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HOLISTIC HEALTH - August 2017 - Kansas City

Treating Inflammatory Skin Conditions at the Root Cause

By Nancy Russell, M.D.


Skin conditions difficult to treat and resolve are rosacea, eczema and psoriasis; the common thread is inflammation that is more than skin deep! These skin conditions can be treated by finding the root causes for each individual; be patient as finding the different causes can take some time.


Changes in diet, lifestyle, cleansing the liver, decreasing stress and adding nutrient support are all potential treatments. What you put on your skin, and what you clean your home and clothing with all can impact the skin. Genetics and the environment also play a role in inflammatory skin conditions.


The following are areas to address:

  1. Food allergies and food sensitivities are common and can be addressed by a food elimination diet, blood and/or skin testing, or acupuncture techniques such as NAET.

  2. Evaluation of intestinal health by assessing digestion and acid production, H. pylori infections, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and parasites.

  3. Adequate intake of essential fatty acids and their proper balance is important. Omega-6 fatty acids have a role in the structural barrier and barrier function of the skin. Some people respond better to omega-6 fatty acids like linoleic from sunflower, flax or evening primrose oil, while others may respond better to omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, fatty fishes, shell fish and nuts (walnuts, pecans and cashews). Grass fed beef and chicken eggs from chicken who ingest omega-3 oils, have omega-3 fatty acids. Vegetables that contribute omega-3s to the diet are brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, spinach, watercress, parsley and mint.

  4. Nutritional needs of healing skin need to be supported during any treatment process. For example vitamin C is necessary for the development of collagen and skin tissue. The mineral zinc, is antimicrobial and antioxidant, supporting the immune system within the skin, controlling inflammation and regulating cell production and turnover. Repletion of nutrient deficiencies of these nutrients plus vitamin A, E and D are very important for skin health.

  5. The use of supplements which calm and support healthy normalized inflammation and immune responses. Turmeric or curcumin as well as quercitin may be helpful.

  6. Ongoing detoxification of the colon and liver support are necessary to decrease toxin load and optimal metabolism.

  7. Changing to all natural hair, skin and household cleaning products to reduce chemical irritants.

  8. Improving the diet by eliminating the most inflammatory foods such as high fructose corn syrup, sugar, refined and processed foods, hydrogenated or trans fats found in french fries, potato chips, crackers, cookies, pies, breads, margarine, as well as artificial sweeteners, food additives, and alcohol.

  9. Stress reduction and hormone balancing.


An example of one woman’s journey to resolving her psoriasis skin condition of her scalp consisted of the following steps:

  1. Changed her shampoo and hair products to all natural and also her household cleaning products.

  2. Began an anti-inflammatory diet with emphasis on 3 servings of wild-caught salmon, sardines or mackerel per week, cooked and raw greens everyday in addition to her usual 5 servings of vegetables, a 1/4 cup of nuts or seeds daily, use only olive or walnut oil for cooking and salads, and eliminate sugar.

  3. Get regular sleep at least 8 hours a night.

  4. 28 day colon and liver detox.

  5. Digestive enzymes and betaine HCL supplements in addition to zinc and vitamin D.


Changing inflammatory skin conditions can take weeks and months of good eating and taking supplements and striving to get to the root of the problem. Work with a functional or integrative medical practitioner to be a guide and mentor. 

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Kansas City

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Nancy Russell, M.D. has been a holistic Internal Medicine physician in the Kansas City northland for over 30 years at 5140 N. Antioch Road in Kansas City, MO.


Her phone number is 816-453-5545 and website is where you can get more information. Dr. Russell is board certified in holistic medicine and is a member of the American Holistic Medical Association and a prior board member.

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