Thursday, January 16, 2014

Clarification On Why Moisturizer Withdrawal Is Best For Comfort

I feel compelled to write this new post because there is so much confusion on moisturizer withdrawal. Bear in mind that most studies are done with a predetermined outcome already in mind, and very often the desired results are reached. Amazing huh? Same way for me in researching the best way to do MW. I felt my skin wasn't healing due to moisturizing, and then proceeded to find info to back up my theory. But, I don't have a financial incentive. Companies and the medical industry make trillions of dollars over time from the sale of moisturizer products, so naturally they will hire consultants and companies to make studies showing how effective moisturizers are. There is a huge financial incentive there. Same way for topical steroids. But, studies showing how damaging moisturizing or using TS are, don't have a financial incentive. Therefore, there are far less studies on that side of the equation. I put more weight on the latter studies and when combined with logic and common sense I can easily separate truth from fiction.

I think people misinterpret Dr. Fukaya’s “hard landing” language and think it’s something extremely difficult to do. He is just eluding to the fact that MW can be hard temporarily for the first couple weeks (my interpretation and also my experience). And I’m sure this can differ to a great degree depending on how severe individual cases are. Also, this applies to beginning tsw when the skin rebounds the worst. It is only logical that MW must be much easier to do after getting through those initial first 2-3 months of TSW where the rebound is at it's worst. Most people who have actually done MW will tell you it is not very difficult to do, and that one can find much more comfort this way. There are those who are so convinced that moisturizers are the "key" to comfort that they subconsciously make sure MW doesn't work for them, if they even attempt it at all. It's just simple logic and really not very difficult at all after the initial first week or so. One week of extra pain and discomfort in exchange for many months of comfort.

As for my comments in the past on itsan. Itsan's views and influence with people doing TSW is all too apparent on nearly everyone's blogs. We don't need controlled studies to prove anything on things that are obvious, despite what many say. You may need a study if you want definitive proof. But are you after proof or are you after comfort? If I catch a cold bug I don't need controlled studies to figure out if I really did catch a cold bug, or to figure out effective ways to deal with it. If I’m standing in intensely hot sun and I feel it burning my skin do I need studies to know if I should get out of the sun? Do I need to wait to see if other people burn first before making my decision? Of course not. Common sense, logic, and instincts dictate what I do. No time to wait for controlled double blind studies or see others burn first.

I can understand doubts when there was no information available. But this is no longer the case. And doubts or not, common sense dictates that moisturizing hypersensitive skin during TSW irritates the hell out of it. It also further damages the skin barrier further. Studies that are done with no financial incentive show this to be true. This is not rocket science. If wet skin breaks down the skin barrier than it is better to keep the skin dry. If keeping the skin covered in moisturizers damage the skin barrier and inhibits healing, then it is better to not use them. If not using moisturizers during TSW enables people to go through the journey in a much more comfortable fashion, than that is the most optimum way it should be done. Naturally, there will always be exceptions to the rule, but for the majority of TSW’s, moisturizing is a very wrong method of finding comfort. But again, people have been led to believe just the opposite in the past. It’s way past time for people to update their conclusions imo.

I am not that brave or courageous and the fact is MW is not very difficult for most cases of TSW. It can be very difficult if one takes the approach that it will be difficult I suppose. There is far too much confusion over this with people that haven't done it, or haven't done it in a successful way. Let me be clear. I did not endure that much pain. I was already in so much pain from moisturizing for two months at the outset of my TSW that a little extra pain didn't make much of a difference. It lasted for 7-10 days. Well worth the normalcy that followed for many months as I continue to recover.

I don't see people that are moisturizing as being very comfortable from what I read daily on their blogs so not sure why people aren't understanding this. I am just a worn out old hippy who abused his body all his life and I don't have any special endurance capabilities. In fact younger people should have a much easier time of both TSW and MW than myself. So, why wait for me to finish TSW when I have already shown how much more comfortable I have been since MW? Why is it when you add my experience with MW along with others like jsan, and the consensus of the Japanese doctors, what Dr. Fukaya and Dr. Sato say, that you think you still need to see "controlled" studies? Because that's what itsan espouses. How much freaking evidence do you need? Can you not see the pain and suffering people are experiencing after many months and years of moisturizing while in TSW? Including yourself? These people are only suffering at this point because of continuous moisturizing and the belief that nothing cures TSW but time imo.

