Doing Things You Never Thought You'd Do Because of Your Rashes w/ Theresa Depasquale

Eczema and other skin rashes can make us so self-conscious that we never want to leave the house. My guest today is here to share her story about achieving her goals despite eczema.

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CEO and founder of Bikini Boss Fitness, Theresa Depasquale is an entrepreneurial fitness expert, author of Boss to Bikini, wife, and mother of two (ages 8 and 11).

She has made her mark internationally in the fitness industry with her revolutionizing online training and content delivery programs. Theresa is one of social media's most popular fitness phenoms, inspiring and helping people around the world to improve their health and fitness.

With almost 500,000 followers online, her presence continues to grow rapidly because of her straight-up, in your face approach to health and fitness. She has mastered the art of personal branding and recently expanded to build an online marketing business and coaching programs to help healthpreneurs build their brand online.

Join us as we talk about achieving your goals and living life with skin rashes.

Have you overcome self-consciousness caused by skin rashes? Tell me about it in the comments!


In this episode:

  • When Theresa's eczema started
  • What she is doing to heal
  • How she overcomes embarrassment


“I just move forward. I pursue my goals even though I have it [eczema]. You just can't let it stop you.” [10:55]

“It's very frustrating when you have these rashes and you kind of feel like you have to be secluded or hide yourself. So I think movement is even more essential to keep you in that positive mindset.” [16:45]



Find Theresa online

Theresa's FREE PDF: 3 Ways to Speed Up Fat Loss Without Starving Yourself

Boss to Bikini book

Theresa's social media and influencer marketing agency

Spark book

Follow Theresa on Facebook ǀ Instagram


044: Doing Things You Never Thought You'd Do Because of Your Rashes w/ Theresa DePasquale FULL TRANSCRIPT

Jennifer: Hi everyone. Welcome back to the healthy skin show. Today I've got a good friend with me who was willing to share a vulnerable side of herself. A lot of people feel uncomfortable talking about skin issues and I love the fact that she's willing to say, “Hey, yeah, I got skin issues going on and they've really impacted my life and I want to share that with all of you because I want to help inspire you guys to not feel so ashamed and alone about it.” My guest today is Theresa DePasquale. She is the CEO and founder of Bikini Boss fitness. She's also an entrepreneurial fitness expert, author of the Boss to Bikini Book, wife and mother of two, ages eight and 11. She's made her mark internationally in the fitness industry with her revolutionizing online training and content delivery programs, which by the way, I am a member of. I love it. Theresa is one of social media's most popular fitness phenoms inspiring and helping people around the world to improve their health and fitness with almost 500,000 followers online. Her presence continues to grow rapidly because of her straight up, in your face approach to health and fitness. She has mastered the art of personal branding and recently expanded to build an online marketing business and coaching programs to help health-preneurs build their online brands. Thank you so much for joining us today, Theresa.

Theresa: Thanks so much for having me. I've been looking forward to this.

Jennifer: I know. This is a long time coming. We had talked about this months ago and now we're making it happen. So, what's the deal that you wanted to come on and talk about today? I don't want to ruin it for them, but why? Why is this important to you?

Theresa: Well, you know, when you and I talked, I thought it was really interesting to hear what you were doing because I think it's such an embarrassing thing that people don't want to talk about. So like a lot of people struggle with it, but you know, it's weird having skin rashes. Or like, I was just telling you before we started recording, I'll have an eczema breakout. People looking at my neck weird, like they don't want to say anything and you know, they're thinking something like, what the hell is that on her neck? And so I just think it's so important to put the message out there that, you know, I put up these pretty pictures on Instagram and they're edited, obviously. I'm not putting my everyday real life stuff that I'm struggling with. And I like to keep it very real and authentic. And so I think it's an important message to put out and let people know that like, yeah, here's these pretty pictures, but here's also who I am and what I'm dealing with.

Jennifer: And so eczema is your main skin issue?

Theresa: Yeah, I suffered with it my whole life. When I was a kid. I used to get it really badly. And then it kind of went away. And believe it or not, it came back with a vengeance when I was an adult after I started my fitness career. It also corresponds with after I started my entrepreneurial career. So I think a lot of it has to do with stress and dysfunction and you know, not making enzymes and all of the above. So it's been an ongoing battle that I've been struggling with. And there'll be times it's great, I don't have a breakout for a long time, then all of a sudden it'll just come back and I'm almost like, I forget how to deal with it because it's been gone for so long. And so now I'm at a point where I've been having really bad breakouts, but they're subsiding again.

