Wednesday, February 26, 2014

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 :)

40 comments:

  1. I'm on day 3 of MW and it's KILLING ME. Please tell me it gets better.

    I don't have any open cracks/sores, just incredibly dry, itchy, flaky, red skin. TSW since January.

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    1. Hi Beth,

      Hang in there, don't give up. You are in the middle of your worst couple of days and you will feel much better in just another day or so. I had to take a strong painkiller one day during my MW the pain was so intense. I believe it was on my second day. But I had severely broken skin all over my hands, along with other symptoms on my arms, legs, feet, face, etc. Are you doing dss baths? Do you have access to meds of any kind to get you through another couple days of pain? It's not necessary but really helped me.

      Again, it does get better and you will be amazed at how much better it gets, and how quickly too!

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  2. I'm not in pain, really. Just SO ITCHY OMG I can't really stand it. I am doing Epsom salt baths for about 20-ish minutes (along with unfiltered ACV). I committed to doing MW for this week, Mon-Fri to see how it goes, and maybe I can make it into the weekend.

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    1. I wouldn't do those kinds of baths if I were you since your skin isn't broken. They will just irritate your skin right now. That might be contributing to your unbearable itching right now. Dss have minerals that actually help the skin in numerous ways. At this point I would wait it out and your skin will stop itching so much in a couple days. I probably would look into getting some real dss too. When itching was at my worst I used ice packs to soothe it by temporarily deadening the nerve endings. But, you don't want to hold ice on your skin too long as it can be damaging to the tissue if too long. I also would drink a teaspoon or so of baking soda fully dissolved in a glass of water once every day or so when I was at my worst. That usually relieved the itching somewhat. Not advisable to do very often, or if you have very high blood pressure.

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    2. Thanks, I just ordered some DSS from Amazon. I've been to the Dead Sea and loved it, so I hope this helps. I would love to get some sun, too, but it's too dang cold here (Baltimore).

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    3. It's been 4 days and I caved last night. I took a lukewarm bath and then used jojoba oil. I couldn't help it - I was MISERABLE and making everyone else around me miserable. Honestly, though, my skin is actually the worst it's been. I'm developing cracks and bumps where I didn't have any before. I'm flaky, scaly, red, and painfully itchy. Is this normal in the MW experience?

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    4. Naturally if you allow the skin to dry it's going to crack, get flaky, and scaly during the initial transition. That is the goal. Dry the skin so it can begin to self moisturize itself and heal. It will get much stronger ion a very short period of time as long as you don't put anything on it.

      A word of caution. You have to do one or the other and if you continue to go back and forth your skn wilol fglare badly and make things far worse. So, either don't moisturize or moisturize. No going back and forth or you will be very sorry. Dave did this and flared really badly and got a bad infection from it. Ended up getting put on toxic drugs to treat his condition so he was set back a long ways. He tried MW 3 times in about 2 weeks. You have to do one or the other. I can not stress this enough!

      Now, you can either do a dss soak and start over, or just continue moisturizing and try MW again at a later time. But, do not go back and forth. You might want to read my recent more detailed post on how I do dss baths if you haven't seen it. Click here

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    5. Yeah, I was really mad at myself for putting on the oil. How long does it usually take to start self-moisturizing? I'm going to put all my oils/lotions away b/c I can't be tempted! I did notice that I haven't had my night sweats while MW, which was nice. I Ordered DSS from amazon, so they should be here soon. I'm also contemplating phototherapy b/c it's too dang cold to be outside in the sun here.

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    6. I ordered from the SF Salt company, and it should be here in another day or so.

      I'll try getting sun through the windows now, and I need to find some tea tree oil for any sore spots on my hands.

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    7. Perfect! Be sure to use pure tea tree oil and dilute it well with water so it doesn't sting much. You want a slight sting so you know it's not too diluted. A slight sting that goes away in less than 10 minutes. The dss is the most important thing to get your hands on right now. Use only natural dss, no fragrance. If it looks like they won't get to you by today you can always call Michelle and ask her to ship a small amount overnight service so you have it tomorrow. Tell her I sent you. That carries some weight because I refer a lot of business to them and I know they appreciate it even though they are a huge company. Or, you may be able to find some in a local store but I have never been able to here in Portland, other than one herb shop who ran out very quickly when I found them. Everything I find in retail stores has fragrances in it.

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    8. Thanks, Dan. I appreciate the support of a perfect stranger! :-) I used my Amazon Prime membership, so it's on the way. I'm in Maryland, so I might be able to find pure unscented salts around here - there's a huge Jewish population and a lot of Judaica stores that sell Dead Sea products (Ahava, etc).
      I imagine I'll find oil at Whole Foods.

