Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Topical Steroid Poisoning - How To Control Eczema On Hands For Adults And Children

DISCLAIMER: All information posted on this web site is the opinion of the author and is provided for educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as medical advice. Only a licensed medical doctor can legally offer medical advice in the United States. Consult the healer of your choice for medical care and advice.

Many people get eczema on their hands but there is a general lack of information available on how to best protect the hands, and how to rid one's self of the eczema, whether it is caused by topical steroid use or not. And to make matters worse, what information available is mostly poorly researched and misleading at best. I feel compelled to add my two cents in an effort to help people make better decisions for themselves and their children. Many can potentially be offended by what I say here, so if you are a defensive type personality you might as well just hit the back button right now. If you disagree, I hope your disagreement is based on actual facts, logic, and reason, and not based on preconceived notions.

I grew up with childhood eczema and both my arms and legs were covered with it from the age of one until the age of about 14 or 15. I don't remember having it anywhere else, or it spreading to anywhere else on my body, and to my knowledge it didn't. Childhood eczema is like growing up with poor eyesight, you really don't notice the difference until you finally get glasses (I also grew up near sighted and didn't get glasses until I was age 11).

I was not miserable from ether, but rather a normal happy kid who enjoyed the outdoors most of the time. I had scratched my skin until it bled countless times. My way of finding immediate comfort afterwards was to cover my broken bloody skin with dry dirt. It gave me immediate relief and back to play I went. I never once got an infection during all those years. Am I saying to put dirt on your child's broken and bloody skin? No, of course not. I am saying what I experienced. You make your own conclusions, and be sure to look at the big picture.

Yes, there is itching and scratching, and blood and scabs. But if left alone (no steroids, creams, lotions, moisturizers, soaps, etc.) you don't really experience all that much discomfort when growing up with it. It wasn't until I lived with my Aunt and Uncle that I experienced unbearable discomfort, and that was due to my Aunt slathering Vaseline on me and my cousins arms and legs nightly, wrapping them in plastic wrap with gloves over our hands, and taping everything. It doesn't work! It only aggravates the problem and makes it worse. It causes increased itching and further damages the skin barrier. We always ripped it apart out of desperation due to the increased itching the Vaseline caused.

Unfortunately my Aunt didn't know any better and was doing what she thought was right. Naturally I don't blame her for it. She likely did it based on conventional wisdom at the time. That was the mid 1960's. Topical steroids were out at the time but luckily for me she never used them on me, nor did anyone else before living with her. The old method before Vaseline was to treat the eczema with some kind of coal tar I think. I was fortunate in that I was raised by a Mother who was very busy and didn't "dote" after her children like they do now-a-days.

Parents, if it isn't too late, leave your kid alone and the eczema will go away on it's own when your child gets to their late teens. Ask anyone that has had childhood eczema and wasn't treated with anything for it and you will be able to confirm this. If your child gets a rash it is caused by things like heat, lotions, baby oil, mineral oil, diaper rash, foods you are feeding your child, etc., etc. Things like Vaseline, baby and mineral oil is toxic and irritating to the skin. Don't put that shit on your kid! Same for most all things marketed to new parents to put on their children's skin.

These things commonly are what lead to topical steroid usage in the first place. Baby gets a rash from toxic baby oil or some other toxic crap like baby powder or some nice smelling lotion. Baby then gets worse rash. Baby then gets prescribed topical steroids. Baby then suffers immensely for a very long time due to the very first thing which led to the last. People commonly keep relying on their doctors and they are given stronger and stronger steroids over the years until, finally baby is an adult wondering what the hell happened. That's if they make it that long. Seems many aren't making it past a couple years or so these days. That's probably due to newer and stronger steroids that are continuously being invented by our lovely pharmaceutical companies. These drugs are pure poison to the skin and have no useful purpose imho. It seems most drugs are made to alleviate the effects that prior drugs have caused.