Theresa: One of my best friends is a physician in New York, Doctor Gabrielle Lyon. So I'm going to see her next month and we're going to be doing part two of my treatment. We tried to clean up my gut already. So we've been through a long process of trying to clean up my gut, my diet. Got me on some proper supplements for that. And then now the next step is we're going to be doing, it's called an LRA. So it stands for lymphocyte reactivity test. And so that's what I was explaining to you is that it's not really like a food sensitivity test, it's more of testing what your immune system is reacting to. And the whole purpose of it isn't to avoid the foods forever or the substances or chemicals. It's to really avoid them to allow your body to heal and get rid of the inflammation. And then once you start healing you can rebuild and then you can slowly start adding those things in, hopefully without the reaction. So we're doing that in May. So I'm hoping that will be a tremendous help as well.

Jennifer:  I think it's also interesting that you've mentioned about you are cleaning up your gut and I've talked to a ton on the healthy skin show and had guests on about the connection between the gut and the skin. And so can you just share with listeners, you know, obviously doing the creams only get you so far. Did you find that working on the gut piece helped move the ball forward for you?

Theresa: Oh gosh, yeah. When I was younger and I eat a ton of gluten, I had no idea. All these different things. I used to get eczema so badly. Not only eczema I used to get yeast. I got thrush when I was nursing my son, he got, what is it the thrush in his mouth? So it's definitely been life changing, cleaning up my diet. So I do gluten free. I should eat only healthy whole foods, you know, good fats. I don't do extreme fad diets. I just try to eat very healthy. But gluten free is definitely been a game changer. I don't really dairy either. I have noticed I have some trigger foods that don't digest well. So unfortunately for me, I can't eat any whole nuts. Like I just cannot, I'll just get eczema everywhere. So like taking in that component and then coupling it with a ton of supplements.

Theresa: I feel like I'm a walking supplement. I'm sure a lot of listeners can relate. But it makes me feel better and keeps me alive. And my brain's clear. I feel like everything has just improved overall. The inflammation's down. So it definitely helped me a ton. So now the second part is like figuring out the immune response part so I can get rid of that. She also this is not exciting to talk about but she thinks I have parasites as well. So I'm not looking forward to getting that test, but I am going to go through, cause she swears, I guess. Apparently they're very common and a lot of people get them either from traveling or believe it or not, wash your lettuce, cause she said there's a ton of parasites in lettuce. So now I'm like double washing everything that I eat.

Jennifer: And you know what's interesting about parasites too is the most common entry point is actually through the bottom of the foot. So if you got like cats and dogs in your house, cat, a lot of times if they're going outside, which oftentimes you let dogs go outside, they are bringing parasites into the house. And then I've actually had a parasite, again, got through my foot. My husband got a parasite through his foot, but we were both traveling. I was in Costa Rica and he got his in Belize, I think. Yeah. So we were in third world countries, but it is very possible. And I should also add too that, because we might be thinking, well, if you've got a parasite, you must have like diarrhea and feeling really, really crazy sick. And no, that's actually not necessarily the case. I never had crazy digestive symptoms. I had weird ones that I couldn't pinpoint. And my husband had other issues. But you can have parasites without getting Montezuma's revenge as they call it.

Theresa: That's why she was saying they go undiagnosed because you don't realize that you have. It causes the inflammation type reactions and things like that. But not primary reaction.

Jennifer: Would you mind just sharing a little bit, you were saying before we started that you've had a lot of experience using topical steroids.

Theresa: I was telling you my skin from, you know, when you're younger they don't tell you. When I was growing up they didn't say like clean up your diet or you know I used to drink soda like that was going into a style, I used to eat processed food. It was just horrible. And so instead they'd be like put some cortisone cream on it. And so I grew up my whole life putting topical creams on it and so of course my skin is so thin. So I have premature aging on my neck because this is for some reason I get it really badly here. And what's interesting is I actually got really sick a couple years ago and got tumors. The tumors were here too so I don't know what I got going on here, but it's like my detox lymphs point of something. I don't know where it comes out, but it's so thin that sometimes when I scratch it, if I do get a breakout, it'll actually rip open and bleed because that's how delicate my skin is. So what I'm trying, once I get all of this handled, I'm going to go back and I want to get laser surgery to try to resurface the skin. And I've been doing some PRP, we actually own stem cell clinics. So I'm hoping maybe once everything, I don't want to do that and then have a freak out again. So I'm like trying to get rid of it, not for good but for the most part and then start doing all this topical treatments to it. So yeah, it's a process.