I have both psoriasis and childhood eczema. I also have atopic dermatitis according to doctors. My skin wasn't born with any less ability to self moisturize than anyone else. I may be more prone to allergic reactions, but that's it. Has nothing to do with my body's ability to moisture itself. It only means that there are things that can damage my skin barrier if in too much contact. Just look at blogs where people are crying out in pain and misery after months and years of TSW via moisturizing. Base your decisions on common sense and logic. No studies needed. I and others have loudly exclaimed how much better we have been due to MW so there is no need for anyone to keep waiting. And it's not a matter of waiting to see if MW heals me faster. The major reason for MW is to be comfortable. Again, all I see on blogs is how extremely uncomfortable people are. These people are the ones that moisturize. Here are some good links to help enlighten you on the subject of moisturizing and MW:

Please read email exchanges at bottom of this site:
http://mototsugufukaya.blogspot.jp/2013/07/a-report-about-biological-product-for.html#comment-form

Read the consensus of the doctors from this referenced conference:
http://skinofrose.blogspot.com/2013/09/tsw-event-report-from-japan.html

Various studies showing moisturizer affects on the skin:
https://etd.ohiolink.edu/ap:10:0::NO:10:P10_ETD_SUBID:82850
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10086859
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17300239
http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/questions/question/2967/

Dead Sea salt controlled study results:
http://www.sfbsc.com/psoriasis-treatment

33 comments:

  1. While your opinion on this matter is valid, and you are obviosly very passionate about it, you should realize that everyones body is different. We all need to find what individually works for ourselves. That is great that MW has worked for you and JSAN, but that does not mean it will work for other people. Just like how some people can take certain supplements and it cures their eczema, but others try it and it doesnt work. Or how some people feel more comfortable showering everyday, while some prefer one a week. Everyone is different. People are going to do and should do whatever feels right for their own body and do not need to be bullied into thinking that they HAVE to do MW. It is not the answer for everyone. If reading other people blogs and seeing that they are not going this route bothers you, stop reading their blogs. You do not need to come back to your own blog and attack everyone else because you think they are doing it wrong. They are doing what works for them and that is right.

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    1. Anonymous, I appreciate your comments and respect you for your sincerity as I know you mean well. But I don't agree with that line of logic.."that everyones body is different". Sure some prefer to shower at different times, or prefer bathing, or hot water, warm water, etc. But those kinds of differences are not the same thing when it comes to how our bodies react to TS, or to moisturizers. The skin functions the same on everyone's body as do all the other organs. We all get drunk if we drink too much alcohol, just some have lower tolerance levels than others and don't need as much alcohol to achieve what another might need. But we all react the same way to the alcohol. As do we do to moisturizing. That is because everyone's body IS the same, NOT different. We may differ in subtle ways but not in the ways you and your forum infers that we do. Convince me otherwise and I'll concede. But that argument is not very convincing.

      I do agree that we all need to find what works for ourselves individually. But, I think it's very important for people to have all information, and not only the information allowed on the forum. The problem is, once people land on that forum, they rarely look for information elsewhere due to the nature of the forum being non-profit and a so called "support" forum exclusively for people going through TSW. And, they put their trust into the vets there, which is understandable. Until they find out they aren't healing and start questioning what they've learned there. That can take some people years. Luckily for me, it only took me one to two months. Many people disagree with the way the forum "supports" people. And it's quite understandable why. It's not supportive to tell people that nothing heals but the passage of time. Nor is it supportive to tell people to do whatever makes you comfortable. That is morally and ethically wrong in my opinion. I've already made my arguments as to why a thousand times.

      And, it's not just me and JSAN. There is Leslie, Ruth, Ingrid and many many others I can't think of off the top of my head right now. Many of these people just aren't as vocal about it. There will be many others soon. There is also all the people who have done TSW without moisturizing in Japan and other countries.

      I've never heard of supplements curing eczema and don't believe they do. It is widely known that nothing cures true eczema. It does go into remission for the most part once one reaches adulthood. As Dr. Rap pointed out, what people are seeing with adults today is steroid induced eczema. If you are referring to that, I do not believe supplements have much effect on that either. I doubt Dr. Fukaya does either.

      It's not the reading of the blogs that bothers me. It's what these people have been led to believe that bothers me. And it's not a matter of bullying so much as it is a matter of shocking people into reality after they have succumbed to such outrageous beliefs. I only use that approach to make people think. I am not attacking anyone here either. I only state facts and my opinions. Your line of logic is very faulty and leads people to moisturize in the name of "comfort", when in reality it makes them very uncomfortable. They just don't realize that until they stop moisturizing. And I mean stop completely for over 3-4 weeks. Few have done that and went back to moisturizing if you haven't noticed.

