041: What Do My Skin Rash Symptoms Really Mean? (for Eczema, Psoriasis, Rosacea and more)

I realize that symptoms can be incredibly frustrating and annoying! But what if they could be used to decipher what’s actually going on beneath the surface?

No matter whether you’re dealing with eczema symptoms or psoriasis symptoms (or any other skin rash condition’s litany of issues on a daily basis), it’s time to put on your investigator’s cap.

Symptoms aren’t there to ruin your day or a special occasion.

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

If you’re serious about figuring out what’s causing and triggering your rashes, you’ve got to shift your perspective on the symptoms.

It’s my hope that you’ll see how I use the symptoms that a client shares with me to figure out the next step on their journey!

In this episode:

  • Why it is important to take symptoms seriously
  • What is symptom suppression?
  • The importance of looking at ALL your symptoms, not only the skin-related ones
  • How to find answers

Quotes:

“What if you flipped the way you view those symptoms to see them as signals from your body. They are literally providing you feedback. When biochemical pathways or signaling mechanisms go off the rails, your body lets you know through those symptoms! This means that symptoms are actually an opportunity to look deeper so that you can support your body and its health from even the most basic of levels.” [1:20]

“Nine out of 10 clients come through the door with a single complaint and within 30 minutes, we have generated a lengthy list of symptoms and problems that often predated the start of their skin problems. Symptoms that they never realized were connected!” [4:50]

 

What Do My Skin Rash Symptoms Really Mean? FULL TRANSCRIPT

Hi everyone! Welcome back to episode Number 41 of the Healthy Skin Show!

Today I’m talking about symptoms — and not just the ones that frustrate you at the level of your skin.

The reason is that I’ve come to believe that symptoms are something incredibly important.

I know that you might think that your body can communicate with you as clearly as a computer. But that’s not at all true.

In fact, it’s not at all “computer technology”… but rather a more ancient technology. Literally think smoke signals, my friends.

That’s why it can be so difficult to translate symptoms into something more meaningful.

They feel… well, vague.

As a result, it’s pretty commonplace to think of your symptoms as annoyances. However, they are so much more!

What if you flipped the way you view those symptoms to see them as signals from your body. They are literally providing you feedback.

When biochemical pathways or signaling mechanisms go off the rails, your body lets you know through those symptoms!

This means that symptoms are actually an opportunity to look deeper so that you can support your body and its health from even the most basic of levels.

Skin Rash Symptoms Aren’t Your Enemy

It might seem completely counter-intuitive, but hear me out! The confusion about what symptoms mean is the result of the way we approach the body from a Western perspective.

Instead of tuning in, we prefer to suppress or eliminate symptoms — be it eczema symptoms, psoriasis symptoms etc. Heck, Western medicine has become a serious pro at symptom management.

That’s why there’s a pill for this and cream for that!

Consider your own experience asking your doctor for help with your eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, dandruff… and pretty much any other skin rash condition.

“Here’s a steroid cream,” they’ll say and send you on your way.

One of the biggest frustrations our community continually shares with me is the over-reliance by their dermatologist to just give them more steroid creams.

Clearly, you don’t have a steroid cream deficiency, right?

I’m certainly not anti-steroid cream nor judgmental about how you choose to address your skin rashes, but to be fair, steroid creams mask inflammation, itchiness, redness, flaking and other awful symptoms.

The symptom suppression model means that you no longer have access to the vital clues to help you identify which systems and processes have broken down. And which ones are struggling because of low nutrient stores or detoxification challenges.

And it makes it much more difficult to determine where to even begin. Especially when you’ve tried a bunch of random things you read about online that didn’t really work.

Symptoms Are Clues From Your Body Hidden In Plain Sight

When clients come to me frustrated because their skin is a mess, I start right here with their symptoms (it’s literally what we cover for a full hour alone!).

I consider this process to be one of the most valuable processes that help us discover the root causes that underlie skin rashes. But in order to do that, you must consider your body as one entire unit rather than a sliced up conglomeration of organs and parts that happen to live together.

