The patient: “Loretta,” a nationally known TV anchor.
Why she came to see me: I was delighted to have an office visit from a media personality I watched regularly on television. I was aware of the fact that for many months a persistent rash on her right cheek had been concealed during her broadcasts quite effectively by the station’s makeup artist—still noticeable to my trained eye. A colleague of hers at the Manhattan-based network who has been a patient of mine urged her to come up to my clinic in Southbury, Connecticut, as her rash, while not getting worse, was not getting better despite the treatments from some of “New York’s finest” dermatologists.
How I evaluated her: After exchanging pleasantries, we carefully reviewed the history of Loretta’s rash as well as her diet, lifestyle and challenging events like relationship or employment changes. Her prior diagnoses and treatments ran the gamut from psoriasis to atopy (a kind of immune-related dermatitis) and topical corticosteroids to “biologics” typically used for autoimmune diseases, the latter she had ardently refused to take.
I explained how quite often the skin mirrored internal issues and treating chronic conditions required both external and internal interventions. What I saw during our first visit presented like a chronic “zymotic” condition (characterized by an overgrowth of yeast and/or fungus) with a minimal contribution of normal surface bacteria.
How we addressed her problem: Since Loretta’s job was inherently stressful and she was a “young” 58-year-old woman, I convinced her to take a digestive enzyme formula to not only enhance her system’s ability to extract nutrients from her meals, but also to help her liver bind and remove substances that may not have been sufficiently exported via the stool and instead were ending up being “excreted” into her skin.
I also explained that improving the function of her large intestine and its resident microbiome quite often will have a direct impact on the health and resilience of the skin. We discussed and agreed upon an improved diet that included cutting down on hurried commissary fast food, giving up French fries and basing her meals around a large, fresh garden salad with healthy protein and carb “toppings”…a regime of digestive enzymes and immune-enhancing supplements…and naturally derived topical applications for her skin, all of which would gradually improve the outward appearance while addressing the underlying causes of her skin rash.
The patient’s progress: Two weeks after our initial appointment, Loretta and I had a video check-in. She reported improvement in both digestion and the appearance of her skin, confirmed by her makeup artist and clearly visible to me as well. Within a month’s time the chronic problem on her face was virtually gone. We do stay in touch with periodic consults, but I reminded her that as I see her frequently on television, she can’t hide from my scrutiny!