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    2. Further more, I don't believe MW is for everyone. I believe it is for most people. You and itsan advocate using moisturizers. Even ones like Vaseline. I advocate the opposite, no moisturizers, especially Vaseline. You don't advocate moisturizers for everyone just like I don't advocate MW for everyone. Saying things like "Everyone is different. People are going to do and should do whatever feels right for their own body" is nothing more than a cop out. And for "They are doing what works for them and that is right". They are doing what they "think"
      works for them only because of certain influences. And, it is very obvious it isn't working for them! One of us is dead wrong and if it is me, I have only influenced a few. But, if it's you and itsan, you have influenced thousands.

      You guys lost faith in doctors on the issue of TS use here in the US, yet you have faith in everything else these same doctors say and do. Like moisturize. I can understand this being the case months ago before there was hardy any information available on MW, but in light of all the information out on MW since then, I would think you would change what you advocate. Oh, that's right. You need controlled double blind studies. The studies the Japanese did just weren't quite good enough for you huh? Nor was my and others experiences huh? In the meantime many people are still suffering more than needed due to moisturizing. Not all people. Just the majority.

      Below is the current text on itsan's home page under the resources tab, Q&A. This alone implies that one should moisturize during TSW. Yet all evidence suggests the opposite.


      Q: What are the most common moisturizers used during topical steroid withdrawal?

      A: During topical withdrawal, you may experience very tight dry skin and extremely flaky skin. Although no moisturizer will cure or speed up topical withdrawal, using a moisturizer can help soften skin so movement is easier. Which moisturizer works best is highly personal.

      A simple moisturizer with few ingredients tends to work best as the skin is very sensitive during topical steroid withdrawal and may react to certain ingredients. Experts recommend Vaseline. Some people prefer natural oils. Olive, white palm, coconut, jojoba, and other pure natural oils have been recommended in the online support group.

      Be sure to read the label of any moisturizer you buy, even if the label says it’s intended for eczema. Many contain irritants and fragrances. It’s also important to read labels because a lotion formulated for eczema treatment may contain hydrocortisone, an over-the-counter form of topical steroids.

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    3. On ITSAN"s Itch Q&A "WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT THE INSANE ITCHING?"
      Number 10. Put on coconut oil, olive oil, or your favorite gentle moisturizer.

      "In contrast to sunflower seed oil, topical treatment with olive oil significantly damages the skin barrier, and therefore has the potential to promote the development of, and exacerbate existing, atopic dermatitis. The use of olive oil for the treatment of dry skin and infant massage should therefore be discouraged."

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22995032

      "In contrast to sunflower seed oil, topical treatment with olive oil (6 drops, twice daily to the forearm) was found to significantly damage the structure of the skins permeability barrier (the ‘skin barrier’) in adults.

      Subjects with a predisposition to a defective skin barrier (a history of atopic dermatitis, AD) were more susceptible to these negative effects.

      The development of a skin barrier defect is a key event in the development of AD, and the extent of the defect correlates with the severity of AD. Damage to the skin barrier caused by the application of olive oil may therefore promote the development of, or exacerbate existing, AD. These findings challenge the unfounded belief that all natural oils are beneficial for the skin and highlight the need for further research."

      http://dermatologistsblog.com/atopic-dermatitis-eczema/effect-of-olive-and-sunflower-seed-oil-on-the-adult-skin-barrier-implications-for-neonatal-skin-care/

      "The results suggest that long-term treatment with moisturizers on normal skin may increase skin susceptibility to irritants."

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10086859

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  2. Hello Dan, I'm going through TSW for 8 months already and just started MW last November. While MW definitely improved my condition, I feel like I'm in a stagnant phase right now. I still itch a lot especially behind my knees and around the fingers. My face is still dry, pinkish to red, flaky. Is it normal to have deep cracked skin? I have them on the legs and fingers. I had used moisturizer all my life ( I'm 20 years old now ), and this is the longest period I have without moisturizing the whole body. Albeit sometimes I will moisturize my face and hands to be presentable for work. Will this delay the healing? At times I wonder if my skin will be able to moisturize itself again.

    Amanda

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    1. HI Amanda,

      I too hit a stagnant phase at one point. I believe the skin recovers from moisturizing pretty quickly, it's just that the TSW continues until the body recovers fully. Whether MW speeds up that process is something I don't really know for sure but I suspect it must since continuous moisturizing is damaging to the skin barrier.. MW at a minimum makes the journey more bearable. Are you doing dss baths at all? Yes, your skin will moisturize itself again and it can be right now. I imagine the areas you still itch the most are areas where you are still moisturizing?

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    2. Hi Dan, thanks for replying.

