Friday, April 18, 2014

Your Most Effective Tool For Healing Is Not What You Think, Or Is It?

There is a story which doctors commonly like to pass around to each other which goes something like this: I had this woman who came into my offce 40 years ago when I was just starting out my practice who said she was sure she had cancer. I did some tests and assured her she didn't have cancer. She came to my office every year for 40 years saying the same thing, "doc I just know I have cancer, it runs in my family". I would always do my best to assure her she was fine and send her on her way. She would say things like "I know I have cancer now will you check me again?" Well, one day after 40 years I did my usual tests to show her she was fine but discovered she had cancer. When I told her she had cancer she exclaimed rather loudly "I told you I had cancer!"

What I want to pass along to you is this: the mind is more powerful than the foods we eat, the supplements we take, exercise, MW, etc etc. In fact, the mind is so powerful we can make ourselves sick, and we can also heal ourselves with the ways in which we think on a daily basis. Have you ever noticed that really negative people are always sick? That really positive people are always healthy? It does not matter what you eat as long as you believe it won't harm you. Same goes for many things. I'm sure you've heard the phrase "mind over matter". There is a direct correlation between what we think and how our bodies react. Think stress. Think emotions. Our bodies are made up of trillions of cells all communicating with one another at lightening speed. What sets off the communications is the thoughts in our heads, and past thoughts still in every cell in our body. Our thoughts truly manifest physically in our bodies. This is quite clear in how the placebo effect works.

Over my lifetime I have tried everything from the strictest of diets, herbs, supplements, drugs, you name it. What I have learned though is the mind has a much more powerful effect on the body than all these things combined. This is why I cringe when I read in peoples blogs how they wish time would just pass so they would be done with their topical steroid withdrawal. Time really has little to do with healing. Time is nothing more than a concept. All we have is the "now", the present moment. The future and past only exists in our minds. Learn to live in the present moment to avoid the pitfalls of the mind dwelling on past regrets, future worries etc. Here is a quote from one of the most spiritual beings on this planet:

“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.”

― Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Letting Go Of Psychological Time By Eckhart Tolle

"Learn to use time in the practical aspects of your life — we may call this “clock time” — but immediately return to present-moment awareness when those practical matters have been dealt with. In this way, there will be no buildup of “psychological time,” which is identification with the past and continuous compulsive projection into the future.

Clock time is not just making an appointment or planning a trip. It includes learning from the past so that we don’t repeat the same mistakes over and over. Setting goals and working toward them. Predicting the future by means of patterns and laws, physical, mathematical and so on, learned from the past and taking appropriate action on the basis of our predictions.

But even here, within the sphere of practical living, where we cannot do without reference to past and future, the present moment remains the essential factor: Any lesson from the past becomes relevant and is applied now. Any planning as well as working toward achieving a particular goal is done now.

The enlightened person’s main focus of attention is always the Now, but they are still peripherally aware of time. In other words, they continue to use clock time but are free of psychological time.

Be alert as you practice this so that you do not unwittingly transform clock time into psychological time. For example, if you made a mistake in the past and learn from it now, you are using clock time. On the other hand, if you dwell on it mentally, and self criticism, remorse, or guilt come up, then you are making the mistake into “me” and “mine”: You make it part of your sense of self, and it has become psychological time, which is always linked to a false sense of identity. Non-forgiveness necessarily implies a heavy burden of psychological time.

If you set yourself a goal and work toward it, you are using clock time. You are aware of where you want to go, but you honor and give your fullest attention to the step that you are taking at this moment. If you then become excessively focused on the goal, perhaps because you are seeking happiness, fulfillment, or a more complete sense of self in it, the Now is no longer honored. It becomes reduced to a mere stepping stone to the future, with no intrinsic value. Clock time then turns into psychological time. Your life’ journey is no longer an adventure, just an obsessive need to arrive, to attain, to “make it.” You no longer see or smell the flowers by the wayside either, nor are you aware of the beauty and the miracle of life that unfolds all around you when you are present in the Now." Excerpted from Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now, pages 56 to 58.

"According to Deepak Chopra our deepest thoughts and feelings play a significant role in the healing of a patient. This has been seriously underestimated in western medical practices. The body is constantly recycling every atom in every cell. In a year’s time the body is completely renewed and every atom in every cell has been replaced.

 Then what exactly is it that keeps that tumor in its place if the whole body is rebuilt every year?

 Deepak explains that the blueprint for the physical body is the subtler quantum body. Diseases appear in this quantum body before they manifest in the physical body. As long as the disease is not removed from the quantum body, the blueprint, the body will continuously reconstruct the body along with the tumor.

According to Deepak the mind has the capability to produce every drug that Hoffman La Roche sells only at no expense, in the purest form and in the perfect dose.

The ability of the mind to heal the body may explain the well know placebo effect, the effect whereby a patients is cured by his own suggestion since he has been administered only a dummy. The ability of the mind to heal the body could also be at cause in the miraculous spontaneous remissions of cancer that have been reported so often in the medical files but for which there is no medical explanation.

 The nocebo effect is the opposite effect of the placebo effect; it is the negative effect that the doctors’ diagnoses have on the cure of their patient.

 Therefore the doctor-patient relation is of a crucial importance in the healing process. It is a western ethical code that the patient has the right to know his medical condition in all cases, however the drawback is that when a doctor straightforwardly gives a patient the diagnosis ‘you have an incurable cancer sir’, he has actually given his patient the death sentence.

 The diagnosis ‘incurable’ kills the patient’s last hope for a cure and along with it his mental abilities to heal himself, besides that he will probably have a mental shock as well."


Ok, back to me talking now. I am not a very educated man. Just self educated with few social skills. But, after studying books by both Tolle and Chopra for decades I have a complete understanding of how our thoughts actually do manifest our reality, not only in our body, but also in our external universe as well. I am far from being where I want to be spiritually but will never forget the lessons I've learned from these two highly enlightened people, and still practice as much as I can to change my thought patterns and behaviors to create a better world for myself and others. The book that initially got me interested in this decades ago was a very short read called the "Seven Spiritual Laws of Success" by Deepak Chopra. I highly recommend people read this book over and over and then move on to some of the other books by these two authors. "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle is a must read for those who want to learn how the ego works against us and how to learn to separate yourself from it and to understand that you are not your body. You will also learn how to rid yourself of the built up emotional pain body you carry with you, how to live in the moment, and many many important things.

So, back to the title of this post. The most effective tool you have for healing is your mind. Use it wisely and be richly rewarded. Again, all the diets and supplements we take will do us little good if we don't use the power of our minds effectively. The mind has far more power over our healing than all of those things combined. Thoughts manifest physically at lightening speed. Just a couple brief examples: Man sees a woman and becomes aroused. The "arousal" first starts in the mind via thought, and then manifests physically in the body. Man sees food and salivatates . Man gets upset at something and blood pressure skyrockets. Pulse beats faster. The physical reactions begin with the thoughts. Learn to harness this power by observing your thoughts and changing them to be whatever you want them to be. All of our actions are choices whether they be subconscious or conscious. Learn to make conscious choices by constantly observing your thoughts as they come and go. This way you can create the realty you want to create and not the one you subconsciously create.

Don't just look to moisturizer withdrawal, clean diets, and supplements for your healing. Learn how to use your mind to heal. It is much more powerful than anything I know of. Remember, what you believe is what you will create.

I will be 100% healed from my own topical steroid withdrawal in under one year. I try not to say I "hope" to be. I say I "will" be. Big difference. It's all about the belief systems. Few people understand these things which is why there is so much pain and suffering in the world. This will change eventually when enough people become "conscious".

That's it for today folks. I'll post my 11 month pics in about a week, and then my final pics one month after that. After that I'm off to other things I've neglected for the past year. I wish you all a quick and comfortable healing.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

10 Month Picture Update - Topical Steroid Withdrawal

Here is my 10th month picture update. I'm fully recovered from my last huge flare which lasted 5-6 weeks before calming down and am finally back to healing again. My arms and legs are 99% normal again and the only symptoms left are on my hands. This is pretty much where I was 3 months ago before this last flare kicked my butt. The nice thing about it though is because I don't moisturize the flare was easily manged and wasn't all that difficult to get through. It was just a pain in the ass.

What you see on the tops of my hands is purely steroid induced eczema. I have never used ts on top of my hands other than on my fingers. I first started applying ts on my right palm where you can see it is still struggling to heal. That area received the most ts out of any area on my body. The left palm received about half as much ts and has been healed for many months, even though both palms were completely destroyed when I stopped using ts and began tsw. It didn't break out during this big flare and even the right palm barely did. What broke out was my arms, legs, and tops of my hands. And it was nearly as much rash as when I first started tsw. Actually it was more now that I think about it. The rash on the top of my hands spread to completely cover them and they gave me the roughest time because they were very irritated the whole time and I would easily scratch off all the fresh thin scabbing every time I got them to scab over. It seemed like an endless process of starting over the entire 5-6 weeks. Like groundhog day I suppose. But once the flare died down that problem went away and they are quickly healing again.

The legs and arms broke out worse than I first started too and they also stayed irritated throughout the flare and would ooze as well. They healed first (again) and my hands are well on the way. The symptoms you see barely bother me at all. The only time they bother me is in my sleep and I get that infamous itch attack. But, my skin is so strong from not moisturizing that it just doesn't break open unless I tear into extra hard, which I always try to avoid. My main problem right now is I refuse to eat a good diet. I take all the right supplements but am willing to take the extra time to heal in order to eat and drink what I want. There is little doubt in my mind I wouldn't be in much better condition if I were to change my lifestyle. But as it is, it's just a dry scaly rash that doesn't bother me so I guess I'm willing to put up with it for now.

