Monday, November 11, 2013

Quote Of The Year!

"It's a completely well known phenomena where the body simply stops producing oil in response to external moisture. It's so basic my hairdresser knows it."  

The quote above is by a poster on my blog named jsan. See the thread titled "Itsan - A Hand Holding Forum" if you would like to see what else jsan had to say. jsan is one of a just handful of us who have done tsw without the use of moisturizers.

25 comments:

  1. Thanks for the quote lol. Not to be disparaging to my hairdresser, but yes she is not a medical professional apparently it is part of her training to know this. Actually a simple google search for: "moisturizer addiction" pulls up lots of mainstream articles on this.

    I avoided infections for sure because I let my skin breathe for the most part and stuck with only small patches of tea tree, comfrey, calendula and colloidal silver on cuts.

    The worst thing I did was moisturize on and off with shea butter, hemp seed oil. Each time my husband noticed my skin got better for a few days and then exponentially worse. It was he who noticed that the areas I left alone got better faster and supported me in moisturizer withdrawal. I feel sorry for anyone who is new to tsw and starts slathering things on in the hope it relieves the symptoms. At first perhaps, long term I believe no.

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    1. Yeah, it is pretty easy to find on the web. But you put it so well. I used Shea butter too but discovered whatever I used kept my skin breaks from healing so it was a simple matter of logic for me to conclude I needed to stop moisturizing if those open wounds were ever going to heal over in a timely fashion. I didn't really learn about how moisturizers affect the skin until afterwards. Naturally what I learned only confirmed I was on the right path in spite of what others were saying about the subject.

      Right from day one I moisturized one leg with Shea butter and didn't on the other just to see what effects it would have. The steroid induced eczema on the leg I moisturized spread and worsened while the other leg slowly improved.

      Funny you should mention the possibility of it being beneficial at first, because I was just thinking the same thing. I guess in full body cases I probably would moisturize on certain areas at first, but not exactly sure. It might have it's uses for very short term use in extreme cases.

      I did end up using a light coat of Vaseline once on a finger for one day and it seemed to help accomplish what I wanted. That was in the first couple days of MW and one finger had dried and healed in a half closed position. I had to take a bath to get my skin to soften so I could open the finger all the way without breaking the skin, and then allowed it to dry again. I put a light coat on after that bath and rubbed off any excess.

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  2. My very interesting, yes in my personal experience less is more and ideally nothing over large areas of the body and definitely not for weeks and months! Just trust that the body is always striving to right itself and the less we interfere the better.

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    1. I couldn't agree more. Please keep us updated on your progress!

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  3. Shea, coconut and hemp oils all sent my swelling red patches into hysterics. I'm into week two of mW and can see progress albeit slow. At least I'm not going backwards!

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    1. Backwards yes.... using moisturizers during tsw is like driving your car in reverse! You eventually get to your destination but it takes longer to get there and you run into a lot of obstacles along the way.

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  4. My skin is really improving in leaps and bounds back on track to before I started moisturizing. Literally I'm waking up everyday and it is smoother than when I went to sleep. At this rate I should be clear by years end. I also make a point of going for at least an hour long walk everyday with my neck and arms completely exposed to the air. Yes it's cold but my skin loves it.

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    1. That's good news! I am usually noticeably better in the mornings after sleep too. I was thinking I will be done between months 8-12, but I may have underestimated. I'm thinking months 8-9 now to be 100% healed. My skin is about 90% clear compared to my first few weeks of tsw. Both arms and legs are fully healed. My feet too. Same with nose, one eyelid, ear, and chin. The areas on my face were extremely minor. I didn't use much topical steroids there. The only remaining areas now are mostly on top of my hands where I never used ts, and two fingers where I did use. My hands are so much better. I'm going to have to post new pics of them soon.

      I haven't been able to get myself out to walk like I should. I know I need to. I used to walk every day when I lived in the country. I live in the city now and really don't care for the atmosphere of dense residential neighborhoods and cars etc when walking. I guess I need to remind myself something I read a long time ago. Something to the effect of "you become what you see in the world". I need to focus on the beauty of what's there. The flowers, bees, birds, and trees :-)

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  5. Good quote! :) I live in a not so nice neighborhood but I go further out everyday to the beaches and quaint parks. It soothes soul such that I start to see something pretty even in the industrial landscape on the way back.

    I believe you will be good to go at 9 months. I am approaching 8 and seriously looking at me you can't tell. Just my hands and they get better every day. Keep it up!

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    1. You have inspired me to get off my butt and start walking again, thanks!

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  6. I have an Instagram account where I post my daily pictures from my walks and cooking exploits :)

    http://instagram.com/itkasan

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    1. Thank you for posting these pictures!

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  7. We were out all day today, you can see a couple of pics on Instagram :) we walked about five hours, climbed two summits, walked on a few beaches, chased a rainbow and caught a sunset that lit the sky on fire. Get outside. It's good for the soul :) you know it.