      Nope, i do not do dss bath at all as dss is rather hard to find and expensive in my country. I never do any bath since the beginning of TSW. I only shower. I used to shower with shower oil but recently I reduced it to once two-three days. And nope.. I do not moisturize my legs and fingers at all. But i find that wearing skin-tight pants will make me itch more. Not sure if it is because I used my right hand to apply TS before this, but my left hand never flared as badly as my right hand.
      Do you still flake a lot everyday? I still do, and it bothers me sometimes as it is a hassle to clean the floor and clothes.

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    3. I noticed my skin hit a stagnant phase when the sun when away. In retrospect, I think the sun is the very best tool we have to heal our skin breaks. If you have access to daily sun exposure you should be able to get those cracks to heal over. With no sun and no dss I don't really know. My experience is kind of limited to my methods. I mainly only have flaking when I scratch but I guess that's not really flaking. Water diluted tea tree oil might help heal those skin breaks.

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  3. Hi Dan!
    I'm 21 and currently going through TSW and embarking on my fourth month. I used low potency creams for under a year with my skin becoming progressively worse. Around the middle of September I was experiencing night sweats and hair loss. I then developed the red sleeve. Once I'd given up the steroids I went into a full fierce body and face flare. Edema, oozing, crustiness, more hair loss, eye infections, the whole lot!
    At the end of November I gave up moisturising, unknowingly, it was becoming too painful. I also bathed alot less or managed with a quick shower.
    Since the end of November, I have seen significant improvement with no real regression. The redness has reduced massively and the dryness only remains on patches of my face. My main problem is the lichenification which I am trying to tackle by consciously not scratching.
    I have found your blog incredibly encouraging and insightful. ITSAN has been wonderful in spreading awareness about the condition but I found very few people who saw big improvements and hardly anyone with the same usage time as me.
    I accepted that this may be a long haul at the beginning of my journey but I am pleased with my progress. I was extremely anxious that I would return to that first flare but I am hoping I don't.
    I was hoping you'd give me your opinion on a few things.
    Everyone defines flares differently, I know that I have certain patches that worsen but they soon heal in a matter of days so I see them as nothing compared to the first few weeks. What would you define as healed skin? I've seen alot of people on ITSAN mention that they have rebound attacks and this worries me!
    Have you had many flares during MW?
    When it comes to returning to normal life, how would you introduce moisturising back into your regime?

    Thanks for your constant research and dedication to this nasty condition!

    Alexandra

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    1. HI Alexandra,

      Thank you for the compliments. I'm no expert but your beginning rebound upon stopping ts seems pretty extreme for someone as young as yourself who used low potency ts for under a year. It leads me to think you must have already been moisturizing quite a bit for a long time before and during the time you used the ts. And, probably a nasty moisturizer with chemicals which already had your skin barrier in a very weakened state. Just taking an educated guess here. Let me know if my assumption is correct or not.

      So, MW made your condition better? Music to my ears lol! I think lichenification is best healed by sun exposure first, if no access to the sun then possibly 1-2 dss bath per week. Or, UVB treatment. In light of your limited use of ts I would think you won't have a long drawn out recovery like many people do.

      I define 100% healed skin as skin that has recovered fully from tsw and the body shows zero symptoms of tsw. JSAN explains it best in her last post where she posted that she is now 100% healed. From what she said, I think you just can "feel" the difference. I considered most of my skin healed a month ago since most of it it had healed over completely, but I could still feel my body was still fighting through it and not over the damage completely. And out of the blue I got what I thought was just another minor flare, which usually clears in a about 4-5 days at most for me, but this one turned out to be the "big" one that I have seen people talk about before. I never thought it possible because my arms and legs were 100% clear and normal and then they broke out as bad as they were in the beginning. The strange thing is, I never used ts on those areas and the areas where I did use ts have tried to open up but have remained relatively stable. I think that is due to not moisturizing and my skin getting much stronger as a result. Why I broke out so bad on top of my hands and on my arms and legs is still a mystery to me. I haven't figured it out yet but have some hunches.

      I wouldn't worry about this happening to you. It may happen and it may not. I had a bad rebound but am still way better than my initial rebound. But on flares, yes I have had at least 4-5 over the last few months they all lasted just a few days and were just a minor annoyance. Until this one. This one is a big annoyance.

      Finally, you couldn't pay me enough to reintroduce moisturizing back into my life. Studies that are done by people who do not stand to profit from the sales of moisturizers all show that continuous moisturizing destroys the skin barrier. You are very young and have grown up in an era where everything is about money. You have been deceived about the need for moisturizing the same way you were deceived about the need for ts.

      MYTH: Dry skin causes wrinkles.

      FACT: Whether skin is dry or oily has no influence on wrinkles. Wrinkles are caused by the breakdown of protein fibers in the substructure of the skin, as a result of aging or sun exposure.

