290: Will THIS Help Your Skin Rash (Or Make It Worse)?

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If you’ve ever experienced the frustration or disappointment after trying so many different things you’ve seen people post about online that has helped them – only to not get better or get worse

This episode is for you.

I’ve been in your shoes when I was struggling with dyshidrotic eczema back in 2016.

After months of trying everything under the sun that I read about online without getting any relief (except from using topical steroids), my enduring skin rash felt like a huge sign of doom.

I didn’t understand why things people swore made their skin quickly improve only made my hands worse.

A few weeks ago, someone in my community asked me if there was a way to trust so many stories of healing online.

They couldn’t understand why various suggestions never seemed to work for them.

So I shared my thoughts over on Instagram and received such an incredible response that I figured I should share it here too!

Before you assume that you’re broken or curse, this is what you need to know…

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In this episode:

  • Why what works for others might make your skin worse
  • Understanding what a “sample size” is
  • Two reasons I don’t share what healed my dyshidrotic eczema
  • Does everyone with the same diagnosis have the SAME root causes?
  • If you’re looking for “the missing piece to your case”…


There’s so much variability between people who share the same exact diagnosis, it’s impossible to expect what worked for one will work for everyone.

Be cautious of falling into the mindset of thinking that there’s just ONE thing that you’re missing so maybe THIS person has your missing piece.


Woman wondering about if a treatment will work for her skin or not

290: Will Help Your Skin (Or Make It Worse)? (FULL TRANSCRIPT)

Welcome back to episode #290 of the Healthy Skin Show!

In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about a very shared experience of seeking out people with your diagnosis + hoping that their solution will also work for you.

You might stumble across someone in a Facebook group, message board or even a website that you immediately want to know what they did to achieve their results.

Because logic states that if the steps they’ve taken worked for them, then these steps must work for you too…right?

Not so fast!

Before you get your hopes up, it’s important to consider a few factors first so that you can manage your expectations and better judge if the proposed steps (or intervention) are a waste of time or worth a try.

I say this after working with countless clients who’ve “tried it all” – and I can confirm that they’ve tried every option they came across online to heal their skin on their own.

Only to feel like a bigger failure + thoroughly stumped as to why it didn’t work for them (or maybe even made them worse).

I’ve mentioned on the show before in episode 223 that diet changes often suggested for various chronic skin conditions (as well as even just eating cleaner or healthier) can make your skin worse.

That’s why I want to address this + remind you that if things don’t work, it doesn’t mean that you’re broken or a failure!


Woman pointing at another woman off screen

“But It Worked For Her…”

As you might know, I used to have dyshidrotic eczema + shared about it in episode 63. While some people appreciate me talking about my experience, many email me upset that I didn’t share exactly what I did to get the rashes to stop.

“I don’t understand why you can’t just tell me what you did!”

There are two reasons why I haven’t shared what I did to stop my eczema.

One has to do with the fact that I had NO IDEA what I was doing back in 2016 + 2017. As I obviously know so much more about eczema now (2023), I don’t recommend doing what I did those years ago to my own clients.

The second reason has to do with something called “sample size”.

In research, the sample size of a study – or the number of participants who were involved in receiving the intervention or protocol – really matters.

Small studies of 5 or 30 or even 100 people may not be as reliable as a study that consists of 500, 1200, or more than 5000 participants.

So when you’re reading about a single person’s experience following a diet or protocol (like my own experience with dyshidrotic eczema), you’re literally hearing about the outcome of a sample size of one (or n=1 as you may have seen in research).

Because there’s so much variability between people who share the same exact diagnosis, it’s impossible to expect what worked for one will work for everyone.

A larger sample size means that we can put more trust in the efficacy of the intervention or protocol (though results can always vary from person to person based on a variety of factors).

This is why you will NEVER hear me say “I healed my eczema, I’ll show you what I did so you can heal too!”

My personal journey resolving eczema is literally a sample size of one. To even remotely imply that following what I personally did will yield the same exact results for you is disingenuous.

So when I get these emails now asking why I won’t just tell everyone what I did, I respond with a question – “Given that this was over six years ago + that my knowledge base is so much greater at this point in time, wouldn’t you be more interested in knowing what I would recommend now rather than knowing the messy, uneducated protocol that I threw together years ago that I would never use in practice with clients today?”

Now that I have so much clinical experience under my belt working with hundreds of chronic skin rash cases, I can confidently tell you that what I did then absolutely will not work for most people.

And if I were given a choice, I wouldn’t even follow what I did six years ago!

Because of the great variations between individuals, exposures, infections, hormones, nutrient levels, genetics, etc… this explains why doing what someone else did may not actually work or could even make you worse.


Plant roots

Same Diagnosis, Different Problems

Another point to consider is that having the same diagnosis as someone else doesn’t mean that you have the same root causes, triggers or problems as them.

This is one thing that I’ve talked A LOT about on the Healthy Skin Show.

I dove into this in episode 209 to help you figure out your underlying root causes because focusing heavily on a diagnosis alone is extremely short-sighted!

After working with hundreds of cases in my clinical practice, I’ve learned that people who share the same exact diagnosis don’t always have the same root causes.

To explain my point a bit more clearly, let’s look at three individuals who all have been diagnosed with eczema.

One of these people might find that cleaning up their diet + identifying a food allergy (let’s just say eggs in this particular example) leads to skin rash clearance.

The second person following this same protocol actually gets worse! It turns out that their root causes include vitamin deficiencies, major gut dysbiosis + liver detox challenges.

And the third person doesn’t get better with the same diet-based intervention because their root cause combo includes severe hypothyroidism, mineral imbalances + blood sugar challenges.

Each one of these people has THE SAME EXACT DIAGNOSIS and yet, their root causes are all different.

And yes this even applies to the more granular skin diagnoses beyond just something like eczema or psoriasis – things like nummular eczema, dyshidrotic eczema, scalp psoriasis, plaque psoriasis, guttate psoriasis, etc.

This is why I encourage all of the listeners to use my Skin Rash Root Cause Finder guide to go deeper than the diagnosis + identify your root cause combo.

If you don’t, you might get stuck doing what I call “throwing darts in the dark” hoping to possibly hit the bullseye.

I get it because there’s an allure in thinking that someone else has found a shortcut.

It’s also very admirable for someone who has gotten better to want to share what solutions or products worked for them.

But that’s the problem – it worked for them.

And their sample size is (you guessed it)ONE.

Without working with a larger pool of people and understanding the bigger picture, it can be really easy to latch on to the next thing you read about online.

I’m not saying don’t give things a try.

But I do think we all need to be cautious of falling into the mindset of thinking that there’s just ONE thing that you’re missing so maybe THIS person has your missing piece.

When in reality, they know nothing of you, your overall health picture, genetics, exposures and history; and may lack greater context about why something would or wouldn’t work.

And this is all to help you manage your expectations so that should something not work (or make your skin worse), it doesn’t send you into a spiral that ultimately leads you to feel even worse about your situation.

I shared about this on Instagram recently + received nearly a hundred messages that this explained so much which is why I thought sharing it here with you would also be insightful.

If you’ve got any questions or thoughts to share about this, leave a comment below so I can address them.

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

There’s so much variability between people who share the same exact diagnosis, it’s impossible to expect what worked for one will work for everyone.

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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