Do not take conventional wisdom at face value. It is often more wrong than right. When it comes to children, they cannot defend for themselves so it's up to you to educate yourself so you don't do more harm than good for your children. Listening to doctors and other people like myself without doing your own full and thorough research can lead to very serious consequences, so educate yourself and make your own conclusions and decisions. Use doctors and people like me to gather information from, but make your own educated decisions once you feel you have a good understanding of the issues and information available. I can not stress this point enough. Everyone makes mistakes. So all we can do is learn from them and move forward. I realize not everyone has the luxury of doing a lot of research due to various circumstances, but for most, skip watching TV for awhile and you would be amazed at how much time that frees up to do the research and learn.

I strongly urge anyone that has a child with eczema or "atopic dermatitis" to read this article called For parents of the children with atopic dermatitis by Dr. Fukaya, a leading expert on the subject.

If your child has already been treated with topical steroids, and you are now helping your child get through topical steroid withdrawal, or "topical steroid poisoning" as I prefer to call it now, you have a whole different ballgame to deal with. You are going to have to watch your child go through hell recovering from the damage the TS have done. While helping your child get through this very difficult period, don't take the doctors advice that poisoned your child in the first place and apply skin damaging products like Vaseline and most any other moisturizer. Things that destroy the skin barrier are not going to improve the skin's condition no matter what failed logic you hear.

If the child has extreme severe damage from the TS you may wish to use a moisturizer. But if you do, use one that is relatively safe like organic white palm oil or Shea butter. Better yet, find a Calendula salve that doesn't have olive oil as the base. Good luck with that though. You would have to make your own as most people aren't aware that olive oil has been shown in studies to damage the skin barrier as well. Therefore, it is in practically every natural skin moisturizer on the market. But remember, studies show that continuous moisturizing of the skin damages the skin barrier, so use moisturizers very sparingly if you must use them at all. If the case is not extremely severe, definitely consider no moisturizers at all. It has been shown to be the most comfortable and best way to recover from TSP for reasons I've already mentioned. I have many posts on the subject of no moisturizing and moisturizer withdrawal on my blog if you would like to learn more.

Also, occasional Dead Sea salt baths can do wonders for the skin when done correctly with normal or steroid induced eczema. Most importantly, the sun heals the skin better and faster than anything I know of. It is your true medicine for skin problems of all kinds. But, wearing sunscreen blocks the sun and you won't get much benefit from sun exposure if using it so keep that in mind.

There are links to studies on everything I've talked about here on my blog. At the end of this article I give information on where to get the best gloves to use for protecting hands with open wounds that can be caused by eczema or steroid induced eczema. For children, I would suggest smaller sizes than what I have shown as the article was originally intended for adults. I would look at the Cara brand as well for kids as they tend to be quite small and they are thicker. Both brands shrink quite a bit because they are 100% cotton and not pre-washed to my knowledge. Be sure to wash first before wearing. Not everyone will prefer wearing cotton gloves for one reason or another. This is only my preference and what I personally believe to the best kind of gloves for people to use that need to protect their hands.

Where to buy the right gloves at the best price.

For gloves, see these. They are very thin, fit much better than the cheap Cara brand ones, and will shrink when washed so don’t let the size scare you. When I have to wear them I literally change them at least 20 times a day always keeping my hands protected from outside elements, especially water. When I want to use my hands for things like dishes etc I put x-large disposable vinyl gloves over the cotton gloves. I never wear plastic gloves on my bare hands. These are the ones (see item number 130603214676 on eBay) I buy and I always buy them in the x-large size. My hands are small for a man so again, don’t let the sizes I’m giving you fool you.

Be extra careful to wash your gloves with very little chemical free detergent, and add a few drops of tea tree oil to the water. Wash on double rinse cycle and dry in dryer on medium heat. You don’t want to aggravate the skin on your hands by wearing gloves that have detergent or chemical residue still in them. And when wearing them practically 24/7 you want them clean as a whistle and completely free of any chemicals whatsoever. I hope this information helps some of you who have skin problems on your hands. Feel free to ask any questions.

No comments:

Post a Comment