      MYTH: Flaking is always a sign of dry skin.

      FACT: Too much moisturizing can actually inflame the oil glands and create irritation and flaking.

      Lack of nutrients leads to loss of elasticity and premature aging.

      Protein Malabsorption & Premature Aging
      http://www.livestrong.com/article/549343-protein-malabsorption-premature-aging/

      http://www.faqs.org/oc/Overcoming-Skin-Problems/Nutrient-rich-diet.html
      notice how there is no mention of moisturizing or serums for keeping the skin healthy and looking good

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    2. Thank you for your response!
      I suffered from eczema as a child but it cleared up until last year. Since being a child I have always used diprobase. However since the end of November, I have used nothing at all!
      I did wonder why my flare was so severe, but I feel I have experienced the worst and hopefully on the up for good. The patches that do revert are incredibly minor and hardly worth mentioning.
      The lichenification comes in different forms but it is all over. It wouldn't be too obvious to the average person but I can see it and it is annoying!
      Do you think it is much longer for you to fully heal?
      Thank you again for the reply! I'm a member of ITSAN but worried I will be told to moisturise or wait 1-2 years to heal which I hope is not the case.

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    3. You're welcome! Diprobase does have at least a couple known skin barrier destroyers in it and I would never use that. However, it does not have any steroids so that is a good thing! Why did you start using the low potency ts in the first place? Childhood eczema burns out by your age and should have turned into just one or two very small patches left that aren't bothersome.

      Since my current huge skin flare is limited to areas where I never used TS I definitely think I will be 100% healed before my one year mark. And likely back to 95% within the next couple weeks. I asked JSAN this morning what she thought about my current condition and she said (quote) "Take out the sugar!! My skin went perfect as soon as I cut it out. And msm powder every morning 3-5gm." (unquote). I think she hit the nail on the head with the sugar. I'm currently researching the msm but I have a lot of respect for her and am sure she is right about that too. But I never take anyone's word for anything when it comes to my health, unless I already have researched it myself. I already knew about the sugar but guess I was in denial.

      The Itsan forum is a valuable resource but also can be a very negative and depressing atmosphere for some. It is a useful site if you are wise enough to not only rely on what you hear there, but also get your information from other various sources. The best thing to do is read all you can and learn how the skin functions. And, to learn how to separate the good info from the bad by knowing what motives are behind differing opinions. Learn to search things on the web by using the correct keywords so you don't get 10 million sites that say the product is the best thing since sliced bread.

      For example, If I search using the words "betamethasone ointment" I see nothing but good things about this potent ts. If I use the keywords "betamethasone ointment dangers" I get closer to the truth. But even then I still have to go 3 pages in to find the first blog that mentions what that poison actually does. The web is packed full of sites made purposely by people who make a lot of money, so finding reliable info can be difficult, but not too difficult. You just have to get past the many duplicate sites that big pharma has put up to bury the truth. Same goes for info on moisturizing, ingredients in things, etc etc. Anything where there are trillions of dollars at stake.

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    4. Hi Alexandra,

      Please come join our new forum and help us get some discussions going. It would really be appreciated and very helpful for the entire tsw community. Thanks, and hope to see you post something there soon! No pressure to post if you want to lurk though just so you know. I'm sure you will eventually see a discussion you'll want to chime in on. If not, no problem.:)

      http://forums.nomoresteroids.com

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  4. In many products such as shampoo there is an ingredient known for causing skin irritation called methylisothiazolinone. Head and shoulders, herbal essence etc. This is what started a patch of angered skin on my forehead and probably the side effects of the diprobase added to this irritation. My childhood eczema burned out by the age of 10 so I don't even think it was eczema that returned last year. I've only learnt this through the research I've done these past few months and I'm thankful that I've had the time to learn more about skin functions. It has always been an area of my life that I have worried about due to how severe it was as a child.
    I'm pleased to hear that you're nearly at the finish line! It's incredibly encouraging. These past few months have been an awful process and I think anybody who experiences TSW becomes a stronger person because of it.

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    1. Very true! The intense deep itching and the pain I endured in my first 2-3 months was indescribable. But after doing MW both have gradually decreased until they are practically non existent, expect for itching in my sleep.

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    2. Methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone are usually found together in many househould products. It is difficult to find a shampoo that does not contain both. The combo is also known as Kathon CG for use as a preservative in industrial lubricants. Not only is it a cellular mutagen and irritant, it is a well-known allergen to about 5 percent of the population. I happen to know this because I have been patch tested and am quite allergic to it. Due to increased occurrence of complaints, especially in Europe, it has essentially been eliminated from leave-on products with one major exception: Eucerin Original Healing Crème. In typing this I looked it up again in Wikipedia and found that in 2013, the American Contact Dermatitis Society named methylchloroisothiazolinone as the Contact Allergen of the Year!

