The connection between skin conditions (cancer) and your gastrointestinal system

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When we think of skin problems, our thoughts usually go right to what is happening on the outside that is causing the skin to be irritated.  Did my laundry detergent change? Have I been in the sun to long? Are the clothes that I am wearing causing this rash? Do I have acne because my skin is to oily? While these are all valid questions, the important point to understand is that 95% of skin problems are a “inside out” phenomenon. The only time a skin concern is solely connected with the skin is when you get a topical dermatitis, such poison oak, poison ivy or an allergy to something topical that you put on.

We often miss the boat in understanding that out bodies use our skin as an avenue of elimination when it can no longer keep up with elimination through the gastrointestinal (GI) system.  The body will literally push metabolic toxicity out through the skin in the form of eczema, acne, psoriasis, hives and yes even skin cancer when the GI system is overloaded. There is a link to a great article at the bottom of this page that shows the latest research backing up this topic.

What do we usually do when we are dealing with one of these problems? We try to treat the skin symptom and make it go away.  This is done using topical steroids, antibiotics, surgical excision, internal steroids and even stronger immune suppressive agents at times. This will inevitably counter the reaction the body is trying to use in order to maintain balance (homeostasis). When you suppress the skin reaction, you essentially push the metabolic toxicity back into the body, creating more toxicity and a greater state of imbalance because you no longer have this avenue of elimination.

As it points out in the article, the inflammation within the GI tract is the primary concern in regards to the increased occurrence of skin cancer (this is also true for acne, hives, eczema, etc..). The inflammation is what needs to addressed. The skin reaction on the surface, is your bodies effort to bring your awareness to the inflammation. If we take the time to understand why the inflammation is happening, what is contributing to it, then we can begin addressing the cause of it.

Using a holisitc model of medicine allows for change to take place and create a preventative environment within the body that will not only treat health concerns but prevent them as well.

Health tip- Do not suppress skin conditions!  Reduce the inflammation within the gastrointestinal tract and improve its elimination ability.




Naturopathic physician who is educating people about their health in order to empower them to practice self care.