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    9. Beth, it really is my pleasure to help people, so thank you! I lived in Salisbury for a couple years. Used to really love Oceanside in the summer which was close by. Whole foods may have it so I would call them so you don't waste your time driving all over. The sooner you can do a good dss bath the better. But if the Judaica stores carry a lot of Dead Sea products that would be the first place I would check. Good luck!

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    10. Beth, just wondering if you're getting along ok? Never mind what I said about getting sun through the windows. My recent research on the web shows that glass blocks the UVB rays we need.

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    11. Hey Dan, I'm doing okay. Did you find that bathing made you feel worse? I took a short warm one on Saturday, but felt worse afterwards. Tried again today when I got my DSS in the mail - took one for about 20-ish min warm, not hot. After both baths, my skin looked and felt worse. Redder, tighter, itchier and much MUCH drier.
      Before my bath this afternoon, I woke up doing okay. Dry as could possibly be, but not really all that red. Now I'm all blotchy :-(

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    12. Hi Beth, I always found the baths made me feel better but very dry and itchy for a good 12 hours afterwards. You said 20ish minutes. It needs to be between 18-22 minutes and not outside of that. And "warm, not hot". What temp? Warm but not hot could still be way over the necessary temp. Everybody's perception of warm is different. Be sure to measure the temp with a gauge in case you're making it too hot. That's all I can think of that would be irritating. Water too hot makes one detox rather than absorb the minerals. Or, not using enough dss could be a problem too. Many people do this at first. Water temp should never be over 99 degrees and anything less than 1-1/2 pounds of dss would be almost useless.

      The baths always make me very dry and itchy for the first 12 hours even though they are soothing while I'm in them. If you have been doing the baths as noted, and don't have much broken skin, then I would back off and do them every 3-4 days, as opposed to every other day.

      Your skin won't feel so dry tomorrow. You've been basically moisturizer free for about 8 days right? Your skin should start to feel better than it did when moisturizing by now, and if not, then very soon!

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    13. Thanks! I'm still tweaking with the temps of the bath (we live in an older house). I also think I didn't use enough DSS. I'm not going to do another one until at least Thurs/Friday. I'm SUPER itchy today (and was last night) so I'm hopeful that relief is coming soon.

      If I understand correctly, part of the benefit to MW is that it encourages your body to make it's own oil, right?

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    14. Hi Beth, yes the skin begins to produce it's own natural oils once we stop putting moisturizers on our skin. You may not sense it with your normal senses but it's happening as we speak. If your skin is irritated try a dss bath again, but if just dry and itchy I would wait. If you don't have a temp gauge you can buy one in most stores for under a few dollars. You can also just use your hand to feel the temp and just make sure the water is no warmer than your body temp. I'm not sure if you're super itchy from doing too hot a bath and irritating your skin or not. You shouldn't be super itchy right now. At least, you should be way less itchy than you were when you were moisturizing.

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    15. It's a different itchy... like I'm itchy b/c I'm flaking and dry - if that makes sense? I don't have the deep internal make-me-twitch-and-want-to-rip-off-my-skin itchiness. I also don't tear my skin when I catch myself scratching, which is nice. I'll make my bath cooler, b/c it might have been too warm.

      I'm going to start phototherapy again next week, which I hope will help. I haven't yet figured out what I'll say to the doctor (since he is the one who kept giving me steriods) but I'm sure I'll think of something!

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    16. Hi Beth, I can think of a few things you can tell your doctor but I'll just keep my mouth shut. Actually, did you read http://thethickskin.blogspot.com/2014/03/when-it-doesn-feel-right-go-left.html? Her Derm told her the very exact words my last Derm told me. She didn't put this part in there but he told her she had chronic eczema and would have to be on steroids for the rest of her life. She's what, about 22 years old! For crying out loud. I told my Derm in no uncertain terms he had his head up his ass. And like her, I can't wait until I'm 100% healed to make an appointment with the bastard just to show him what a true idiot he really is. This happens to be the top Derm on the entire west coast mind you. A professor. Someone who spends most of his time doing controlled studies on new drugs for the pharmaceutical companies. They are all trained the exact same way and only know how to treat steroid induced eczema with stronger steroids. They know nothing else. Of course they believe they are treating eczema but they are not. They are treating symptoms caused by less potent steroids that stopped working for people.

      Tell your doctor the truth. Tell him what I did. I discovered I have to stop taking steroids to cure my steroid induced eczema. Plain and simple. Honesty is always the best policy. I also asked for support in doing this and all he could do was offer me stronger steroids or protopic. These guys know what they doing. They're just in denial otherwise they couldn't live with themselves.