I get asked all the time when do the oils start to come back after stopping moisturizers. I have asked Dr. Fukaya this question and will post my question and his answer under this post in the comment section later when he answers me. Happy healing!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Moisturizer Withdrawal Guide - Topical Steroid Withdrawal

How to do moisturizer withdrawal successfully: The following is the most effective way to withdraw from moisturizers during topical steroid withdrawal that I am aware of. I pioneered this method myself through trial and error, and through much experimentation and research. I hope you find this information useful in withdrawing from moisturizers yourself.

This guide works best for those of you who are already in tsw and are using moisturizers but wish to make your recovery more comfortable via MW. And, perhaps a little shorter. To get the desired results, please keep in mind that the key to success in this method is the stopping all moisturizers, lotions etc.

List of things you will need before you begin:
1) Dead Sea salt from Israel
2) Pure Tea Tree oil
3) Alcohol & fragrance free Witch Hazel
4) Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
5) The ability to not leave you house for two weeks if possible

To begin:
1) Stop using all moisturizers, lotions, etc. on your skin
2) Bathe 20 minutes a day using 1-1/2 to 2 pounds of natural Dead Sea salt per bath at tepid water temperature (important)
3) Use Tea Tree and/or Witch Hazel on broken skin when needed
4) Avoid all stress
Optional oral supplements:
1) Flax oil daily
2) Vitamin D3 daily (very important, have blood work done to know your Vitamin D range)
3) Quercetin (heals blood vessels, natural antihistamine)
4) Omega3 fish oil
5) MSM

Using Dead Sea salt baths is your most effective tool next to sun exposure. Dead Sea salt baths work best for when the skin is broken, and should be reduced in frequency when the skin isn't broken. Doing dss daily should be reserved for those times when one is initially starting MW and has a lot of broken skin. The baths should be reduced to every other day asap, and then 1-2 per week for maintenance. I try to go as long as possible without baths or showers at this point to allow the skin's natural oils to come back. I am 9-1/2 months into tsw, and about 90% healed, and I still am not using any soaps or shampoos of any kind, just water.

The reasons for daily Dead Sea salt baths are many, but the most important ones are 1) to dry out the skin and heal open wounds 2) the daily bath re-hydrates your skin, and 3) the minerals absorbed from the salts are very beneficial for inflammation and many other things. One can avoid using all soaps using bath soaks to stay clean as well. MW is the real key and Dead Sea salt baths, tea tree oil and other things are used for healing open wounds. It's the combination of the Dead Sea salt baths, sun exposure, and other little things that make this method the most effective. Not any one thing alone.

Healing Properties of Dead Sea Salts
The following list details some healing properties of the minerals found in Dead Sea Salt:

Magnesium: Aids sleep and relaxation, promotes quick healing of skin tissue and provides the skin’s surface with anti-allergic elements, essential for cell metabolism.

Bromide: Soothes skin, relaxes body muscles, and calms nerves.

Iodine: Important for the correct functioning of the thyroid gland and aids in the body's metabolic exchanges.

Sulfur: A natural disinfectant (constituent of certain vitamins). Known as a powerful detoxifying agent, as it works closely with the liver to rid the body of toxins.

Potassium: Helps balance moisture in the skin and body, aiding in the reduction of water retention and in the nourishment of cells. Potassium also regulates the nervous system.

Calcium: An essential mineral, known to strengthen bones and teeth. Also strengthens cell membranes and cleanses pores.

Sodium: Relieves stiffness and muscle cramps. Sodium is also a powerful detoxifying agent, helping cells retain nourishment and expel waste.

Zinc: When applied topically zinc is known to boost the immune system. Internally, it is a key factor in enzymatic regulation of cell proliferation.

Get as much SUN exposure on your skin every opportunity you get. Alcohol and fragrance free Witch Hazel works well on persistent oozing spots when no sun is available. So does not rinsing after a dds bath. Be very careful with sun exposure early on in tsw to not get sun burnt. Buy a home UVB unit if you can afford one for those winter months.

What to expect when doing Moisturizer Withdrawal:
It depends on the degree of your symptoms. Below is a short summary of my own personal experience which should be helpful. I had severe topical steroid withdrawal/steroid induced eczema  symptoms on my hands, and much less severe symptoms on my arms, legs, feet, and other areas. Below that is a Q&A.

In week 8 of my topical steroid withdrawal I quit moisturizing, exposed my skin to the sun as much as possible without risking sunburn, did daily Dead Sea salt baths, and my skin splits, cracks, and fissures healed over quickly for the first time since I began tsw. In the beginning, the skin on my hands dried out so much I couldn't bend some of the fingers without breaking my skin open. But I was determined to make those skin breaks dry and scab over so I stuck it out. For about 3 days the pain was extremely intense. By the 4th day my situation became more bearable, and by about day 7 or 8 my skin breaks had all scabbed over and the old skin started to peel off on it's own, day after day, revealing new skin underneath. It took a couple weeks from start to finish and it was brutally painful because the skin on my hands dried up like the Sahara desert. My fingers and palms were red and swollen, and my skin felt hot like I had an infection.

In the first couple days the intense burning, itching and nerve pain along with tightness of the skin was nearly unbearable. I had one finger dry halfway closed and couldn't fit a glove over my right hand in the second or third day, so I soaked in a bath to soften the skin and was able to straighten my finger out without breaking the skin open. It dried in the sun extended and I then I couldn't close it all the way ugh! That was better than being stuck closed though, at least I could get a glove back on. But, after a couple more days of self induced torture my skin dried over, scabs formed and fell off, and new skin was in it's place. The relief was unbelievable. For once I didn't have to wear gloves to guard against infection! Yay!!

 The skin barrier on my palms was completely destroyed from my prior prolonged and increased topical steroid use, so moisturizer withdrawal will not be as painful for everybody as it was for me. For many it should be a much easier experience than what I had. Again, depending on the severity of your symptoms and how badly the skin barrier is damaged, and other factors. For me, it was well worth the extra pain for a few days to be much more comfortable for the rest of my multi-month tsw journey. I am currently at month 6 and nearly healed. Have been nearly healed for the last couple of months, but my skin seems to have hit a "stagnant" period and I haven't quite recovered fully as of yet. So, I can't say I'm finished with my tsw quite yet, but I can say ever since I quit using moisturizers my symptoms have improved by about 90%. The improvement went quick at first, then steady improvement over a period of several weeks, and now like I said, stagnant. However, stagnant or not, my tsw barely bothers me now and I expect it will be 100% finished sometime in the next few months at most. Apparently, it takes a long time for the body to recover from the damage long term steroid use causes. The main purpose of moisturizer withdrawal is for comfort. If it speeds up tsw, then that's just a plus. The difference between going through tsw moisturizing and going through tsw not moisturizing is like the difference between night and day.

After my first two days of nearly 90% healed skin I applied a moisturizer again (don't ask me why I don't know) and immediately went back into a flare within hours, good Lord!  It took another 2-3 weeks to heal my skin again by stopping moisturizing and repeating the method I used the first time, mainly dead sea salt baths and sun exposure. The second time around was almost as painful as the first, but not quite as bad since my hands were in better shape this time around. I recently experienced a third flare which was brought on by stress, and although it's been my worst flare to date, my skin is healing back faster then before. If I went back to moisturizing I would be in a continuous flare, I know from attempting it before.

Below are some common questions and answers on MW. It would take too long to cover every possible question in my Q&A here, so if you have any questions please post them in the comment box below and I will respond as soon as I can. As for the reasoning behind what I use for MW, and as to the whys, detailed information can be found throughout my blog, including links to studies which support my views that moisturizing is detrimental to the skin barrier. Even with healthy skin.

Some common Q&A:

Question: So now at 4 days w/o moisturizer I'm dealing with flaking on my ring fingers and tops of both hands. Its unsightly but not quite as red as before when I was using lotions and oils. Hard to bend the fingers and the yellow/honey colored crust is in parts. Just curious what the next stage brings in healing based on your experience?

Answer: Things will continue to slowly improve.

Q: About the salt baths: how often, and did you rinse with clean water after the salt bath? Any exfoliation during the soak when skin was wet? Even after one soak I can tell the redness is less and some of the trouble spots on my legs are beginning to dry out.

A: I do dead sea salt baths once per day and as my skin heals and starts to feel better I cut it back to every other day or so, depending on how my skin is doing. Also, soaking in chemicals like chlorine can not be good, so if you can afford it, buy a chlorine filter either for the bathtub, or one for the water line entering your home. I have read one can add 1,000 mg of powdered Vitamin C to the bath water to neutralize some of the deadly chemicals found in common tap water, so that could be an option. However, I don't know enough about this subject so you may want to research it yourself.

I have read everything from rinse immediately afterwards, to getting out of the tub and waiting 30 minutes before rinsing to allow the minerals from the salts to absorb more, to don't rinse at all. I have tried all three ways and sometimes I rinse immediately, and other times I get out of the tub, pat dry and wait 20 minutes before rinsing in the shower. You are basically trying to mimic being at the dead sea. From what I understand, people who go there go into the water for awhile and then lay on the beach in the sun and dry out, and go back & forth without showering probably until later in the day or evening. I find not rinsing can have more of a drying effect on the skin. I have noticed that when I rinse immediately afterwards, any skin breaks will sting slightly. I figured maybe that was because the bath coated my skin with a thin film from the salt minerals and the rinse washed it off, so I have experimented a little with the other methods and haven't settled on any particular way as of yet. I do rinse immediately for the most part but still experiment with waiting about 20 minutes and then rinsing off any salt crystals remaining on my skin.

Getting sun exposure is very important if you can during the MW process. No need to worry about the skin getting too dry from the sun. You want it to dry, scab, and heal.