    Everyday I'm outside my skin is softer by days end (well after a twenty minute bath). But it is definitely loving the daily walk, sun, air and positive feeling. I once read that walking in nature was healing and firmly believe it to be true.

    As for tea tree I just slather it on. It doesn't seem to dry my hands out. But that's the only area I use it on. I think you are right it would be harsh on other spots.

    I washed my hands in the sea water by the beach today. They look amazing after. Smooth and calmed. Going to repeat that soon.

    You are on the right track for sure Dan. Be positive and steer clear of the emotional quicksand of those who think they are defeated at the outset. Your mind and outlook is huge. I absolutely believe that. You are healing and fast.

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    1. I thought you lived in Japan but see you are in Canada eh? B.C.? Are you from Japan? I seem to remember seeing Japanese characters on some of your pics. Those pictures are awesome! If you can walk to those places you are living in heaven. I tried to sign up to follow you but it asks for a password and doesn't offer a link to register at the Instagram website. How do you register?

      Walking in nature connects you to your life source. That's why it feels so good. It is definitely a good way of healing. Just the act of focusing on a flower, or a bird, or any life form in nature reconnects us to what we are and brings joy to our hearts. Also a great way of mediating without even realizing you are doing it! Sitting on the ground in the woods against a tree is very grounding and fills one with positive energy. I really miss living in an area where I can walk to the woods and water and be in nature away from the every day noise of the city :( I Can't wait to get out of town again!

      Thanks for the kind words of encouragement. There was never a doubt in my mind :)

      Hey, do you think those bad flares they talk about happening at around month 8 are due to moisturizing? I was going to research Dr. Fukaya's blog to see if I could find any info on that there. I just have a hard time believing I'm going to revert in any way. I've watched my skin slowly heal and get stronger for over 5 months now, and it's mostly healed. Most nerve pain is gone and it just feels like everything will be gone soon. I know my body well and I don't see this coming back. I just wonder about how so many have such bad flares and suspect it must be due to moisturizing.

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  8. I think you need to register on Instagram from a mobile phone like an iPhone or an Android phone. Then you can surf on either the phone or laptop.

    I am a lifelong vagabond. I've lived all over the world including Japan. I just wound up in Canada 7 years ago after marrying a Canadian. My accent is a mess, with an Aussie undertone.

    "Just the act of focusing on a flower, or a bird, or any life form in nature reconnects us to what we are and brings joy to our hearts." Exactly! Also my German friend told me that certain trees in a forest will have extra healing abilities. Sitting under one of those is very special. I'm drawn to horizons and make a point of going somewhere where I can see one every evening. When I'm stuck in a city I just try to go to a park every day. I lived in Madrid for a year and went through the park to and from work every day. Rain, wind, snow, heat: nothing will keep me indoors. Through the tsw fiasco the longest I stayed in was around month three for four days. I felt like I would lose my mind. Never again!

    I have a lot of theories on these late month "flares". I think so much of tsw is mental. I went through it twenty years ago and didn't even know it. I just quit them cold turkey because a naturopath told me to. I thought I was detoxing :P and just got better and better. I never got "flares" I just got a bad rash all over, peeled like crazy for weeks. Then struggled with fatigue and just got better every month. By month 9 I was hiking in Tasmania. Month 12 working on a farm. By month 13 in perfect health, working full time, volunteering, singing in a choir and socializing like mad.

    There will be no "late flares" because I am getting better and better. And I'm not moisturizing of course.

    I know of two people who went through tsw without knowing it. They both just stopped using them for similar reasons like me years ago. They went through horrible skin st first, and both were fine around month 5 or 6. Like me this time and back then. Perfect within a year. No "flares" just gradual improvement after a rough initial withdrawal.

    In that respect ignorance is bliss. I think expecting things to go bad feeds that. Also negativity breeds that in the mind and body. Finally I knew a girl who went off steroids at the same time as me back in the 90's but she was still covered in a rash two years later. She was such a depressed person the whole time. Almost attached to her illness. I refuse to identify with this blip on the horizon. Or to fix any label such as "skin warrior" to myself. Words however well meaning, carry power behind them. I am me, not this temporary skin adjustment.

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    1. Exactly, I am me and not my body. My body is just my current vessel. Sounds like you have learned a lot from your travels. What an interesting person you are! Very refreshing I might add.

      You said...
      "They went through horrible skin st first, and both were fine around month 5 or 6. Like me this time and back then. Perfect within a year. No "flares" just gradual improvement after a rough initial withdrawal."

      That is the exact experience I had and expect to have perfect skin well within a year. I never quite understood the flare thing but from pics I've seen it just seemed to me it's the moisturizing. But you might have a good point since the mind does play a major role. Maybe it's a little of both.

      I learned how to battle a serious illness several years back and I used an attitude of "knowing" I would beat the disease, even with 11% odds of doing so. I figured I must be one of the 11% because I certainly wasn't going to be one of the 89%. My attitude in that battle was I was at war and I was going to win, period. So, when I began topical steroid withdrawal, I was already well armed and had plenty of "battle" experience. That's why I said earlier there was never a doubt in my mind.

