Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What Is Eczema And How Can We Best Manage It?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dermatitis
What is Eczema?

Dermatitis (Greek: δερματίτις dermatitis "(disease) of skin," from δέρμα derma "skin") or eczema (Greek: ἔκζεμα ekzema "eruption") is inflammation of the skin. It is characterized by itchy, erythematous, vesicular, weeping, and crusting patches. The term eczema is also commonly used to describe atopic dermatitis[1][2] or atopic eczema.[3]

In some languages, dermatitis and eczema are synonyms, while in other languages dermatitis implies an acute condition and eczema a chronic one.[4]

The term eczema is broadly applied to a range of persistent skin conditions. These include dryness and recurring skin rashes that are characterized by one or more of these symptoms: redness, skin swelling, itching and dryness, crusting, flaking, blistering, cracking, oozing, or bleeding. Areas of temporary skin discoloration may appear and are sometimes due to healed injuries. Scratching open a healing lesion may result in scarring and may enlarge the rash.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/atopy
Definition of ATOPY

: a genetic disposition to develop an allergic reaction (as allergic rhinitis, asthma, or atopic dermatitis) and produce elevated levels of IgE upon exposure to an environmental antigen and especially one inhaled or ingested

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6739379
What is atopy? Sidestepping semantics.

Abstract

Atopy may be viewed as the manifestation of a still-undefined defect. It is characterized by certain clinical findings and frequently by derangements of the immune and autonomic nervous systems. The atopic diseases are a group of seemingly unrelated conditions--eczema, asthma, rhinitis, and perhaps hypertrophic sinusitis, vernal conjunctivitis, and migraine--which cluster in individuals and families. In the respiratory tract and eye, eosinophils in tissues and secretions are characteristic and are not dependent on the presence of immediate hypersensitivity. Symptoms suggestive of mast-cell mediator release are common to all the atopic diseases, and there is some evidence that nonimmunologic mediator release is enhanced in atopic patients. In the most clearly defined atopic diseases, eczema and asthma, approximately 80% of patients have increased IgE responses to normal environmental allergens. Accompanying and perhaps underlying the enhanced IgE responses are deficiencies of T cell numbers and function, particularly in suppressor T lymphocytes. Evidence exists that decreased beta 2-adrenergic function and increased cholinergic and alpha-adrenergic responsiveness accompany and perhaps underlie the atopic diseases, whether allergic or nonallergic.

My Thoughts:
I had childhood eczema, and both eczema and asthma runs in my family. It's obviously genetics in our case. The ways I learned to mange my eczema growing up were far better than treating it with drugs that only make it worse. I am referring to potent topical steroids, over the counter Hydrocortisone, and the like. Eczema is something some of us have to learn to live with and learn to treat in natural ways. Treating it with these powerful drugs only makes things much worse in the long run. It's very obvious that the medical community doesn't know what actually causes it but it's been around for centuries and people have managed fine without their toxic chemicals that only treat symptoms and not the actual causes.

These pharmaceutical companies along with the assistance of their crony buddy politicians and greedy Dermatologists will do whatever it takes to convince you to take their drugs. They are in it to make money. And believe me this is a huge money making business. And I mean HUGE! Everything from all the different drugs they have developed and continue to develop, to the propaganda about moisturizing. Big, big business.

Allow me to repeat something I posted recently.

Conceit, Arrogance And Bigotry

"The great tragedy of orthodox medicine is that doctors have always been suspicious of anything new and often reluctant to listen to theories and ideas which contradict traditional attitudes.

From Paracelsus to Lind to Semmelweiss, medical history is littered with doctors who learned the hard way that the medical establishment does not take kindly to original ideas or to new concepts which threaten the status quo.

Medical students are taught that they should avoid asking uncomfortable questions and young doctors who wish to succeed know that they must remain unquestioningly faithful to the established truths.

Any physician who rocks the boat, makes waves or swims against the tide will soon find himself floundering in deep water - and struggling to survive! To be successful in our society a physician must respect the prejudices of his elders, adhere to the dogma of his teachers and shut his mind to theories which do not fit in with orthodox medical doctrines.

Modern medicine is, much like the black magic medicine of the middle ages, an unstructured, unscientific discipline in which uncertainty, confusion and ignorance are too often disguised with conceit, arrogance and bigotry.

At a time when the half-life of medical information is shrinking and the limits of traditional, interventionist medicine are daily becoming more and more apparent, this ostrich-type behaviour is difficult to understand and impossible to justify.

Unless doctors are prepared to consider the unexpected, the unlikely and even the apparently impossible, patients must regard rigidly orthodox interventionists with a certain amount of suspicion and cynicism."