I wouldn't suggest exfoliating because when treating our damaged skin we need to allow it to grow and shed naturally and we don't want to inhibit that process by revealing new skin before it's ready. Just soak and allow the dead skin to fall off on it's own when it's ready. You don't want to rush that process. Don't pick it off with your hands during the MW process!

Because I don't want any soap at all on my skin due to it's strong ability to strip the oils from the skin so easily, I never use soap and I don't shampoo my hair. When my 20 minutes are up I usually just rinse in the shower briefly and rinse my hair as much as possible with water only. My hair is actually cleaner and healthier looking doing this than when I used to shampoo it. I have tsw symptoms on different spots on my face and one ear so I often will lay on one side in the tub with one ear and half my head in the water for the first 10 minutes and then turn to the other side for the remaining 10. Sometimes I will also hold my breath and put my face directly face down into the water several times also. I have a spot on one eyelid, side of my nose, and a couple on my chin. All of these spots have cleared now so I don't do that now as much as I used to.

Q: What is the bleach and apple cider vinegar for?

A: I did a bath about once a week with 1/2 cup of bleach added to the water as a precaution for infections. Do not combine with Dead Sea salts. Just water and 1/2 cup straight bleach added to warm water for a 15 minute soak. Never bath or shower in hot water, it strips the skin's oils as much as soaps do. I would add 1-2 cups of Bragg's Apple cider vinegar to a bath about once every week or so to balance the ph of my skin. 10-15 minute soak.

Q: How do I manage the dry spots re-splitting?

A: I found this to be my most difficult thing as the skin is so thin from the topical steroid damage. Especially on the areas that received the most ts. I use witch hazel and/or tea tree oil between baths to control these splits, and keep them out of water other then when bathing. If I feel they have been exposed too much and they are turning red and sore I use water diluted Tea Tree oil on them a few times per day. The dead sea salt baths should help those skin splits heal within a few days, but they do tend to pop open again depending on how weak and thin the skin is in certain areas.

Q: What kind of gloves have you used?

A: I buy the cheap XL white cotton gloves and wear XL latex free vinyl gloves over them when I need to get my hands dirty or wet. I don't do this often though as it makes my hands sweat. I was buying the Cara brand gloves but found a seller on the web with a large amount, "Magid TouchMaster Cotton Glove, Men's Jumbo (Pack of 60 Pairs)" for $28.83 with shipping on Amazon. These are thinner but I like them a lot more than the Cara brand because they fit better. The Cara brand gloves are made too small even on their XL size.

Q: So how long after you stopped moisturizing did you get relief?

A: It took me about a week to get relief, but about two weeks for the process to complete. Once the old dried skin sheds off (I was careful to allow it to shed on it's own and not help it along) new skin appears. That whole process took me about 10 days to two weeks. The skin still remains very hypersensitive at this stage, since one is not over tsw at this point, but from there on I was much better able to handle my symptoms.

The basics are staying moisturizer free, do daily baths with 1-2 pounds of natural dead sea salt, and get as much sun as possible on the areas that bother you, without getting sun burnt of course. Tea Tree oil diluted with water and alcohol free witch hazel helps a lot in between baths for oozing areas and tiny skin splits.

Q: What did you do to manage the evening itching?

A: The evening itching is maddening no matter what because your body's histamine levels rise throughout the day. I have tried cutting back on eating fermented cheeses, sugar, canned fish, chocolate, coffee, pickles, ketchup and many other foods, but have found that my diet consists mainly of the very things I need to avoid so I have chosen to suffer more itching to eat what I want. However, I still try to keep things in moderation though. The mind plays a key part in healing so you don't want to make yourself miserable. Strict diets are too difficult for me unless I am facing a life threatening disease. Not so for everyone though. It's a personal decision that only you can make.

Please be sure to comment below on your experiences with moisturizer withdrawal so others can learn from your experiences as well.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Moisturizer Withdrawal During Topical Steroid Withdrawal

Many people are now finding out that not moisturizing is a much better way to get through topical steroid withdrawal as opposed to moisturizing. They are discovering that not moisturizing brings much more comfort, allows the skin barrier to recover at a much faster rate, allows the skin to strengthen, and in general allows one to lead a normal life while recovering from topical steroid poisoning. Something that moisturizing during tsw does not bring.

The purpose of this post was to show the various ways I have learned to deal with my symptoms since doing moisturizer withdrawal approximately seven months ago into one place for easier understanding and referral. I'm short on time right now so will just ask that you check out the many posts I've written on my blog on this subject.

I have learned many things in those seven months of dealing with tsw via no moisturizers and feel what I've learned should be of value to those of you who have either began tsw without moisturizing, or those of you who have made the transition from moisturizing to not moisturizing, commonly referred to as "moisturizer withdrawal".

There is plenty of info on this throughout my blog, but much of it is me talking about things I did at those specific times. And some of the info may not be relevant now, or outdated. I have learned much from my experience on what works well, and what doesn't work so well, in dealing with the various tsw symptoms while not moisturizing. Feel free to ask questions.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Vaseline - Alleged Benefits Debunked With Facts

Petroleum jelly can create the illusion of moisturized, hydrated skin, all the while suffocating your pores. It's water-repellant and not water-soluble, meaning it merely seals the barrier so that moisture does not leave the skin. So while you might feel the instant gratification of a softened surface, you're actually drying out your pores by keeping out air and moisture. Because petroleum jelly forms a seal over the skin, it disrupts the bodies process of elimination of toxins through the pores, potentially trapping them under the skin. It slows cellular regeneration, which can damage collagen, elastin and connective tissue and contribute to the appearance of aging.

There are thousands of websites promoting the benefits of Vaseline for various skin ailments and I wanted to post a few sites that post information that isn't so readily available that shows just the opposite of what these sites claim. Most sites that promote the use of petrol chemicals for the skin have a profit motive behind them. Most sites that talk about the dangers of using these products DO NOT have a profit motive behind them. Most doctors recommend using Vaseline. Most doctors also promote the use of topical steroids. My goal here is to try and debunk the conventional wisdom that Vaseline should be used for comfort during topical steroid poisoning recovery, or topical steroid withdrawal as it's commonly called. And to show that using this product actually damages the skin, especially hypersensitive skin that people who have stopped using topical steroids have. Also, keep in mind that studies also show that continuous  moisturizing with anything, regardless of how safe it is perceived to be, damages the skin barrier.

I have a tub of Vaseline sitting in front of me right now. It reads "Vaseline 100% Pure Petroleum Jelly". On the back of the tub the active ingredient reads "White Petrolatum USP (100%).

Side Effects of Petrolatum:
"Petrolatum, commonly known as petroleum jelly, is a byproduct of petroleum. Petrolatum is a soft paraffin or wax mixture sold as a topical skin ointment. It is acknowledged by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an approved over-the-counter skin protectant and is used in the manufacturing of cosmetic skin care. However the side effects of petrolatum include finding the petroleum byproduct in breast tumors, suffocation of the skin, premature aging and aggravated acne."

Petrolatum Found In Breast Tumors:
"A study linking the petrolatum impurity polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs to breast cancer was completed at Columbia University. The study indicates that breast tissue of women with breast cancer were 2.6 times more likely to have increased amounts of PAHs attached to their DNA than the breast tissue of women without breast cancer. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are found in oil, coal and tar deposits as byproducts of fuel burning. Researchers June K.Dunnick, Michael R.Elwell, James Huff and J.Carl Barrett of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC also found that PAHs were found in the mutated genes of test animals with mammary gland cancer."

Petrolatum May Suffocate the Skin:
"Research at the Herb Research Foundation noted that skin absorbs up to 60 percent of the chemicals in products that it contacts and these chemical move directly into the bloodstream. The Organic Make-up company notes that the petrolatum developed for its cost effective glide in make-up application suffocates the skin by absorbing these chemicals directly into the bloodstream decreasing oxygen absorbed through the skin."

Petrolatum May Cause Premature Aging:
"As with many carcinogens such as nicotine, environmental pollution and chemical additives ingestion and absorption of these products can increase free radicals that can cause the skin and organs to age at a rapid rate or wear prematurely. Petrolatum found in many cosmetics can cause skin irritations and rashes. Skin that does not receive sufficient oxygen as noted in the Herb Research on skin suffocation can cause the death of skin cells and thus premature aging to skin cells."

Additional Effects from Petrolatum:
"Petrolatum or mineral oil jelly and mineral oils can cause skin photosensitivity or promote sun damage. Petrolatum may interfere with the body's moisturizing mechanism, leading to dry skin and chapping despite its cosmetic use as lip protection. According to the Environmental Working Group, petrolatum may be found in one of every 14 products as well as 15 percent of lipsticks and 40 percent of baby lotions and oils. The Federal Drug Enforcement Agency restricts petrolatum in food to 10 parts per million, and insists that petrolatum used in food packaging or drugs meet governmental standards on impurity restrictions for PAHs."

The Dangers Of… Petroleum/Mineral Oil

Mineral Oil:
"A derivative of crude oil (petroleum) that is used industrially as a cutting fluid and lubricating oil. Mineral oil forms an oily film over the skin to lock in moisture, toxins and wastes, but hinders normal skin respiration by keeping oxygen out. It blocks the pores and the skin’s natural respiration.

Mineral oil is known for not absorbing water. It has been used as a brake fluid for cars, bicycles and airplanes. As a very cheap material, the cost benefit is great because mineral oil is very plentiful.  Mineral oil is also used to clean kitchen, utility and ceremonial knives and swords.

John Hopkins University named mineral oil in cosmetics and moisturizers as the number two cause of aging. The first being direct exposure to the sun.The result is premature aging and increased health risks.

Mineral oil may also cause allergic reactions and dryness. It traps dirt and bacteria and blocks the absorption of vitamins/minerals/botanicals that may be in a product.

