My friend came to me with one of the most bizarre problems I’d heard of: Ever since she was pregnant with her first child, she would instantly develop a rash wherever her skin was exposed to the sun. Previously, she had no problems with the sun and would tan nicely like everyone else.

Well a little Google surfing revealed that there is actually an official name for this condition: Solar Dermatitis. And the typical recommended treatment is cool compress, oatmeal, aloe and staying out of the sun.

But none of those address any kind of a root cause – which is where I always look when treating the body. And if we don’t get to the root cause or imbalance in the body, we will never have healing – symptom soothing, masking or repression, yes, but not healing.

Well, sometimes I surprise even myself and I’m pleased to say that the first treatment I suggested to my friend worked a charm and her sun rash problem disappeared after only 2 weeks on this protocol – never to return again! Can you imagine? Nine years of not being able to go out in the sun (with any skin exposed) – and when you have 3 young children like she does, that’s a big deal.

In her case, since pregnancy triggered onset of the solar dermatitis, I wondered if there was a hormonal imbalance at work. However, I suggested we first look at balancing the gut (because whenever there’s a skin problem, you need to look to the digestive system) and taking nutrients specifically for the skin first. And if that didn’t work, then we could move on to investigating the endocrine system.

Fortunately, the gut/skin regimen worked brilliantly and we didn’t have to go any further. So here’s my natural treatment protocol for solar dermatitis:

1. Balance Your Gut Flora – this means you need to get an abundance of good bacteria into your gut, rather than bad bacteria and yeast/fungi. Take 1 Natren Healthy Trinity Capsule (the 3-in-1 capsule) per day until you no longer get a rash when you go out in the sun. Then stay on a maintenance dose of 1 per day for the next 6-12 months, just to be sure. If you don’t consume any food-based probiotics (fermented veggies, homemade yoghurt, etc.) then you should just stay on 1 Healthy Trinity capsule every 1-3 days indefinitely. This will also provide protection against a host of other diseases and ailments. You can usually get your local health store to order Natren Healthy Trinity in for you if they don’t already carry it – but don’t substitute another brand, or you will not get the same results.

2. Take Targetted Nutrients For Your Skin – take a high quality cod liver oil that contains ONLY naturally-occurring Vitamin A and D. I like either Carlson or Nordic Naturals brands (available at most high quality health stores). Take either 1 tsp (or 5 capsules) per day. Also take Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) and again, I prefer Carlson brand, since it is naturally-derived. You need to take the right amount of Vitamin D – both according to your racial heritage and the climate you live in. Since my friend is light-skinned, blonde hair and we live in the Pacific Northwest (not much sun – not that she could go out in the sun anyway!) she took 2,000 IU per day. With my darker skin, I take 4,000 IUĀ  Vitamin D3 per day.

3. Stop Putting Toxins Into Your Body – it makes sense that if you’re trying to help your body detox and balance it’s gut terrain, then you’re going to see the best results if what you’re ingesting every day helps that process – rather than hinders it. So this means: No processed, packaged food, no nitrates, no preservative, no artificial flavors and sweeteners, no hydrogenated/vegetable oils – basically, no standard crap that everyone else eats. You also need to reduce your sugar as much as you possibly can, because sugar (and simple carbs like white flour and white rice) are the preferred food source for candida yeast/fungus and bad bacteria. Do eat: fresh, organic vegetables, meat, eggs and eat them raw or use cold-pressed o