I think this sums up the problem quite well. So, if you really want to manage your eczema in the most effective ways, stay away from doctors and learn how to avoid the things that you have learned that make your skin break out. Don't believe the hype about using moisturizers. They are almost as bad for your skin as topical steroids are. Remember, childhood eczema dies out for the most part when we get to our late teens. If you are an adult past the age of say about 20, and you still have eczema, it is not eczema. It's a rash caused by ts called "steroid induced eczema". If you are an adult and never had childhood eczema but had a rash appear seemingly out of nowhere. Don't go to the doctor and allow them to prescribe topical steroids or you will regret it. Just figure out what caused the rash and eliminate the problem. Once the cause is eliminated the rash will disappear. Same with childhood eczema. Once you identify what you are allergic to just stay away from those things. And getting allergy tests isn't the answer in my opinion. Those tests are usually misleading.

If you have a newborn baby with a rash, for God's sake don't allow your doctor to tell you to put anything on it! Every single thing on the market for babies is toxic. From topical steroids to baby oil. Vaseline, you name it. They all have toxic ingredients that exacerbate the problem. Even if they didn't have the toxic ingredients, they don't and can't work. Rashes go away on their own if allowed to. There are also natural methods that can take care of all these things. From Dead Sea salt soaks to colloidal oat soaks. And many many other natural methods. Eating the right foods is a major contributor to healthy skin. That means foods that are natural. Not GMO, or foods that are sprayed with chemicals. I'm talking organic folks. The way you spend your dollars can either support the industry that is thriving on your ill health, or deprive it and put them out of business. Spend those dollars wisely.

27 comments:

  1. Hello!
    I'm new to tsw (2months in) and I'm thinking of doing mw as well. I'm just not ready yet but soon I'm gonna be off school for a month so I'm gonna give it a go then. Just wondering what to expect really? And for best effect I shouldn't moisturise after showers? I don't have a bath..
    Will be very thankful for your reply :) xJo

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    1. Hi Jo,

      Since it will be a while yet before you do MW, take the time to read through my blog and you will know most everything I know. It's impossible for me to know what to expect without knowing your steroid usage history, your current symptoms, and your age. MW involves not moisturizing at any time.

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    2. Haha I'm really sorry for my short message! I was tired and when I had sent it I looked through your blog and thought: fuck it I'm doing mw NOW! So here I am , had a good night sleep, thanks to mw I'm sure. I've been using coconut oil but my body can't take it anymore. This morning I just put a little bit of almond oil on my face. I have a blog if you want to check out pictures (I'm Swedish and lazy so I'm just translating some of the posts)
      My usage history.. I think total use of 10 years + maybe 2-3. Not a day over 15 years of usage for SURE! I used Elocon (its class 3 in sweden so not the strongest steroid) the most and basically only on my arms. Had some problems with my lips so I used mildoson for a few years. And just before Xmas I got problems with my eyes and used mildoson there as well. I am 26 years old and I have symptoms over my whole body except my legs, my arms are the worse! Also my back.... HELP!
      Ok just got some friends over so gotta go. Let me know if there is anything else you want to know! And thanks for your blog, it's bloody awesome!

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    3. Hi Jo, no problem. Since you have symptoms on your eyes and face I would highly suggest dss baths to help clear those. Do you have a friend with a bathtub you can use every 2-3 days for a month or so? You really need to do dss baths. If you can't, maybe you can use a very large bowl that you can put your face in. Let me know and if you choose to do dss in a bowl I'll give you the breakdown of how much dss to use. Actually, it's 8 ounces for every 5 gallons of water so you can break it down from there. You can use a cloth to rub the dss water over your other areas too. It's not the same as soaking, but better than nothing.

      If you can't do dss baths or soaks you just have to wait it out as far as the transition from moisturizing to MW. Once you stop moisturizing I believe your skin begins to self moisturize immediately, so there really is no withdrawal period other than getting used to be much dryer. Your skin may feel very dry but it is doing it's job once you allow it to. It's just that you don't notice it with your usual senses like sight and feel.

      As far as what to expect in the first couple weeks of MW.... it depends on whether you use dss baths or not, so I really can't give any insight into that right now. I personally haven't done MW without dss baths so can only go by others experiences and from what I've seen it takes longer to finally feel better if doing it without the aid of dss baths. There are other methods to use dss on your skin besides baths as well.

      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. Oh crap none of my friends has a bathtub either :(
      I don't even know if I can get dss in Sweden, will have to look it up. Thanks for all your info!! I forgot to give you my link to the blog http://johannabe.blogg.se !