Jennifer: It's a process and you've been able, through all the things that you've done, and I mean I just want to also mention to people, we talked about how you have this app that I use to work out and whatnot, but like you used to compete in fitness competitions. So like how did you get the confidence? I mean you're probably, people are listening to this going like I'm afraid for anybody to see any part of me that's broken out. So how did you get the confidence if you had this for a long time, like what was it like going from like having rashes to then being like, okay, I'm going to be on stage in a fitness competition?

Theresa: I guess I've had them so long, it's like part of me, so I don't even think about it. I mean, not that I don't think about it, but you know what I mean? It doesn't stop me now because it's just you have to either accept it and move on with your life or it's just going to hold you back and make you hide in the corner. So for me it's like I'm not going to stop doing things I want to do, because I have eczema. So when I do have breakouts, throw some makeup on over it and, and keep going with your day.

Jennifer: That is a really inspiring point though to keep in mind that you can keep doing a lot of things despite having these rashes even though you know, you don't necessarily feel your most confident. And speaking of, you know, when I developed eczema on my hands, like I basically stopped working out because I got to the point where like sweating was difficult and then I didn't want to go to a gym. So do you have any tips for anybody who might be struggling with like having breakouts and like what could they do if like they're embarrassed to go to a gym or like what would your suggestion be around fitness? Because I feel like moving a lot of times can help you just mentally feel better.

Theresa: So for me in the past, it's either gone one way or the other. It's either irritated it if it's really bad or it makes it better. Sometimes I feel like I'm detoxing and getting some of the inflammation out. So it's kind of like a double edged sword. But I know for me, like if I'm having a really bad reaction, some things that helped me, I take magnesium and if it's really bad I'll take, I know this probably isn't the healthiest way, but you can take an anti-inflammatory and we'll cut it and it's just enough to let me like keep moving on with my day and then usually it'll start going away. For me, fitness is such an integral part of my life. You're different because it was on your hands, you can't physically do things. So that's a different scenario. Cause mine's in my neck. It's like, for the most part, unless it's so aggravated that it's like the sweat is burning it, I'm going to continue to work just because it's my sanity. So I have to, so like I said, I've gotten so used to having it that I don't, not that I don't think about it, but I just move forward. I pursue my goals even though I have it, you know, you just can't let it stop you.

Jennifer: And did you ever notice too, when you were competing or now when you like go to business, you speak at a lot of business events and things like that. So you very much are a public figure. I love watching your photos everyday show up on Instagram. I find them to be very inspiring. But is there ever moments where you're just like, wow, I, I didn't know that I had this in me because like you have something that for a lot of people causes a lot of shame and yet you've somehow managed to just be like, I'm gonna put myself out there regardless. I'm going to keep doing this. Regardless of the imperfections that I have, like that's really cool. It really is.

Theresa: You know, sometimes I don't realize I'm doing things that are inspiring. I have this innate drive that if I'm scared to do something, like I have to do it. It's just I don't like being afraid of anything. And so I know I thrive in discomfort. I'm getting ready to make a post with this today, actually. For me it's so important for me to constantly put myself in that state. And sometimes that means putting myself in, you know, if I have a breakout, putting myself in a vulnerable position. The other day that I had a breakout last week I had to go to a business meeting and I know that the girl was like looking at my neck weird, but she didn't say anything. And it's like, it's kind of the awkward, you almost want to bring it up. Like it's just Eczema, but then you just leave it alone. So I just, I dunno, I know that I'm putting myself out there for the greater good, you know what I mean? Of overcoming whatever it is that I'm embarrassed about.

Jennifer: And that's a really good point too. I think a lot of times we get sucked into the daily life of feeling like very stuck every day in all of these moments. But maybe that's one of the lessons here that we can share with the listeners is that you start to see a greater your, your life and yourself from that point of a greater purpose. That may be a way to also help keep you moving forward instead of getting stuck with things. Don't go right, like you have a business meeting or you're speaking in front of an audience of women about whatever and all of a sudden your neck is all broken out, but you still do it anyway because you know that your higher purpose is more important.

