Why Does Our Skin Get Worse During a Detox? ~ Healing Crisis Explained!

The first thing that most people in the health world think of when they have a skin condition is that they need to detox. If you have acne, eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, melasma, tinea versicolor, etc, it usually is related to your INTERNAL health, specifically the gut and liver.

When your gut (intestines) are out of balance and dysbiosis is present, you can begin to develop what is known as leaky gut (aka intestinal permeability). Overtime, as the toxins present in the gut (bacteria, undigested foods, heavy metals, etc.) seep into the bloodstream, they are transported to the liver and kidneys for elimination via urine and stool.

Your body has several elimination pathways or ‘emunctories’ that allow the transport of toxins out of the body. The primary emunctories are liver, kidneys (uric acids formed by stress and poor diet) and lungs (excreting CO2). The secondary emunctories are things like your skin and mucous membranes which allows toxins to be excreted from the body via sweat.

What happens though, when your primary elimination pathways are “blocked” or overburdened from the constant seepage of toxins into the blood from the gut? Where do all these hormones, heavy metals, yeast, parasites, inflammatory and acidic toxins go? Well, they will be discharged from the body through the secondary emunctories which is most often the skin. The skin is not a great emunctory and should not be used for this level of toxicity but when there is no other exit for these toxins, they have no choice but to be eliminated via the skin! And THIS is why you get a flare in your skin conditions when you are detoxing. THIS is called the “healing crisis”.

dyshidrotic eczema

The toxins you are bringing up from deep body tissues, colon, organs etc are released into the bloodstream and if you are not supporting your primary emunctories correctly, the toxins will exit via the skin and cause a worsening of your already existing skin issues. Often times, people will develop a skin condition they never had once starting a detox. Many times not just the skin is utilized as a emunctory but also the mucous membranes and nasal passages which is why you also experience runny nose, post nasal drip or increased vaginal discharge during times of strong detoxification.

Having a flare in these body systems is NOT a good sign. It means you are overwhelming your already overwhelmed emunctories and as a result, your body is getting much more inflamed by these toxins you are bringing up. It is better to begin a cleanse VERY slowly as to not overwhelm your main pathways (liver, kidneys, lungs) and as they adjust and improve over time, you can slowly increase your detoxification efforts. The idea is that you DON’T want to bring up more toxins into the blood than your body can handle at one time.

When your body is overloaded with endogenous and exogenous toxins, it buries them deep into fat cells, joints, mitochondria of cells, etc. When you begin to detoxify and supply your body with nutrients, it begins to pull these toxins back out of the cells and releases them back into the blood to be eliminated. If you do this process too quick without draining the emunctories, too many toxins will be released into the blood from the body and they will have nowhere to go. They end up bouncing around the body damaging organs and tissues and causing inflammation until they eventually are eliminated through the skin, mucous membranes or stored in lymph nodes.

So what should you do BEFORE starting a detox? Before beginning phase 1 of detoxification, support your primary emunctories using homeopathic drainage remedies (UNDA #s, Gammadyn and plex remedies). These remedies are deep acting remedies that stimulate the drainage of toxins through these primary emunctories.

What should you do during a detox? Start SLOW! Less is ALWAYS more when detoxing. Don’t go from 0 to 100 instantly when starting a cleanse as I can guarantee you WILL overburden your body. Start slow, make dietary changes first before incorporating antifungals, colon cleansers, heavy metal chelators, etc and always support your emunctories throughout the WHOLE cleanse and afterwards.

Written by: Marla Pietruszko BSc RHN

Instagram: @marlashealthylife


If you’d like to learn more about liver cleansing, watch my youtube video!

13 Replies to “Why Does Our Skin Get Worse During a Detox? ~ Healing Crisis Explained!”

  1. So much valuable information! Thanks for sharing! Could I take UNDA 17 for acne? Or any of the UNDA numbers for chronic acid reflux? I was on an elimination diet (no gluten, dairy, soy, corn, sugar etc) for about 5-6 months and had a lot of skin problems like abscesses probably from detoxing and even now acne that I can’t seem to get rid of. All in all the reflux still remained after the elimination diet and the acne got worse. Could I take any UNDA numbers to help? I am still somewhat in the no gluten dairy sugar soy or corn diet ( I may have a bite of something containing those ingredients now but I am still pretty restrictive about what I eat).

    1. UNDA #s can be used for literally every condition but they have to be chosen specifically for your imbalances, miasms and organ systems. you never want to start with a skin remedy as it will make you flare. you need to address the root cause which is liver/kidney, lymphatic stagnation, and candida usually. I would not recommend doing UNDA 17 and especially not on its own as you should always do 3 #s together for proper elimination (for the most part).

  2. Thank you so much Marla! For how long should you only do dietary changes before starting liver cleansing supplements?

    1. When you take the unda liver and kidney detox do you use the drops together? Or separately? How do you take them properly

      1. 10 drops each, 3x/day sublingually, in ascending order, hold each separately under the tongue for 30s before swallowing, 15 mins AWAY from food, supplements, coffee, mint, garlic or other strong flavours.

  3. When you explained this to me during a consult it made so much sense! I have a friend who reached out desperate because she had started a liver detox supplement and her skin flared up SO bad! I ended up referring her to this information. So valuable!

  4. Hi,

    I suffer with severe rosacea. I have recently had a colonic hydrotherapy session and been told that I have quite bad candida. Since having the irrigation my skin seems to have had quite a bad flare up. Any recommendations on what supplement, probiotic to take to help both candida and my skin issues.?

    Hope to hear off you soon,

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