade. I’m a 38-year-old male. I also have suffered from recurrent styes (hordeolum) for as long as I can remember. All of those symptoms have improved since I moved to a Paleo diet last year. The redness on my face is almost not even visible and it’s very rare for me to flush like I used to. I followed your suggestions with HCl and digestive enzymes and that has completely eradicated my GERD symptoms. About 3 weeks ago, I was hospitalized with bacterial meningitis. It came on quickly and scared/surprised me. I’ve been feeling great since changing my diet and wasn’t expecting something like that. It turns out the culture revealed Staph Aureus. Being a fanatic researcher, I learned that styes are caused by S. Aureus. I actually had a large stye just a few days prior to being hospitalized with the meningitis. It was large and uncomfortable and I made the terrible mistake of popping it by rubbing my eye. My infectious disease doctor was surprised to see S. Aureus on the lab report. At the time, I did not know about the correlation with the stye. To bring this full circle, I understand the styes are associated with rosacea (ocular rosacea). Do you have any suggestions for me? I have had massive amounts of IV antibiotics as well as oral antibiotics as a result of the meningitis. I want to ensure I do whatever possible to prevent a recurrance. If popping the stye caused the staph to get into my bloodstream, what mechanism allowed it to get into my cerebrospinal fluid? Lastly, I’ve read about some possible correlations between rosacea, styes, and IgM deficiency, which would make one more prone to infection. Am I on to something here?

  154. Chris,

    Do you have a certain brand of probiotic that you recommend? I have tried the Bio Kult (GAPS) and Dr. Mercola’s. Some are refrigerated, some are not. Very confusing! And, some have mg stearate in them. It is difficult to determine a reputable source. SBO or not is another one? Thank you!

  155. Does this apply for possible candida infections (of the intestine/gut, not vaginal)? Sometimes I hear conflicting information regarding probiotics and fermented veggies and Candida (or Small intestine bacteriall overgrowth).


  156. I have been gluten free for almost a year now to treat Hashimoto’s. Things are going well except one oddity. For the past 1 – 2 months, I frequently have a rash on my face from the bridge of my nose down the sides of my face to my chin. It makes kind of a tear-drop shape. No one I’ve talked to has ever heard of or seen this before. It will appear in the late morning or early afternoon and seems to be around for a few hours. Sometimes I don’t notice it unless I look in the mirror, other times it feels tingly or even a little warm, not often itchy. I keep thinking that it’s some type of food allergy but can’t figure out what it could possibly be. I’ve also wondered if it’s due to excess supplements (B Vit, adrenal rebuilder, omega-3, rhodiola). Anyone have any knowledge or experience with this type of a rash?

  157. Any advice on Vitiligo?? Diet, exercise but what does one do to retrain this body to do its job in regard to the melanin producing and pigment of skin cells. Please Help

  158. I started having weird autoimmune symptoms like dry eyes, dry mouth, fatigue, bowel issues in 2011. After spending months at different doctors and receiving no diagnosis, I started to get a little rash on my scalp. I was diagnosed with a form of scarring alopecia called Lichen Planopilaris. I started a gluten free diet to support my skin toward the end of 2011. I felt a little better but I still had other issues and didn’t feel healthy. Finally in July of this year I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. I think my undiagnosed Celiac kick started my Alopecia. Unfortunately it may be a battle for life. A gluten free diet didn’t make my gut feel much better and I was suffering from mal-absorbtion so I started a Paleo diet in August and my stomach is much better. I think I have less systemic inflammation but I still pray for a healthy scalp free of this painful and itchy rash that I have had for nearly a year. I have been under a good dermatologists care but this condition tends to be chronic. I have been in touch with other LPP patients who get some relief from paleo. I have only had a little relief to my skin.

    • Emma, you might try doing the elimination diet called the GAPS Intro for a month or two and see if that helps. It can be very effective at healing leaky gut, which may be an underlying cause for your scalp issues. I know another Celiac who is experiencing significant healing this way. Good luck to you!

  159. Hi Chris,

    Healing my gut has definitely improved my acne, but I would like to have your insight on this.

    Is it possible that being hypothyroid can impair gut function leading to SIBO and other bacterial overgrowths? This would also likely lead to vitamin/mineral deficiencies further exasperating the problem, correct? I believe that I may be deficient in B12 and K2 but I don’t want to supplement without further testing.

    I ask this because I will soon be visiting a naturopath and hopefully have some testing done for my thyroid and for SIBO, hopefully an organic acids test as recommended by you. Is there anything I should specifically mention or any specific tests I should have done?


  160. Has anyone had success treating psoriasis? A close family member has it and it seems that sometimes diet is not enough. Would love to hear anyone’s experience.

    Looking forward to your Wise Traditions Conference talk!

    • Hi Lisa, I have a client who suffers from a bad case of psoriasis. Although it hasn’t cleared completely, the inflammation has gone down ten-fold with diet alone. The foods that seem to make his condition worse are: red wine, all dairy, gluten, sugar, eggs, toxic seed oils (soybean, canola, etc), dark chocolate, nuts, flour and beer. I’m his personal trainer and when he has had a bad eating week, I can see it written all over his body. Lately, I asked him to eliminate dark chocolate because cocoa is way too high in omega 6 and therefore worsens his inflammation, not to mention the sugar which, even in small quantities does its damage, and he has seen dramatic results. don’t underestimate the power of a clean diet. A diet of meat, bone broth, fish, vegetables and some fruit may seem boring to your family member, but having smooth skin overrides the ‘boringness.’ I tell my client that it’s never boring to be healthy. He’s also lost all his belly fat eating this way, a nice bonus. Also, I’ve encouraged him to buy Green Pastures high vitamin cod liver oil butter/blend to see if that helps even further. Good luck!

      • Thanks Des, there should be more trainers around like you!
        I’m definitely not “underestimating the power of a clean diet” but I have still not heard a testimonial of someone completely clearing psoriasis on diet alone.

        Thanks for the tips, it sounds similar to something I would advise (paleo type diet with an autoimmune protocol) but testimonials are useful when encouraging people to give up so many foods.

        • Des is soooo right, eating clean, especially the bone marrow and broth soups are great healing foods, make sure it’s pastured livestock for the good omega balance and nutrients in the fats!! Also remember when giving up foods you love, they are really just cravings and when they go away you then start to control your foods and therefore your life too…

        • You’re very welcome and thank you for your kind words. It’s an ongoing battle, but when this individual gets it right, it shows.
          It’s Chris’s site that got me into looking outside the box. Excercise is important, but nothing has the potential to heal like proper food (and the right attitude).
          Once you eliminate all these foods, as daunting as it sounds, something miraculous happens; you stop craving them! I have little reason to eat this way, yet I do because I see the benefits. Plus, I feel free from the burden of all prccessed foods. I eat the same sort of foods every day, and I feel great. My skin is clear (I had flare ups before) and I just feel human again.
          Good luck!

  161. Absolutely true. My story is too long to post here as a comment (plan to blog about it soon) but the bottom line is this: A severe flare-up of a skin condition exacerbated by stress left me with a painful, stinging, burning, swollen and scaly inflamed epidermis, and I didn’t want to go back to the standard treatment regimen of drugs, particularly the antibiotics. I wanted to fix the cause, not the effect. Knowing I had an overactive immune system (connected, of course, to gut issues), I decided to work on that—and the quickest way I could figure was via a raw-milk-only diet to reestablish friendly gut flora, etc. One month on that and it was like I had new skin. Major caveat here: This was clean, healthy raw milk (and raw fermented milk products). All the skincare recommendations for “no dairy” should be “no PASTEURIZED dairy.” Major difference. The clean raw milk heals—the pasteurized dirty milk harms.

    • Your story is very interesting and encouraging. Thanks for sharing.

      Like I often say, raw milk is nature’s original probiotic food.

  162. Oh, YES I’ve noticed a connection…I got sick with bacterial (yeast & ? ) overgrowth in 2007 and something from a bad chicken in 2008 and have spent 4 years healing…and everything I was sensitive or allergic to came right out in my face, different times and spots for different things…like a map!
    Everyone thought I was nuts when I said it was my gut and sensitivities/allergies. SO glad to read this!!

  163. Chris,
    Healing the gut over the past 5 years has been key in healing my body from a horrific skin condition and immune system breakdown! The road has been long but I am grateful for all the healing that has taken place. Here is my story:

    In the fall of 2008, I broke out into these horrendous skin rashes all over my legs. They were painful, hot and terribly itchy. I saw multiple dermatologists and doctors, applied various creams and took various medications…all to no avail. No one had a clue what this mystery rash was. Months went by and the rash spread to my arms, torso and neck. My energy levels dropped, my hair started falling out, I was gradually dropping weight and needless to say I became very scared and angry. I was still trying to work as a physical therapist and I was exhausted and miserable. I didn’t know what to do…I was desperate for answers and relief from the pain and itching. I would never have imagined that I would continue to experience these couple for the next few years!! The rashes were unbearable, but sadly it started getting worse.

    In the late summer of 2009, I came down with an awful infection of my mouth, throat and tonsils. Doctors would give me an antibiotic and then the infection would return in 3 to 4 days after finishing it. The infections returned with a vengeance 4 times in a month and a half, leaving me mostly bed bound and having to go on short term disability at the age of 29!! The doctors didn’t know what to do. I was terrified! It is scary and does crazy things to your mind when you don’t know what is wrong with you. Here I was…a formally vibrant, fun-loving, high-level athlete stripped of everything I took for granted. My body was gaunt, sickly and plagued with rashes. I dropped to a size 1 pair of pants and I could barely walk down the street, let alone play a 90 minute soccer match. I lost my fun-loving personality to fear, anxiety and anger. I was a mess! I soon realized that conventional medicine had nothing to offer me…no relief from my pain and no plausible explanation for my symptoms. Thus, began my determined and desperate efforts to regain my health. By the grace of God, I came across an article about natural solutions to drug-resistance infections and started taking wild Mediterranean oregano oil. I thought, “What the heck! It couldn’t hurt, right?” The infection went away after about a week and for the first time in almost a year I got a little relief from the burning and itching of my skin. Halleluyah!

    I began pouring over books and doing tons of research about nutrition, health and healing. For the first time I started thinking about what I was putting into my body and how it might affect me. I had an innate sense that my body was toxic and it was imperative that everything that came into and on my body needed to be clean and of the highest quality. The more I learned, the more astonished and dismayed I was at the toxins (chemicals, pesticides, hormones, etc) that are present in our food and environment. I came across the Paleo diet and the Weston A. Price foundation and I really started to understand the importance of food in healing and overall health. I was fascinated to learn about the vibrant health of our ancestors that were eating their traditional diets and how far we have strayed as a society from eating REAL FOOD! No wonder we are so sick! No wonder I was so sick! I grew up eating sugar, fast food and lots of refined carbohydrates. My cooking included mac and cheese from the box and cereal for dinner. I always thought about food this way…I could eat whatever I wanted because I was thin and a good athlete. I never once thought about how the quality of food affected me or could potentially affect me long term.

    I always understood the importance of movement and exercise, however realized I needed to slow down. I was an athlete and I was used to pushing my body to the limits my whole life. I didn’t understand the value of rest and relaxation. Over-exercise without adequate rest will eventually break down your body. I began walking and doing yoga, versus the hard-core workouts I was accustomed to. I learned of the value of sleep and slept as much and as often as my body would let me. I began seeing holistic doctors and various alternative practitioners. I went through a battery of tests and found out I had multiple food allergies, parasites, fungal infections, heavy metal toxicity, etc. The list goes on. Basically, my immune system was severely compromised.