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    3. Typical ingredients in Eucerin: Water, Glycerin, Cetyl Palmitate, Mineral Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Octyldodecanol, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Colloidal Oatmeal, Dimethicone, PEG-40 Stearate, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, DMDM Hydantoin, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben.

      I know at least four if these ingredients are highly irritating to the skin, and I know at least two of them destroy the skin barrier within a short period of time. I don't know which is worst the mineral oil or the Dimethicone. I know for sure both destroy the skin barrier quiite effectively. The shit is toxic as all can be. I've posted many links to these ingredients and what they do to the skin many times now.

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  5. I wanted to post some updates at the one month mark of MW. I'm also shower/bath withdrawal as much as possible without turning into an ogre!
    The improvements on my face and hands are remarkable. Please note, my face and hands were the very first areas to show damage and feel badly over the course of the last few years..and before I found out about TSW and the issues surrounding cumulative corticosteroid usage, I would use as needed for a few days and then stop. Last year, it stopped working at all...and even when it did "Work", I would have a flare weeks or months later and not understand why my face was constantly shedding/itchy/and by now had developed red patches. The one thing I felt I had to use continually was moisturizer.
    After going off everything in late September, I also realized I'd become prone to skin infections and my skin was so beat up from being scratched continually. I'd lie awake at night, without or with Atarax on board and still not be able to sleep.
    Things have improved and I am in month 4.5 now. By all traditional reports, I should be a mess and I am not. My arms and legs have a ways to go but are slowly and steadily getting better. My neck too. My feet have remained largely undisturbed, which is sort of amazing.
    I still have choppy sleep patterns and I'm still not at the gym due to fear of the sweat attack, but I am hoping to get back to gym by month 5 (Feb 1) on a more regular basis and I'm trying to re-train myself regarding sleep. The good news is, I haven't taken any sleep aids now in over a week..and I haven't had any particularly bad itch attacks either.
    The key, imvho is to take the DSS baths specifically using salt from the Dead Sea, where i've been personally and have experienced the healing powers the sea itself possesses..as well as to not moisturize, no matter how tempting it may be. Your skin will heal itself; the body is an amazing machine.
    so, if you are on the fence, I think you have nothing to loose by strictly adhering to the protocol for 3-4 weeks to really give your body a chance. You can always go back to moisturizing, but if your experience is like mine, you won't find any need to.

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  6. hi, I've recently began TSW. its been about 2 months and the first month was with moisturizers. I don't need to describe the horror of it as you would know about it first hand. The second month without moisturizer was and is still near enough hellish. The skin on my face has improved in terms of strength but it's still dry, so so dry! I've been on topical steroid creams for about 9 -10months straight for mainly my face. the culprit responsible for this is Eumovate ointment. most of my face is very discoloured and I'm worried that they are permanent. I've been a lot more comfortable though since I started MW, but sometimes I'm in doubt with the whole TSW process because it seems so long and daunting. I cant explain. Negativity seems to be my MO and it isn't nice. I don't mean to bore you with this but I would appreciate it if you could shed some light on basically being patient and believing this is the way to go. Thanks

    Moh

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    1. Hi Moh,

      I can relate. For me, I knew I had a choice between ts for the rest of my life and stopping them, so my resolve to not do them again and that is pretty much what carried me through those very depressing times. It also helped in that after doing MW at the end of my first two months and seeing my hands were in better condition at that point than they had been in months before I stopped ts. The main thing you need to do is find comfort for your very dry face and your attitude should improve a lot. Have you tried the dss baths? Ruth had a lot of success on getting things cleared on her face she never thought she would ever clear. They cleared all of my ts symptoms on my face a well. But I didn't use heavily on my face either. Either way, your symptoms should improve quickly now that you are at a month into MW. You've gotten through the worse and things should be improving a lot now. Again, dss baths come to mind here.

      The whole process is long for people who have used ts for many years but you said you have only used for a short period of time so your recovery shouldn't be very difficult or as long as most now that you are not moisturizing. Time fly's by fast so find as much comfort as possible and you will be able to get through it almost as though you are completely normal while you wait for your body to recover. The color in your face should normalize soon if doing dss baths.

      Believe me, the process isn't a daunting as it seems from reading what other people go through as long a you stick to not moisturizing. I have been relatively very comfortable since MW compared to months before doing tsw, and the first two months in tsw. Compared to most people I see who moisturize, it's been a cake walk for me. You should embrace the dryness as you know your skin will strengthen quickly now. Again, if you use dss baths in the right ways they can help your face a lot. I don't know what I would have done to clear all the spots on my head and face if I hadn't of used them. I hope this helps. Just don't think your recovery is going to be like others you see. The majority are doing tsw by moisturizing and they are the ones suffering so much.