Mineral oil is popular with manufacturers because it is inexpensive and makes skin smoother and softer to the touch and more attractive to the eye. Unfortunately, the damage that is being caused behind the scene makes it an undesirable ingredient in any skin care product.

Thanks to companies like Johnson’s (Johnson & Johnson), unconscious parents are putting petroleum on their precious new baby’s skin, causing the skin to become hard and dry."

Side Effects:
"Several long term side effects of petroleum jelly have been observed of late. The main reason behind this can be the fact that petroleum jelly is used in a large amount on a regular basis, by many people. No doubt it has plenty of healing and moisturizing properties and it also makes the skin feel smooth and soft. But the fact is that the smoothness and softness that we feel is actually the layer of petroleum jelly that we keep on adding over the skin. It protects the skin but also restricts the pours of the skin from letting the toxins and actual moisture out."

"This makes the secretion of all the toxins and unwanted substances to form a layer under the actual layer of petroleum jelly. The whole process results into several skin disorders and leads to dandruff, acne, dryness of the skin and hair and skin irritation.

"Petroleum jelly and mineral oil are petroleum-based products, the same substance gasoline is made from. Such products can be harmful to your body, because it cannot eliminate the substance quickly. Petroleum products are constantly being scrutinized and studied."

Harmful Effects of Mineral Oil & Petroleum Jelly

What Is It?
"Mineral oil and petroleum jelly, which are widely used in cosmetics, are made from petroleum, a crude oil substance that comes from the ground yet can be very toxic. Different refining processes transform petroleum into paraffin wax, greases, and plastics. The Vaseline company describes its petroleum jelly product as "a mixture of mineral oils, paraffin and microcrystalline waxes that ... literally melts into skin, flowing into the spaces between cells and the gaps in our lipid barrier. Once there, it re-solidifies, locking itself in place."

"Since petroleum jelly and mineral oil (its liquid equivalent) attach to your cells and are not water soluble, they can be difficult for your body to eliminate, sometimes causing buildup in various organs of the body. The oxygen and nutrients skin needs in order to release toxins and repair itself can be blocked by the "barrier" created by petroleum cosmetics. Petroleum substances can also be listed as "petrolatum" on ingredient labels. Petroleum is not considered safe for ingestion or internal use in large amounts, yet is the base of many lip balms."

“But My Doctor Recommended It For My Compromised Skin?” The Dangers (and Alternatives) To Petroleum-Based Products

"Did you know that your soaps and shampoos could be endangering your health? Although cancer patients may believe that by keeping themselves clean they’re keeping germs at bay, the majority of household and cosmetic soaps on the market contain dangerous petroleums and petroleum by-products (like paraffin gel or petroleum jelly), which can have severely negative effects on overall health.

Contributing author to Greg Ciola explains the danger petroleum can present in the work place (as well as in our bathroom cabinets): “Auto mechanics are warned that long-term exposure to petroleum products can cause skin cancer and other skin maladies…yet we’re led to believe by the cosmetics industry that these products clean and moisturize your skin.” Unfortunately, many physicians continue to recommend petroleum-based products (such as moisturizing creams or ointments) to cancer patients, without realizing the dangers. The author of the blog “Avoiding Cancer One Day At a Time” adds that if petroleum products use fossil fuels (which accumulate and damage our environment), why do we want to put those ingredients on our skin?

Recent studies reported by the Chemtox website suggest stunning side effects of toxic petroleum ingredients: “Petroleum based chemicals are being found to cause significant attritional effects to the nervous system and immune system after prolonged exposure. Illnesses identified in the medical research include adult and child cancers, numerous neurological disorders, immune system weakening, autoimmune disorders [and more].”

An additional study performed by the Susan Lehman Cullman Labratory for Cancer Research found that mice—that had contracted skin cancer from weeks of ultraviolet light exposure—increased their tumor rate from 24% to 95% in 17 weeks after consistent applications of name-brand moisturizers. (Placebo creams had no effect.) Researchers believe that two of the petroleum-derived ingredients found in the moisturizers (sodium lauryl sulfate and mineral oil) promote UVB-induced tumor growth. This means that although many cancer sufferers and fighters believe they are helping their skin by treating with daily moisturizers, they may actually be harming themselves with toxic chemicals.

Petroleum ingredients appear in many common cosmetic products and cleansers, and can be listed as any number of petroleum derivatives. By-products most commonly include mineral oil, paraffin gel, propylene glycol, or PVP/VA Copolymere. Research done by the Environmental Working Group adds that, “Many of the cosmetic industry’s chemical safety assessments reveal that common petroleum-based cosmetic ingredients can be contaminated with a cancer-causing impurity called 1,4-dioxane.” According to natural-product producer Aurora Group, petroleum can be used in everything from lip gloss (as petroleum oil) to nail polish (as solvents like toluene)."

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What Is Eczema And How Can We Best Manage It?
What is Eczema?

Dermatitis (Greek: δερματίτις dermatitis "(disease) of skin," from δέρμα derma "skin") or eczema (Greek: ἔκζεμα ekzema "eruption") is inflammation of the skin. It is characterized by itchy, erythematous, vesicular, weeping, and crusting patches. The term eczema is also commonly used to describe atopic dermatitis[1][2] or atopic eczema.[3]

In some languages, dermatitis and eczema are synonyms, while in other languages dermatitis implies an acute condition and eczema a chronic one.[4]

The term eczema is broadly applied to a range of persistent skin conditions. These include dryness and recurring skin rashes that are characterized by one or more of these symptoms: redness, skin swelling, itching and dryness, crusting, flaking, blistering, cracking, oozing, or bleeding. Areas of temporary skin discoloration may appear and are sometimes due to healed injuries. Scratching open a healing lesion may result in scarring and may enlarge the rash.
Definition of ATOPY

: a genetic disposition to develop an allergic reaction (as allergic rhinitis, asthma, or atopic dermatitis) and produce elevated levels of IgE upon exposure to an environmental antigen and especially one inhaled or ingested
What is atopy? Sidestepping semantics.


Atopy may be viewed as the manifestation of a still-undefined defect. It is characterized by certain clinical findings and frequently by derangements of the immune and autonomic nervous systems. The atopic diseases are a group of seemingly unrelated conditions--eczema, asthma, rhinitis, and perhaps hypertrophic sinusitis, vernal conjunctivitis, and migraine--which cluster in individuals and families. In the respiratory tract and eye, eosinophils in tissues and secretions are characteristic and are not dependent on the presence of immediate hypersensitivity. Symptoms suggestive of mast-cell mediator release are common to all the atopic diseases, and there is some evidence that nonimmunologic mediator release is enhanced in atopic patients. In the most clearly defined atopic diseases, eczema and asthma, approximately 80% of patients have increased IgE responses to normal environmental allergens. Accompanying and perhaps underlying the enhanced IgE responses are deficiencies of T cell numbers and function, particularly in suppressor T lymphocytes. Evidence exists that decreased beta 2-adrenergic function and increased cholinergic and alpha-adrenergic responsiveness accompany and perhaps underlie the atopic diseases, whether allergic or nonallergic.

My Thoughts:
I had childhood eczema, and both eczema and asthma runs in my family. It's obviously genetics in our case. The ways I learned to mange my eczema growing up were far better than treating it with drugs that only make it worse. I am referring to potent topical steroids, over the counter Hydrocortisone, and the like. Eczema is something some of us have to learn to live with and learn to treat in natural ways. Treating it with these powerful drugs only makes things much worse in the long run. It's very obvious that the medical community doesn't know what actually causes it but it's been around for centuries and people have managed fine without their toxic chemicals that only treat symptoms and not the actual causes.

These pharmaceutical companies along with the assistance of their crony buddy politicians and greedy Dermatologists will do whatever it takes to convince you to take their drugs. They are in it to make money. And believe me this is a huge money making business. And I mean HUGE! Everything from all the different drugs they have developed and continue to develop, to the propaganda about moisturizing. Big, big business.

Allow me to repeat something I posted recently.

Conceit, Arrogance And Bigotry

"The great tragedy of orthodox medicine is that doctors have always been suspicious of anything new and often reluctant to listen to theories and ideas which contradict traditional attitudes.

From Paracelsus to Lind to Semmelweiss, medical history is littered with doctors who learned the hard way that the medical establishment does not take kindly to original ideas or to new concepts which threaten the status quo.

Medical students are taught that they should avoid asking uncomfortable questions and young doctors who wish to succeed know that they must remain unquestioningly faithful to the established truths.

Any physician who rocks the boat, makes waves or swims against the tide will soon find himself floundering in deep water - and struggling to survive! To be successful in our society a physician must respect the prejudices of his elders, adhere to the dogma of his teachers and shut his mind to theories which do not fit in with orthodox medical doctrines.

Modern medicine is, much like the black magic medicine of the middle ages, an unstructured, unscientific discipline in which uncertainty, confusion and ignorance are too often disguised with conceit, arrogance and bigotry.

At a time when the half-life of medical information is shrinking and the limits of traditional, interventionist medicine are daily becoming more and more apparent, this ostrich-type behaviour is difficult to understand and impossible to justify.

Unless doctors are prepared to consider the unexpected, the unlikely and even the apparently impossible, patients must regard rigidly orthodox interventionists with a certain amount of suspicion and cynicism."

I think this sums up the problem quite well. So, if you really want to manage your eczema in the most effective ways, stay away from doctors and learn how to avoid the things that you have learned that make your skin break out. Don't believe the hype about using moisturizers. They are almost as bad for your skin as topical steroids are. Remember, childhood eczema dies out for the most part when we get to our late teens. If you are an adult past the age of say about 20, and you still have eczema, it is not eczema. It's a rash caused by ts called "steroid induced eczema". If you are an adult and never had childhood eczema but had a rash appear seemingly out of nowhere. Don't go to the doctor and allow them to prescribe topical steroids or you will regret it. Just figure out what caused the rash and eliminate the problem. Once the cause is eliminated the rash will disappear. Same with childhood eczema. Once you identify what you are allergic to just stay away from those things. And getting allergy tests isn't the answer in my opinion. Those tests are usually misleading.

