Diana Taurasi is about to start showing some skin this summer, WNBA star reveals the sad reason why she always had to wear big, baggy shorts

Diana Taurasi is about to start showing some skin, but that doesn’t mean she’s about to start wearing shorter shorts.

“Nah,” Taurasi said in a recent interview with The Arizona Republic. “I’m a ’90s baby. That’s all I got in me.”

But don’t look for any more long shirts or pants in the summer or elbow-to-shoulder compression sleeves in WNBA games or Olympic competition.

Taurasi said she’s struggled with eczema for most of her life and that she’s finally found some relief from the autoimmune disease marked by dry, itchy rashes that can crust or ooze, covering much of the body, including sensitive areas — and she’s talking about it for the first time.

“It’s something that was always on my mind that no one ever knew about,” Taurasi said.

Diana Taurasi showing off her World Championship body for ESPN The Magazine.

Diana Taurasi On Cover Of ESPN The Mag ‘Body Issue’.

‘I was always so uncomfortable’

She dealt with it her whole life.

“Going into college, it was a very uncomfortable stage for me,” Taurasi said. “There’s nothing like battling eczema and playing basketball at the highest levels, especially … when you’re always in a jersey.

“On the court, I felt like I was on top of the world, but I was always so uncomfortable with my itchy, red skin. It really affected my day-to-day lifestyle in so many ways.”

The rashes are irritating and hard to hide, and they can flare up in the heat. Arizona summers can be hot enough without trying to cover up body sores that double as eyesores.

Diana Taurasi becomes first player in WNBA history with 10,000 points - Los  Angeles Times

It was so bad for the Mercury guard during the 2009 WNBA Finals that she wore long shooting sleeves on both arms. Fortunately, it didn’t affect her play. DT was Finals MVP that year, scoring 26 points in the decisive Game 5 against the Indiana Fever.

“I shot pretty well in that series,” Taurasi said. But the rashes were “something I didn’t want to show. It was one thing if I could deal with it, but when you’re out there on the court with nine other people, and they see you struggling with your eczema, you don’t know how they’re gonna react.”

About 32 million people in the U.S. have some form of eczema. Treatments range from over-the-counter ointments and creams to prescription oral steroids and immunosuppressants.

Taurasi has found relief from an injection of a drug called Dupixent, and she’s partnering with pharmaceutical companies Regeneron and Sanofi to spread the word.

“We don’t know what exactly causes eczema,” said Dr. Annabelle Garcia, who is working with Taurasi on the awareness campaign. “But we do know that eczema is caused in part by an overactive immune system, which causes more inflammation than normal inside the body.”

‘I used to go through the whole gamut’

It’s more than just a simple rash, Garcia said. The sores can cause incessant itching that just won’t quit. Some people get so uncomfortable and embarrassed by constantly scratching at flaky skin that they don’t want to leave the house.

“For many people living with moderate-to-severe eczema, much of their lives are spent coping with frustrating symptoms that can be incredibly disruptive and persistent,” Garcia said.

So, if Taurasi seemed grumpy after a game, it wasn’t just her infamous White Mamba intensity, she might have just been trying to ignore a flare-up that nothing ever seemed to fix.

“I used to go through the whole gamut of creams and lotions … I finally got together with my dermatologist,” Taurasi said. “We talked about Dupixent, the risks and the rewards, and I went to ShowUpAD.com, and I heard stories just like mine.”

It helped her feel normal … well, as normal as a three-time NCAA champion, three-time WNBA champion, and five-time Olympic gold medal-winning star of “Space Jam 2” can feel.

At least she knew she wasn’t the only person in the world with eczema that would get so bad it would be all she could think about when she was supposed to be spending time with her family.

So, the famously private Taurasi is opening up, revealing a part of her story that we haven’t heard before. She’s hoping other people don’t have to deal with it for as long as she did.

And with clear skin, expect to see fewer shooting sleeves … but not shorter shorts.

That’s not gonna happen.

Clear skin or not, DT is going to keep wearing shorts that are as baggy as a medical student’s eyes after midterms.

“Always,” she said.

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