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131: Mindset: What To Do When Nothing Seems To Help Your Rashes

Have you ever felt like a failure after trying thing after thing for your skin — yet nothing seems to help?

Why does it help everyone else BUT you?

It just doesn’t seem fair.

The truth is —  there’s a lot that doesn’t feel fair on the journey to resolve chronic skin rashes.

Especially when it seems like nothing is helping you.

Before you throw in the towel assuming that you’re just doomed, let’s talk about mindset.

It’s one of the most critical pieces of the puzzle that is often overlooked as being too woo-woo.

If you’re about ready to roll your eyes, hold up and give this a listen.

You probably need to hear this the most!

I’ve found that the right mindset is necessary to stay the course and see things in a light that fosters hope.

In today’s episode, I’m sharing the tips I’ve learned along the way that have helped me personally as well as my clients get to the finish line.

Or, listen on your favorite app: iTunes (Apple Podcasts) | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn | Subscribe on Android

In this episode:

  • If you’ve been feeling like nothing is working for you…
  • My approach to mindset when things go wrong
  • How long should you take to process disappointment
  • The way to view things that don’t work (this will surprise you!)

Quotes:

Because you’re so focused on predicting failure before it even happens, you’ve shut yourself off to anything good or positive happening.

Failures are opportunities to highlight a facet of the large complex web of moving pieces in your body and figure out where it needs support most.

Woman frustrated with her skin rashes that won't go away

Mindset: What To Do When Nothing Seems To Help Your Rashes (FULL TRANSCRIPT)

Welcome back to episode #131 of the Healthy Skin Show!

In today's episode, I want to talk about your approach or mindset when all the things you try to help your rashes don’t yield results. These experiences can leave you feeling like everything that you give a try ends up as a failure.

There is a growing sense of feeling hopeless.

That “nothing will work.”

And it’s even possible that you start to feel a deep sense of disappointment that you're not really sure how to process.

Despite what you find online…

  • the stories and testimonials from people who have seemingly fixed their rashes…
  • articles that have what appear to be really good information that seems promising…

And yet nothing seems to work for you.

I’ve talked about becoming very skeptical and negative in a previous episode.

For some people, it leaves you feeling like a failure or even like a lost cause.

And it can lead you to believe that there's no point in giving anything else to try because (for whatever reason) you are doomed.

Hopeful sun rays in dark forest

Seeing Opportunities In Your Failed Attempts

I call this dark place you might be headed towards (or already in) the Failure Mindset.

Everything becomes dead end before you even try it.

The Failure Mindset sucks you down deep into a hole that can feel very difficult and sometimes impossible to get out of.

Because you’re so focused on predicting failure before it even happens, you’ve shut yourself off to anything good or positive happening.

And as a result, you can no longer perceive opportunities.

No matter how dire things may seem, opportunity is always present.

Through my own personal experience, I believe failures are opportunities if we choose to see them as such. It even includes things that don't turn out the way that we expect them to as well as those that turn out even worse than we’d hope.

They can result in incredibly powerful feedback that you can use to piece more information together.

If you only view failure as a dead end, you’ll miss out on what will help you.

So it's my hope today to help you shift your mindset by sharing some of the tools that I've learned along the way on my own as well as while working with clients.

Chess game and coffee

To Solve Skin Rashes, Play The Long Game

When health issues are more chronic in nature, your best strategy is to play “the long game.” Especially when it comes to skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, dandruff, et cetera.

It means that instead of focusing on short term wins, you recognize that this is about the long journey ahead.

You let go of the idea that one little thing is going to fix you.

And that you’re just one quick solution away from being normal again.

While there are people who will make one little minor change and everything goes away, the chances of that happening for you are pretty slim.

And yet so many of us can easily get sucked into quick fixes (like those parasite cleanses I’ve talked about).

The short game is riddled with unrealistic expectations, emotional instability, and disappointment.

And what’s more, the short game only focuses on addressing the most immediate need without much regard for anything else that’s not going right under the surface.

That’s why the long game is a better strategy… it acknowledges that this isn't just about your skin.

Your intention and actions are about creating a partnership with your body to support your health overall. 

And that’s important given that the journey ahead will often NOT look like a straight line.

Curved road through a forest

Your Journey Will Not Be A Straight Line To Healing

Have you ever said, “I feel like I took two steps forward only to end up taking three steps back”?

I certainly have.

Years ago, I’d chalk up feeling this way to prove that I was doomed.

But my wiser self knows that’s actually not true.

The journey to resolve chronic health problems (skin or otherwise) will often NOT be a straight line.

In the grand scheme of things, it is probably much more like a squiggly mess.

And sometimes you have to backslide in order to move forward in a more productive way.

I understand that it can be difficult to see the progress when you’re trapped in what feels like a daily hell. You end up so tied to what’s going on in the moment that it’s challenging to step back to see your total progress from a different perspective.

When you allow yourself to see your progress from a 2000-foot view, only then can you perceive the forward momentum with all of the twists and turns.

That’s another reason why playing the long game is imperative!