      Sorry about the rant.You need to find a doc or physicians assistant who is open minded so you have someone who will prescribe the meds you need along the way, and someone who can support you somewhat.

      It sounds like you're not dong too bad considering, and I think your skin will feel much better very soon. As far as dong another bath, if you feel ok enough you can wait, but if not try, another one but make sure the water is no warmer than your body temp and use 2 pounds of dss. You have to use that much to get the mineral benefits in your skin. Stay in it for exactly 20 minutes and rinse immediately afterwards in the shower quickly in warm water. Try not to rinse too long. Just very quick. Never use soaps or shampoos. I hope this helps. Don't hesitate to ask me to clarify anything you may want.

      The light therapy takes a long time to work and I do think it's worth doing but feel you'll see much faster results from doing regular dss baths and getting as much sun exposure as possible. I would do all three. But be honest with your doctor and tell him you need his support in your tsw. Take him info on tsa/tsw to read with links to websites. He won't read it or spend any time researching it as doctors don't have time to do in-depth research. But, you might get lucky who knows. If he doesn't read it that just gives you better ammunition to sue him when you are done with your tsw. If he disregards your findings and information he opens himself up to a potential lawsuit if you try to educate him on tsa/tsw and he continues to try and have you take steroids. jmo

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    17. Doing okay...

      I keep breaking the skin/getting ooze and crust around my lower lip - even without putting anything on it! I guess I scratch it while I sleep.

      I think I'm in a mild flare, as my eyelids are itchy and a bit puffed and I've got the chills/sweats. My face is peeling and patchy and red, however, the rest of me is just peeling and itchy. My legs aren't nearly as red as they were 2-3 weeks ago, which is nice!

      My dss bath (on Thursday) felt nice, and I rinsed afterwards. Still felt tight, but not too bad. I do feel like the bath sets me back, if that makes sense. Like it makes me drier than I was without it.

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    18. Try heavily water diluted tea tree oil on that lip area and see f that doesn't heal it in a day or so. Since you mentioned chills/sweats be sure to keep an eye on your body temp in case you get an infection.

      I completely understand what you mean on the dss baths but that is how they are. Have you noticed too that after that initial 12-15 hours of extreme dryness and tightness your skin settles down and begins to feel better? If not, then you're definitely flaring. Either way, I would continue the baths every 2-4 days as needed. They do very well at helping the skin heal.

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    19. I decided to do target dss soaks, so I soaked my hands in it yesterday and they looked MUCH better today! Still not great compared to "normal" hands, but overall they looked better. I wet a towel in the water and put it on my lips, too, and it BURNED but helped (I think). I'll try the tea tree oil when I'm home tonight after work.

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    20. Hi Beth,

      Good to hear they helped so soon. They shouldn't burn your lips though. Be sure you have natural dss with no fragrance or other added anything. Correct water temp etc.

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    21. How do you deal with face flares? Did you do MW on your face? My face just flaredup really badly today (red, peeling) and I'm super uncomfortable. AND I have a huge conference/meeting on Wednesday.

      I think it burned on my lips b/c of the salt in the water. No fragrance, correct water temp.

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  3. Hello Dan,

    Hope you are well!

    I'm totally agreeing with what you said about moisturizer withdrawal. I feel that my hand is healing nicely. The dryness and tightness from MW stopped the itching on my hand (though other parts of my body still itches when I'm feeling stressed out). Have gained back much flexibility in my fingers when the really hard, thickened skin dislodged itself. And I haven't gotten any skin splits since! The skin splits only happened during the first 2 or 3 days. They healed quickly though.

    And I'll also have to agree that the DSS soaks are really helping. As I'm working, I can only do them in the evening after work. Only during weekends I can soak them in the day and do sun exposure after that. Still! It really calms my skin down. Wish there is some way I can soak the rest of my body.

    Am real glad I stumbled upon your blog early into my TSW. Hope other TSW sufferers can also find much comfort in MW.

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    1. HI Penny,

      So nice to hear such good news! I'm glad you're feeling better. You might try taking a cloth and rubbing the dss water over the other areas while you soak your hands. As long a you keep them wet the whole time you soak your hands they may benefit from the dss water. Let me know if I can ever be of any further help!

      For readers who want to see how Penny was doing just 12 days ago see this post where she first posted on my blog and talks about just starting tsw and mw.

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    2. Penny, everything going ok? Have you tried using a cloth soaked in dss water for the other areas?