    I finally turned a corner when I learned of this term called “leaky gut” that was likely contributing to a lot of my symptoms. It made sense considering that your gut is 70-80% of your immune system. I needed to heal my gut!! I took steps to begin the process of healing my gut (and I am still in the process) with diet, rest and supplementation. For the first time in a couple years I started to get relief from the rashes and they slowly began to go away….and bit by bit symptoms started to improve and I started to regain my health. My diet consists of a Paleo diet, minus nightshades and chicken eggs. I eat plenty of healthy fats, bone broths and fermented foods. 5 years later I have no more rashes and I was able to celebrate this year on beaches of Costa Rica…bare legs and bikini!! My journey has inspired me to help others and now have a blog with my husband called:

    Chris…Thanks for all your research and work getting the word out about healing the gut and healing the body naturally!!! You are my “go to” guy for sound nutrition information and research. Healing my gut saved my life and my skin!!

    Brenda Walding, DPT, FDN

    • Wow! Your story sounds so much similar to mine. So sorry you went so long undiagnosed. I still haven’t been diagnosed either but had come across an article for leaky gut and since I had problems with my stomach over the years and taking anti acids I thought what the heck I will try taking some of my anti acids and then some probiotics and within three days what a difference. Like night and day. I really can tell a difference now by what I eat. The more I stay away from carbs he better. I believe it is leaky gut with candida. Thank you for sharing your story. God Bless

  164. Hi Chris, something is going on with me but I have no idea what. I have always had great skin, spotty when a teenager re very oily but as I have got older it means my facial skin looks good, fewer lines and wrinkles so a youthful appearance that belies my age. I also have never suffered from eczema etc.
    I started an evolving Paleo diet approx 18months ago, changing as I have learnt more.
    First thing I did was to remove all grains/sugar and oils other than olive oil use on salads and using organic virgin coconut oil for cooking and fat from organic grass fed meat.
    Within a few months I developed a very itchy tiny postule rash which turns scaly on the fingers of my right hand which developed less so on my left hand fingers and down on to my hands a little.
    It seemed to me to be like a description of Dermatitis Herpeitformis and yet I didn’t have when eating grains. As if flaring up because of lack of gluten proteins – bemused?
    I have had rheumatoid arthritis for 17yrs but have always refused medication preferring to use diet,
    I wondered if it may be dairy that is the cause of the rash which to be honest I had very little of in previous years but had started eating yogurt for probiotics. I stopped eating thinking it may be the cause but the rash never properly went away even after 9months of no dairy. (lingers on one finger of my right hand) I decided after a while to try raw organic goats milk yogurt and the rash flared and spread immediately after one serving (I could be blaming it wrongly) As a week later the rash is stll active.
    My mum is Coeliac but I have recently been tested and here in the UK they state that I test negative for DQ2 and DQ8. Even so I will still not be eating grains, but wonder if the rash could be caused by even the A2 raw goat yogurt and once eaten can cause an immune response that lasts for a long time, re my hand never quite healing. My rheumatoid symptoms also are worse when I have the intense rash. Oh also I have been taking colostrum for approx 6months hoping to gain health benefits, I understood that this was safe even if there may be a problem with dairy (I do not know that I have a problem with dairy which I did consume occasionally and as I have said never had a skin issue before starting Paleo) Can skin issues start when the body is suddenly deprived of gluten proteins – almost as if the Herpes virus is fighting for survival – that is what is going through my head. Have you ever heard of this before?
    I would reall appreciate your thoughts.

  165. Going paleo, doing cleanses (ReNew Life’s different topics), cutting out GMO foods, eating organic/range raised, only using soap where the sun don’t shine, most recently adding lots of plain raw goat yogurt and milk has greatly improved my skin. The ecxema above my lips has just recently disappeared. Granted, it was greatly inflamed for several months, but that was due to the body eliminating it. For my horses when I put them on herbs they say to expect healing to take place at the rate of one month for every year of the disorder. Everyone that has posted how trying something and it didn’t work in 1, 2 or 6 months, you need to keep at it until the toxins are dealt with by the body.

    Best Wishes and follow your Intuition!

  166. I have a friend with psoriasis on her forehead. She ‘knows it comes from within’ (her words), but she doesn’t seem to want to address it. I think she is scared to change her routine of scrubbing the dickens out of her face every day, because she knows that works and gets her through her workday without a flare up. I mentioned trying a probiotic as a start and she was like no no no way. Would you have any advice for her on how to proceed? I don’t want to push the issue with her, but I can it is controlling her daily functioning. She is also addicted to the tanning salon, I get the feeling she feels it hides how her skin looks.

  167. My rosacea didn’t really flare up until after I began a paleo diet last year. Since then I’ve been diagnosed with SIBO and I can absolutely say my skin clears up somewhat after being on antibiotics (I’ve been on two rounds so far.) The problem is after I’m done with the antibiotics about 2 weeks later my gut symptoms and breakouts return. Unfortunately being on a SCD diet hasn’t made much of a difference for me, and taking probiotics only worsens my skin if they include any bacteria from dairy. It is great that so many people report a diet change as being a large help but in my case it hasn’t.
    I do believe in the gut-skin connection, but it isn’t always easy to figure out and apparently not always easy to heal the gut barrier. But I am going to keep trying!
    I’ve been to a dermatologist as well and she has me putting a bunch of creams on my face, and of course that hasn’t done much of anything.

  168. Hi Chris
    My twin toddlers and I react to dairy by getting eczema. For me, eating dairy and then using dish soap seems to bring out eczema on my hands. Dish soap alone does not cause a problem. In the past I gave my boys raw milk from an Amish farm, hoping that this would help but it did not make a difference. I now give them dairy less frequently and they are able to tolerate it better. They can tolerate more dairy in the summer than the winter it seems before eczema appears. They are both gluten-free at home (I am gluten-free in order to avoid migraines – but celiac negative).
    Not sure if this is helping or not but I usually start their meals with the meat portion, then give vegetables and then a starch at the end. I do this for several reasons, mainly to make sure that they don’t fill-up on carbs and ruin their appetite, but also feel that instinctively, this is how we would have eaten before the availablitly of so many grains. Does eating meat increase stomach acid right away and therefore kill off bacteria that might set-up camp in the small intestine?

  169. Hi Everyone!
    I am a firm believer in probiotics! My mother is 64 and she has concerned me for a while with her over use of antibiotics. She seemed to always have a cold of some sort. I finally convinced her to start using a probiotic called PB8, and not only has she not been sick she also has more energy, and her SKIN has a glow that I have not seen in a long time! I also have a 9yr old son with eczema that has shown improvment with a kids probiotic!

  170. I have psoriasis and know that I have a leaky gut, so I’d bet if I could find a way to heal it I’d see improvement. I recently started eating mostly paleo. I plan on starting a sugar detox on 11/1 so hopefully if I add a probiotic too I’d see improvement. Do you have any probriotic brand recommendations?

  171. Hey Chris,
    this study: “And another recent study of 56 patients with acne showed that the consumption of a Lactobacillus fermented dairy beverage improved clinical aspects of acne over a 12-week period. (10)”
    is about “Lactoferrin”-enriched products. Lactoferrin can be found in significant amounts in colostrum. Do you prefer colostrum to treat acne vulgaris?

  172. I’ve noticed big improvement to my skin since going paleo. Butter is advertised as good fat but I noticed some pimples as soon as I introduced butter in my diet. Does Anyone have the same experience with butter?

  173. I am very dairy intolerant. Is it okay to drink kefir? or will it cause more problems?
    Recently tried some homemade kefir from a local raw milk farm and it did not make me feel very good.

  174. Hi Chris, I regret I won’t be able to come to the talk in November which upsets me deeply. My work schedule simply does not permit. Will you be giving a talk next year and if so, do you know what the talk will be about?

  175. I have been on GAPS diet for almost four month. I believe the condition of my seborrheic dermatitis has improved. I still have ocasional flare ups, which could be related to die-off, environmental conditions like sun and wind, or, perhaps, something else. To heal the skin on my face, I treat it with diluted apple cider vinegar. I don’t use any soap on my face and it’s much better this way.

  176. Brown rice and sorghum causes psoriasis on my elbows within hours. Corn to a lesser extent. I’m guessing my receding gums were related to this as well. FWIW, my gums no longer receding. No obvious skin reactions from wheat, though. Prolong exposure to gluten causes arthritic pain in my fingers.

    I think raw tomatoes may cause some issues for me as well. But, there may have been confounders the last time it happened. Not worth verifying at this point.

  177. I suffered moderate acne from my late teens (it was especially bad when I was pregnant and after my daughter was born) until I went strict Paleo at age 34. I was 100% strict for only 1 month but it cleared up the acne on my face, and the red raised bumps that I always had on my upper arms. That was five years ago and since then I have followed Paleo eating with varying degrees of strictness/slackness. When I move further away from Paleo my skin starts to break out again. Dairy really affects my skin. Loren Cordain has a great e-book on Acne.

  178. Hi Chris, I have personal interested in this topic for many years as I suffered from a terrible “itchy arms” syndrome. During the summer of 2003 I noticed I had a little itchy spot on my arm, without realizing it I would scracth til it bled! Over a few years it advanced to cover the entire front of both arms, from the wrist to the tops of my shoulders. No where else on my body. At times it was almost unbearable, often I would awaken at night with bleeding sores. If the itching was mild I could control it with antihistime ointments, if it was persistent I could take one, then two oral antihistimines (benydrl). I went to dermatologies but refused the treatment of steriod creams. Once I found that I could get relief from Accupunture I started using that approach. This condition escalated over a period of 5 years with the worst year being 2008.

    Do a google search on “Itchy Arms” and stand back!!! WOW!!! With research I was able to eliminate all of the “usual” causes for having itchy arms. What was so odd was that it would onset in mid – late summer and resolve ON ITS OWN (??) at some point in the early winter (mid Nov – early Jan). So weird!! It would vanish almost over night!? I could not connect the itch directly to the sun but I do think there was some connection so I started using lots of sunscreen on my arms and keeping them well covered.

    When I finally found your website and began learning about the gut brain connection I had my first AHHA moment, it all started to make sense. I used to get stomach aches, gas and indigestion, and have loose stools often. After a lifetime of antibiotics and a convential diet, I was learning something very new!

    I began making MAJOR changes to our diet cause I discovered Dr. Weston Price and read his book. I began to think that I might heal! And I did heal —- Each year for the past 4 years the itch has diminished more and more. I did not itch at all this summer!! None, zero, zip!

    Starting in 2007:
    1. I have almost reach our goals of a GMO FREE 100% organic diet. 100% grass fed meat and dairy and pastured eggs (now from our chickens); ZERO industrial seed oils; We almost NEVER ever eat out. We still eat corn and gluten, but in small amnts and always properly prepared according to wise food traditions. Here are the other changes we have made:
    2. I have been making and consuming raw milk kefir and other naturally fermented foods daily daily.
    3. Supplements: FCLO/HVBO for the past 5 years. last falls began taking extra Carlsons Vitd3 (fall-spring) liquid minerals from Trace Elements, Dr. Rons Organ Delight 3 times a week in winter, Dr. Rons iodine supplement. Regular epsom salt baths late fall in to the spring, and I use Mag oil on my skin often.
    4. This year I started purposefully getting more sun from mid March til now – I come home at lunch time and work in my yard in a skimpy tank top and short shorts for 30 minutes to an hour (shower 1-2 a week). I used to use tons of sunscreens and covered my skin with clothing for many years. I still cover up after I get my daily dose of mid day sun, and use mineral sunscreen on my face and back of hands (California Babies).

    More good news –

    Illness: Both me and my husband used to get sick all the time!! at least once sometimes 2 or 3 times a year with some kind of bug and often taking antibiotics for some intracable cough or sore throat. The year we started making the above changes we were both sick multiple times and on antibiotics – me 2x jeff 3x that year! In the past 4 years Jeff has not been sick at all!! I’ve had one mild strep infection that cleared on its own last winter. We both used to take antibiotics for infections like bronchitis that would not clear on thier own (we live in a very cold snowy climate) Neither of us has taken antibitoics is 4 years.
    Lastly, my adult acne has improved greatly, I used to get lots of small comodons and black heads, and i now enjoy excellent bowel health, no indigestion, no gas or bloating, an occassional loose stool.

    This is a long post but I want to point out that I have healed immensely since adopting this approach to diet AND QUICKLY!! Esp. adding naturally fermented foods, eliminating all GMO foods, 100% grass fed meat, and taking our FCLO/HVBO!!