Theresa: I love that point.

Jennifer: I think it's worthwhile to mention, and I definitely want to mention this because to me movement has been something that was a really big deal to me. And then I very much got off the wagon and I'm one of the big things, the eczema on my hands really messed that up, which is kind of in a sense silly because I actually could've done other things to just didn't involve me touchy weights and whatnot. But, but the one thing I've really liked and getting back into movement, as my skin is getting better, it was finding your app and that was really helpful because I didn't have to go to the gym and see people, like if my hands are itchy or any number of issues that I have, like I didn't have to go to a gym in order to feel comfortable enough to work out. So could you just share with everybody a little bit about what your app is and how if they're looking to add in movement and they're able to do that, how will that might be a helpful way to get started at least at home.

Theresa: It's funny that you say that because I do that sometimes too. If I'm having a breakout, I really don't want to, like I'm just gonna do my app at home. So it definitely does come in handy. But the app is something that I made for people who really, like in this situation, you just want to work on at home, you don't want to go to a gym, you just want a program to follow. So it's got a couple of different programs. If you're a beginner or I have two different 90-day programs. So one for beginner, one for advanced that's really designed to transform your body. And so I provide you a very specific exercises with the videos. It's really nice, I do it myself because sometimes I just, I don't want to think about what I'm doing. I just want somebody to tell me what to do. So it's just somebody there telling you what to do and keeping you accountable to the workout.

Jennifer: And there are timers, so it counts down of like how long? And I'm like, oh my gosh, I have to keep doing this another 15 seconds. And it's helpful. Like it helps get me motivated when I felt so demotivated and I didn't want to think about what I had to do and I just wasn't comfortable going to the gym. And it is a really great thing because I can carry it around like I don't have an iPhone, but I use my iPad instead. And it's nice, like even if I do go to the gym now, I can still bring it and stream the workouts on Wifi. So it's really nice. I will say, you know, if I could hire a trainer for every single time I went to the gym, that would be great. But that's like we beyond my budget at the moment and you know, this is a really economical way and effective way I've found and it is made it really enjoyable as well.

Jennifer: And it helps track my progress and keeps me accountable. So I just wanted to share that with everybody because I know that sometimes we just go, I can't do this because of all these reasons. And I think that movement is important. And if you can find a way to just move that sometimes can be just to boost your mood a little bit, you know, to not feel like you're just, you can't do anything. And really, you can. And that was the one thing that this gave me the confidence to do again. So I just wanted to like, I love the fact that you have gone through this and you're still going. I mean I wish you weren't going through it. I don't wish anybody who was going through at this, cause I know what it's like, but I'm glad that you're here and you're able to speak from a place of experience and really know what it's like to have these issues and to also bring this other piece into the conversation of like how you can bring movement back into your life if you're not comfortable with going to the gym right now.

Theresa: I think it's so important. You know, if you look at like the book Spark talks about the correlation between movement and depression and if you have these conditions you are more inclined to be upset and not in a good place because it's very frustrating when you have these rashes and you kind of feel like you have to be secluded or hide yourself. And so I think movement is even more essential to keep you in that positive mindset, you know, and to keep you out of this.

Jennifer: I agree. Well thank you so much Theresa. I really appreciate you sharing your story and hopefully you will keep us updated.

Theresa: I'm going to Snap on my Instagram when I go to Doctor Gabrielle so I'll keep everybody updated on my Snap.

Jennifer: Okay, that sounds wonderful. And of course you can find Theresa over on Instagram. I follow her and she's got a lot of really great posts. Do you want to share with us where can everybody find you? What's the best spot for them?

Theresa: I'm on Instagram the most. It's @theresadepasqualefit. I do have a Facebook as well, and my website is

Jennifer: Very cool. And we'll put all the links in the show notes and I'll also connect you guys with that book Spark that Theresa mentioned so you can check that out. We'll just put all that in the show notes and then you can follow along and we'll look forward to hearing what happens at your next visit. But thank you so much for joining with us. I really appreciate it.

Theresa: Thanks for having me. I love what you're doing.

"I just move forward. I pursue my goals even though I have it [eczema]. You just can't let it stop you."