Monday, October 7, 2013

May 21st 2013 - This Is Where I Start My Story

Well, today my hands are cracked, bleeding, itchy as hell, and swollen. Very inflamed. The last two years of applying topical steroids (ts) to my hands appear to be making things worse. Out of desperation I decide to take prednisone to see if I can get this eczema to ease up, or I'm going to have to go to the doctor, and I really distrust doctors. I had some left over prednisone from a neck surgery 3 years ago so I do a course over a 7 day period, and as I'm weaning myself down each day near the end, my steroid induced eczema starts getting worse after initially getting better I had hoped it would get better and the ts would control it from there but it was not to be. I made a doctors appointment the next day and when I went in he said I had first degree burns on my hands and told me to stop applying the ts (betamethasone ointment ) and apply Silver Sulfadiazine Cream USP 1%, a burn medication made for serious burns, for one week. I had to put it on my hands at night and wear gloves over it.

Right from the get go my hands start burning like crazy and feel very hot, like they are on fire. I thought this stuff was for burn victims! I faithfully did what he asked for 7 nights and by the last night I literally only got 1 hour sleep the pain was so intense. I spent most of the night with my hands in a large bowl of ice.

That was the last night before my follow-up visit. The next day I went in and he said my hands looked a little better (they didn't) and to continue applying the burn cream. I had already explained what I had just been through the previous night and was shocked he said to continue the treatment after what I had told him. I then said "NO WAY will I ever put this crap on my hands again"! He got a little miffed and told me " then you need to see a dermatologist today". I said "fine". I saw a dermatologist about 3 days later (the one he referred me to had very bad reviews on the net so I had to find a better one), and the derm said it looked like I was allergic to the Betamethasone ointment I had been using for so long. She gave me oral antibiotics and put me on a week long TS treatment of Fluocinonide 0.05% ointment and Mupirocin ointment 2%. After a week of the occlusive treatment with poor results, on my follow-up visit, I told my Derm that I felt the steroids were working (at night when I put them on with socks on my hands), but felt the moisturizer she gave me to use during the day was counteracting the positive effects of the steroids.

After some research I found out why. The ingredients in the moisturizer she gave me to use was inhibiting my skin's ability to breathe (the ingredient Dimethicone), and at the same time my skin was being irritated by other chemicals in it as well, including a couple types of alcohols and BHT. This is when I started losing faith in my fist Derm. I was immediately referred to another Derm, supposedly one of the top Derms around, but I think he was actually a clone.

So, before I even saw the next derm I had 6 weeks to research what the heck was wrong with me. That's when I discovered what was really going on! My body was addicted to topical steroids and there was only one cure, and that is to stop using any and all steroids forever. I discovered this information by stumbling across bloggers and websites where others are going through the same thing as myself and are doing their best to educate people about tsa/tsw. I was faced with a life changing decision. I had to quit using ts and suffer intense pain, itching, sleepless nights, loss of income, etc etc for up to possibly as long as 3 years.

After reading enough blogs about how others arrived to the same place as I did I knew I had no choice. The last day I used ts was June 12th 2013. I began the journey. Read on...

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