  179. I’ve had acne since a teenager, not bad but at least a couple every day of my life for the last 12 years or so, kind of embarrassing as a 28 year old. I switched to Paleo eating earlier this year and within a month my skin cleared up completely. It’s been about 5 months now and I’m a firm believer. We went on vacation and I indulged in a lot of breads and the like, and by the time the week was over I had a little pimple on my chin. Back to grain-free eating and back to clean skin!

  180. About a year ago, I discovered I’d been suffering from the parasite E. histrolytica. I was severely malnourished and underweight, and had leaky gut. Since ridding myself of the parasite, I’ve gained weight and am absorbing nutrients properly (I also still supplement with a high dose of probiotics). However, since I appear to have resolved my leaky gut, my skin has actually gotten worse! My forehead has had a permanently bumpy appearance for over a year, and my nose and chin often break out as well. I don’t have acne rosacea or a severe case of acne, but I am still frustrated. Is this a release of toxins I accumulated while suffering from the parasite? Or is it something else?

    • Julia, thanks for sharing your story. How did you determine you had this parasite, and what steps did you take to eliminate it?

      • Beth-

        I was misdiagnosed with Crohn’s disease over four years ago. The SCD diet (very similar to Paleo) really helped alleviate my digestive symptoms, but I was emaciated and could not keep on any weight. I discovered an organism of “unknown taxonomy” through a stool test a few years later. If you are in the NYC area, I highly recommend Dr. Cahill if you think you have a parasite; he is one of the top parasitologists in the country. After three weeks of antibiotics (yes, I know, not ideal, but I offset this with lots of probiotics), I finally began gaining weight! I started absorbing nutrients properly again. Parasites can be difficult to kill, and I don’t regret taking antibiotics.

        I guess I am still eliminating toxins I had stored up during the time I was infected. Not sure, though. Does anyone have any ideas as to why my skin is actually more prone to breakouts now that I’ve IMPROVED my gut function?

        • Possibly this: though the antibiotics killed the parasites and that improved your gut function overall, they also altered your intestinal microflora in such a way that is predisposing you to skin breakouts. It may be a question of rebuilding your gut post-antibiotic treatment.

          • That’s a good point, Chris. I actually supplemented the antibiotics with 1 packet of Probiotic 225 every day of medication (225 billion CFU a day). It’s been about a year since I went off medication, and I am still supplementing with 225 billion CFU every other day. Do you think my gut is still being rebuilt? I am 17, and my parents think my breakouts are just a “teen” issue. But I don’t think acne at any age should be considered normal.

            • Could that be due to an imbalance of the intestinal flora ? Maybe the problem is not a lack of the probiotic strains she is supplementing, and maybe they are even too much in her already, maybe she needs other strains and/or a better diet instead… Only speculating…

        • Diagnos-tech’s “Expanded upper GI panel” will name that “unknown” parasite. Dr Stuppy a parasite specialist here in Los Angeles believes that the stool tests that don’t name the parasite and list “unknown taxonomy” instead, are worthless.

          • I actually had a more comprehensive at examination with Dr. Cahill in NYC, who named the parasite E. histrolytica. He is one of the top parasitologists in the country, and I am parasite free now so I am not too concerned.

  181. I have had Hidradenitis supporativa for a couple decades. It got worse as my overall health worse. Didn’t improve when I went gluten-free (though many other symptoms did go away). Didn’t improve when I went paleo/primal (I still have a bit of dairy). Then, while reading one of Mark Sisson’s books, I came across a story about a woman with HS…but it didn’t mention whether or how she got rid of it. Fortunately, I found her blog and learned that she has been able to put her HS in remission by following a nightshade-free diet. Of all that I’ve cut out of my diet, losing peppers and tomatoes has been the hardest, but I do notice that when I stick to it, I have no new breakouts and when I cheat, I have a break out within 24 hours.

    • Thanks for the info. If you don’t mind my asking, how long has it been since you cut out the nightshade? Are you still doing paleo-style, or just no nightshades?

    • Hey Alex – There are lots and lots of articles discussing the gut-skin-brain connection in the medical literature. Celiac, Crohn’s disease, and Ulcerative colitis (GI autoimmune diseases) all have widely characterized skin manifestations that are taught to every medical student in the world and each of these entities have associated neurologic disorders (headache, seizures, neuropathy, depression, etc). This is a well-established phenomenon. Just do a or more thorough google search and you’ll see that the “gutflora” site was not first posting on this. It’s been described in medical books for > 50 years. Chris does a great job though of digesting this information and sharing it to a broader audience. I think many doctors don’t emphasize the skin findings as much as they should because for people with gastrointestinal or neurologic diseases following a subtle skin rash can be a great way of self-monitoring their disease state. Looking at a rash improve with favorable dietary changes provides positive reinforcement and can help people adhere to a diet who have GI or neurologic/brain symptoms that improve only in a delayed manner. Cheers, Brittany

  182. Hi, Chris,

    Great article. I’ve learned so much from you.

    What type or brand of probiotics would you recommend?


    • I like Therbiotic Complete from Klaire Labs, VSL #3 and Jarro-Dophilus (for those who need a shelf stable option).

  183. I hope one day you’ll come to Sydney, Australia to give a talk.
    My face used to be red and blotchy but is now clear because I’ve stopped eating nuts.

  184. that’s so interesting! i’m 13 and i use these prescribed facial creams given to me by my dermatologist, however i came across your article when my dad showed it to me and i wanted to know exactly what foods i should eat and which i should avoid to get rid of my acne (i’m vegan so i don’t drink or eat any eggs, milk, cheeses etc) also, if acne is caused by the gut, then how come my prescribed creams are working? finally, i’d also like to know when i’d start noticing changes? thank you 🙂
    p.s. sorry if my questions were already mentioned in your article its just that i’d like clearer information on it.

  185. Hello Chris, as always, great article.

    What do you think about kombucha as a source of probiotics (to treat blemishes) for someone who prefers not to eat dairy? Or is dairy the best probiotic option? Should I be concerned about the sugar (in kombucha)?

    Thank you kindly,

  186. Hi Chris- I have been doing paleo on and off for the last nine months. I use to also get acne and notice when I consume dairy, I tend to have more acne. One thing I had experienced, and wonder if you could speak about this, is when I consistently went paleo and cut sugar for two weeks or more I experienced increase itchiness, small bumps and what my doc explained was contact dermatitis on my chest, hands and feet. It was a scary experience for me, and initially wondered if it had something to do with my diet changes. I thought, maybe the toxicity is getting out of my body. The first time this occurred, I took medication and it lasted for a month. It has not occurred since that time, but I realized I go on and off paleo in fear it may occur again. Have you known anyone who has had this experience? Do you think this may have been related to my diet? Is doing paleo on and off harming me more than helping me? Any recommendations? Thank you so much for the education you provide!

  187. I’ve been on Paleo for over 6 months now and I must say that bad skin on my shoulders significantly improved. I get a pimple or two during my period time. I also wanted to say that I had been struggling with bad skin on my shoulders for almost 20 years. It had started when I was 14 and stopped after being on Paleo for only 4 weeks.
    What’s even more interesting for me is my eyes are getting better, too. I’ve had miopia since I was 6. It’s a pretty bad case because my left eye is -7 and the right one -6.5. I’m not saying that my contacts are too stong (not yet , but I hope they will be 🙂 )but sth really positive is going on with them . I’ve never experienced such clear vision before. Is there anybody that that could share the same experience with me? Is it possible that my eyesight will improve?

    • The autoimmune protocol, from a Paleo perspective, can be found on many sites. I have referenced most often for my own education. Click on the link “Autoimmunity” and you will see several articles.

  188. I’ve always had soft and fairly blemish-free skin, even when I was a teenager. I got a gift of a facial once and the woman who worked on my face said I had great skin and great pores and that I was blessed because I’d never had a facial in my life and didn’t really need the one I got. I’m 58 now and younger women envy the smooth softness of my skin. If gut problems and skin problems are related, can I think that my gut’s in good shape based on my skin?

  189. I had what was diagnosed as severe rosacea that triggered by exposure to sunlight. I would get red patches on face and arms, that would itch a little and go away on their own after 5 to 6 days.
    I went Primal two and half years ago. This condition simply went away in about six months.
    Recently, I went on a cruise to the southern Caribbean, nothing happened for the first 3 days, despite eating a bit poorly. On the 4th day, I had some local food from a beach shack, and I had a severe reaction on my arms, not face. I have since returned, went back to my eating habits and it has completely gone without any medical intervention.

  190. I had a small single patch of eczema on my elbow for 5 years before I developed GI symptoms, was treated with antibiotics for SIBO, got worse on antibiotics and eventually was diagnosed with “Idiopathic malaborption.” Nonetheless, I suspect that I have an autoimmune process/inflammation, like celiac. I started SCD-Paleo-GAPS and my eczema disappeared x 2 years by narrowing my diet to veggies and meats (no dairy, no nuts, no fruit, no grains, no sugar, no nightshades, no coconut), but despite these changes, I’ve still had GI symptoms all along. I now have lots of work stress and despite adhering to my ridiculous diet, my GI symptoms are worse and my elbow eczema is back for the first time! I wish I could break this “vicious cycle.” 😉 It is nice to hear about everyone else’s experience and glad I’m not only one with the gut-skin autoimmunity. Thanks to Chris Kresser for this forum and great dialogue.

  191. I’m not precisely what in the paleo approach has ‘cured’ me, but after 7 years of chronic hives, 2 years of alopecia and 12 years of psoriasis and bouts of rosacea, I am now skin disease free. I eat primal rather than paleo, and I heavily supplement with probiotics. I don’t care which specific alteration, whether its grain elimination or the probiotic supplementation taking care of the SIBO, or a combination of both. I don’t care. It’s worked, where every single other approach from immunologists, or endocrinologists, or general practicikners couldn’t solve, despite their best efforts. There is definitely a gut, skin axis…now I just need the brain to kick into action 🙂

  192. I have been on a strict diet ( meat, fish, eggs, shellfish, vegetables, fruit, water ) for 6 years and my eczema ( which I have suffered from since a baby had gone ). However I do believe the effect of stress on the nervous system has a very important part in skin problems. Due to the fact that I have high levels of anxiety at the moment my skin has broken out in dry, red, itchy patches particularly on my face, hands and legs. What helps me the most is calming the nervous system with meditation / yoga.

  193. Thank you for the information. I’m 52 and had what appeared to be normal teenage acne for most of my life. After discovering I was pre-diabetic and a change to a low carb diet, I realized, my skin was clearing up. What a bonus!!! After a couple of years my teenage sons who also suffered from horrible acne, also decided to make the change to a primal lifestyle. They too happily lost weight and their skin cleared up. I was at the grocery a few days ago and the clerk commented on one of my son’s weight loss. But she was really blown away by how beautiful his skin is now. We dont’ have a huge amount of probiotics in our diet. But we are grain free and kimchee is always in my fridge. We love experimenting with new things.

  194. Hello Chris, all the way from Australia!
    Firstly, I value greatly your posts as someone who is incredibly interested in wholistic healing. in light of your post, I thought you would like to know about my 22 year old daughter who has had type 1 diabetes for 11 years now and I am moved to write to you after reading this amazing post. She has necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum which is typical to diabetes. Considering the amount of sugar sadly that she must consume, this makes so much sense. Thought you may like to know about the condition to help your research just in case you hadn’t heard of it. It is still rare even in the diabetic community.

    Thank-you for all you do. Kind regards from Di in Melbourne.

  195. I have struggled with acne all of my life (now in my late 20’s) and have tried everything from Proactive, Cetaphil, Clinique (you name it for over the counter cleansers and moisturizers) as well as prescription topicals and pills. Nothing has consistently worked for me. I have been eating Paleo/Primal now for about 8 months and have seen a slight improvement (although I am not always perfect with my eating). I started taking probiotics a little over a month ago, along with Vitamin D + Calcium, and I have seen a huge improvement! My skin is almost completely clear now and I seriously think the probiotics have made all the difference. I was on prescription antibiotics for years (way too long!) for my acne which I’m sure completely screwed up my gut flora. I think doctors need to start recommending probiotics as treatment for acne.