If you have a newborn baby with a rash, for God's sake don't allow your doctor to tell you to put anything on it! Every single thing on the market for babies is toxic. From topical steroids to baby oil. Vaseline, you name it. They all have toxic ingredients that exacerbate the problem. Even if they didn't have the toxic ingredients, they don't and can't work. Rashes go away on their own if allowed to. There are also natural methods that can take care of all these things. From Dead Sea salt soaks to colloidal oat soaks. And many many other natural methods. Eating the right foods is a major contributor to healthy skin. That means foods that are natural. Not GMO, or foods that are sprayed with chemicals. I'm talking organic folks. The way you spend your dollars can either support the industry that is thriving on your ill health, or deprive it and put them out of business. Spend those dollars wisely.

Is It Just Me Or Is Anyone Else Noticing This About Moisturizing?

Is it just me, or is anyone else noticing how people who have stopped moisturizing are dong very little complaining about their symptoms, while people who continue to moisturize are still crying like babies and suffering immensely? It seems to me that 9 out of every 10 people who have stopped moisturizing during topical steroid withdrawal are doing much better and are stating such. They say they are much more comfortable and their skin is strengthening. They have found the way and will never go back to moisturizing during tsw. Why will they never go back? Because moisturizing during tsw makes life a living hell. When will ITSAN wake up to this fact? They obviously have the most influence over the majority of tsw sufferers, yet they still continue to resist such overwhelming evidence. Why is this? What is it going to take to get those few people who run that site to accept the obvious?

Read the various blogs and see for yourself and draw your own conclusions. Many people are finally crawling out of the hell hole they were in when they were moisturizing. It's undeniable now :)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Is ITSAN Using Fear And Scare Tactics To Solicit Donations?

Apparently, a new mass email mailing was sent out today to members of ITSAN, and who knows who else this organization may have on their mailing list. I received one even though I remain banned from the site. I found it rather insulting. The subject line of the email reads "Where would you be without ITSAN"? You have got to be kidding right? At first I thought it was a sick joke. But apparently it's not a joke. I feel ITSAN is using both fear and scare tactics along with pictures of suffering children to get people to donate money to them, rather than depending on their own mission statement of spreading the word about tsa/tsw. And, I feel this tactic is highly disgusting to say the least. I also feel it smacks of preying on the fears of people who are already suffering. And, I feel ITSAN is holding itself out like they are the only source of information, when in truth, they have been giving very poor advice to suffering people doing tsw ever since their inception. And, they have repeatedly ignored valuable information contributed by others. They even have gone out of their way to discredit valuable information people have contributed, and hidden the information from the public and members of their own organization. So, not only are they NOT the only source of information, they are a source of poor information to boot. In light of the actual facts, I feel ITSAN is seriously crossing the line here in the way they ask for donations for their private organization.

Below is a copy of the text of the email. I'll let my readers decide for themselves. To me, the wording of this email and use of children's pictures is sickening. I'm sure many of you have the email so you can see the pictures yourself in there and make your own conclusions. Here is a copy of the text:

"Dear Friend,

Without the International Topical Steroid Awareness Network (ITSAN) you or a loved one might still be lost in the frustrating search for a cure for "uncontrollable eczema". There would be no shoulder to lean on during the painful process of Topical Steroid Withdrawal. There would be no one asking the medical community to recognize Steroid Induced Eczema and Red Skin Syndrome. ITSAN is the only organization of our kind.

There would be no trustworthy organization to go to for resources, no inspirational stories of healing and experiences of those that have conquered Topical Steroid Addiction. No information-packed ITSAN Newsletter.

There would be no global network of support communities. No one to provide you with accurate, reliable literature and videos for you to understand this condition and that help educate you and others.

And there would be no strong unified voice to speak to the media and lawmakers and get the message out about the dangers of topical steroids.

Like most of us you may have spent thousands of dollars searching for the answers to your skin's problem. If your skin is addicted to Topical Steroids, then ITSAN has given you a valuable solution. What is that worth to your peace of mind to find out the very medications prescribed to help, were/are causing this worsening condition?

Only your contributions keep us going. click Please make a tax deductible donation today. You may also give monthly recurring donations.

We're counting on you... just like you're counting on us. CLICK HERE NOW TO GIVE.

With much appreciation,

ITSAN, Volunteer Board of Directors
ITSAN is a 501 c 3 non-profit charity"

Without ITSAN we might be lost in our search for a cure? Really? Did I read that correctly? I knew I had to stop using topical steroids before stumbling across ITSAN's website, as I'm sure most people do. I knew instinctively I had to stop using steroids and did so before even searching for info on the web about the subject. After stopping ts use, I confirmed I was on the right track when I came across an article by Dr. Rapaport. Then a blog by someone going through tsw. So, ITSAN acting as though people can't find the "cure" without them is pure hogwash.

"There would be no one asking the medical community to recognize Steroid Induced Eczema and Red Skin Syndrome".

ITSAN may be the only "organization" out there spreading the word, but it's individuals who are actually having a much larger impact in spreading the word on tsa/tsw. The above statement made by ITSAN is false and misleading. Many individuals including myself have and continue to ask the medical community to recognize Steroid Induced Eczema and Red Skin Syndrome.

As for resources, finding ITSAN when I did only caused me more harm than good. I wasn't interested in a shoulder to lean on! I was looking for information, as I'm sure the majority of people who stumble upon ITSAN are. If I had not relied on ITSAN for my information in my first several weeks of my own tsw, I could potentially have saved myself two months of unnecessary extra suffering. I find no value in that kind of resource. When I tried multiple times to educate ITSAN on better information to help reduce the suffering of other people going through tsw, I was ridiculed, insulted, marginalized, and basically treated like a child who didn't know anything because I hadn't gone through years of tsw myself. And then eventually banned off the site. And yet they continue to hold themselves out as a "trustworthy organization to go to for resources, inspirational stories of healing and experiences of those that have conquered Topical Steroid Addiction"? It really bothers me to see this type of misleading language in an email soliciting donations. And to know others fall victim to the same thing I did.

"Where would you be if there was no ITSAN?" I can not even believe my eyes when reading that one. In my opinion you would be better off! I could care less if ITSAN asks the medical community to recognize SIE/RSS, and I thank God ITSAN is the only organization of it's kind. I also feel it will be a cold day in hell before the medical community will ever recognize tsa/rss, or anything else related to tsa/tsw, so I see those efforts by this organization as a total waste of resources for now. That is just my opinion of course. I feel there is far too much money involved for the medical community to give anything other than lip service to this subject for many years to come. The best resources available for this type of effort is us individual tsw's. We can blog. We can tell our doctors, friends, and relatives. That is what we've been doing and will continue to do. That is how the medical community will eventually recognize tsa/tsw for what it is and eventually change. It will take a long time due to the huge amount of $ involved in the industry. Not to mention tryng to convice the same people about the damaging effects of moisturizing. That should be quite the chore as well.

Folks, the steroid and moisturizer business is big business and isn't going to change in my lifetime, and probably not in yours.

And again, a "trustworthy organization to go to for resources". Really? Who can trust an organization that tells suffering people that nothing can heal them other than the passage of time, and to moisturize your skin if it makes you comfortable, when we know this is wrong? An organization that claims they know of no one who has healed by not moisturizing when we know there are people who have?   

"No one to provide you with accurate, reliable literature and videos for you to understand this condition and that help educate you and others". Uh huh. Right. Well ITSAN, you aren't the only source for information. I suggest you get that through your thick skulls.  

"Where would you be without ITSAN"? Well, ever since I figured out what I was learning at ITSAN was wrong (my first month there), and figured out how to treat myself on my own, I have been doing very well thank you :)

My purpose here isn't to bash ITSAN. It can be a very valuable organization if it were to choose to do so. But so far, I feel the organization has proven to do more harm than good for people suffering through tsw, and only breeds an atmosphere of despair, hopelessness, and negativity the way it is run. The way this email is written is just more evidence of just how out of touch this organization truly is. And, relying on fear/scare tactics and misleading statements in an attempt to get donations out of people just isn't right.

ITSAN, you are just one small organization and if it weren't for people such as myself you wouldn't even exist. So, get your facts straight and stop acting like you are "the" authority on the subject of tsa/tsw when you clearly are not. And please find a way to ask for donations that doesn't include using pictures of suffering children and doesn't come off sounding like you are so desperately needed when you are clearly more of a liability than you are an asset to the tsw community.

To you devoted ITSAN members: I'm sorry but the subject line of this email that ITSAN sent out just makes me ill. You can clearly see where I've been without ITSAN. And look at where JSAN ended up without ITSAN after being sidetracked like I was temporarily. ITSAN may be a great site for people to gather in one place, but it probably should be just for that purpose and for information sharing. You are doing the real effective work and ITSAN should rely on you, not your money.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Why Is Moisturizing The Skin The Aceppted Thing To Do?

Here is an interesting article called The Real Cause Of Cancer And The Solution written by Dr Vernon Coleman. How is this related to topical steroid addiction and withdrawal? The article is about cancer but there are layers upon layers of similarities between the information he presents and the practice of prescribing topical steroids and the decades long propaganda of the benefits of moisturizing one's skin. It is a very interesting read for anyone going through tsw. I have known about much of this information for a very long time but many people simply are not aware of most of this. There is a short reference to Dr Stanislaw Burzynski. I had read quite about about him years ago about how he cured terminal patients that all doctors had given up on and were given prognosis's of only weeks to live, and how the FDA's lawyers have spent tens of millions of dollars trying to put Dr Burzynski in jail.