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    5. Then that leaves the last two options above. I'm sure you can get dss in Sweden. You can also buy from sellers on Amazon and/or eBay that ship Internationally. Westlab and Minerva both seem to be good brands. Westlab is based in the UK. I think Minerva is from the U.S.and comes from the company I use. If you buy it be sure to buy natural only with nothing added. The dss will bring a lot of relief in your redness, soreness, itching, well just about everything. P.S. Love the pic you have on your home page :) I'll add your site to my blog list.

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  2. Just ordered my first dss, yay!! Can't wait for it to arrive. Ok I have a few more questions if you don't mind. I somehow forgot to mention my scalp, it's driving me crazy cause its superdry! Never really had problems with it before. Do you have any suggestions on what to do? Acv?
    So I'm doing the baths for a month and than what shall I do? Will my skin react in any way when I start this?
    xx

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    1. Hi Jo,

      That's great! The dss soaks will take care of your scalp. You can do a colloidal oat bath while you wait for the dss. That might bring some relief. I don't believe ACV will help any. Please read some of the other threads on the dss baths, especially the last few where there are many people asking questions and making comments. You'll find most info you need there and in other threads I have like my DIY Moisturizer Withdrawal Guide post. Since you are doing MW, you really need to read that one first. But to answer your last question more directly, yes your skin will react when you first start. It will feel better :)

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    2. Day 3 and I'm not doing great only because I had a shower today... Haven't got the dss yet and wow im itchy and DRY!! The first two days were better, not so itchy. Hopefully it will better tmrw! Just wanted to give you an update and also: this is normal huh?
      x Jo

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    3. Hi Jo, day 2 and 3 is probably the hardest 2 days in mw. Starting in a couple days you will begin to feel better, and after a week to 10 days you should feel a whole lot better. Much better than before doing mw. What you are feeling is very normal for mw at day 3. Many people will medicate themselves during this period to get through it. I know I certainly did! The dss will bring some relief to your skin, although they will make you itchy for the first 12-15 hours. But, they help a lot in many ways. Hang in there!

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  3. I love that you always reply so quickly!! Thank you for your reassurance, day 1-2 was easy peasy. Was SO tempted to stick my fingers in the coconut oil jar today after the shower, but snapped out of it!
    I don't really have any open wounds and stuff like many, many other. Just some few scratch marks. Do you think I will heal faster thanks to that? I know you can't give me a promise I just want to know what you think... Would be very happy if you want to reply! Thanks xx Jo

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    1. Hey Jo, you're quite welcome! I think with your long history of usage it may take a good year. However, you seem to be doing really well so maybe much less from the way you describe your symptoms. Maybe you are doing well because you weren't using the super potent ts and weren't slathering it on your skin like a moisturizer like some of us have done.

      If day one and two were that easy you will have no problem making this transition at all. And who knows, you might be healed 100% in under 6 months. It's difficult to tell. But it sounds like you are doing very well. If you go back to moisturizing, I would say up to 3 years.

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  4. Sounds good! I'm giving myself a year, to heal I have to get back to school. Am studying dental hygienist so can't look like this when I have patients!!
    Anyway, how are YOU? Isn't it time to tempt us with some new photos?

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    1. I'm still recovering from this huge flare I had. It's been 2 months now. My arms are 98% healed again, legs 90% healed. They should be done in another week. My palms have remained stable, although I still get the intense deep itching in my right palm in my sleep. This is the spot that took the most ts and was the very last spot to heal. I scratch it hard in my sleep and my skin doesn't break. That's strictly due to my skin barrier having recovered via not moisturizing. I don't know if you have read how bad my skin barrier was damaged on my palms or not.

      Anyway, when this bad flare hit at month 7 I had already been healed on my arms and legs for months and they broke out worse than they were on my initial rebound. Oddly enough, I never used ts on my arms and legs. Everywhere I broke out with this flare was places I never used. Arms, legs, and tops of my hands. With the exception of my fingers. I did use a lot of ts on them. Besides my arms & legs breaking out badly, the tops of my hands broke out and covered the entire surface on both hands including the fingers. My palms weren't affected much other than the right palm did break open a few times and I thought I was in for it there for a while. If you know my history you know that my palms were so destroyed they were just raw meat. I don't have pics but plenty of doctor notes. I never thought to take any pics until I was done with mw in month 3 and had started a blog back in October. By then my hands looked 80-90% better.