  196. I have been following paleo somewhat for about 6 months now and recently decided to get more strict with the Whole30. I am 40 years old and have lots of brown spots as well as the vitiligo which I absolutely hate and have been to a dermatologist for as we’ll as used creams for but nothing worked. However, I noticed that the brown spots are peeling off now. I would love to attribute this to Paleo and share with my friends that suffer from the same thing if it truly is making a positive impact like this.I have not noticed a difference in the white spots but really have looked at them too much. Perhaps after the whole30 I will notice something or is it even possible for them to go away?

  197. Chris,

    On the topic of gut health, I have a quick question about HCL supplementation. When I use HCL capsules I get a sensation of heaviness and discomfort. Could this mean that my stomach lining is damaged and the HCL is irritating it. I’d hate to stop using it because it does seem to alleviate my heartburn quite a bit. I’m also currently drinking bone broth daily to help rebuild the gut lining.

    Thanks very much, Chris. I appreciate all the helpful advice you have provided.

  198. Thank you for this article. I look forward to your session at the WAPF conference. As someone who has healed chronic hives by healing the gut, I know first hand the lack of information out there about the connection between skin and the gut, so I was so happy to see this article! It is amazing how the body, and the skin heals when you begin by healing the gut. Again – thanks!

    • Kerri,

      I am trying to do the same at the moment, though its only been months so far rather than years. I don’t suppose you might have any pointers. At the moment I am actually speculating that probiotics are actually the cause, but wondering if it could be because of a leaky gut. I recently gave in and went to a ND on my own dollar and am awaiting some test results for more ideas. The short of it is it started after I stopped a 8 day raw milk fast. No troubles while on the fast. I think colostrum is helping. Tried no grains, no sugar, no fruit for over a month. Had one dose of coconut kefir the other night and had the hives come back stronger again.

      Would love to hear form Chris too if possible. Thanks!

  199. So many of the comments and stories sound just like mine! I have had skin Rashes and skin irritations with No DIAGNOSIS for years! Along with all Skin biopsies and steroid creams, nothing got rid of this until I was gluten free and taking probiotics. I know when I have eaten gluten because within a few days I will have rashes on my elbows.
    Thank you for all the informative education you share and can’t wait to purchase your baby code!

    • “I know when I have eaten gluten because within a few days I will have rashes on my elbows.” Wow, this is me exactly; it’s comforting finding others in the same boat (though I’m sorry you have it too – damn it’s an ITCHY boat huh?).

      I *wish * I had known this years ago, when mine first started. All those years of damage from a gluten-filled diet, without a clue it could be connected to the rash. It’s so good to see the information disseminating, and knowing the others that will be helped.

  200. I’ve actually been blogging a little bit about my Paleo-and-skin journey has been going at I’ve been suffering from several forms of acne since I hit puberty, and it became violently worse when I transitioned from a high protein/low fat bodybuilding regimen to a vegan diet last year.

    I’ve been eating “Paleo” since May, and, while things have improved significantly, my skin is still a mess. I saw the greatest improvement when I was eating Paleo but using estradiol to make up for the fact that I’ve had vegan-induced secondary amenorrhea (I’m blaming veganism, because I’m at normal body fat, and no longer do high intensity exercise OR steady state cardio–yoga works for me!) I was taking the estradiol to compensate for low estrogen and slightly low T3…but I hate the idea of putting anything synthetic into my body. Of course, the second I stopped taking the drug, my old skin problems flared.

    I’m eating all the right things–bone broth, liver, egg yolks, raw sauerkraut and kombucha (not at the same time), coconut, etc., etc. and avoiding excess sugars–even from fruit. At this point, I don’t even know what to do to help regulate the ol’ hormones, fix my gut, and get my skin to give me a break.

    Anyone have any thoughts? (Also, I’m trying the oil cleansing method, and it’s is making things EXPONENTIALLY worse, although I’m going to stick with it for another week or so and see if things get any better…)

    • Interesting, my high intensity workout was slowly killing me. Here I thought I was doing a good thing. It started with sweating out all my water soluble vitamins and mineral and not replacing them at the volume I was losing them and then not having the appropriate amount of proteins especially BCAA’s in order to repair the musculature in a timely fashion before I was at it breaking it down again. I’m wondering if you have lingering protein deficiencies brought on by all that high intensity workout you did.

      High dose Branch Chain Amino Acids (10 grams) taken with P5P before and after a workout and then again before bed has restored me to my old self. You may have over trained until your body couldn’t handle it anymore like I did and then taking away the biggest source of BCAA’s with the vegan diet. Perhaps try high dose BCAA’s for a month since you may have lingering deficiency, see how it effects you and your skin. Sometimes when we think we are fixing a problem we are actually making it worse especially when we start these exclusionary diets… I was red meat free for years not good when muscle is being broken down daily.

      Studies show that estrogen Controls Branched-Chain Amino Acid Catabolism in Female Rats. Whether that works with women as well remains to be seen but meager stores of BCAA’s could be a reason your body is regulating your estrogen in order to spare them?

      • I’ll definitely look into that! When I was training for a fitness competition, I was eating a lot of lean meat and supplementing with BCAAs after the crazy workouts…but I stopped once I started the vegan-and-yoga thing.

        Thanks for sharing your experience!

      • Thanks, Allison–I’ll definitely investigate. I really want to heal my body, and i just couldn’t see the value of eating real food but then shoving manmade drugs down my throat afterward…

      • Thanks for the link!! I thought maybe I was just going crazy…It kills me that I can’t just do something and get the same amazing results as everyone else, but I guess that’s also sort of the beauty of being human, right?

  201. I am a RN that works with young infants. A fairly substantial number of infants on formula have digestive difficulties with it and a very high percentage of these kids also have skin problems. However, I was most interested in your article from a veterinary standpoint. After over a year of trying dozens of dog foods including hypoallergenic varieties, my pup was diagnosed with IBD. Also during this time we battled “hot spots” almost constantly and had a difficult to conquer skin staph infection. Thanks to a well informed vet tech, we put him on a full meat diet and both the digestive and skin issues were reduced by 90%! Is also on a low dose of Flagyl so am interested in the new drug for psoriasis – will ask my vet about the availability for dogs.

    • The trend toward infant formula is tragic with the consequences you mention being the tip of the iceberg with lifelong problems. I wish more people knew about the importance of breast feeding, the importance of the mom’s diet and gut flora, and the alternative of homemade formula using the Weston A. Price recipe and corresponding kit available from Radiant Life Catalog.

      • Susan, do you know about the fantastic new book called Super Nutrition for Babies, by Katherine Erlich, MD? It would be a life-changing book for your patients. It is rich with information, and it includes the homemade formula I mentioned.

  202. I have been doing the autoimmune protocol for a couple months and I am not surprised that my skin is the best it has ever been. Super soft and no more acne. I don’t wash or moisturize my face anymore with anything except occasional coconut oil. Its amazing! I am a firm believer that skin health reflects gut health.


  203. Did you hear this report on NPR the other day? Fascinating. They are linking acne with a surface bacteria, fight it with anti bacterial ointments, but of course the bacteria is becoming resistant, so they don’t know what to do! Now they are working on creating a virus that will break the membrane and thus destroy the bacteria. I would not even call myself a layman scientist, but this sounds very risky to me.

    The discussion in the comments section is interesting, too. Lots of ancestral nutrition/diet.

    • Topical probiotics have been shown to be useful in some studies, and I just heard a report recently (on NPR, in fact) on a study where researchers used a probiotic nasal spray to successfully treat sinusitis in mice.

  204. Thanks for this article Chris! I can definitely say that my gut and digestion have a big impact on my skin.

    I’ve had seborrheic dermatitis basically since infancy, acne since puberty, then developed gut problems at 20 (9 years ago). I learned to treat my gut issues with diet, and more recently, I figured out which paleo foods trigger acne – unfortunately they’re fruits, nuts, and dark chocolate. I’m trying to heal my gut barrier so I can someday re-introduce them!

    I still have the dermatitis and haven’t figured out what, (if any?) foods might contribute to that. Commenters – any ideas? I liked the cleansing with oil and honey idea above. I’ve had good short-term success with honey. I’ll have to try adding oil to my regime. Unfortunately the honey only works if I do it daily, which is a bummer when it comes to scalp dermatitis…

    • Bacon, mayonaise, chedar etc. cause my dermatitis to flare up. So I avoid those and all greasy food (anything that contains vegetable oil).

    • Hey, Chris. I’ve connected my seborrheic dermatitis with greasy food. So I avoid mayonaise, chedar, bacon and anything with vegetable oil.

  205. Chris-
    I know I have a bit of dysbiosis going on, and I have been eating homemade yogurt and fermented carrots with very slight improvement. However, when I have kefir, I *always* get some cystic acne. as well as constipation for a couple days. I don’t notice any signs of dairy intolerance with other forms of dairy. Could this be a bit of die-off from the kefir, or instead a sign I should lay off the kefir?

    • When I tried homemade raw-milk kefir for my IBS made from A1-beta casein milk, my issues always got worse including constipation. I don’t think the fermentation was enough to adequately break down the opioid in this type of casein. I had much better luck using kefir made from A2 sources like goat milk or Jersey milk.

      That said, only 1% of bacteria in fermented products makes it to the intestines assuming you have proper levels of stomach acid and if you don’t, you have bigger problems to deal with. So while I personally consume fermented foods and recommend them for most, I’m afraid you’re going to wait a long time before they resolve your issues, if ever. You will have to find a probiotic and prebiotic that works for you and some sort of antibacterial if you have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

    • It’s a tough call in that situation. I had severe reactions to kefir early on, but I chose to stick with it because I had confidence it would help me over the long term. I literally started out with 1 teaspoon a day, and it took me about 6-7 months to get to where I could tolerate 1/2 cup. Now I can drink as much as I want without any ill effects. If you’re willing to be this methodical about it, you could continue. Otherwise it might be best to remove it for a while.

      • Thanks for the reply! I live in Latvia, so I’m not sure if the kefir is a1 or a2 type, but kefir is definitely abundant here, so I might try a bit at a time and build up as you did. I’m taking ACV and HCL to help with the stomach acid issue (recovering longtime Prilosec user), and I will also try to eat the dairy apart from other meals to see if that helps. As far as probiotic supplements go, if they are taken around the same time bitter/ACV/HCl are taken, do you think this makes a difference in their effectiveness? I’ve read that increased acidity from ACV/HCl can clobber the bacteria from the pills, but it would seem that I need the extra acid to help digest them as well.

  206. I have been struggling with psoriasis for years. I went Paleo a few years ago and saw a dramatic 60% improvement. Went to see Chris (luckily, I’m very close by) and he put me on an immune system diet, just a few modifications of my existing paleo diet. My skin is at about 80-90% normal now. When I “cheat”, I see it within a few days.


  208. I thought the Small Intestine was packed with bacteria (both beneficial and opportunistic) and wonder why you say (see below) that it “should normally be sterile.”

    “A recent report indicated that small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), a condition involving inappropriate presence of bacteria in the small intestine (which should normally be sterile), is 10 times more prevalent in people with acne rosacea than in healthy controls, and that correction of SIBO in these individuals led to marked clinical improvement.”

      • True, but not sterile either. Commensal gut flora is not evenly distributed throughout our digestive tract. In the stomach and duodenum, the number of cells per gram of contents is much less than what is found in our colon. Here, commensal gut flora ranges from 10 to 1,000 cells per gram of contents.

        Further down the digestive tract, bacterial counts progressively increase reaching their highest counts in the colon where numbers range from between 10 to the power of 11 to 10 to the power of 12 cells per gram of contents.

        • Yes, I overstated the case with the word “sterile” (which I’ll change now). But the amount of bacteria in the stomach and duodenum is orders of magnitude smaller, as you pointed out.