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    3. Penny, I found some info that might be useful to you.

      Treatments
      In the Bath Tub – Use for widespread symptoms
      Phase 1: Wash body and hair with preferred products before bathing. Simply add 2 - 3lbs (6-8 cups) of salt to a warm running bath, when the salt has dissolved slip in and relax for approximately 20 minutes. Take 3 baths per week for 2 – 4 weeks. Rinse or shower with fresh water after bathing.
      Phase 2: After symptoms subside, reduce to a maintenance level. This is different for everyone - try 1 bath per week using the same process as phase 1.

      Foot Bath/arm bath – Use for symptoms on the extremities
      Phase 1: Use a foot spa, bowl or anything clean and watertight. Fill the bath with warm water. Use approximately 8oz (1.5 cups) of salt per 5 gallons of water. Ensure the salt has dissolved then submerge the affected area in the water for approx. 20mins. Take 3 baths per week for 2 – 4 weeks. Rinse or shower with fresh water after bathing.
      Phase 2: After symptoms subside, reduce to a maintenance level. This is different for everyone - try 1 bath per week using the same process as phase 1.

      Body Wrap – Use for localized symptoms
      Phase 1: Dissolve 8oz of salt in 2 – 3 gallons of warm water, when the salt has fully dissolved saturate a small to medium sized towel with the salted water. Cover the affected area of skin with the towel for 20mins. Repeat 3 times per week for 2 – 4 weeks. Rinse or shower with fresh water after use.
      Phase 2: After symptoms subside, reduce to a maintenance level. This is different for everyone - try 1 wrap per week using the same process as phase 1.

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    4. Hello Dan!

      Sorry I didn't reply. I don't seem to get any notification or anything when you reply to my comments. Lucky I came back to read this post to see if anyone else commented on their MW process. :D

      Yes! I've been using the cloth to wrap around my thighs. I actually used a pail to soak my entire calf. My feet itself has no issues.. the problem starts from calf onwards. I don't do it regularly as its quite time consuming. Usually about once every 2 - 3 days. Still soaking my hands every day. Having HUGE improvements.

      Here's an update on my hands: http://2recovery.tumblr.com/post/78434926787/5-days-since-i-updated-extremely-good-progress-on

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    5. Looks great Penny! If I were you I would cut back on the dss soaks for the hands to once every 3-4 days now.

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  4. Hi Dan just wanted to say thankyou about the DSS suggestion, I found out about it on your blog and have been doing it for a month after my MW. My skin is honestly so much better on my body and tough as nails now, it's almost like my normal pre TSW/normal eczema skin. Feels great!

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    1. Hi Mary, you're very welcome! I'm so happy people are finding out MW is a much better way and that using dss baths can help a great deal in this effort. Hopefully the rest will catch on and everybody will begin to feel much better! Thanks again!

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    2. Hi Mary,

      Please come join the 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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  5. YES! I was hesitant at first but GOD is it so much better! The first few days were pretty tough for me but then came HUGE RELIEF. The DSS baths are key, as you've shared. Thanks for being a great advocate, Dan! I understand that you've received a lot of flak for it but you're right--not using moisturizer brings relief and more people with TSW need to know. I feel like I'm alive again.

    http://itchyskinjourney.blogspot.com

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    1. Stacey! I'm so relieved to hear from you! I thought you might be a little upset with me. Yes, I got my life back in my 3rd month after total debilitation for over two months. It's been a breeze ever since compared to when I moisturized. I'm so happy to hear you are dong well with it! Continue to spread the word like you have been and soon this whole nightmare of everybody doing tsw via moisturizing will be over once they finally realize the TRUTH!

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    2. Not upset at all! I'm sorry I didn't notice your previous posts. I just went back and read them over along with your comment in the other stream. No worries. I think you're right. I stopped using the moisturizer & oatmeal in my DSS baths because I was starting to get worse again. The bumps over my arms & legs--which the baths initially removed--were coming back. I could tell that it was due to the moisturizer. So I cut those out and the plain DSS baths are working beautifully! I've been doing them once every 2-3 days. I think the original baths were a good segue, but I don't plan on using them again. I have been using a little corn starch here and there though. It feels nice sometimes, but I haven't been putting it on with any regularity (maybe once every couple days or so?). Anyway, no more moisturizers for me! Life has improved dramatically since I stopped!

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    3. Hi Stacey, I was just reading your blog and it looks like you're doing really well for someone only 2 months in tsw. MW won't make our tsw recoveries all that much faster but it certainly makes them far more comfortable with far less suffering. I'm happy for you! If I were earlier in my tsw I would try that corn starch idea. Good idea about using organic corn starch too!

