Thursday, March 27, 2014

10 Month Picture Update - Topical Steroid Withdrawal

Here is my 10th month picture update. I'm fully recovered from my last huge flare which lasted 5-6 weeks before calming down and am finally back to healing again. My arms and legs are 99% normal again and the only symptoms left are on my hands. This is pretty much where I was 3 months ago before this last flare kicked my butt. The nice thing about it though is because I don't moisturize the flare was easily manged and wasn't all that difficult to get through. It was just a pain in the ass.

What you see on the tops of my hands is purely steroid induced eczema. I have never used ts on top of my hands other than on my fingers. I first started applying ts on my right palm where you can see it is still struggling to heal. That area received the most ts out of any area on my body. The left palm received about half as much ts and has been healed for many months, even though both palms were completely destroyed when I stopped using ts and began tsw. It didn't break out during this big flare and even the right palm barely did. What broke out was my arms, legs, and tops of my hands. And it was nearly as much rash as when I first started tsw. Actually it was more now that I think about it. The rash on the top of my hands spread to completely cover them and they gave me the roughest time because they were very irritated the whole time and I would easily scratch off all the fresh thin scabbing every time I got them to scab over. It seemed like an endless process of starting over the entire 5-6 weeks. Like groundhog day I suppose. But once the flare died down that problem went away and they are quickly healing again.

The legs and arms broke out worse than I first started too and they also stayed irritated throughout the flare and would ooze as well. They healed first (again) and my hands are well on the way. The symptoms you see barely bother me at all. The only time they bother me is in my sleep and I get that infamous itch attack. But, my skin is so strong from not moisturizing that it just doesn't break open unless I tear into extra hard, which I always try to avoid. My main problem right now is I refuse to eat a good diet. I take all the right supplements but am willing to take the extra time to heal in order to eat and drink what I want. There is little doubt in my mind I wouldn't be in much better condition if I were to change my lifestyle. But as it is, it's just a dry scaly rash that doesn't bother me so I guess I'm willing to put up with it for now.

I get asked all the time when do the oils start to come back after stopping moisturizers. I have asked Dr. Fukaya this question and will post my question and his answer under this post in the comment section later when he answers me. Happy healing!











47 comments:

  1. Hi Dr. Fukaya, many people here in the US are now doing moisturizer withdrawal and nearly all are very happy with the results. The number one question seems to be "when will my skin start to produce it's own oils"? I don't know the answer to this question and am wondering if you had any insight into this? Respectively, Dan

    Dr. Fukaya:
    "Sorry, I can’t answer to the question because it is not clear for me too. Aside from oil production, many sufferers experience sweating too much or urticaria(hives) at the last stage of TSW. I think they are signs of skin recovery.
    About oil production, there are people who need moisturizers even in healthy population. So I think there are patients who need moisturizers after TSW also."

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    1. Hi Dan
      Thought you would like to know after our last exchange of emails I dropped tapering and went full into MW. I am 1 week in. So far so good. Hasn't been as bad this time round. I guess I am mentally stronger now too.
      Thanks for the info. All the best

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    2. Hi Vee,
      That's great! Please don't hesitate to ask any questions if needed. It's a little different feeling to adjust to but your skin will strengthen quickly after a while. Best of luck to you!

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    3. Thanks!!
      I do have a question
      Well two
      #1- is DSS baths necessary? I don't like baths much... So wondered if I could get by without it
      #2- what do I do to not look so ashy? I have darker skin... So its more noticeable...

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    4. The dss baths are not necessary but are extremely helpful in many ways. Especially from the minerals and the benefits they give the skin. I was able to heal all of my tiny spots where I used ts just with dss baths rather quickly. The areas I put a lot of ts on have been much harder but the baths help a lot with healing over any broken skin. Jsan healed 100% in 9 months and never did a single dss bath. She just did showers, but I feel she missed out. Not that she would have healed quicker, just may have had an easier time of it if she had complemented her recovery with the baths. They are good for us even with healthy skin.

      I've had people say that ashy appearance will disappear over time. I think dss baths would help a lot with that as well. I know Moh is very dark skinned and he has had some success with this very thing but he hasn't been in touch much lately due to lack of computer access so I don't know how things have progressed with him since the last time he emailed me about a week or so ago.

      Ruth has been doing dss baths for quite a while and although she is Caucasian she had red blotches on her face for years and was truly amazed they went completely away after just a couple weeks of doing dss baths. I highly recommend dss baths to anyone with skin problems whether they are in tsw or not. I had never even heard of them before my own tsw. I also despise bathing so this is coming from someone who hates baths but is still doing them :)

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    5. Hi Vee,

      Long time no talk! I wanted to chime in about the dss baths as well. It's completely different than others in that when you step out, your skin won't dry down to ashiness as badly (I just posted some moisturizer pix on my latest blog post, see the neck area). It's pretty mind blowing to say the least.