          • Hi Chris,

            I hope you didn’t take my suggestion the wrong way. I just want people to understand how pivotal these gut microbes are to the health of the enterocytes lining the small intestine. While the state of our commensal colonic gut flora is very important, I feel it’s crucial to stress how the state of the friendly bacteria that reside in the small intestine is equally important. Without them proper digestion is impossible.

  209. One more thing..I have a white tongue which is I am guessing (no doctor has ever said anything to me about it), thrush or a candida overgrowth. I do crave sweet things over salty. I don’t drink sodas daily, but do drink them more than twice weekly. I don’t seem to digest beef very easily. I like eating vegetables and wish I could be a vegetarian or just eat fish–and don’t eat protein often enough–not even daily. When I am blocked up, I may eat one day and skip eating at all on the next.

  210. Hi Chris, love your work. Despite trying EVERYTHING, nothing ultimately has worked at clearing hormonal acne. Eliminating cooked dairy helped immensely, and I’m six months into raw (75%) vegetarian diet now (i was a mostly raw meat eater for well over a year before switching), which made no difference in acne but has other benefits. Low sugar, avoid grains, avoid all oils except cold pressed olive, organic produce, focus on greens, organic coffee enemas, filtered water, exercise 5-6 times a week, yadda yadda doing everything right but still. Break. Out. Have probioticked for months and months and months, eat fermented foods yet STILL. Started maca for a week on the advice of another vegetarian and two weeks after stopping am still recovering from one of the worst flare ups I’ve had in awhile. However, I am well aware of the likely damage from having taken a prophylactic antibiotic for over a decade for post-coital urinary tract infections, which finally seems to have been corrected by adjusting pH and taking MSM crystals to rebuild tissue. However, I’ve been dealing with acne since late teens (43 now), and while it’s better than ever, this latest setback is depressing. Maybe it’s just genetic damage? Both my grandmother and mother gestated with a heavy sugared diet and both have been overweight and diabetic for most of their lives and altho I was never overweight, I realized in my 30s that I was having symptoms of insulin resistance and made changes. I’m well-versed in alternative approaches and have had some success but not with this. Any advice?

  211. I might add that I am also insulin resistant and have been diagnosed with a fatty liver. I lost my gallbladder in an emergency surgery due to gallstones which I did not know were that bad. I have had hormonal problems including removal of an ovarian cyst. My feet and legs have nerve damage due to spinal surgery. I don’t know if the numbness and lack of feeling to the top layer of skin is due to this or to something else. I have very low energy. I am in post menopause and in my late 50’s. Thank you for your help and time taken to read this.

  212. I’ve been a pretty regular user of OXY 10(benzoyl peroxide) ever since my teens. I am now 61 years old. As a child I was on antibiotics frequently for chronic ear infections (probably actually due to dairy/food sensitivities/…);as a young woman for many years I fought UTIs almost never accompanied by positive urinalysis tests & again was frequently on antibiotics (probably UTIs caused again by inflammation due to food sensitivities + leaky gut). Up until menopause at age 55, I was able to keep my face break-outs under control, but since menopause my face has been a mess. Frequent break-outs with white heads & nothing seems to help, including heavy-duty prescription topicals from the dermatologist. I have been seeing a TCM/functional medicine specialist for 4-5 years. We’ve tried many TCM formulas, putting me on an insulin resistance diet (mostly protein & vegetables with limited carbohydrates). The I.R. diet has definitely made me feel better; probably PCOS involved, too — history of infertility, miscarriages, heavy body hair especially on face, but my face acne continues. My alternative health practitioner has of late had me tested for food sensitivities & for 4 months I have been on a fairly restrictive food rotation diet; after 6 months I will reintroduce foods I am sensitive to gradually. My alternative practitioner also now has me on aloe vera & L-glutamine — titrating up to bowel resistance & 400 mg./day. + probiotics on a rotation basis every evening(right now I take 2 capsules/day) + HCL Betaine(2-3 capsules with each meal). The acne break-outs are still occurring although maybe less frequently & less intensely? ——- Is it possible that my gut is so messed up/leaky that its going to take years to straighten it out &/OR is it possible that as I get older my hormones will even out & my skin will resolve?

  213. I have had Hashimoto’s thyroiditis since age 15 and been treated with synthroid for hypothyroidism. In my mid-twenties, I began to suffer from Raynaud’s disease in my hands and feet. At one point, the bottoms of my toes were blackened with blood that seemed to be drawn to the surface. The doctors were baffled and put me on a medication called Dibenzyline. This cleared it up after a while. But I have continued to suffer from the circulation problem. Several years ago, I started to develop vitiligo. The doctor has done nothing to treat me. In fact, I diagnosed myself–the internist did not identify it. My skin has been especially itchy lately (all over) and I have continued to suffer more hairloss. I gained much weight very quickly about 20 years ago and have been unable to lose it despite hardly eating. My stomach was very swollen for a long time. The food would not move through my intestines, always causing constipation. The blockage is compounded by scar tissue from three surgeries. I have developed acid reflux. Even eating and drinking liquids at the same meal is problematical if I have been constipated. I am unable to control my elimination function. I suffer from depression. I am so frustrated because I have been unable to solve my problems and receive no real help from the doctors. I have been to a nutritionist in the past and still not received adequate assistance for solving my gut health problems. Please help if you can make any suggestions. I am going to go to the links suggested above. I would be forever grateful for your assistance. Thanks.

    • I suffered for over 8 years with all those symptoms as well. Finally forced myself to try Armour because of all the good stories I’ve read online. Suddenly almost a decade of hypo symptoms gone in a few months despite trying synthyroid and Levoxyl with and without time release T3.

      Must be the T1, T2, T3 and T4 thats in Armour. Its been the final missing piece to restore my health. Depression, weight gain, constipation, dry itchy skin, circulation… all undertreated hypothyroid symptoms.

      • Thank you for your input. Are you taking any additional supplements, such as B12, Zinc, Vitamin D?
        Years ago, a doctor recommended added selenium to my diet also.

        I am really suffering so much with the gut problem. I don’t know what to eat because of the poor digestion. Food seems to sit in my gut and not move at all. Then I literally get backed up like a clogged pipe and can not eat with it coming up the other way because of the inability to move my bowels.

        Yes, I do suffer greatly from the brain fog and have been getting more hard spots on my skin.
        It sounds like the Paleo diet would be a good avenue to take. Years ago I was on the diet where meat was eaten primarily. It was before the South Beach and Atkin’s Diet. It was the Scarsdale Diet. I did lose weight with it successfully (but was not nearly as overweight as I am now). Also the Weight Watchers Diet worked in the past. But I feel like I need a change in my way of living..not just another diet. It is kind of like a chicken and the egg type of thing. Which came first? How are others coping with their diets and Hashimoto’s? Thanks again for this excellent forum.

  214. This was a great article. I have enjoyed almost flawless skin until I hit my 60’s. I have a large number of seborrheic keratosis spots showing up. Not to mention these red blood blisters as well as skin tags….it ain’t easy getting older! My dermatologist says this is the natural part of aging, and there is nothing I can do or stop doing to affect a change in my skin. I have not noticed my diet having any affect on my skin. I am gluten free and have been for several years. I had little to no beneficial bacteria for an unknown period which has been corrected. Any ideas?

  215. Absolutely – healing gut = healing skin! I’ve been eating Paleo for 10 months now. I saw some improvement farily quickly. However, the month that I committed to absolutely no dairy and went on a daily fiber supplement to really clean up my gut…that was the month it completely cleared up! Now I only take the fiber supplement when I don’t eat as well as I should (cheat).

  216. My sister is severely incapaciated by scleroderma and Renauds syndrome. Could her gut condition be influencing these diseases, the same as other skin conditions, or is she suffering purely from an autoimmune deficiency? I should be extremely grateful for your reply and any recommendations.

  217. Chris,

    Good post. I’ve been blogging on the link between leaky gut, endotoxemia and various health disorders on for the last month or so.

    There is one correction I would make to your post, however. While it is true that compared to the colon, the small intestine can be considered mostly sterile, it really isn’t completely devoid of bacteria. Lactobacillus species inhabit the lumen and the mucus layer mediating gut barrier function by regulating the growth and health of the enterocytes forming the villi as well as preventing the colonization of same with pathogens.

    As I explain in my post “The Gut-Brain Axis: How Endotoxemia and “Leaky Gut” Impact the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis” and, “Why Do I Feel So Blue? The Role of Endotoxemia and Leaky Gut in the Cause of Major Depression”, inflammation will affect adrenal function, alter tyryptophan and serotonin levels in the brain and increase inflammation in the liver and throughout the body. The skin, like insomnia, anxiety, depression, impaired glucose control, fatty liver—are all manifestations of this process.

    Before I cured myself of irritable bowel syndrome by resolving my small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), rosacea was a constant companion. Once my small intestinal dysbiosis went away, so too my skin issues. Giving up gluten grains, along with prebiotic/probiotic supplementation, was part of this whole process and also resolved acne outbreaks along with much else.

    As you know, gluten trashes the small intestine via its inflammatory effect on enterocytes, by increasing leaky gut via its effects on zonulin signaling and by predisposing to SIBO by impairing peristalsis through gluten opioid peptides and adenosine. As I wrote in part seven of my SIBO series, plant lectins like wheat germ agglutinin have a directly toxic effect on beneficial gram-positive bacteria like Lactobacillus leaving the gut open to colonization by gram-negative bacteria.

    It is therefore not at all surprising that so many of those commenting here have seen improvements in their skin when switching to a Paleo diet and supplementing with probiotics. Without proper gut barrier function health, both physical and mental, is impossible.

  218. Cool article Chris,

    For the longest time I believed diet had nothing to do with the skin (acne specifically). My doc would always tell me growing up… “It’s hereditary. It’s your hormones.” But I noticed it would flare up the worst 3-4 days after my overindulgence of pasteurized milk or sugary foods. I don’t break out like I did in my teens, but I certainly don’t eat the same way. No doubt in my mind now that those morning and evening bowls of lucky charms and all the junk food messed with my skin.

    What’s the explanation for why the breakouts are the worst during young adulthood?

  219. Unfortunately, since I started eating Paleo 3 or 4 months ago, my skin has gotten worse. 🙁 I have eliminated all gluten / grains and significantly reduced my sugar and eat very “clean”. I have struggled with seborrhea dermatitis all my life… and I have started a major flare up since starting this diet (had it under control for a couple of years). My acne has also gotten worse the last month or two. I drink homemade raw kefir daily, but it doesn’t seem to help. (note that I consumed pasteurized dairy before this diet and didn’t seem to have major issues- so I’m not sure if dairy is to blame for my flare-up) Everything else has improved health-wise (weight loss, more energy, etc)- just my skin has worsened- and my hair is falling out fairly rapidly. I do have a copper IUD that I’ve had for 4 1/2 years– I’m planning on getting it removed soon to see if there’s any improvement (perhaps a copper / zinc imbalance??). If that doesn’t help, then I’ll see a naturopath for possible allergy testing. One final thought is that I’m exercising quite a bit more regularly since I started the diet – which means more sweat, in hot/ humid Florida. So perhaps that’s contributing to my flare-ups as well. Love the Paleo diet- just hope I can get to the bottom of my skin issues soon. So frustrating!

    • Zinc is incredibly important in skin health. It’s fairly easy to get the copper:zinc testing, usually plasma zinc and serum copper are best (for some reason the tubes used for serum zinc alter the results, meaning plasma zinc is more reliable….according to doctors that specialise in treating this).

      Zinc is needed for 200+ bodily reactions so it is important to get it checked out if you suspect a problem.

      Good luck 🙂

    • Looked into why serum zinc levels are looked at with disfavour and found the answer on this site.

      Red blood cells contain 80% of the blood’s zinc so when the blood clots in the tube, some of the zinc is released into the serum, artificially elevating it by approx 16%. The samples that provide plasma for testing zinc levels don’t clot as fibrinogen is removed from the serum by the anticoagulant (in this case, lithium heparin).