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  9. This is nothing new but I want to reiterate for any new readers considering moisturize withdrawal. Here are two excerpts from Dr. Fukaya's blog:

    "I recommend you should use no or less moisturizer if you want to advance recovery of the skin barrier."

    "I agree with Dr. Sato in that moisturizer withdrawal speeds up in certain cases.
    http://mototsugufukaya.blogspot.jp/2013/06/is-moisturizing-really-help-to-cure.html
    However, it is a hard landing method. I know some patients drop out from TSW itself by selecting moisturizer withdrawal. If you are enough strong and like to shorten the TSW period, I recommend it."

    Here are the conclusions of many of the Japanese doctors who attended the recent conference at the 24th Lecture Presentation on Atopic Dermatitis in Tokyo:

    "the doctors on the event all agreed that moisturizer withdrawal was usually essential rather than encouraged'."

    Now, combine this with what people who have actually done topical steroid withdrawal via the moisturizer withdrawal method have to say about their experiences, and come to your own conclusions. It worked well for me!

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  10. I have told everyone I'm in contact with going through tsw to stop moisturizing. They are all female and have been slathering on moisturizers their whole lives. It is unthinkable for them to stop. Even seeing my super soft skin does not convince them.

    I have never used body moisturizers but I have used facial serums like hyaluronic acid. I still use a serum on my face because I love how insanely line free it makes me look. I've done that for over 15 years and do not look 41 years old. At all.

    But I will never put an oil on my skin. Or a moisturizer. That's just asking for moisturizer addiction.

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    1. I know what you mean. I find myself telling women the same thing all the time but it goes over their head. Or, through it :). My dw uses it every day. I just don't understand people sometimes.

      I used Dr. Fukaya's skin repair lotion for my first couple months of tsw and couldn't tell if it was helping or not. After doing MW and my skin healed over, I had a bad reaction one day to it and went into a flare for a couple weeks. I quit using it immediately, but tried again after my hands recovered with similar results. Just not as bad that time around since my skin was stronger. So, I haven't used it on my hands since out of fear of it irritating my hands again. But, it's time to start again. The skin on my palms is much stronger.

      My hands were so painful the beginning couple months I couldn't even tell the lotion was irritating them. It likely helped my skin barrier in spite of the extra irritation though. I'm pretty sure I can use it now on my hands, I've been using it on my ear and nose all along with no reactions.

      Those areas were never bad though and the skin isn't near as damaged there. The skin is so sensitive in the beginning that it doesn't tolerate it very well. I think the reason is because it has a small amount of preservatives in it. But, I'm a believer in the stuff.

      I figured you to be in your late 20's and was surprised to learn your 41. You're definitely doing something right!

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  11. Thanks, I get that a lot. It's just decades of good super clean living, roaming the world (not too many responsibilities) and high end serums (seriously swear by them, learned that in Japan). This steroid stupidity is something I'm embarrassed by, given that I don't even use an aspirin for a headache.

    Anyway it's worth trying the hyaluronic serum again. My face and neck can handle the preservative, my hands can't. So it's worth experimenting.

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  12. Jsan, what is the brand of serum you recommend? You look amazing!

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    1. Thank you! It's pretty unhealthy stuff, but works for me unbelievably. It was recommended through a cosmetic consultation years ago.

      Night time serum: SkinCeuticals Retexturizing Activator (has hyaluronic acid and glycolic acid)

      Daytime serum: SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic (this stuff makes my skin glow and super smooth in just a few days use). Lots of people get skin issues with this one OR super soft skin. Luckily I'm in the latter group!

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  13. surely a serum is the same as a moisturiser..

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  14. See: http://www.uprojectunit.com/serum-vs-moisturizer-what-to-use-and-why/

    "Serum vs. Moisturizer

    Moisturizer: A moisturizer is a lotion or cream that contains emollients to hydrate the skin. It also forms a barrier to help the skin retain its hydration. As you might have noticed when pursuing the aisles at your local drugstore, many moisturizers have ingredients that deliver additional skin care benefits.

    Serum: The lesser known “cousin” of the moisturizer, the serum, nourishes skin with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. But unlike moisturizer, it doesn’t add oil to the skin. Facial serum has smaller molecules than moisturizers. So it’s able to penetrate the deepest layers of your skin for an added hydration boost. This also makes it possible to deliver those beneficial nutrients to the deepest layers of the skin, where moisturizers aren’t able to penetrate."

    I personally found Dr. Fukaya's skin repair lotion to have more of a "drying" effect on my skin more so than a "moisturizing" effect. I don't think serums are considered to be moisturizers.

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  15. Exactly! I tried a moisturizer once that came in the SkinCeuticals line and hated it. I use the serums purely out of vanity not need. My skin is soft and supple with nothing on but I like the wow factor these serums give my skin. They literally erase lines and make it so smooth that my 20sthg year old friends want to know what I'm using. Just a couple of drops after washing my face, no oil, only acids and vitamins. I'm vain, not going to deny it!

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