Why Eczema, Skin Issues, and Dandruff May Be a Bigger Problem

Why Eczema, Skin Issues, and Dandruff May Be a Bigger Problem

Have you been diagnosed with eczema, rosacea, or psoriasis, or another skin condition? Are you dealing with persistent toenail fungus, athletes’ foot, ringworm, or other fungal infections? Or does stubborn dandruff plague you?

These symptoms and conditions are common. So common in fact that many people accept them as everyday annoyances or even think of them as “normal.”

After all, an estimated 30 million people1 have been diagnosed with eczema in the U.S. alone. Our drugstores are filled with anti-dandruff shampoo, antifungal creams, and hundreds of lotions and ointments to soothe red, dry, or itchy skin.

An Underlying Condition

As common as these conditions may be, they are far from normal. In fact, they are a sign of an underlying health problem inside your body manifesting itself on the outside.

Ignoring or accepting these symptoms as normal can be dangerous. If left untreated, the underlying health problem worsens, and your skin issues persist. You may even develop other symptoms and conditions.

However, if you identify and address the root cause of your skin issues, you can eliminate your symptoms naturally and say goodbye to the expensive creams, shampoos, and lotions.

In almost a decade of experience as a functional medicine physician treating thousands of patients, I have seen that the most common cause of skin issues is Candida overgrowth. It is a simple and treatable gut infection.

Let’s talk about what Candida is, how on earth a gut infection can lead to so many skin issues, and how to overcome Candida naturally.

How Candida Leads to Eczema, Rosacea, and So Many Other Skin Issues

Candida is a fungus—a form of yeast. A very small amount of this yeast lives in your mouth and intestines. There are actually many different types of yeast that can take up residence in your body, however, Candida albicans (Candida for short) is the most common and studied form of yeast. Most people refer to all types of yeast overgrowth simply as Candida overgrowth. I’ll be referring to yeast overgrowth that way in this article.

Candida helps digestion and nutrient absorption. The good bacteria in your gut and the immune system typically keep Candida in check.

However, if your good bacteria are wiped out by a round of antibiotics, or you eat a diet high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, or alcohol (all of which feed the yeast), are taking oral contraceptives, are pregnant or have estrogen dominance, or any number of other factors including a high-stress lifestyle, the delicate balance in your gut can become disrupted, leading to an overgrowth of Candida.

When Candida is able to multiply unchecked, it overpowers the good bacteria in your gut and dominates your intestines. This disrupts your gut’s normal balance and function. This can wreak havoc on your digestion, leading to gas, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea. Additionally, your gut is where 95% of your serotonin (your “feel good” transmitter) is produced. This is why Candida overgrowth can also lead to mood swings, anxiety, and depression.

You may be wondering ok great, so what does that have to do with my skin? Here’s where it gets even more interesting.

Candida Overgrowth, Leaky Gut, and Your Skin

Candida has the unique ability to change shape in order to protect itself from harsh environments, transforming from a rounded yeast cell into an elongated hyphal cell2. These elongated hyphal cells are able to permeate your gut lining, which can cause your gut to become leaky, allowing toxins, microbes, proteins, and yes, yeast, to escape your gut and travel throughout your bloodstream.

Once in your bloodstream, the yeast can colonize other areas of your body, including to your skin, which explains why researchers have found Candida in skin cultures of eczema patients3.

Whether it’s eczema on your hands, dandruff in your hair, or a toenail fungus, it can all be traced back to the Candida in your gut.

It’s also important to note that, skin issues aren’t the only consequence of leaky gut. We now know from the work of Harvard researcher Alessio Fasano that leaky gut is one of the precursors to autoimmune disease4. That means that if your gut remains leaky, you are more likely to develop an autoimmune condition.

How to Eliminate Candida Overgrowth and Overcome Skin Issues

To get your Candida back in check, you’ll need to restore the “good” bacteria and repair your gut. That way Candida cannot enter your bloodstream. Here’s what you’ll do for at least 30 days:

Step 1. Candida Diet: Starve the Candida by removing the foods that feed it from your diet. This means eliminating all sugar and alcohol, and restricting carbohydrates such as fruit, starchy vegetables, grains, and legumes. It also means ditching all fermented foods.

Step 2. Attack the Candida by taking supplements that destroy Candida’s cell walls. I like to use GI Microb-X as well as Caprylic Acid, both of which are excellent at breaking down the walls of Candida cells to destroy them.

Step 3. Repopulate your gut with good bacteria by taking a high-potency probiotic that keeps Candida under control. While battling Candida, I recommend a probiotic supplement containing 100 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) to restore your gut’s healthy microbial balance.

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