It helps you see the “forest amongst the trees” and not lose sight of the bigger picture.

Especially when you’re faced with what seems like an endless number of “I healed myself” testimonials.

While it’s easy to get your hopes up, instead you remain skeptically optimistic.

I say “skeptically optimistic” because you must acknowledge that your journey is unique. That means your journey is not their journey.

What worked for them may not work for you.

And it’s also possible that what works for them may actually make you worse.

That's why remaining skeptical helps you create an emotional barrier so that you don't make assumptions that what you're going to do is automatically going to fix you.

Using a stop watch to set limits on depression

Setting Time Limits On Disappointment

Ever get stuck in a funk for what seems like a week?

Problem after problem keeps piling on and before you know it, you start to really lose faith that something good will come your way.

For some people struggling with their skin for a long time, life can become really dark.

The truth is that fixing your skin can be really tricky.

Things that work for someone else are not always going to work for you.

When you do feel upset or disappointed, it’s critical to feel all of your feelings — the grief, anger, disappointment, sadness.

Pushing it down or denying it feeds into the concept of false positivity that can be equally damaging.

Give yourself time to feel and process, but set a time limit.

I usually allow myself about 30 minutes to an hour to feel down, cry, write out all the angry thoughts…

And when the time is up, you've got to move on. 

It's not healthy to dwell in negative thought patterns that ultimately feed into feeling like a failure and hopelessness.

Woman trying to understand her body's feedback loops

Understanding Your Body’s Feedback Loops

Life is all about communication, right?

Even your body communicates with you.

Unfortunately, it’s in ways that we don’t always understand.

That’s why it is important to stop viewing feedback (or symptoms) as good or bad.

Instead, it’s just information.

Let’s say you clean up your diet and start eating all these really healthful fruits and veggies, yet notice that your skin has gotten much worse!

You do a bunch of reading and start to think that all these healthy foods rich in salicylates are to blame.

And now you’ve got to cut out these foods and go on a low salicylate diet.

You’re clearly doing something right but you feel like you’re somehow being punished!

Now, if you stop there and wallowing in what is a really sad predicament, you’ll miss the opportunity of understanding what your body is trying to tell you.

In this particular case, the feedback is potentially pointing out that your phase 2 liver detoxification really needs more support!

A sensitivity to salicylate-rich foods is not ultimately solved with a more restrictive diet. Instead, it’s a cry for the right nutrients to support your liver’s ability to deal with them.

That’s why I always tell my clients to share with me what's going well and what's not going well.

All symptoms are important — no matter whether it's good, bad or the same.

It is ALL valuable.

This underscores why emotionally tying yourself to only having positive feedback is actually unhelpful.

You'll ultimately fail to see important pieces of the puzzle because you only want to see improvements. Improvements may be helpful to some degree, but fixating on them creates a blind spot preventing you from seeing small yet significant details to your particular case.

So if I could make one suggestion — weight every type of feedback your body gives you the same.

This helps you focus on listening to your body rather than emotionally reacting to it.

University student asking questions

Always Ask Why Something Didn’t Work

And lastly, when things don't go your way, that is the opportunity to dig deeper and ask WHY.

Whenever something isn’t going in the right direction or doesn’t appear to be working, don’t just throw in the towel.

Always ask why. 

The deeper answers you’ll discover will help move you further along down the road.

For example, if you were to try adding in more Vitamin A or more fish oil to help your skin and yet you didn't notice any improvement, ask why it didn't work.

Was it the correct form of the nutrient to take for your unique body?

Could it be that you’re not optimally absorbing fat-soluble nutrients? 

Is it possible that your levels are so low that the dose was not high enough?

These are all very valid questions to consider — and ones that I consider when working with clients in my virtual practice.

So instead of seeing this experiment as a failure, it's really an opportunity to highlight a facet of the large complex web of moving pieces in your body and figure out where it needs support most.

That’s why I say that there is tremendous power available to you when you see failures in all of your attempts as opportunities to do better, to look deeper, to support your body, your life, and your health from the perspective that it uniquely needs.

I would love to hear your approach to dealing with these failures! 

Have you experienced the highs and lows that come along with seeking solutions for your rashes?

Have you found a way to navigate the path forward so that your failed attempts to help your skin do not stop you, but actually help you move forward?

Leave your experiences and thoughts in the COMMENTS below!

And make sure to share this episode with anyone you know who feels like everything they try is a waste of time, only results in failure, and that maybe they are just doomed.

This mindset shift can be incredibly powerful to help you remain hopeful and to keep taking steps day after day to better support not just your skin, but also your body as a whole.

Thank you so much for tuning in and I look forward to seeing you in the next episode!

Because you’re so focused on predicting failure before it even happens, you’ve shut yourself off to anything good or positive happening.


Jennifer Fugo, MS, CNS

Jennifer Fugo, MS, CNS is an integrative Clinical Nutritionist and the founder of Skinterrupt. She works with women who are fed up with chronic gut and skin rash issues discover the root causes and create a plan to get them back to a fuller, richer life.


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