One thing that Nicolette Fusco was lucky to be blessed with was the fact that she never had to deal with skin problems like acne or oiliness. She managed to be free from all the skin problems that most teenagers face but when she was 22, she ended up having a skin condition called eczema which makes the skin itchy with scaly red rashes flaring up the entire body. Her arms and legs would turn bumpy, red, and dry, and sweat, in turn, caused irritations and rashes. Her dermatologist saw no signs of eczema as she weighed 185 pounds and around five-foot-one frame.
“I was so uncomfortable in my own skin,” admits Fusco, “I would have dead skin everywhere; it would fall off of my legs and it would burn.” She had to change her wardrobe and could not wear revealing clothes anymore.
Her condition affected her for two more years. She decided to look into her weight in 2016. “With the help of Jenny Craig and daily exercise, I was able to lose over 45 pounds over several months,” she reveals. She started a healthy diet and reduced her unhealthy food habits.
She was over the moon when her weight reduced and she could not wait to finally wear revealing and comfortable clothes. And on top of all that, she discovered that her eczema had disappeared too.
Was her weight loss linked to the disappearance of her skin condition? Dermatologists believe that this is highly possible. “Weight loss, generally speaking, may improve eczema,” claims dermatologist Jeanine Downie, MD, from New Jersey. “Additionally, her regular exercise also decreased her stress level, which might have improved her eczema as well.”
Another dermatologist from South Carolina named Ava Shamban, MD, chimes in saying, “Eczema is an inflammatory condition of the skin, and treating the entire body with an anti-inflammatory approach does help it. By changing her diet to eliminate junk food and putting a new emphasis on vegetables and good portion control, [she] reduces systemic inflammation, thereby helping eliminate her eczema.” The mere fact that she opted to change her diet to a healthy one hiked her health suggests dietitian Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD.
“If you search for ‘eczema diet’ online you’ll find a number of different protocols. But the standard approach is, to begin with an elimination diet, which entails cutting out foods that may be triggering inflammation for at least four weeks, sometimes longer,”reveals Sass, “A nutritious diet not only supports immunity and supplies nutrients involved in skin maintenance and healing, it also improves the health of your gut, which is critical for immune function.”
“I changed my diet to get healthier and lose the weight I had been struggling with, but the disappearance of my eczema has been a major added bonus,” she reveals, “All the benefits that have come from making positive changes have kept me even more motivated to continue on my healthy journey.”