And it acknowledges that all of your symptoms are connected no matter where you experience them.

Yes, this means that non-skin symptoms do impact the health of your skin!

One mistake clients often make is fixating on your condition as a whole.

“Well, I have eczema (or psoriasis or rosacea, etc),” and you get almost trapped in this idea of your diagnosis. It becomes really easy to write off or ignore everything else that's actually going wrong.

Nine out of 10 clients come through the door with a single complaint and within 30 minutes, we have generated a lengthy list of symptoms and problems that often pre-dated the start of their skin problems.

Symptoms that they never realized were connected!

It’s not your fault if you’ve fallen into this trap… though I’d argue blame certainly points towards the way we’ve been trained as patients by Western medicine to discount anything but relevant symptoms.

But it’s time to break that pattern if you’re fed up running in circles so that you can tune in and translate those smoke signals I’ve been talking about!

To do this, you’ve got to make the time to take a detailed inventory of your symptoms since this is your body’s preferred communication route.

Start by writing down your diagnoses you’ve gotten from a doctor. Then break them down further by writing out the symptoms you experience from those conditions.

Next, begin looking further out into your body by writing down every single symptom you experience, no matter how seemingly small or insignificant. Include the ones that your doctor might blow off and tell you that they aren't a big deal.

Ask people who know you very well what health issues and symptoms you complain about, but might not think of!

Write it all down all the while resisting the urge to self-edit.

Include symptoms that are physical, mental, and emotional! And note when they started as well as what makes them better and worse.

And last, answer this question — “What do you THINK is wrong?

Take a moment and really listen to what’s coming up even if it doesn’t make sense and you have no proof to support it.

Write this reflection down.

It might not be correct, but I’ve found that clients often have this intuitive sense of what is wrong, but they’ve never felt safe to share it with their doctor.

You Are An Important Part Of Deciphering Your Symptoms

Your story and experiences are powerful and deserve to be heard because only you can share them. You know your body and its history better than anyone else!

And this also means that you are a vital part of the process to uncover what’s going on.

Going through this process will help you to zoom out so that we can create a picture from a 2000 foot view of what your body is trying to tell you.

It allows us to see nutrient deficiencies, hormone imbalances, toxic burdens, and deeper problems that drive the skin issues.

I think it’s worth reiterating that your body is not triggering symptoms just to be annoying and difficult. Instead, it’s asking for your help and attention.

It works so hard to juggle a crazy amount of processes behind the scenes during every single moment of the day. Your body doesn’t want to fail you.

It wants to support you and allow you to thrive!

By tuning in (instead of masking symptoms which is literally tuning out), you ultimately foster a better relationship with your body and your health.

Because now we can identify where we need to dig to find answers so that we can finally get clear on what your root causes are!

It’s been my experience that your skin rashes aren’t root causes in and of themselves. If you’re serious about supporting your health, then you have to look for other imbalances.

I know that this process I’ve just described goes against the norm and how we view health problems. But when you take a step back to embrace the idea that your body is trying to ask for help, everything changes.

Finally, there are possibilities for a situation that has felt hopeless (to varying degrees). And that fresh perspective creates the opportunity for you to actually see improvement across the board.

It helps us create a plan to move from point A to point B and which steps should be done in a particular order in order to be effective.

Of course… if you need help piecing it all together, ask for help!

There’s no need to always go it alone because sometimes the way forward can be complicated.

In the meantime, you’ve got homework to do!

Get started on your list so that you can begin to make the connections that have been missed, overlooked, and blown off.

This is the first step in the process and I’m excited to see what you come up with!

Share your questions and AHA’s on this in a comment below!

 

"What if you flipped the way you view those symptoms to see them as signals from your body. They are literally providing you feedback. When biochemical pathways or signaling mechanisms go off the rails, your body lets you know through those symptoms! This means that symptoms are actually an opportunity to look deeper so that you can support your body and its health from even the most basic of levels."


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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