Today we are talking about skin problems, so I’m obviously going to use an Albert Einstein quote! When you hear the words “beautiful skin” doesn’t a big picture of Albert Einstein come into your mind? (The previous statement comes with as much sarcasm as I can type with. I hope you enjoy a little humor). Einstein said:

“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on it, I would use the first 55 minutes determining the proper questions to ask.”

Asking the right question is vital to solving any problem. We will be taking you through some of the questions we ask when tackling acne, rosacea, dermatitis, and eczema.


The First Question: What is the root cause?

Figuring out the root cause of any problem is vital. For skin disorders like acne, rosacea, dermatitis and eczema, there are only 3 possible root causes.

  1. Inflammation
    Common prescription medications for eczema and dermatitis are steroid creams or oral prednisone. Steroid creams work because they are immune suppressors and will decrease inflammation (albeit in a rather unhealthy way). Many autoimmune diseases like Lupus and Psoriasis cause inflammatory skin outbreaks.
  1. Hormonal
    Let’s think of another group of people who tend to have skin breakouts—that’s right, teenagers! As hormones come into full swing, the acne, rosacea, and eczema come out roaring! Many girls are prescribed “the pill” to fix their acne, but this would only work if hormones were involved as a root cause culprit of skin problems.
  1. Infectious
    The last common way acne and rosacea are treated is with antibiotics. An oral antibiotic could only work if you have an imbalance in the good and bad bacteria in your gut and on your skin—think tetracycline, erythromycin, and clindamycin.

What about natural skin solutions? Do they point to the same 3 causes of acne, rosacea, and eczema?

Yes! Common “alternative treatments” for skin conditions involve various diet changes and detoxes. Many people see skin improvement by removing foods their bodies are sensitive to, supporting their liver for healthy hormonal and chemical detoxification, and helping their gut microbes be healthier.


The important question: How can we tell if your skin problem is coming from inflammation, hormones, infections or a combination?

While there are various tests for hormonal imbalances, inflammatory disorders, and gut infections, nearly 80% of the time a doctor should be able to help narrow it down based on your health history:

  • Do you have bloating, constipation, heartburn and bad breath? Do your protein, BUN, and phosphorus levels fall outside functional lab ranges? We are going to be looking to your gut to help with your acne or eczema.
  • Do you suffer from horrible mood swings, cramps, PMS or migraines with your cycle? Is your homocysteine abnormally elevated on a routine blood test indicating your body is struggling with detoxification? We are going to be aiming at hormones to help bring healing to your skin.
  • Do you know if you have an inflammatory condition like Lupus, Psoriasis or Rheumatoid arthritis? Does your CRP show you are massively inflamed on a routine blood test? If this is the case, we are heading straight for the immune system to help your body heal.


Following the Symptoms

One of the most important services we provide for our patients is a clear definition of what is the root of their problem. The processes for helping skin problems based on inflammation, bad hormones or bad gut microbes are vastly different! But once you’ve identified which root cause(s) explain your acne or eczema…the questions just keep on coming.

If you have an inflammatory disorder the next questions are: “What is driving my inflammation and how can I improve it?”

If you have a hormonal problem, the next questions are: What is driving my hormones to be out of sync and unhealthy? How can I improve my hormones and my detoxification? Which part of my detoxification (Phase 1, 2 or 3) is not working correctly?

If you have a gut/microbial problem the next questions are: How are my digestion and my gut microbes functioning? How can I improve them?


Beyond the Root Cause: Does the Target Tissue Need Attention?

This is a strange concept for many patients to grasp. Sometimes, in order to fix a problem, one must go BEYOND the root cause. Let me explain by asking a question. If your house is on fire and the fire department comes and puts out the fire, is your house all better? Now, the body is not a house and has amazing self-healing properties, but let’s ask the same question. If the root cause of your acne, dermatitis, rosacea or eczema is _________(Infectious, Inflammatory, or Hormonal), does balancing your hormones, reducing inflammation or removing an infection fix your skin? Truth be told the answer is…..sometimes! Yeah, I know, not what you wanted to hear, but I am begging you not to make my mistakes! I spent 3-4 years in practice zealously going after the root cause ONLY. It is a less than optimal approach! Do not get me wrong, I had success in my first 3-4 years of clinical practice, but I had many failures as well! As a result of analyzing my failures I added this question to every case that walks into my clinic:

In this case, we are talking about the skin. In ADDITION to getting to the root cause, it is prudent to ask if the skin needs nourishment. This thinking also means that in a rheumatoid arthritis case we go after the root cause of inflammation but also help the target tissue – the joints – be as healthy as possible. In this case, we want to talk with our patients about skin health.


In the Future…

I hope to do 3-4 separate articles going in depth about how inflammation, hormones, and infections really contribute to these skin disorders of acne, dermatitis, eczema, and rosacea. I also would like to add a fourth highlighting how our skin health line—sophytopro—nourishes the skin and is a step above many skin products on the market. You can learn more at

I’ll give you the super short version, but I encourage you to go to the website and do your own research. These products are gluten free, soy free (both rarities), GMO-free, and not tested on animals. These products are free of the crazy chemicals that are hurting your skin on a daily basis. They can actively work to heal your skin and clear up acne, rosacea, dermatitis and eczema ALONG with getting to that root cause.

Thank you for reading. If you have more questions please leave a comment below, email us at or call the office at 952-479-7801. We’d love to help you on your health journey!


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    Edina, Minnesota 55435
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