As a board-certified Integrative Dermatologist, I love thinking deeply about all of the possible root cases of skin issues.

Thoughtful discussion of the skin healing journey and helping patients breakthrough their patterns is the part of my professional life that inspires me, motivates me to keep searching for more answers and knowledge and brings me some of the most joy and happiness in my life.

Blending the common root cause categories with each person’s unique qualities allows for the perfect unfolding of a personalized healing journey.

Choosing to walk down the path of deeper healing is not easy. Sometimes it’s easier to just keep doing what we are doing because it’s familiar and at least we know what’s going to happen next, even if it is perpetuating our health issues.

Having the courage to open up to possibilities and new ways of thinking about our lifestyle and it’s patterns and being willing to see our own role in our issue can be challenging.

I’ve recently noticed a pattern with some of my patients with the biggest breakthroughs in their health and skin healing journey.

It kind of surprised me because it seems like such a simple thing, but simple doesn’t always mean easy.

First, it’s been patients that have already tried a lot of different things to address their health and skin issue. They are practical, reasonable tactics that can work such as eliminating food triggers, adding supplements and prescription treatments, eliminating toxins, improving sleep, etc.

Second, they come with a mindset of being open and wiling to take a look at themselves and gain insight on how they may be contributing to their health issues without realizing it. They are ready to address these possible deeper root causes of their health issues head-on. They are willing to get out of their own way.

Third and lastly, they are willing to honestly reflect and answer this question in great detail with an open and forgiving heart…..

When did this all start???

Timing is everything.

Thinking back to when your health issue started can be one of the most profound and eye-opening ways to gain insight into your healing.

This can truly be “The Ah-Ha Moment” of your transition to healing!

Take the time to think back to the time in your life when you noticed your health and skin issues. Imagine all of the things going on around you at that time. Take yourself back to that moment in time and see if you can figure out the steps along the path that followed and brought you to the current moment.

Sometimes this can be hard to do and may take a few attempts before you start to get some clarity.

For others, it can feel like the issue has pretty much always been there.

If that’s the case for you, find a time when it got worse or more noticeable to you or others and start from that point. Try again in the future to see if you can go back further to when it first started.

More often than not, I find that the answers to this question are related to a very deeply stressful or traumatic event. Our response to this event help us get through that moment in the best way we can.

Our bodies want to thrive and move on and we may be surprised by the coping mechanisms that kick in when we experience that level of stress. We all are doing the best we can so stop yourself if you start beating yourself up once you gain this insight!!!

When I ask this question to my patients, sometimes I get a quick clear answer and lightbulbs are going off in their head left and right and other times their mind starts working but hasn’t landed on anything just yet.

I’ve heard a wide range of answers over the years of asking this pivotal question.

Sometimes it’s related to the stress of having a significant medical diagnosis like cancer or undergoing a challenging medical procedure where their life was on the line. It can also be an experience of being bullied as a child.

Other times it’s related to bad car accident, their divorce, sexual/emotional/physical abuse, the death of their parent, sibling, friend, child, pet or loved one, or disagreement with a friend that ends the relationship.

There are a lot of possibilities here and keep your mind open to what it could be for YOU. It can also be more than one thing or event!

Sometimes we have some insight into the triggering event, but not all of the details. If there is a cycle associated with your health issue where it only occurs certain times of the year, it may be related to the context of your trigger only happening that time of year. Sometimes you may notice a flare up of your rash or acne around the same time as the anniversary of the death of a loved one or your divorce, etc.

Taking the steps to unravel your health issue and starting to ask yourself the difficult questions of how your heath issue came to be is a huge step in your healing.

Gaining this deep awareness can open up some intense feelings and memories. The intent here is to heal the patterns that no longer serve you and are leading to other health issues.

I cannot recommend enough to reach out to a psychologist or therapist that you resonate with to help you move through breaking these patterns. They can serve as an excellent catalyst to get you to a healing space quicker than you can on your own as they will see things that you can’t see and guide you step by step on your journey to healing.

I feel that if we were meant to heal these things on our own, we would’ve done it already….and why do it alone anyways? We all have stuff we are going through.

Take your time to make these deeper connections to the root causes of your health and address them with a warm and forgiving heart.

You may just find that these connections are the key to making your pivotal healing breakthroughs and true healing.