      • ANY blood test where the tourniquet is left on while blood is being collected in tubes is suspect. This restriction of blood causes what is called hemo-concentration and will skew mineral level results.

        I can’t believe how many collection places will leave the darn thing on well into the second tube. I reach up and say “Ouch, that thing is pinching me” and pull it off as soon as I see blood flow.


          • But this tourniquet thing is so prevalent. I mean doctors don’t even know correct procedure most of the time. I do a red blood cell mineral analysis every 6 months or so to spot and cure deficiencies and I rely on the accuracy of that test. I eat better than anyone I know and I still come up with weird deficiencies.

            • That must be frustrating not being able to rely on your test results. Doctors don’t know that much about phlebotomy. Best to get a qualified phlebotomist to do it – each to their own after all. Probably worthwhile finding some experienced and intelligent full-time phlebotomist you can explain your concerns to and making sure they always do your tests from the same site under the same conditions at the same time of day and in with you in the same posture e.g. recumbant versus sitting and ensuring they allow the skin prep to fully dry.

              Here’s a study saying there is less haemoconcentration if the blood is obtained distally as opposed to the cubital fossa and surprisingly, releasing the tourniquet once the flow is establish fails to prevent haemoconcentration from skewing results.

    • Trudy, I had similar problems. I think it’s the raw kefir. I never had any problems with pasteurized yoghurt or kefir either, but for some reason raw dairy makes my skin and hormones go insane. I tried a few times to incorporate it into my diet because everyone talks about how great it is, and I felt lucky to even be able to get raw dairy, but it’s like poison for my body. Everyone I ever asked about it says that there simply is no information out there about raw dairy and it’s effects. My theory is that pasteurization somehow denatures the hormones and proteins so that they become more digestible. After all, cooking meat denatures the proteins so that they can be digested more easily, why should it be different with milk? In any case, I’ve cut out dairy altogether, and my hormones went back to normal. Also, if your hair is falling out, it might be because you are going too low carb. My hair started to fall out too, and I was feeling stressed all the time for no reason, and it was because my adrenals were burned out from thinking that I was starving for so long. I’ve heard a lot of women had the same effect. For some reason, I think women need more carbs than men. Also, your seborrhea is definitely going to flare up in hot humidity. Have you eliminated alcohol? That aggravates it a lot. I’ve also struggled with seborrhea for years. I didn’t drink for a few months, and it kind of went dormant, and then when I started drinking again, it would flare up and itch a lot. Drying soap also irritates it, even the natural stuff. Try oil cleansing instead. That made a huge difference for me. If you don’t want to feel too oily, then put the oil on before you get in the shower, and let the water rinse off the excess. Once you towel dry, you won’t feel oily at all. Your skin just soaks it all up.

  220. I’m female, 51. I began having acne when I was 11 years old. I first got sick in about 1989 with CFS-type symptoms. 4 years ago I was diagnosed with Sjogren’s, Hashimoto’s and Fibromyalgia. I now have a super great progressive ND (Dr. Werner Vosloo) at the Chronicity and Restorative Health Clinic in Lake Oswego. Unfortunately, a lot of damage has already been done. My diet consists mostly of meat and veggies, but my body still doesn’t absorb protein well; I’m still very weak and my muscle tone is all but gone, even though I actually feel better than I have for some time (thanks to Dr. Vosloo). I believe through reading your articles and other research that leaky gut has played a large part in my illness from the very beginning. I wonder if you think that I could actually be truly healed by treating what I believe to be leaky gut – and for how many years would I have strictly follow a leaky-gut diet?

    • Hi Jodie
      If you have three autoimmune diseases, diet change is a lifetime change that you need to be considering. Otherwise, if you start eating the inflammatory foods again, you will just go back to where you start from. It’s daunting, but sometimes big changes are the only way to go.
      Best wishes,

      • Thank you Allison. I should have also mentioned that I can’t hold any water in my body. I drink salt water 2-3 times per day in order to be able to drink a glass of water and hold it in. I guess at this point this could be from a number of things, but I’m wondering if leaky gut has something to do with it. I know that low adrenal function plays a part.

  221. Call it leaky skin syndrome if you’d like but what it really is is OPEN PORES. I had gut dysfunction for half my life because of undiagnosed food allergies and the havoc it wrought…. gut inflammation, bacterial flora imbalances and nutritional deficiencies. The worse I felt the worse my adult acne was. I could not get anything on my face even other peoples facial oils from a phone handset or else I’d break out.

    The greatest discovery I stumbled across was one of those BODY WATER SENSING SCALES. I bought one primarily to track my body fat which is what it is its main function. The BODY WATER feature is a throw away feature listed on the box. When I got on that and the results showed drastically low intracellular body water levels I was skeptical but kept my eye on it. When I felt my worst the scale showed even lower levels of body water. When I felt good and had a glow (which was rare) I was high in body water.

    I could clearly see that when I was hydrated that the skin was plump and the pores looked diminished because the surface of the skin was engorged with water. The light reflected of the surface of my skin differently because it was smoother. When I was feeling ill the pores were open simply because the water wasn’t in the cells as it should be and the facial skin sagged and looked rough.

    This is how I discovered how disrupted my electrolytes were because of the gut inflammation that I’d had for so long. Drinking loads of water did nothing and probably made things worse by diluting already low electrolytes. I finally experimented and took high dose magnesium glycinate, potassium and some sodium and sat in a sauna for a short time. I came out and looked in the mirror and amazingly the pores had fully closed and had expelled their contents! I had hundreds of tiny white dots all over my face that smeared when I touched them.

    The scale confirmed that water had drastically shifted from outside the cells INTO the cells. Body water shifted from 51% percent to near normal 60% in under an hour.

    I can’t stress enough the importance of keeping an eye on electrolytes if you are dealing with gut dysfunction… and the importance of owning one of these less than $50 body water sensing scales (I’ve had 2 different brands and both worked great). There are tools out there that will illuminate the mystery of what exactly your body is doing to deal with imbalances… you just have to seek them out. It will save your skin while you deal with the healing of your gut!


    • Fallpinn…

      I suffer from dehydration. I am under the careful care of a good naturopath in Lake Oswego, Oregon, and he tries to keep me hydrated with IV fluids. Unfortunately, it’s not long before the water is out of my body. I drink saltwater 2-3 times per day, but I don’t think I’m taking magnesium right now (just everything else under the sun). It’s VERY difficult to keep a glass of water in my veins. Where do I purchase a Body Water Sensing Scale? And do you have any tips? Thank you.

      • Costco has a nice one. and you can find one by Soehnle online for about the same price.

        Drinking saltwater so often is not a good idea. You are throwing off all the other electrolytes that allow the water to actually enter the cells and stay there. Excessive sodium drastically lowers your magnesium levels and when that happens potassium falls as well. You end up with an imbalance of all the 3 electrolytes you need for the “sodium/potassium pump” of cells to operate efficiently. This active transport mechanism allows water into your cells. Magnesium provides the ATP… or cellular energy to run this cellular ‘pump’. Here’s a little animation of how fluid enters and stays in the cells. Press play.

        What I did was got LOW SODIUM V8 juice which is loaded with potassium. One glass is almost 25% of the RDA. First get the scale and see what your baseline body water is… if you’re like me I was about 50% body water. It should be about 60%.

        You can start by experimenting with drinking a few glasses of V8 and dosing with a high quality magnesium like Magnesium Glycinate… you may be taking Mag oxide in a multi but this oxide form is almost totally un-absorbable. I started with 600mg of magnesium and 3 servings of V8 and gave it an hour and saw my body water had shifted dramatically into the cells… which is what this cheap little scale is measuring amazingly enough. My muscle tone changed and my face filled up instead of sagged… it was amazing.

        My cells were starved for magnesium and every time I took it the scales body water level reacted favorably. My doctor was amazed at my self diagnosis with the use of this scale. He gave me magnesium IV’s for a short time and I keep up with V8 juice…. but this chronic dehydration is over.

        Try it and see what the right combination of electrolytes is for you. I would stop this salt gulping while you are doing this…just use it normally. I really believe you’ll be able to teach your doctor a little something about hydration at a cellular level and how useful this type of scale really is!

        What type of thyroid hormone are you on?

        • Thank you Fallpinn…

          I will try the magnesium, although I’ve taken it for years in the past. I have a concern with starting a regimen of V-8 because of tomatoes being in the ‘nightshade’ family…isn’t that on the list of Paleo no-no’s? I really appreciate your input; when I think about my water situation I realize how serious it is. I’ve just lived with it for so long it’s a part of my life. I also remember reading somewhere that people with CFS shouldn’t take potassium, but I can’t remember the reason why. If your formula helps me hydrate, I’m all for it. Thank you again!

          • There are many types of magnesium all with varying amounts of absorbability… so a low as 10%. Magnesium Glycinate and a powdered mix called “natural calm” works best for me. Skip the V8 and take potassium supplements but remember that although potassium may be listed at 99mg on the bottle that is only 3% of the RDA of potassium. You’ll have to take 23 potassium pills to equal the amount of potassium in 3 eight once glasses of low sodium V8 juice… you’ll still be 10 pills short of making the RDA. You could instead eat a few bananas to make up the short fall. The scale is the what will tell you what works best.

            When I got dehydrated my PH would go extremely acidic which is a perfect situation for disease to take hold… so yes, a very serious situation.

        • BTW… I once was given a prescription for potassium, but it made me feel terrible ( off balance, and like I was drunk or something).

          My thyroid is carefully monitored regularly. I am currently taking T3/T4 (30/20) compounded for me at a compounding pharmacy, plus 5 mcg of Cytomel.

          • If your dehydration has something to do with all this salt driving down your magnesium… since magnesium and potassium go hand in hand…. replacing potassium alone doesn’t help people who are also magnesium deficient. Without enough magnesium, the body is unable to metabolize potassium and deliver it to the cells.

            In your case taking high dose potassium without magnesium may have highlighted a possible existing magnesium deficiency. Some websites say that magnesium deficiency can cause light headedness, dizziness and numbness.

            Good luck

    • Hi Fallpinn:

      Thank you so much for forwarding the Groupon to me. I was JUST getting ready to order the hydration monitoring scale (what a great price), when I thought I should check the scale I bought at Walmart 2 years ago for $35. My scale actually tracks hydration…yay! I never knew…I’m so glad I found your post. My hydration level is @ 53%. I’m going to go back and start taking my potassium again, along with magnesium glycinate and see what happens. I’m also going to start drinking alkaline water (Kangen) in a week or two. Thanks again…

  222. YES! Through trial and error, the elimination of dairy, gluten, nuts and bananas (go figure?) have helped with my cystic acne tremendously and certainly more so than any conventional treatment I have tried over the past 26 years. I will say, though, it took a good year after the elimination of gluten before I started to see real results.

    I’ve been on probiotics for at least a decade, but I do wish there was more information out there about which products are most beneficial. The market is flooded now, and I suspect a lot of the products are junk.

  223. As I am sure everybody here knows, there are probably a gazillion probiotics out there. Can anyone recommend a good one? I have been eating low-carb for over two years now, and asthma and skin problems have not improved. I only drink raw milk, buy pastured eggs, and try to eat as healthy as I can. Maybe I need a probiotic.

    P.S. who is Dr. K?

    • Dr. K is Dr. Kharrazian and he wrote Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests are Normal. His site is I have been hypothyroid/Hashi for nine years and just recently read this book. It has truly opened my eyes and will hopefully lead to healing!

  224. Chris, I am a type one diabetic and have been Paleo for the last 3 months. I notice my skin is worse when I get blood sugar swings, I take a probiotic by Custom Probiotics with 50 billion microorganisms/capsule. Is there one in particular or a strength you recommend? Thank you for this great article.