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    2. Also, are you taking Vitamin D3 and omega3 fish oil supplements? Do you have current pics you can provide so I can see what your current condition is? You can put them most anywhere and post a link to them here.

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    3. Having gone through a lot in my short 21 years and experiencing recent losses of family members, logically this should be the easiest thing I should encounter but the reason its impact is so great is because my life is on a pause at the moment, crazy rite? mentally I'm already in a horrific place from these things and I'm just getting worse with this. it's like a jail term I have to go through but such is life. Im sorry about this because it's unrelated to this topic but I just wanted to basically explain the situation more clearly.

      I believe your method is the best way in my opinion. it has been a lot easier to deal with in terms of itching and that horrid burning feeling, and the insomnia man don't get me started. I really appreciate your input on MW, im not just saying that. I haven't tried the DSS baths but I've been drinking Braggs ACV. I've also bought from the Healthbay.com multivitamins, Cod liver oil, Omega 3's, vit D3'S and Flaxseed oil. i hope they help. I honestly believe I would be a lot worse right now if I was still moisturizing. thanks again Dan.

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    4. i'll put the pics up very soon, as soon as i get this new phone delivered. my current one is very bad quality (the old BB phone) but for currents sake the skin on my face is just like your hand at it's worst with strong discolorations.

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    5. That depends on whether you are talking about how my hands were in the beginning of tsw, or the worst pics I have on my blog of them. I didn't take any pics until after healing most of my hands over. The pics I have on my blog show a much different story from what I started with. I'll just assume you mean compared to the pics I have on my blog. Just correct me if you are going by how I described my hands in the first couple months on my tsw.

      Did you slather the ts all over your face, or just apply it liberally to different spots? How many times per day on average? And, you never used ts until 11 months ago? Sorry about all the questions.

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    6. yeah I was referring to the oldest pics i think they were the first two months. My stupid derm told me to slather it on and to not worry about side effects as they are natural when dealing with this. I swear I blame myself for not doing my research first! I would say once a day for a couple of weeks straight then a day or two off it then I start having bad flare-ups then end up going back on them. i had to cancel my plans for Uni this year unfortunately and gave myself a whole year to just stay at home and heal with no stress. it would be a lot easier to deal with this i think, if i didn't have these mental issues to begin with. frustration and anger are the only emotions I've been in touch with for the past few months and probably will be till next year

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    7. sorry I forgot to include that i haven't used TS until 11 months ago. i randomly got eczema on my face, started small, used steroids..well you know the story.

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    8. Eumovate isn't a super potent ts like what I had used and considering how little you used and for what length of time I think you will heal very quickly compared to most who go through tsw. I think you can lead a normal life within a couple weeks. I understand the feelings of despair and anger, frustration, and depression. Fortunately for you, this won't last long due to how little ts you used. If you had used this daily for 5-20 years you would be in for a very rough ride.

      These first couple of months are the very worst and you're almost over them so hang in there and think good thoughts. Try this mental exercise frequently as you can. Close your eyes and visualize yourself back to a time when you remember any event where you were feeling super good and very strong (try to feel the sensations of that strength in your body as you do this). You can do this for a minute or several minutes at a time anytime you have time alone. These types of visualization techniques actually can manifest physically in every cell in your body, which in effect will aid yourself in feeling better, and especially aid your body in healing quicker by dong this.

      Your main concern right now is to make sure all skin breaks get closed. One way to do this is to not moisturize and wait it out. It takes about a month and that's where you're at. Now, a more optimum way is to do dss baths and soak your face in them while in the tub, rotating during the 20 minute soak. This will speed up the process of healing the skin breaks and once that is done you will cruise from there. If no ability to do dss baths then Epsom may work in helping dry the skin more. And, the very best thing you can get on your skin right now is the sun.

      My preferred method is doing dss baths, getting sun exposure before and after the bath, and using tea tree oil for healing any persistent small splits. But all of this has to be done in the proper ways, with the proper things, and at the proper times. Let me know what you have to work with and I can give my opinion on what I would do if it were me. You seem to be taking all the right supplements.

