Episode 90: Jennifer Fugo – Skin Health, ‘Leaky Skin’, and How To Heal Skin Conditions like Eczema and Psoriasis
Jennifer Fugo, MS, LDN, CNS, and functional clinical nutritionist, breaks down the 16 root causes of chronic skin rashes and why healthy skin starts on the inside. She explains the connection between our skin and our liver and shares the best way to support our liver function for glowing, healthy skin.
You’ve probably heard about leaky gut, but what about leaky skin? We’ll talk about what this means, how it connects to internal stressors, how to reduce inflammation and the emotional side of skin conditions that impact people’s appearance and confidence. We learn healthy skin diet principles, oils that are good and bad for the skin (from the inside and outside!), and learn some topical solutions that help treat everything from dry, irritated skin to psoriasis, and eczema. Jennifer also shares the importance of respecting our body’s ancient wisdom and learning its language so we can know when something is wrong.
- 07:07 Intro
- 17:30 The Gap in Standard Care
- 21:15 The 16 Root Causes
- 24:40 The Liver-Skin Connection
- 28:00 Liver Support
- 31:30 Leaky Skin & Internal Stressors
- 37:30 How to Reduce Inflammation
- 43:00 The Thyroid Connection
- 47:30 Ancient Wisdom & the Journe
- 49:30 The Emotional Side
- 54:50 Fats & Oils
- 01:02:50 Eczema, Psoriasis, & Gut Dysbiosis
- 01:09:40 The Role of Stomach Acid
- 01:13:30 Psoriasis Best Practices & Tests
- 01:19:15 Healthy Skin Diet Principles
- 01:25:50 Low Histamine Diet & Sensitivity
- 01:27:00 Topical Solutions
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Check out Jennifer’s website Skinterrupt
Dr. Stephanie's Episode Notes
The 8 Eczema Types
There are eight types of eczema, which include:
- Atopic dermatitis – The most common form. Chronic and inflammatory in nature, atopic dermatitis usually begins in childhood.
- Contact Dermatitis – This occurs when skin comes in contact with a trigger or allergen, causing a flare up.
- Dyshidrotic eczema – Identifiable by itchy blisters, usually found on the hands and feet.
- Hand eczema – Very common and usually triggered by contact with an irritating substance on the hands.
- Neurodermatitis – Similar to atopic dermatitis but characterized by thick, scaly patches.
- Nummular eczema – A type of eczema that’s difficult to treat and causes circular lesions that sometimes look like insect bites.
- Seborrheic dermatitis – A chronic form that appears on areas of the body where oil forms, such as the scalp, nose, and upper back.
- Stasis dermatitis – Occurs around areas where there is poor blood circulation, usually the ankles and backs of the legs.
The 4 Stages of Eczema
Eczema appears on the body in a cyclical pattern. How long your symptoms last in each stage depends on your personal health and the type of eczema you have.
My eczema cycles would last over a month at a time! Each time I’d start to feel a flare-up coming on, I’d be overwhelmed with dread.
Here’s what happens when you live with eczema:
- Flare up – This occurs due to a trigger and may cause the area of skin to itch or burn. If you scratch this skin, it will make your outbreak worse.
- Outbreak – Scratching of the affected area causes added inflammation, redness, swelling, flaking, bleeding, and crusting. Your outbreak won’t subside until you remove the trigger.
- Healing – After the trigger or root cause has been removed, your skin can begin the healing process. How long healing takes will depend on how bad the area was affected by the outbreak.
- Remission – After your skin heals, you can have completely clear skin. However, if you come in contact with a trigger, you can easily start another flare up.
Reduce Your Eczema Triggers
- Leaky gut syndrome – Leaky gut can trigger your immune system and cause the flare-ups that cause your eczema symptoms.
- Filaggrin gene SNPs – If you have the FLG gene mutation, you could have an impaired filaggrin function (a protective protein in your skin).
- Food sensitivities – Food sensitivities can set off your immune system and cause eczema breakouts.
- Gut infections – Infections that mess with your gut also mess with your immune system and can cause flare-ups.
Reduce Inflammation / Histamines
Avoid these inflammation-causing foods:
- Gluten – Gluten is a major cause of so many skin conditions, I often call the reactions collectively, “Gluten Skin.”
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Trans fats – junky vegetable oils
- Fried foods
- Refined carbohydrates (including those that are gluten-free)
- Processed meat
Foods high in histamine can reinforce this inflammatory response, making your eczema worse. Many high histamine foods are considered pretty healthy, so there’s a possibility you haven’t considered these.
High histamine foods include:
- Fermented foods and drinks – Sauerkraut, beer, kombucha, soy sauce, kefir
- Cured meats – Bacon, lunch meat, salami, sausage
- Smoked meat and fish
- Aged cheese
- Vinegar and vinegar-containing foods, such as pickles
- Sour cream
- Certain vegetables – Spinach, avocado, tomatoes, and eggplant
There are also histamine–releasing foods which can cause inflammation. If you’ve been struggling with eczema for a while or suspect you have a histamine sensitivity – this is definitely something worth looking into deeper.