I have personally seen one of the top Derms on the west coast who is a professor and does studies for pharmaceutical companies, always looking for new drugs to market for treating the symptoms rather than than cause. Seems to me, in most cases the cause of tsa is the earlier drugs that these same pharmaceuticals companies had top doctors in their field do studies for and market to the public in the past. Here are a couple excerpts from this very informative article:

Politicians And The Media Are Controlled

"The medical and scientific establishments have (largely through the fact that they have sold out to the enormously wealthy and powerful international pharmaceutical industry) obtained more or less complete control over politicians and the media."

Self Healing Mechanisms Overlooked

"The other crucial fact that the cancer industry overlooks is that our bodies are remarkably capable of looking after themselves. Few people take advantage of these self-healing mechanisms and protective capabilities because we are all encouraged to put our health and our lives into the hands of the so called experts - practitioners who are often trained to look at our bodies, and the diseases which afflict them, with all the breadth of vision of a man looking through a microscope."

Conceit, Arrogance And Bigotry

"The great tragedy of orthodox medicine is that doctors have always been suspicious of anything new and often reluctant to listen to theories and ideas which contradict traditional attitudes.

From Paracelsus to Lind to Semmelweiss, medical history is littered with doctors who learned the hard way that the medical establishment does not take kindly to original ideas or to new concepts which threaten the status quo.

Medical students are taught that they should avoid asking uncomfortable questions and young doctors who wish to succeed know that they must remain unquestioningly faithful to the established truths.

Any physician who rocks the boat, makes waves or swims against the tide will soon find himself floundering in deep water - and struggling to survive! To be successful in our society a physician must respect the prejudices of his elders, adhere to the dogma of his teachers and shut his mind to theories which do not fit in with orthodox medical doctrines.

Modern medicine is, much like the black magic medicine of the middle ages, an unstructured, unscientific discipline in which uncertainty, confusion and ignorance are too often disguised with conceit, arrogance and bigotry.

At a time when the half-life of medical information is shrinking and the limits of traditional, interventionist medicine are daily becoming more and more apparent, this ostrich-type behaviour is difficult to understand and impossible to justify.

Unless doctors are prepared to consider the unexpected, the unlikely and even the apparently impossible, patients must regard rigidly orthodox interventionists with a certain amount of suspicion and cynicism."

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Itching: More Than Skin Deep - New York Times Article

Here are interesting new findings showing that pain and itching don't use the same pathways, and itching is not all a histamine reaction, as previously thought.

"The experiment was not for the squirmish. Volunteers were made to itch like crazy on one arm, but not allowed to scratch. Then they were whisked into an M.R.I. scanner to see what parts of their brains lit up when they itched, when researchers scratched them and when they were finally allowed to scratch themselves."

The scientific question was this: Why does it feel so good to scratch an itch?

“It’s quite intriguing to see how many brain centers are activated,” said Dr. Gil Yosipovitch, chairman of dermatology at the Temple University School of Medicine and director of the Temple Center for Itch (he conducted the experiment while working at Wake Forest School of Medicine). “There is no one itch center. Everyone wants that target, but it doesn’t work in real life like that.”

"Instead, itching and scratching engage brain areas involved not only in sensation, but also in mental processes that help explain why we love to scratch: motivation and reward, pleasure, craving and even addiction. What an itch turns on, a scratch turns off — and scratching oneself does it better than being scratched by someone else. The study results were published in December in the journal PLOS One.

Itching was long overshadowed by pain in both research and treatment, and was even considered just a mild form of pain. But millions of people suffer from itching, and times have changed. Research has found nerves, molecules and cellular receptors that are specific for itching and set it apart from pain, and the medical profession has begun to take it seriously as a debilitating problem that deserves to be studied and treated.

Within the last decade, there has been a flurry of research into what causes itching and how to stop it. Along with brain imaging, studies have begun to look at gene activity and to map the signals that flow between cells in the skin, the immune system, the spinal cord and the brain.

The concern is not so much the fleeting nastiness of mosquito bites and poison ivy, but the unending misery caused by chronic itching — the kind that won’t go away, that torments people night and day and very often resists remedies like antihistamines and cortisone cream.

For the first time in the United States, itching research and treatment centers have opened: Temple’s in September, in Philadelphia, and Washington University’s Center for the Study of Itch, in 2011, in St. Louis."

For full article see Itching: More Than Skin-Deep.

Moisturizer Withdrawal Update - Girls, Girls, Girls!

Girls, girls, girls! Many of you are attempting to not moisturize by moisturizing. After being moisturizer free for several weeks, one girl I saw hit a stagnant period and apparently was unable to get her skin splits to fully heal over. So, she has done a 9 day experiment and discovered that one foot has improved faster using moisturizers on it, while the other foot remained the same with no moisturizing. Now, she has decided to do limited moisturizing on all of her worst areas. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

Another is finding good relief combining a moisturizer with colloidal oats in dss baths. The jury is still out for me on this one but I am very concerned and I'll try to explain why. This is still moisturizing and although she is finding a lot of comfort in the short term, I am concerned about the long term. This seems to be a great short term method for bringing relief to people who have eczema or other rashes, but tsw symptoms are not the same, and they last for several months to years. So, this method can't possibly work unless done in a manner where the moisturizers are eliminated within a week or two of beginning this way. Not to be added back unless it's many weeks later and again only for a week or so. Very similar to how ts should be used if one were to use them.

My fear is once eliminating the moisturizer, people will then add it back as soon as they experience a little dry skin and discomfort. Which in effect will cause one to believe they need to continue using the moisturizer in the baths. Again, I can see these baths working in the short term just like putting Vaseline on the foot for the first girl has, but give it a few weeks and look out. The only true way to find the long term comfort you are seeking is to not moisturize at all and then learn how to manage the various symptoms that come with not moisturizing. These symptoms are very easily managed.

I commend all of you for trying to find comfort, but a word of extreme caution. One only needs to look at what happened to Dave awhile back to see what can happen when switching back & forth between moisturizing and not moisturizing. Just one thing to consider. But my main point is this: Moisturizing may help the skin in the short term, but in the long term it is damaging and only puts you back to going through tsw via moisturizing again. It will defeat the whole purpose of not moisturizing in the first place. The girl who found that her right foot improved over 9 days while moisturizing it, and the left foot that she hasn't been moisturizing didn't improve in the same time frame, has discovered that by moisturizing she is seeing improvement.

However, this is common to see in the short term with moisturizers. She will also discover in a month or so down the road that her feet will be the same or worse than they are now. Why? Because the skin barrier will weaken more in time from the moisturizing, as opposed to strengthening in time from remaining moisturizer free. This is the exact same illusion that ts have. The skin splits and cracks will likely constantly reopen and close again due to being kept moist. It's that simple. Don't overlook the entire reasoning behind not moisturizing in the first place. It's not only for comfort, but more importantly, it is to allow the skin to strengthen so that you may be more comfortable. The other girl who is doing the combo baths is finding a lot of comfort right off the bat, but will it be the same two months from now? Hard to believe it will if she continues using moisturizers for that long. Comfort and improvement at first, but give it a few weeks and the moisturizers will do their damage. Just like ts.

There are ways for the first girl I mentioned to heal those cracks in her feet while staying moisturizer free. I should know. I have been doing this for 7 months now. Since my initial MW, I've experienced everything I see people now talking about and more. My first couple of months were the most difficult in getting all skin splits closed and staying that way. Since then it's just been a matter of being mostly healed over, and then a mini flare or itchfest in my sleep opens up a spot or two, and within a couple days I get it closed again. Or, I would get a few open splits and a couple raw irritated areas, and get them healed again usually pretty quickly. It's been that way up until this last monster flare I just had. My last flare was nothing like all the previous mini flares and lasted 5 weeks. It caused the entire tops of my hands to become 100% covered in steroid induced eczema, and both my arms and legs that had been healed for months broke out very badly. All areas were oozing badly and were highly irritated and flaring badly for about 3 or 4 of those 5 weeks. I had to take a round of antibiotics in the first week it was so bad.

Still, if I had moisturized my worst areas during that flare I would be a world of hurt right now. Instead I have no open splits and am improving very very quickly. Both arms and legs are 90-95% healed. Tops of hands are back to where I was before the flare and look to be fully healed much sooner than I even thought a couple days ago. My palms remain healed even though I scratch them very hard in my sleep. The tsw monster is obviously still inside my body but it is losing the battle, and in the meantime while I wait for it to give up the ghost, I am very very comfortable and lead a normal life. I have been eating ice cream every single day for the last month! And, drinking coffee and eating pretty much whatever the hell I want. Just thought I would throw that out there because I'm not using any special diets or getting much exercise. Yet I am doing great and my case wasn't an easy one by any comparison.

Again, I am very comfortable now and have no problems other than that itch attack that comes about two hours after I fall asleep. My skin is so strong now, that no matter how hard I scratch it doesn't break open. This would NOT be the case if I had moisturized my worst areas over the past 5 weeks and I know this from my first two months when I saw great improvement with both Shea butter and a Calendula salve I used, only to watch my skin fall apart again after a few weeks. It stopped improving and fell apart because the moisturizers became ineffective after a few weeks and at that point they had become damaging to the skin barrier.

I also see others who have stopped moisturizing for a while now but still have a lot of itching, discomfort, and all kinds of problems. All of these problems have very easy fixes. Not moisturizing presents a whole different set of problems for the skin than does moisturizing, and there are easy fixes for all of these problems, whereas with moisturizing there isn't.