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    9. it was ointment so it was a lot more potent than the cream. wish i could lead a normal life but its hard when you got a scabby dry discoloured appearance. i forgot to mention that i was given fluticasone proprionate (Cutivale ointment) for the first month so this probably made things a whole lot worse. i think multiple layers of my forehead skin are damaged because I've compared my scalp colour and the forehead colour and seen a HUGE difference. that's the most worrying part. i do exactly that, i listen to my favourite music and just zone out sometimes. I've cut smoking and every kind of intoxication in order to heal the skin quicker.

      were would i be able to get this DSS and is it really that good? how often would i use it and how much should i buy? do the supplements really help speed things up? and the main question, do you think i'd heal completely and return to normal (by that i mainly mean complexion) by sep 2015 ( im fixated with this date lol because that's when i start my uni begins and basically the life i want starts)


      btw aint no sun down here in England, just grey and miserable..perfect for my mood these days lol

      yet again thanks a lot man, really appreciate it. 4real

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    10. Yeah ointment is the stronger of the two. I used ointment too. It sounds to me like you're freaking out too much over the appearance. Don't worry about it. It should all clear up. Hell, are you kidding? Clear by sep 2015? I would think it wold be clear no later than 12 months and I suspect less than 8 months. Hopefully back to normal in a couple weeks and cruise through until it's all done. Just keep the spliffs a goin and chill until you are feeling good enough to face the world again.

      Don't worry about foods too much. Just try to avoid alcohol if you don't want to itch like crazy for a day or so after drinking heavy. And some foods that are highest in histamines like aged cheeses and meats, pickled things, etc. Sugar is never good for anything. I find it best to eat and do things in moderation.

      The thing is though I'm not sure what the problem is other than your face has some discoloration, it is very dry, and you are experiencing the typical emotional symptoms we all go through. You don't have any intense itching, skin splits, bleeding cracks, fissures, or badly oozing spots? Nerve pain? Have you been reading on ITSAN too much?? Lol, just a joke but if you have read enough there you will get it.

      I know of a person who posts here named Ruth who had great success at clearing red blotches on her face that has been there for years using dss baths. She has been quite happy about this for the last several weeks. She also has done MW and is recovering very fast.

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    11. I really do hope so Dan. i'll keep the herb burning till then lol ;p. the itsan site is the one that I learnt all about TSWw from. but they do seem biased on the whole idea of moisturizing, I don't know why. couldn't be a financial incentive behind this as it is a non-profit organization. I did have a lot of sleepless nights and bad flares that wouldn't go away as a result of moisturizing. Intense itching is just one of the many things I felt and sometimes do but its less now because of MW. the oozing has seized dramatically since MW but I get it now and then. I can see you have a lot of anger towards that site and I actually agree, ever since reading your whole blog.

      I would actually like to try the DSS baths. I would also like it if you could tell me where to get it from, how much I should get and most importantly how much I should use.

      Wa do

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    12. I buy my salts from a company in California so you may want to find a more local source. See my DIY MW Guide post for much information on how I use it for MW. You want to find a company that deals in large quantities and who wholesales to retail stores and buy 20-60 pounds natural coarse grain from them. No fragrances or added anything. Check their website carefully after studying the following site so you know what to ask when ordering or buying. Study all the different pages on this website. Lots of great info on this site. This is who I buy from but if you are careful you should be able to get the same quality from a company closer to you. Make sure you ask what part of the Dead Sea they are from. You want dss from the South end of the Sea. They are the best.

      http://www.sfbsc.com/bulk-dead-sea-salt

      "When purchasing Minera® Dead Sea Salts from us, you can rest assured you are buying the highest quality on the market today. Our Minera® Dead Sea Salts come directly from the source at the southern part of the Dead Sea. We import the salts direct from the supplier and we only import the raw, natural, unrefined Salt. If your supplier cannot offer this information or provide a Certificate of Authenticity, there is a good chance that you are buying a watered-down, mineral-depleted product with little to no natural healing benefits. Buy our Minera® Dead Sea Salts, as we ensure quality you can trust."

      Once you have them on the way drop me a comment and I'll tell you the best way to use these for your current condition. You will be using about 2 pounds of salt per bath so 20 pounds is enough for about 10-12 baths. That might be enough baths to get you through since you have already done MW.

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    13. http://www.sfbsc.com/inc/sdetail/105/110

      is that the one I should buy? and also where can I upload pics privately so u could see what im talking about?

      many thanks Dan


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    14. Yes, that's the one. I called them to see how long it takes to ship to you but have to wait for a return call as they as busy right now. You should be able to buy the same thing in your country since you are much closer to the Dead Sea than we are.

      As for pcs. There are a lot of different ways. You can email them to me privately if you can locate my email addy. I don't publish it here because I don't want computer bots picking up on it and spamming my inbox constantly You can post your email here and I can delete it afterwards if you like. That way I can email you and then you'll have it. Many people use a site called tumbler for posting pics too. You are very welcome Moh!

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