A dietitian who understands how itchy eczema can be
Health Hub blog

A dietitian who understands how itchy eczema can be

After experiencing eczema as a kid and seeing so many specialists, Chloe decided to become a dietitian to help others in the same itchy boat as her.

Before you start reading, I wanted to jump in and introduce Chloe first. This is the superwoman dietitian who helped me see I had a food chemical intolerance. After years and years of horrendous symptoms, she was the one who led me on the right path. Ash x

One of my earliest memories of my skin having an impact on my daily life was being at school, and noticing my lunch box looked so different to the other kids as my Mum and I were trying yet another thing to try to get my eczema to settle down. Another distinct memory is a family holiday to QLD, and my eczema being so red, raw, and sensitive that going for a swim in the ocean caused so much pain it made me cry.

Why am I sharing this? Because I know you, Yours Only community, can undoubtedly relate.
As for some of you though, these early experiences helped to shape what I wanted to do with my life (a very real story Yours Only founder Ashli Templer has shared for herself as well!), with food sensitivity and the raised awareness at a young age of both how food impacted my skin, and also how it made me feel day to day, being one of the key reasons I became a dietitian. Fortunately, it has helped me become more empathetic, and develop a true curiosity of how what we eat can so dramatically impact our health. I like to think of it sometimes like being a nutrition detective – finding the gaps in someone’s diet, and then helping make the changes they need to make so they can live their best life.

As a teenager and in my early 20s, I remember trying a million things to help get my eczema under control – from steroid creams to UV pods, to some weird test where I had to hold something that was covered in a wet tissue (!), as well as managing all the things relating to food.

I worked out pretty early (when I was around 3 years old) that dairy and eggs were an issue, as well as ‘managing’ intake of naturally occurring food chemicals, such as salicylates, amines, and glutamates, as well as wheat. I say ‘managing’ because it’s SO important to not entirely avoid long term due to impact on tolerance levels, as well as the potential for food anxiety and how this can contribute to symptoms on a psychological level, as well as overall wellbeing.

On top of the food, environmental factors such as dust, mould, grasses and animal fur are all issues for me too, with varying levels of daily management around this. Fast forward to being in my mid 30’s, and can credit my (mostly) great skin with knowing what to eat, what not to eat (or how much I can manage), having great stress management tools, and avoiding things like dust and mould as much as practical.

On the professional front, I founded Verde Nutrition Co at the start of 2022. After previously running two other successful nutrition businesses, and being a dietitian for 13 years, I am finally feeling like I have found ‘my thing’. Verde is all about finding the nutrition expert who can help YOU with your health concern. There are so many things to know in this space, it is impossible to understand all the things to best help someone, and is why specialising in certain areas helps us help our patients more effectively. In saying this, there is often more than one thing going on… so having a group of dietitians with varying areas of expertise means that you have access to more than one brain, to ensure you get the specialist help you need to get your health on track. I am so proud of my wonderful team, where we have someone (or someones) who are able to help with most areas of health – even the tricky things like Rosacea, autoimmune issues and helping to get on top of multiple food intolerances.

If I put my dietitian hat back on, the best things you can do to get your skin under control?

  1. Identify your triggers – are they food related? Environmental? Psychological (ie stress or anxiety, not saying it is in your head!)? A mix? Knowledge = ability to manage.
  2. If food plays a role, work with an expert to help you to determine what is going on. There are SO MANY bulls*** tests out there, and seeing clients throw money down the drain is heart breaking.
  3. Our skin plays such a significant role in our psychological health, as well as how we feel about ourselves. There are even stats to show that people with atopic dermatitis are more likely to experience anxiety, depression and insomnia than those without it, so having tools in your tool box to keep your mental health on track can be a game changer as well.
  4. Drink water
  5. Moisturise… COAT is pretty ace 😉

I’m really excited to be sharing with you articles written by my team or myself over the coming months, to show how making dietary changes can have such a huge impact on your health, and to help you better understand the role of food in your skin.

Want some more personalised advice? Myself, or one of the other experts in my team would love to hear from you – you can learn more about the team here. And if you have read this far, thank you so much for your interest in my journey!

Chloe. x

PS. If you want to learn more about Verde, click here.