I implore all of you to be very careful in thinking you can moisturize and not moisturize at the same time. It's illogical. Again, look to people who have spent months not moisturizing to learn how to deal with the various problems that can come with it like the dry feeling skin, stagnant periods, splits & cracks that won't heal, excess itching, etc., etc. There are very simple ways to take care of all these things so your moisturizer free recovery is as successful as mine has been. I am especially skilled in how to manage severely damaged hands from a severely damaged skin barrier, as that is what happened to me. But I also had used ts on other areas of my body and have had to find ways to clear all areas including the head, face, eyelids, ears, arms, legs, genitals, feet, etc. Well, I think that pretty much covers everything. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

How To Best Manage Topical Steroid Induced Eczema On The Hands

The purpose of this post was to show the various ways I have learned to deal with my topical steroid induced eczema symptoms on my hands since doing moisturizer withdrawal approximately 7 months ago, into one place for easier understanding and referral. Trying to rewrite everything I have learned here will take up an enormous amount of my time. So, I decided instead to try and make this post a thread where all people who wish to learn about the best ways to manage tsw symptoms on the hands can post in this thread, and this thread can be a question and answer format similar to a forum. When you post here, try to include a link to pictures of your hands along with a little background on your condition. That isn't absolutely necessary, but if you can do this, it definitely helps. If no pics no worries, ask questions anyway.

I'm near the end of my recovery and will be going back to the life I had before tsw soon. Hopefully I'll be 100% recovered in another couple months at most. I'll leave this blog up for future reference but have other things in my life that I wish to attend to once my mission is complete. However, even after I leave the tsw scene, I will always try my best to answer any questions anyone might have.

What prompts me to write this post is there are many people with tsw symptoms on their hands and most do not know or understand how to deal with it very well and they continue to suffer needlessly. Same with most people with tsw on other areas of their bodies. Since my own hands were so bad from the start of my tsw, and quite possibly the worst condition I've ever seen out of anybody so far, I feel my experience can help most people. Seeing so many people with very minor symptoms compared to what I had to deal with continuously suffer so much makes me sad knowing how easy it really is to find relief and heal the hands to a point where the tsw symptoms are very manageable.

Unfortunately, most people do not deal with their tsw symptoms the way I have and try to find their own way. And they just continue to suffer not understanding why. They think they know why but most really don't as they fail to understand the logic of the various methods I use. This is what this thread is for. Ask questions if you want to understand and learn the logic and reasoning behind my methods. 

Looking back I can now see that the condition of my hands was far worse from the average person doing tsw from what I have seen in others over the past 8 months. As a matter of fact, I have yet to see anyone who has had it worse on the hands than I did. I have learned many things in those 7 months of dealing with tsw via no moisturizers and feel what I've learned should be of great value to those of you who have either began tsw without moisturizing, or those of you who have made the transition from moisturizing to not moisturizing, commonly referred to as "moisturizer withdrawal".

In my efforts to help people do MW over the last few months I have discovered that some have failed miserably in their attempts due to various reasons. Others have made it and are happy as clams. The ones who have failed miserably have been mostly people with more serious conditions and only failed at successfully doing MW because they didn't follow my methods, but instead thought they could do it in a different way. More power to you, but reinventing the wheel is probably not the best thing to do when in this situation as you probably now understand.

There is plenty of info on this throughout my blog, but much of it is me talking about things I did at those specific times. And some of the info may not be relevant now, or outdated. I have learned much from my experience on what works well, and what doesn't work so well, in dealing with the various tsw symptoms we experience while not moisturizing. These symptoms differ from the symptoms people experience while moisturizing. I see some people struggling with not moisturizing and there is no need for it to be such a struggle. There are ways to compliment not moisturizing to make yourself more comfortable and to find much more success in doing it that most people don't do.

Although I experienced topical steroid withdrawal symptoms on several areas of my body, the main area where I had the most severe symptoms was my hands. This is probably the most debilitating area to have topical steroid poisoning symptoms out of any other area of the body, and I wanted to make a thread just for hand care during tsw for people who DON'T moisturize. IF you moisturize, see my DIY Guide for Moisturizer Withdrawal During Topical Steroid Withdrawal to learn how to make the transition from moisturizing to not moisturizing. And don't be afraid or timid about asking me questions or clarification on anything I have written.

I would like to note here as well that I see many people who have successfully done MW but are still having issues with symptoms on their face. There is a very simple solution to your problem. Do Dead Sea salt baths as I have been suggesting for the last 7 months, and in the way that I suggest they should be done for tsw symptoms on the face and head, and you will see what I mean within just a couple weeks.

So, for those of you who want to know the various ways that I have learned in dealing with tsw on the hands, just comment here on this post and I will answer to the best of my ability. I hope to have this as an ongoing thread so others can learn from the questions and answers here. This will save me a lot of time and it will be much more helpful for others to see this information in a question and answer format, as opposed to me writing out a very long post on all the various problems that can arise and how I deal with each of those problems.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Moisturizer Withdrawal And Itsan's Private Forum

Many people are now discovering that not moisturizing is a much better way to get through topical steroid withdrawal as opposed to moisturizing. They are discovering that not moisturizing brings much more comfort, allows the skin barrier to recover at a much faster rate, allows the skin to strengthen faster, reduces itching, and in general allows one to lead a normal life while recovering from topical steroid poisoning or addiction. Moisturizing during tsw actually weakens the skin barrier, prolongs healing, intensifies itching, and makes for a very long and very uncomfortable recovery. There is no question about this, and as each day passes this truth is becoming more and more apparent to people everywhere, despite Itsan's long time unhealed moisturizing vets attempts at discrediting this very real fact.

To be fair, I believe Itsan has been instrumental in bringing thousands of people suffering tsw together in one place, which has been very beneficial in many ways. Itsan has also been instrumental in providing information to people so they understand what is going on with their skin. They definitely have done a lot for awareness of tsa/tsw and we all appreciate that. But when it comes to providing good resources and information on dealing with the long term recovery process, Itsan fails miserably. Over the last couple of years they have either intimidated people with valuable contributions that don't conform to their own beliefs into leaving the forum, marginalized people until they left out of disgust, or outright banned them. The latter being a rather cruel thing to do to people in the throes of tsw, effectively cutting them off from the rest of the group and access to others experiences.

All in the name of keeping a calm and caring atmosphere on the forum so suffering people don't get upset or stressed out from arguments or hot debates. Very noble but it definitely has been a wrong approach and not very conducive to information gathering and sharing, debate, and proactive work in finding more effective ways in healing from tsa. Itsan should have embraced these people and their ideas instead of driving them away. They should have realized a long time ago that their whole support forum approach was wrong. It's one thing for Itsan vets to push their views on things they have experienced. But it's a whole different ballgame when they push their views on things they haven't experienced. Like not moisturizing throughout tsw.

But, let's put things into context. Itsan's forum is a privately owned and operated forum run by just a few people. Due to Itsan's effectiveness in bringing many hundreds, if not thousands of people together into one location on a support forum site, these few people are in a very unique situation of having a huge influence over, and impact on these suffering people, and have a great responsibility to them. Newly suffering people to tsw are looking for information. So they rely on the forum and it's vets for the answers they are seeking in the belief that these people know what they are doing. After all, the website and forum have an appearance of people who genuinely care and understand what we are experiencing. Itsan is a non profit organization which holds itself out as an organization with a mission to help educate people about tsa/tsw and to support people recovering from tsa by providing the information and resources they need.

The vets experiences are invaluable to all new people to tsw who are trying to figure out what to do. But this should include all vets and not just "selected" or "chosen' vets whose beliefs fall in line with the owners of the forum. This is where Itsan fails it's responsibilities to the very people they are trying to help. Private forum or not, all opinions on how to best treat various symptoms of tsw should be heard and embraced, not marginalized or discredited. Debated and discussed.

It is extremely important to understand the implications of what a few people who sit on Itsan's board who make the decisions on what policies the organization carries out has. Their policies are based on the consensus of a very few people, and some of these policies cover what information they will and will not allow to be seen on their private site. This includes what the most effective and best methods are for recovering from tsw are. This kind of influence over so many people by so few people can be a very dangerous situation. Especially in a private forum setting that has garnered nearly all people suffering from tsw onto it's site. One only has to look at any similar "Groupthink" situations to understand this.

Itsan's board members has their own opinions and has every right to espouse those opinions. But the danger here is if a large number of people rely on the opinions of the consensus of just a few people in this kind of setting and that consensus turns out to be wrong, many people can be harmed. For example: For many years woman have been told they need a mammogram once a year. A new study, published in the British Medical Journal last week reports that “annual mammograms will not reduce the rate of breast cancer mortality.” The conclusion was based on research beginning in 1980 involving nearly 90,000 between the ages of 40 and 59 years old. The study's findings even show that yearly mammograms do more harm than good. This type of thing is all too common. It reminds me of how we were told for many years to replace butter with margarine for better health, only to learn many years later that consuming butter is healthier than margarine is. So goes ideas on the benefits of moisturizxng, whether it be during tsw or not.

But here is my biggest concern. Those examples are of consensus derived from very large numbers of people, doctors, scientists, universities, etc. If so many people could be so wrong for so long, just imagine the danger of a just a few people creating consensus on how to best mange tsw for the majority of people beginning tsw. To me it's mind boggling to know that a just a few people think they can decide what's best for everyone else on such a little known and understood subject. It is their moral and ethical obligation to take a neutral position and allow free flow of information, private site or not. To embrace all information and not be the ones who decide what's relevant and not relevant for people to see.

Its fine to express opinions as long as others can express their own opinions as well. But not allowing members to see others opinions that conflict with Itsan's own opinions is outright wrong, and potentially can harm many people. It is up to individuals to decide for themselves and they need all the information available to best do this. When you have a private forum that only allows the opinions of what the owners of that forum want expressed, then you have a bad situation for many reasons.

