A Functional Medicine Approach to Treating and Healing Acne with Dr. Robin Berzin

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Our skin is a reflection of what’s going on with our health beneath the surface. Acne and other skin problems are signals that something is off in our body. Conventional medicine deals with symptoms, so their solutions for acne include lathering on potions and lotions, popping and pricking pimples and taking antibiotics or strong liver-damaging medications. There’s got to be another way, right?

Fortunately, there is with Functional Medicine, which addresses the problem’s root cause. From this lens, we can understand that numerous factors contribute to acne, including nutrition, stress, toxicity, inflammation and hormonal and gut imbalances. That’s actually good news because it empowers us to make dietary and lifestyle changes that reverse acne and improve our overall health without the adverse side effects of pharmaceuticals and other invasive procedures.

On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, our host, Dhru, talks to Dr. Robin Berzin, the founder and CEO of Parsley Health. A Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Robin completed medical school at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, and trained in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. She has also trained in Functional Medicine with the Institute for Functional Medicine. In 2011, she co-founded the physician communication app Cureatr and subsequently has advised numerous startups in the healthcare space. Robin founded Parsley Health in order to make whole-body, transformative medicine accessible to everyone through better services and smart technology.

In this episode, Dhru and Dr. Robin Berzin dive deep into the topic of acne. They talk about the gut-skin connection and what role our gut health plays when it comes to acne. They discuss why conventional acne treatments don’t actually work, and often end up doing more harm, and how to treat acne without medication. They also talk about how the cosmetics we use on our skin can increase inflammation which in turn leads to acne, and the best skincare routine and products for someone suffering with acne. In this episode, we dive into:

  • Dr. Berzin shares her personal struggle with acne (2:09)
  • The most common underlying causes of acne (5:31)
  • The connection between gut health and skin issues (15:45) 
  • The problem with topical antibiotics (25:55) 
  • How omega-6 fatty acids may have a direct impact on acne development (27:56)
  • The connection between hormones and acne (38:55) 
  • How cosmetics and personal care products alter your skin’s microbiota (45:39)
  • Lab testing for skin issues (58:03)
  • The problem with food sensitivity testing (1:01:32)
  • Learn more about Dr. Robin Berzin and her work (1:12:32)

I know you’ll love this episode of The Broken Brain Podcast as much as I did.

Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD

PS – Learn more about Parsley Health’s new LA Flagship at https://www.parsleyhealth.com/la and its national services at https://www.parsleyhealth.com/online-doctor.

Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD
Mark Hyman, MD


Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman, MD is the Founder and Director of The UltraWellness Center, the Head of Strategy and Innovation of Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine, and a 13-time New York Times Bestselling author.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.


If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

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