The Link Between Liver Health and Your Skin

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by Elyse Tursi, DC

Eczema, psoriasis, perioral dermatitis, acne and hives; although these skin conditions all appear to look different when they present topically on our skin, they have a strong common connection: a troubled liver.    

While you may be thinking, “I don’t drink! How in the world is it even possible that my liver would be affected?” The liver is an organ involved with all detoxification processes; think of it as dismantling foreign invaders, including but not limited to alcohol metabolism. The liver  doesn’t only spend time detoxing last night’s glass of pinot noir, it also spends time detoxifying harmful pathogens, like unwanted bacteria and viruses; filtering out heavy metals, like mercury and copper; and screening what vitamins and minerals remain stored inside the body.

When the liver becomes overburdened from constantly battling unwanted loads from harmful material (think pesticides, cosmetic chemicals, viruses like Epstein-Barr, synthetic drugs, etc.), it becomes sluggish and its detoxification function slows way down. Cue skin ailments now.

The now overloaded liver tries to protect you and get stuff that shouldn’t be stored inside of you out of the body! The elimination systems include urinary excretion, stool excretion, sweat evaporation and integumentary clearing, which means elimination of waste through the skin. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; your body is attempting a different method to try and help. In this alternative process of excretion, the body produces inflammation in the subcutaneous layer of the dermis of the skin, manifesting as what we see as redness, bumps, flakiness, itching and papules/papulovesicular eruptions, etc.

Topical creams, sulfur washes, antihistamines and bacterial inhibitors do typically work in the short term, but the skin ailments often come back after treatment ends. It’s critical to treat from the inside out, as all skin issues are arising from an internal battle within the liver tissue.

Source: Dr. Elyse Tursi, a doctor of chiropractic and nutritionist at Pollack Wellness Institute, located at 100 Manetto Hill Rd., Ste. 307, in Plainview. For more information, call 516-299-9313 or visit

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