  225. My 1 1/2 yr son got got excema really bad a t the beginning of summer. All summer long it got worse. I remembered when he was an infant he ate egg yolks three separate times and each time vomited until there was nothing left to vomit and was very lethargic afterwords. So, we did not give him eggs until about the beginning of the summer. he ate them in baked goods and pancakes though. He has always had dry skin. Finally, at the end of August I eliminated wheat and eggs(I have a wheat allergy). We also did start giving him raw probiotics. His excema is almost gone. he still has really dry skin. He still has little flair ups of excema. Oh, ans after 5 1/2 weeks of being egg free we gave him eggs for two days to see what would happen and he got read and starting itching again. So, no eggs. I am wanting to have him allergy tested for all major allergens. What type of test would you recommend and why? I just want to know what I can safely feed him. I have also considered raw dairy. We use it sometimes…

    • Hi Amy

      Is your son reacting to the egg yolk or the whites?
      Or have you been feeding him the whole egg?
      I particularly react to the egg white portion but not so with the yolk.

  226. When I jumped back on the Atkins bandwagon (for the umpteenth time) in August, I discovered that after 1.5 months my longstanding foot fungus was gone. I was shocked, it was so bad that I used Lotrimin Ultra as my regular foot lotion. Up until reading this I attributed the fungus going away to being in deep ketosis (didn’t really believe it because that never happened before but I had no other explanation). Now I think it’s the probiotic that I’m taking, which I started taking when I changed my eating. I’d never taken a probiotic before but I usually up my vitamins when I’m low carbing and decided to add this to the mix. Now I’m thrilled to know exactly what has cleared up my feet!

  227. I am on a ketogenic diet for about half a year, and have started to make & drink home made kefir about two weeks ago (thanks for your great kefir article!). Unfortunately so far this has not solved any of my skin problems. I always get a big rash when winter is coming, and the doctor subscribes me cortisone and antibiotic cream. I am sick of treating it with cortisone, the skin improves for a few days and than the rash is back as soon as I stop. Now I apply plenty of coconut oil and just wait it out until its over again 🙁

  228. I have been following a Paleo diet for a year and a half and I am so sorry to say, but my acne has worsened. Not only do I have it on my face, but also my back and shoulders. I am 32 years old and have had acne since I was a teenager, but I had hoped that I wouldn’t be dealing with it to such an extent at my age. I am beyond frustrated because I was hoping my acne would improve on this diet, but instead it has gotten worse. Any ideas as to why? I also have Hashimoto’s and am currently seeking the help of a functional medicine doctor, but we are in the early stages.

    • Very likely something you are eating more of now that is exacerbating acne. I like to remind my patients that just because a food is on the Paleo diet, doesn’t mean it’s safe for them. What are you eating significantly more of since you switched to Paleo?

      • I am eating significantly more vegetables and meat, most likely. I have just started the autoimmune protocol. Until this point, I had been comsuming nightshades regularly, nuts and seeds, coffee, alcohol, and eggs. I also went from consuming no coconut products, to using them very regularly in my diet. Could coconut be a factor?

        • Coconut is high in insoluble fiber, which can irritate an inflamed gut. So that’s a possibility. Nightshades are another likely culprit, especially if you increased your consumption of them on the Paleo diet. Non-starchy vegetables have a lot of insoluble fiber, so eating a lot of them can cause the same issues as coconut can. Finally, if your stomach acid is low (which is very common), you may not be digesting protein very well and that could lead to skin issues.

          • Yes, I was reading about the insoluble fiber thing yesterday. I also have thought about low stomach acid. I have been suffering from numbness and tingling in my left hand and left food for eight months now. I have had MRI’s, CT scans, and many blood tests by traditional doctors looking for a cause for the numbness. I read about low B12 causing this symptom, even though my B12 levels were “normal” on a conventional blook test. Could there be a stomach acid/B12 connection to this? I meet with my functional medicine doctor on Tuesday to go over the results of all my testing, so I am anxious so see what is revealed.

            • Sarah – This sounds like the beginning of peripheral neuropathy which I know a lot about. I’ve had it for 18 months now, but am healing. I think mine was caused by gluten intolerance, which lead to a b12 deficiency (among other things and other vitamin deficiencies). You need to address this now before it gets really bad. My B12 levels were 400-500 range when this happened to me. Get yourself some b12 shots asap. They are cheaper on the web than from the pharmacy with an rx from my doctor.

              Make sure you’re not getting any hidden gluten. Do you have any tremors, muscle spasms, memory problems? Read the book “Could It Be B12?”

              • Hi Laurel,

                Yes, my B12 is in the 400 range. My doctors have checked it three times while I have seen them with the numbness symptoms. At one point it was 700 when I was having symptoms, but the last two times it has been in the low 400 range. I do get fine tremors in my hands at times, a little bit of muscle twitching, and a lot of memory issues. I have finally gone to see a functional medicine doctor and go over all my test results on Tuesday. Hopefully, he will bring up the B12 piece and if not, I will ask him about it. Thanks so much!

                • It’s possible to have an active B12 deficiency and test normal on a serum B12 test. Ask your doctor to run a urinary methylmalonic acid (MMA) test. That’s a more accurate way of diagnosing B12 deficiency.

              • Not sure if I read it on this site but in Japan, a B12 result of less than 500 would be considered below range. Our lab does both serum and urinary MMA tests but the urinary sample alone is not acceptable as a test for B12 deficiency. The biochemist involved is a pal so I’ll ask her why that’s the case. Not happy with my B12 levels either and trying to eat liver once a week but the butcher’s is often closed by the time I get there after work. Gone GF as well (of course).

            • Hi Sarah… you sound a lot like me. Acne, Hypothyroid, strange prickles/numbness/tingles/pains in head and sometimes hands. Had all the same tests. I’ve been Paleo two years now and now know what triggers the acne for ME..which is dairy (but i do fine with butter) and coconut cream/manna/butter. I have no issues with coconut oil and can do smaller occasional amounts of coconut milk with no problems. The other thing that triggers it is higher carb loads.
              I’d been low carb on and off for years pre-paleo but mostly did it the wrong way with LC treats and proceesed foods.. When initiating Paleo it was low-carb and was the best thing that ever happened to me, and over time I added in the “safe starches” and all went well for awhile but eventually acne popped up more often, the head prickles/tingles & pains returned, gerd returned and I just didn’t feel as well as I once did. I contemplated the autoimmune protocol but thought I’d give the low carb a run first since it’s less restrictive and after eight weeks all the old symptoms have disapperared again and I haven’t had a pimple on my face since. I would never have considered myself metabolically deranged but I do believe too many carbs do something to my insulin levels that drive my hormones crazy. It’s just better when I limit them. I still eat the fruits and safe starches but portion it so I’m eating around 50gms/day.

            • Hi Sarah,

              Chris has an excellent article on B12 on this site.

              Also the book Could it be B12 is chock full of great info. Basically, the B12 serum test is incredibly misleading – the “normal” ranges need to be revised (they start too low) and also what is measured is actually a mix of different types of B12, not all of them are actually usable by the body.

              A better marker is urinary MMA and also holostranscobalamin.

              If you are already getting the tingling, you need to try to work this out pretty soon as it could be a sign of nerve damage as Laurel mentions.

              Just thought I’d mention that excess B6 (usally via supplementation) can cause the same issue and low sodium could be a culprit. Do you have any other low sodium symptoms like excess urination, low blood pressure or dizziness.

              Best wishes

              • Thank you for the info Allison! I am going to see my functional medicine doctor ob Tuesday and hopefully the B12 topic will come up. I didn’t know about the dangers of too much B6. I don’t supplement at all right now, so I doubt this is the case although I do have those symptoms minus the excess urination. I appreciate your help with this!!

                • Hi from Norway!
                  The tingling I had in my legs, arm and upper back, went away when I switched to paleo (No grains, no sugar/fructose, no dairy, no processed food). However, the numbness/tingling in my right leg did not go away util I quit coffee. Makes sense, since there is a cross reaction between coffee and gluten.

              • This pricklyness in hands and feet happens when I take magnesium. Is this because magnesium causes low blood pressure? Should I just eat more salt? I do actually crave salty foods alot.

                You mention nerve damage? I’ve had this off an on for years. I do also feel lightheaded from time to time. You say get this “all worked out” any suggestions? Or just take b12? Any suggestions for the best B12 sprays? I used to take b- complexes years ago. I stop because they made me feel an overstimulated “wired” and “racy”.

                • Potassium and magnesium go hand in hand. If you are deficient in magnesium then you will be deficient in potassium. Supplementing either one when deficient in both will highlight the deficiency of the missing mineral. Potassium deficiency will make hands tingle. Drink low sodium V8 juice… one 8 ounce glass has 480mg of potassium. Potassium pills are limited by law to 99mg and that is only 3% of the RDA.

                  At least with me the sodium craving was a result of being low in these 2 electrolytes and my body was just trying to keep water in any way it could. BTW… lightheadedness is a symptom of potassium deficiency.

                  Eating even more salt than you already are will make your situation even worse.

        • Hi Sarah, I actually found coffee to be a major acne trigger for me (which was sad because I loved coffee). Now I’m a tea drinker, but my skin is happier!

          • Thank you for all the replies and food for thought! I am hoping I am on the right path. I guess my frustration comes from the fact that besides the acne and being diagnosed Hashi, my strange symptoms didn’t come until after I started the Paleo diet. I knew I had Hashi’s but it really didn’t seem to ompact my life much. In June 2011, I began having strange symptoms such as tightening in my throat, TMJ symptoms, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, the numbness and tingling in my extremeties, brain fog, memory lapses, and most recently IBS symptoms (which have never in my life bothered me until Paleo). I also have this sporadic pressure on the left side of my upper abdomen right under my ribcage. Sometimes it extends along my side to my left shoulder blade. Doctors have put me through many tests only to tell me I am healthy and it is all in my head. They have told me I have anxiety and depression, which I do now because no one can tell me what is wrong with me!!! I am staying true to Paleo because I know it is what is best for my body and have started implementing the Autoimmune Protocol to see if this helps. I just can’t comprehend why cleaning up my diet has made me feel the worst I have felt in my life. I try to keep positive and educate myself as much as I can, but sometimes the symptoms are so severe I want to throw in the towel. I am hopeful, though, that my new doctor can lead me down a healing path.

            • Sarah…wow, the more you write the more I can relate except my problems were all pre-paleo to begin with and LC Paleo made them better. Adding in more carbs over time eventually caused so many symptoms to return. I had the sporatic pressure on the upper left side and had an MRI done to rule out speen issues. That was several years ago. I still get the pressure occasionally and from the research I’ve done I’m guessing it’s certain foods that are irritating to the area of the splenic flexure of the large intestines… where the transverse colon & descenting colon meet. ( part of IBS) . I’ve noticed for me that nuts are a prime suspect for this. And also a few days after I eat wheat this ALWAYS occurs for a day or two. I don’t eat wheat much but I do a few times a year on special occasions and a few days after I eat it I get that . I’ve had the nausea, dizziness, TMJ sensations, brain fog, memory lapses and anxiety and panic attacks. Not really any depression or fatigue though. At least part of the problem with the panic attacks was that my TSH had gone too low and my synthroid dose needed lowered. The panic attacks ended after that got adjusted but anxiety and everything else continued until i went LC paleo. I would guess there is something that is keeping you inflammed, messing with your insulin or other hormones. AIP is probably a really good way to go since Paleo per se hasn’t worked. I’d also recommend watching your carb content but at the same time making sure you are taking in enough calories (add Fat). Lowering carbs but not getting enough calories can mess with hormones too.

              • Thank you Shelley. Yes, it seems that our stories are very similar. I will start looking into Low Carb Paleo. I was feeling a bit better on AI Paleo until last night when my abdominal pressure was very bothersome and I had an IBS bout. One thing about the left-sided pressure is that it seems to calm down when I eat a little bit of something. Also, if I go too long without eating it really gets aggrivated. Did you ever find this to be true? I really appreciate you sharing your story with me…it really helps to know I am not alone.