      I noticed on Sunday, January 26, 2014 you said "My arms, however, are much worse and very densely populated with bumps again. It makes my arms look like I have red, textured sleeves. There's very little good skin showing on my arms at this point. The bumps are just so weird and mysterious to me. Some of the bumps have a tiny white head on them, like pimples but very very small. If I press on them gently with the tip of my fingernail they expel a tiny amount of clear liquid. I can't tell if squeezing them makes things worse or not. I have a feeling that I shouldn't get carried away with popping them (even though it's always tempting to pop things), so I'm withholding."

      I used to get those too when I moisturized and they are mainly caused by moisturizing. You probably don't get those anymore I imagine. I get one once in a blue moon and apply pure tea tree oil to it with a Q-tip and the next day it's gone. Last summer I would sit in the sun and pop them all with my fingernails and then take my dss bath. That was when I was still moisturizing and just starting to do the baths. I don't miss those days lol.

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    4. Hi Stacey,

      Please come join the 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.:)

      I know you have much to contribute.

      http://forums.nomoresteroids.com

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  6. I did some research last night and found lots of info that says typical window glass blocks most UVB rays but not the UV rays. I had always thought one could get the same UV rays through a window as being in direct sun but I was wrong. It's the sun's UVB rays that we need and we can't get those through glass windows, so I must retract what I've said in the past about getting sun exposure this way in the wintertime.

    I spent yesterday sitting in front of my window in warm sun for nothing, oh well. It was warm and felt good anyway. I've been drinking too much coffee with too much sugar and eating loads of ice cream every day. This has caused my hands to itch terribly at night and I keep scratching my hands in my sleep. Every time I scratch them it sets me back a day, sometimes two. Yesterday I did a dss bath and this time I patted dry without rinsing and then used my UVB handheld unit for the first time in several weeks since I first used it a couple times. I decided to wait until I stopped flaring to use it regularly. So, I'll be using it every time I bathe from now on.

    Anyway, after using the UVB light on my skin which took a while, I then hopped into the shower to rinse any excess salt crystals off my skin. I noticed once again how drying this can be when not rinsing immediately after a dss bath. This was in the afternoon and by late evening my skin was extremely dry and itchy from it. More so than if I just rinse immediately. I ended up scratching some even before going to bed so put on some water diluted tea tree oil on all spots I had scratched and awake 8 hours later to healed hands again. I'm always amazed how well the tea tree oil works when used correctly. My hands don't itch from the bath now either, which is typical after about 12 hours of doing them.

    One thing I'm learning, MW may not speed up tsw in a significant way, but it sure has made the whole recovery process much more bearable than when I moisturized. And, it only makes sense that anything we do to support the body is going to speed up tsw in one way or another, whether it be a good diet, positive mindset, not moisturizing, whatever.

    I just skimmed over a blog I hadn't seen before where a guy is like on day 400 and something. I noticed he said he had stopped moisturizing last year and just uses Vaseline. He said this more than once in different posts he made over the last year. I was a little surprised that he actually thinks that putting Vaseline on isn't moisturizing. There is so much confusion over Vaseline it makes me ill.

    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.

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    1. I forgot to add, technically Vaseline isn't considered a moisturizer but it does not matter. It is no different from covering your skin in products that have Dimethicone in them, which is a silicone. Many products have this ingredient in them, and many Derms love to hand out free samples of moisturizers containing this ingredient. Using Vaseline is no different than covering your skin with silicone. It makes an impenetrable seal which only inhibits the skin from healing in the ways I pointed out above.

      Unfortunately ITSAN has perpetuated the myth about Vaseline that was started a very long time ago by the medical community and huge corporations who sell it. And as result, many people going through tsw have chosen to use Vaseline over the years due to ITSAN's heavy advocacy of this lousy product to it's members. ITSAN needs to get a clue! Just how long does it take for people to understand these things? It truly is not that difficult to understand. To me, ITSAN is no better than the medical community that got me into this trouble in the first place. They seem to believe everything the medical community says, except for the ts part. Why don't they take the time to do the research when in such a position of responsibility over so many suffering people?

      At at a minimum, at least take a good unbiased look at the research I have done for them, and if they don't agree with the research results I have found, come on my blog and say why this research is wrong if they believe that to be the case? Or, even on their own forum? C'mon ITSAN, let's hear a counter argument as to why you still push Vaseline in light of the research that shows how bad it is for the skin? If you can't at least do that, then stop spreading such erroneous myths that lead to so much added suffering to people going through tsw .

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