      So, right now the only area I am still trying to get to heal is the tops of my hands and tops of fingers. The tops of my hands continuously flared for 5 weeks and would ooze everywhere anytime I even slightly scratched them. So, I had a rough time with it. Even the dss baths seemed to not work for a while. The only thing I could do those 5 weeks was use witch hazel and gloves to dry them. It was like ground hog day where it seemed every time I got the skin to scab over I would tear it off in my sleep and have to start over again. Another dss bath and more witch hazel. Tea tree oil on any splits. Anyway, since the flaring stopped things are improving, but still slowly, because I keep scratching too hard about once a week and tear it up right before it's done healing. Most of my problem is too much fun on the weekends. And I eat too much sugar.

      Despite all this, I have been very comfortable for the most part, especially now that the flare is over. I live a normal life. Just had to start wearing gloves again for a few weeks.

      The important thing to remember is it's not how the skin looks, it's how comfortable you are while recovering from the ts poisoning. I've been very comfortable since my mw in month 3 and I'm now at month 9. I've been waiting to post pics when I'm closer to 100% healed. If I took pics right now they would look nearly identical to my Dec. 14th pics. I'm hoping it will be just another week or so.

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    2. Hello! Sorry for my late reply, have visitors over.. Thank you for your update and I hope your skin will clear very soon!!
      So you say that not even dss baths seem to help during the flares but is it still important to do them every day? Is there anytime I shouldn't do them?
      My mum and grandma is here for a few days, they haven't seen me since Xmas, only read the blog and they already think I look so much better. Me too, I'm sure it's thanks to mw!! Still very VERY dry and my skin hurts more now but it's less itchy. You can't get it all can you haha.

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    3. Hi, I was only saying that nothing seemed to help in this last flare, although I'm sure everything was likely helping. Looking back, I guess the dss soaks did their job in drying the skin so it could begin to heal, but my skin just continuously kept flaring so it didn't "seem" to be helping in other ways, as in stopping the flare. Sorry to sound confusing on this. I'll just say that if I had to do it over again I would do it the same way. It was just a super wicked flare and seemed to not want to let up.

      The only times I would recommend not doing dss soaks is in between the soaks ha ha. Even once you are 100% recovered from tsw I would recommend doing dss soaks once in a while. But more directly to the intent of your question, there are times you want to slow down on them and there are times you want to do them more frequently. I've talked about this many times on my blog so you should be able to figure it out :)

      Your soreness should disappear when you start doing dss soaks.

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    4. I'm sorry if I keep coming back to you with questions, please tell me to stop if you don't want anymore! But I keep forgetting things, like my feet. Never put ts on them and they are crazy dry, will this also get better with dss? My heals are almost cracked! They don't hurt, just almost hurts, a weird feeling I tell you that! Hope you are having an ok day. :)

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    5. No problem at all. I enjoy helping others so don't ever feel like you are bothering me. All my areas where I used little to no ts healed very quickly with the dss baths. That's weird about your heels. Have you always had dried cracked skin there? Did you use ts there, or just break out in topical steroid induced eczema there? Or, did you really mean "heals" instead of "heels"?

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    6. Hehe I mean heels of course :) I find it very weird too because I never used anything on there and my whole footpad/sole (don't know if that's the right word?) is dry. On both feet! And no they were not dry before ts.... A week after I stopped ts this happened. I bought a foot file to try and fix it at home but the dry skin is so thick it feels like I have to use a knife to cut it off! I wouldn't even say it's topical induced eczema because it doesn't feel like it..
      Oh well, breakfast time in Sweden :) x

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  5. Thank you! I'll get back to you when I've tried dss and let you know how it goes!

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  6. Dan!
    Panick!! I had a shower and now my arm is so dry (right one) it's completely white and looks like it gonna fall off!! I want to email u a pic but can't find your email..

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    1. You can post your email here and I'll delete it as soon as I get it and then email you directly.

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    2. Jo, I emailed you. Did you receive the email?

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  7. No, I thought you went out and forgot :)

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    1. I wouldn't do that. I'll try again but check your spam folder as I'm sure it's there.

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  8. Hi dan!
    I'm writing here so everyone can see :)
    I've done my first dss soak. It took a long time I tell you that. Because a don't have a bathtub I had to do it in a bowl. So first round I dipped my arms and scalp for 20 min and 2nd round my feet. Changed the water obviously! And here I am now peeling my feet, the skin just keeps falling off and I love it!!!
    My arms are fine too. Not as dry as after a normal shower..
    I will do this 2-3 times per week now :) will let u know if anything changes but for now I'm very pleased!

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    1. Music to my ears! I'm so happy for you Jo! Be sure to let the dead skin come off on it's own and not pick it off if you can avoid it. Thanks for the update!

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