            • Sarah, I’ve been put through all the tests over the past 5 years as well. I was experiencing fatigue, brain fog, tingling, and severe stomach inflammation all throughout my abdomen, but particularly in my upper left side of my abdomen right under my ribcage. All of my tests were normal and yet I felt horrible. Eventually I was told it was all in my head and stress related. Out of frustration I went to a naturopath for the first time and he immediately recommended I go gluten-free and cut out the main IBS culprits, which for me were alcohol, carbonated drinks (including kombucha), dark chocolate, and coffee, even decaf. Within 2 weeks my abdominal pain was gone. I am staying gluten-free because I did notice my acne improved significantly. However, it is when I try and reintroduce coffee and carbonated beverages even now that I stimulate the muscle spasms that bring back my abdominal pains. I have come to accept that I cannot do caffeine (including teas and chocolate) or carbonation because they all contribute to stimulating smooth muscle spasms. Lately, I have also begun dealing with new symptoms of extreme throat constriction and GERD constantly irritating my throat and making me feel like I’m on the verge of an asthma attack. This was after changing my diet to paleo and cutting out the stimulants. All of the specialists I’ve seen are once again telling me it is stress related. I did not think I was stressed, didn’t see it and kept denying it. However, over time, I have discovered that the only time I do not have these throat symptoms is when I go away on vacation and truly feel relaxed! I am now taking ashwaganda and drinking passion flower tea daily to try and approach all of my various muscle spasm issues from an anti-anxiety perspective. I do think there is something to it. Going gluten-free definitely helped my skin, though!

              • Thank you for sharing your story. It helps to know I am not alone. I have been on the Paleo auto-immune protocol for a couple of days, which cuts out all of the things you mentioned above. My abdominal pressure was better until last night, when I had an aggrivating episode of IBS. For some reason, when I eat a little bit, it seems to soothe the left-sided pressure, but if I let myself get too hungry it really gets irritated. Did you find this be true?

            • Sarah, you aren’t the only one who gets that weird pain in the upper right under the ribcage. It happens to me when I eat foods that don’t agree – dairy, legumes, starches, highly processed anything, and sugar. I had my gallbladder out a few years ago before I found paleo (no stones – it was hyperkinetic ) and I think if I had found paleo earlier I may not have had to go through that! I am seeing an endocrinologist next because unfortunately there are no functional medicine practitioners near me. If that doesn’t help I’ll have to figure out how to afford chinese medicine.

              For skin – If I cheat and eat foods that I know I shouldn’t have my skin flares up w/ weird acne like bumps, and it also happens if I get ‘glutened’. If I eat low carb, low starch, healthy foods w/o a lot of fat (aside from coconut oil – that is fine!) my skin is fine and my energy levels are where they are supposed to be. I’d also dealt with dandruff for years before going paleo but had always been too embarrassed to talk to anyone about it, and it went away. 🙂 The paleo AI protocol is what has helped me the most so I hope you find more answers with it!

              • Margaret,

                Thanks for your response! I am glad you have dialed in your diet and know what works for you. Yes, I do feel like the AI protocol is going to help me greatly. If you go to the site, you can find a practitioner in your area who has attended Dr. Kharrazian’s lectures. He wrote the book Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? Even if you don’t have thyroid issues, these practioners look into gut issues, adrenal issues, liver problems, etc. I am getting help for my leaky gut which has led to thyroid problems, malabsorption issues, liver issues, neurological problems, and more. I am just starting the process of additional diet changes and supplements, so hopefully I will see some positive changes. I hope you find some relief of your own!!!

            • I had gluten ataxia (my dx) with neuropathies and B12 deficiency (serum 90). I got better getting B12 shots (initially) and then sublinguals and going Paleo. Got even better when I went from cyano B12 to methyl B12 (thanks to Dr. Kresser’s post on B12). My neuropathy (and extreme fatigue, malaise, brain fog, dizziness, TMJ, incontinence etc.) comes back if I have any grains – including rice or GMO free corn tortilla chips, buckwheat pancakes, and to my surprise when I eat too many nuts or nut flour products. I’m currently monitoring too many starches for a cause as well. I too used to/do get pain under the rib cage and tightening of the throat – always when having wheat, buckwheat, and nut flour goods (but not nuts out of the hand). I likely have adrenal fatigue and maybe thyroid issues and finally accepted I have to go see a doc for some testing. But avoiding all grains and keeping nuts to a small amount eliminates my neuropathies.

              • Thank you Sandra! I just started the AI protocol about a week and a half ago and am feeling better. I am on some supplements for the B12 deficiency as well as for got repair. My neuropathy is pretty much gone. Have felt it on the tip of my middle finger a bit, but so much better than what it was. My brain fog has improved greatly. Thank you for the tips about other triggers for symptoms. I am beginning to suspect corn, nuts, and nut flours are triggers for me as well. I hope you have continued healing!

              • Hi …hope your well, I find your blogs very helpful 🙂

                I have been diagnosed hypothyroid but also adrenal insufficient.

                I also have to avoid gluten, yeast, sugar, moulds etc for candida..

                But also I have to eat very low fat or I have problems with distended belly, achey pain in belly, nausea, stools that stick to the loo and frothy…

                I even get the nausea from good fats like salmon..

                My skin lacks sebum I have to bath using olive oil otherwise uncomfortable and dehydrated…I also suffer from muscle spasm in my right cheek / mouth area which fluctuates all the time!!

                Do you think maybe I need a digestive enzyme like lipase? I’m concerned that maybe I’m not digesting fats I feel better when I have very tiny amounts of fat but think iam causing problems with vit a, e etc..

                I also have a problem with my eye especially the left one is dry all the time, irritated and lots of sleep in it all the time…

                I try and get plenty of veg in my diet but being gluten free allergic to nuts..and not having enough fat ..I’m concerned I have deficencies…

                I just wondered what you think ? I ve brought cod liver oil and taking that but what else can I do?

                Would the fat problem be related to hormones?

                I’ve also had a time in hospital with a adrenal crisis due to bad infection and my amylase was very high as if I have pancritis as if I was a drinker and I don’t drink !! .

                Thank you 🙂

              • Does this go for even nuts that are soaked ala WEston Price Foundations’ belief that in order to digest nuts they have to be soaked?

            • I felt bad for 3-4 months after going paleo. The symptoms I had 3-4 months into the diet change were so bad I thought I was going to die! These were withdrawal symptoms (which I did not know at the time). I had breathing difficulties, problems swollowing, depression, dizziness, abdominal pains, problems walking due to no energy etc etc. The doctors told me I was fine and that it was just all in my head…! I told them I had changed my diet, but they just didn’t care – “What’s diet got to do with it?!”
              Good luck, and be patient. It takes time to heal.

            • Hi, Sarah, I’m intrigued by how many similar symptoms I have to yours: TMJ, dizziness, fatigue, tingling in my shins (and Reynaud’s in my hands), brain fog, and memory lapses. I was diagnosed with celiac disease three years go and have been fairly painstakingly gluten-free since then. (I do eat out sometimes, but try to choose only restaurants that seem to be GF knowledgable.) I have found since going gluten-free that many of my symptoms have lessened, but not gone away. My skin is still dry, in spite of coconut oil and fish oil every day, along with a mix of ground hemp, chia and flax seeds (ground fresh and kept in the freezer). In particular, my facial skin seems to have gotten worse. I am 50 and I just saw pictures of myself in which I look dead if not already decaying. Ugh. I can’t help thinking that I’m not really at the bottom of this as far as diagnosis goes. Reading about everyone on the paleo diet makes me fear that I need to remove even more things from my diet. Oh, yes, and I’ve also introduced green tea and eight cups of water per day into my daily regimen over the past few months. It seems to have helped my mood and focus somewhat, but not my skin.

              Am I crazy to be using commercial facial products? What I have is Arbonne, which is vegan and lanolin free. Not pure enough?

              • Trudee, you might want to try traditional grassfed tallow on your skin. It works beautifully for me, I think because it’s so compatible with our skin. I got some lovely beef tallow from US Wellness which I use for both cooking and skin care. You could also source from a local grassfed farm (find your nearest Weston Price chapter leader or go to Here’s an article with information on the benefits and how to make your own. I use mine plain (100% tallow) and it has just a slight scent to begin with but absorbs right in and dissipates.

              • Try fermented cod liver oil. Green pastures is a great brand. It might help. It’s a little tough to get used to (I take the unflavored, it does come in flavored). It’s helped my skin immensely.

            • If you are sicker after switching to a “healthier” diet–Dr. Robert J. Marshall of PRL products says that you are not digesting and absorbing your food. He recommends pancreatic enzymes at the start of the meal and HCL (hydrochloric acid ) at the end of each meal, especially if you are over 40.

            • This exactly matches ALLL of my symptoms. As soon as I started going full paleo I got all of those same things. Really bad nerve pain under my left shoulder blade (my back hurts so bad), pressure under left front rib sometimes, and numbless and sharp tingling pricks on arms and legs. I have no idea why because I think that this diet is way healthier, from what everyone says. But It’s almost making me want to revert back to a less restrictive diet, because I don’t feel better in that respect.

              What could this be???

              • Pain between the shoulder blades can indicate a sluggish gallbladder. For someone who has been on a standard lowfat diet, it can help to reintroduce fats more slowly into the diet. You can help stimulate bile production by taking things like beet juice, beet kvass, digestive bitters, bile salts, milk thistle, fermented foods, digestive enzymes and raw apple cider vinegar with meals.

            • I haven’t seen anyone mention salicylates (natural pesticides in fruits and vegetables) as a trigger for skin issues. My son, now 3, suffered from eczema and severe dry skin since he was about 3 months old. He ate only non-processed foods, and was on a paleo-like diet, off gluten, dairy, egg, corn, and whatever else would traditionally be a source of eczema. After 2.5 years I discovered salicylates as the main source of his eczema – fruits and vegetables! Coconut oil, almonds, olive oil, honey, apple juice, kale, berries! Everything we thought was healthy was toxic to his system. Within days of removing salicylates, his eczema cleared up! Best of luck. -Lara

          • Hi Chelsea,

            I have been three days off coffee, which has been rough! I have been so tired! I am sticking with it though…I have stocked up on tea! Thanks for your insight!

      • Jackie,

        It’s good to know I am on the right track! I read Dr. K’s book, which is how I found the doctor I am beginning to work with who follows Dr. K’s protocol. It was light a million light bulbs went off when I read that book.

        I am following The Paleo Mom’s protocol as well. Just started, so we will see how it goes. I also bought Balanced Bites for the AI recipes. I just wish there were more recipe resources for us autoimmune folks. I guess I will just get used to modifying!

        Thanks for the help; I really appreciate it. I am also glad that you have found healing!

    • Sarah, you’ve gotten lots of helpful info, but I just wanted to send you another note of solidarity.

      When I went Paleo, my skin was the best it had been since I was 15. I was still on hormonal BC though, and that had always helped. I went off that last year, and suddenly the acne came roaring back, even cystic stuff. I couldn’t believe it and I was disappointed too since Paleo was supposed to save me from that.

      I decided to wait it out and hope that it would get better. It didn’t. I had some other health issues going on (found out later probably due to MTHFR deficiency), so I was hoping that would solve it but it didn’t. My func med NP recommended cod liver oil and I thought she was crazy. I resisted it for a long time, but I found a jar of it I had bought for my husband’s eczema (note: that never cleared up on Paleo either, though he won’t give up dairy), so I took a few each day. Within a week, my skin had calmed significantly and now it is very clear again. I was gobsmacked, but grateful.

      I wish you the best in your search for clear skin and health!

      • Hi Karen,

        I appreciate your feedback! It helps to know what has worked for other people. I went to get my results from extensive testing today from my functional medicine doctor and let’s just say I have a lot of work to do!! My gut is not a happy camper! While it is so eye-opening to know why I am feeling the way I am feeling, it depresses me to know that the Paleo diet wasn’t working for me. I have to make some major tweaks to my diet (continue with the autoimmune protocol) as well as add some supplements and lifestyle changes. I will be starting Green Pasture’s Cod Liver Oil, so it is great that you say it has helped you and I hope it makes positive changes for me as well. Oh, and as hypothesized above, my B12 is low! Hopefully, supplementation will help with the numbness and tingling!!