Yes, if we don't like it we can go somewhere else. And that is exactly what I would urge everyone to do if Itsan is unwilling to allow the free flow of information on their private site. It is a private forum and they can do whatever they want. But be aware that if you listen to their advice you are listening to outdated advice that has little value since much of it can not be debated on their forum, and most opposing opinions can not be expressed. Much has been learned since this tiny group of people have gone through their own tsw and people should be allowed to know what's been learned, and in a way that it is not discredited or marginalized by Itsan and their vets at the same time. But rather embraced and accepted as it should be. 

A little background on my experience with Itsan. I was a member of Itsan for a few months and managed to get myself banned from the site back in October of last year. Apparently, I had become a little too outspoken. I initially tried to convince Itsan to make subtle policy changes with very polite emails. There were a couple issues like Itsan staff and vets being able to say nothing can speed up tsw but others like myself could not say something can speed it up. I only asked that since there is no proof either way that Itsan change it's policy on the issue to saying something more positive like "to date we don't know if anything that can speed it up tsw or not". I don't think that was too much to ask. I am aware of the placbo effect as anyone who is runnig a support forum for sick and suffering people should also be fully aware of and I really felt that setting the belief in peoples minds that NOTHING could speed up tsw other than the passage of time was a true injustice inflicted on these people. I could see it in their blogs when they would parrot the same exact line. Their desperation in "knowing" nothing can help them and they have to wait for some undetermined amount of time to pass. It really made me sick.

However, my main bone of contention was what I had discovered about the effects of both moisturizing and not moisturizing has during tsw and the way my input on this subject was treated on the forum by forum staff and long time vets. And, the treatment continued for months after I was banned even off the site. The more people I was able to convince to try mw the more I saw Itsan vets post negative things about not moisturizing on their blogs. Everything from people trying it for one or two days and exclaiming how "it's not for everybody", to people trying it for a week and saying "it was too painful". None of those people asked me for help or advice and I feel many of them were out to discredit the idea of not moisturizing because they are so freaking brainwashed. Itsanity.

As time went on I finally grew so frustrated that I began to make demands that Itsan change. No more polite emails. Too many people were suffering needlessly and I knew it. I was quickly banned. I believe after banning me Itsan hand picked what threads and posts that I had done on their site they wanted their members to see, and kept those on the site, and deleted the threads and posts I made that they didn't want their members to see. A while back a friend of mine sent me screen shots of my "TSW On Hands" thread that I had started on Itsan back then  (I can't access the forum at all), and I was appalled at how in my absence how people were still asking me questions on the thread, but rather than Itsan telling people where I am, other members or staff would answer the questions in my place. Most of the answers people received were horribly wrong, incorrect, and counter productive. And most certainly NOT how I would answer.

I plan to do my next post on how to best deal with tsw symptoms on the hands for those of you who have it on their hands, but this post is meant to set the background and to help readers better understand why we are at the point where we are currently at now with the confusion that seems to permeate the community over the subjects of moisturizer withdrawal and not moisturizing.

I discovered early on that nearly everything Itsan believes and teaches about how to recover from topical steroid poisoning is not only flat out counter productive, but just the opposite of what people really need to believe and know. Although I supported this organization in the first two months of my tsw, both financially and by contributing by posting many times showing how to do moisturizer withdrawal at a time when practically noone had any information on it, or even was aware of the idea, I was called a "conspiracy theorist" for my views. I was insulted, discredited and marginalized to the point where most other members thought I was just some kook that didn't know what I was talking about. So, noone took me seriously at the time. Things have changed somewhat as the truth is very hard to suppress forever. However, Itsan hasn't changed in the way they operate, other than just very minor changes in an effort to try and retain some credibility, while they still continue to spread their misguided beliefs onto unsuspecting people who are suffering. This is simply unacceptable considering the circumstances.

Itsan claims they know of noone who has completed tsw via not moisturizing yet there is one person who has posted on my blog many times who competed her tsw in 9 months flat! Itsan is fully aware of this. This person was a member of Itsan but left the group out of disgust, for the same reasons many others have. She left on her own volition, whereas I left against my will. In the words of a former member I know, and I quote, "Itsan is dysfunctional at best". I can understand that statement as the organization holds itself out as a non profit support group for people going through tsw, who's interest or mission is to help people get through tsw in the most comfortable way possible. From Itsan's website: "ITSAN is devoted to providing resources to help eczema patients withdraw from their topical steroid medication to cure their addiction. Each passing day the organization works to fulfill the hope, of having a healthy and itch-free life, for thousands of eczema sufferers worldwide." Many people feel they do the opposite.

After banning me I was left to my own blog and the web to reach out to others on their blogs as my only resources to continue to get my message out. Luckily, Itsan has no ability to delete what information is posted on the web or on my blog. Itsan and their most loyal long time unhealed vets continued to do what they could to continue their attempt in discrediting what I had to say, even though I was and remain no longer a member. This has cased tremendous confusion amongst most people new to tsw, and it also has created a lot of problems in my effort to help people. Many Itsan members still view me as overly opinionated, egotistical, pushy, etc. The smarter ones see through this but the majority of people don't know any better and fall victim to this campaign of discrediting my experience and knowledge gained from it. This is very unfortunate for all involved and has led to things being said that probably should not have been said by myself. I just want my readers to understand that these problems have only came about because of Itsan's efforts to continuously discredit myself and my message. If I wasn't up against such heavy resistance in the last 7 months things would have gone down much much differently than they have.

Despite Itsan and it's still unhealed vets efforts to discredit MW, myself, and others who promote not moisturizing and supportive diets, MW has finally caught on because the truth eventually reveals itself. As has the idea of supporting the body's natural ability to heal through good diet, exercise, supplements, etc  

So, who is Itsan? According to their own website,  "ITSAN was officially co-founded by dermatologist Dr. Marvin Rapaport (UCLA Medical Center professor; leading expert on Red Skin Syndrome) and Kelly Palace, one of thousands of patients treated and cured by Dr. Rapaport." Kelly was a patient of Dr. Rap's and already had a website started around 2009 informing people about tsa/tsw. Apparently they got together and formed Itsan. Dr. Rap believes that it best to moisturize during tsw for comfort and his belief is based on the idea that people will recover eventually no matter what as long as they stay off the steroids. He is correct about that. Where he is incorrect though, in my opinion, is in his assumption that moisturizing is a good way to bring comfort during tsw while waiting for the body to readjust and completely heal. Which can take many years if one moisturizes throughout the recovery. In truth, moisturizing during tsw is the worst possible thing one can do and only brings much discomfort, prolongs the skin's ability to heal, and makes recovery a living hell. If you don't believe me just read people's blogs who moisturize, and then read people's blogs who do not moisture and see for yourself. Last year you wouldn't have been able to do this since nearly 100% of all people doing tsw were moisturizing thanks to Itsan carrying on what they learned from Dr. Rap and from the entire medical community. And thanks to their stubbornness on what people like myself were telling and showing them.

I believe Dr. Rap believes in moisturizing only because he is an accredited doctor, and this is what doctors are trained to do. He was able to break free of conventional wisdom on the use of ts, but apparently he hasn't put a lot of his focus on finding better methods of getting through tsw. To my knowledge, he hasn't been through tsw himself, or has he experimented with patients via not moisturizing. He has a very large selection of moisturizers that he sells on his website. I don't believe he is purposely making money off moisturizer sales knowing that moisturizing during tsw is the wrong thing to do. I believe his heart is good and he just isn't aware yet that doing tsw via no moisturizers is a much better way. Most wouldn't know this unless they have experienced it themselves. I may try and contact him in an effort to educate him on this fact, but fear I will encounter the same resistance I encountered with Itsan. It's been my experience that most doctors have a superiority complex and don't respect their patients, or listen to what they have to say. Naturally that's a generalization. I really don't know if it would be a wasted effort or not. Maybe someone else can do it eh?

Dr Rap also espouses the idea that people should avoid all sun exposure in the first several months of tsw. Wrong again imho. I exposed my raw hamburger hands to the intense summer sun several times per day from day one of my tsw every single day for the entire summer and fall and it only helped me heal. So, I'm not sure why he believes what he believes but I do know that the same belief has been carried on and exists throughout the tsw community and I believe the idea originated with him, transferred to Kelly, and then onto the forum. This is just Itsan advancing the same old ideas learned very early on. To this day I haven't read or heard anything as to why they believe this. What is the reasoning behind it? Is it logical? Doe it make sense? Even one of my Derms said it would be beneficial for me to get sun exposure on my hands in the first week of my tsw when he could clearly see they were raw meat. I would think one of the top Derms on the west coast would not tell me it's ok if it wasn't. Either way, I found out on my own that it was indeed ok. And quite beneficial I might add.

Apparently, Kelly taught Joey and others what she learned from Dr. Rap, and these people in turn taught many others what they learned and so on. So, you can see why Itsan and their vets believe what they believe. The main problem here is new information has come out since those early years and these vets don't seem to understand that what they thought was the best ways to recover from tsw is actually not the best ways. They actually learned the worst ways and they obviously don't have the capacity to understand this fact as has been shown by their repeated efforts to discredit anyone who advocates more effective ways, including the very Japanese doctors they claim they respect and support.

Oftentimes I hear the mantra "we are all different so we must find what works best for each of us". I find this concept far fetched and unbelievable. Yes, we all have subtle differences. But overall, all people are basically the same physiologically. We have different genetic tendencies and what not. Different states of health. All kinds of differences. But, again, these are subtle differences. Yes, some of us can react differently to different things. But when it comes to things that aren't so subtle, we all basically react the same ways. If we all sit in a tub of water 24 hours a day for 2 years I'm pretty sure we will all have the same outcome. I really don't know if that was a good analogy or not but I hope you get my point.