      I was very averse to baths as well and quite hesitant to do the dss soaks but they feel completely different than other salts or oatmeal etc. The skin is moisturized after. HTH!

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  2. Thoughts on apple cider vinegar and regular sea salt or Epsom salts?

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    1. I've done acv baths a few times over the months with the idea in mind that it helps balance the pH on the skin surface and neutralize acids. I could never tell if it helped or not but I have used it as a tonic when I feel ill for over 30 years and am a firm believer in it's many benefits. It's a great fungus killer too. I have used it successfully to eliminate persistent toenail fungus that years of tto wouldn't get. It took multiple daily applications religiously for a solid year though. I think doing a acv bath once or twice a week when in the initial phases of MW would be a good idea since fungus is common on skin when we moisturize. But after that I don't see much benefit in doing them very often.

      I've never done an Epsom salt bath but from what I read they don't have near the benefits the dss baths do because the dss has the heavy concentration of minerals and the Epsom salts don't have any to speak of. So, I felt if I was going to go through the hassle of doing baths I might as well use the best stuff available for what I'm trying to accomplish. You can really see a difference in your skin when doing dss baths. It's immediate gratification and no guessing as to whether they help or not. Hope that helps!

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    2. Hi Vee,

      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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  3. What about using natural oils on skin not effected by TSW?
    Oddly the TSW skin is doing well, but my normal skin is pretty dry on my legs...just wondering if I will always just have dry skin and never be able to use creams?

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    1. Hi Vee, I personally don't think there is a problem with using natural oils on normal skin whether during tsw or not as long as it isn't continuous moisturizing over a long duration of time. I would only caution as to the long term effects, and if it were me I would just be sure to give my skin a break once in a while. Say, moisturize during the day and not moisturize at night, or stopping for a week or so every few weeks. I think Dr. Fukaya believes some people need to moisturize but most don't until old age. I would just caution people to not confuse his thoughts on this subject because most women are conditioned by mass media (advertising) and the medical establishment (healthcare professionals) to believe they need to moisturize. Skin isn't suppose to feel wet or slippery like it does when it has moisturizers on it. I think many women confuse normal skin with dry skin because they are so used to moisturizing all their lives. Think about it this way. How many men do you know put moisturizer all over their bodies every day? Probably not many and yet the whole propaganda thing on moisturizers isn't gender specific. Women buy into the propaganda because they want soft supple skin obviously for reasons other than good health. I have known way to many women who moisturize but eat super bad diets. Some women think it's sexy. Some just do it because that's what they are taught by society. Most men don't buy into the moisturizing for dry skin propaganda and they seem to do fine skin wise. These are just my own opinions of course. Moderation is probably the key as it is with most things.

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    2. Yea you are right. My husband only uses lotion on his face since he has dark skin and it looks ashy without. The rest of his skin is fine.
      I can not believe how much better my skin is doing... Crazy... I don't notice any pain or skin issues.
      Thanks for the ' friendly' email! Hahaha

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    3. Anytime lol. I think the longer one has been in tsw the easier it is to do MW. I also think at some point in tsw that moisturizing keeps people in a long stagnant phase where one could heal a lot quicker if it weren't for the moisturizing. All just conjecture on my part but it it seems to hold true from what I've seen. I'm glad your skin is better Vee!

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  4. Hi Dan!
    My scalp is still really flaky and itchy, I'm doing dss a few times per week but it's not getting better. Honestly - I'm glad that it's still cold in Sweden so I can wear a hat! Do you have any tip what I can do about it?!
    Hope you are well!
    x jo

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    1. Hi Jo, I'm surprised there is no improvement there. Did you use ts on your scalp? If so, for how long? I don't really have any idea on what to do for it other than the dss soaks. Is this scalp problem tsw related?

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    2. Hi!
      No that's the thing - never used ts there! But it has to be TSW cause I never had any problem before... Hmm.. Candida??

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    3. Well, that's tsw for ya lol. Seems like the dss soaks should take care of it within a couple months. If not, I really don't know. It doesn't sound like candida but more tsw related since you never had it before.

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    4. Hi Dan,

      Hope you don't mind if I chime in. I had exactly the same issue where no scalp issues before TSW, then I couldn't sleep b/c my scalp was so itchy and flaky. Shampooing with Nizoral after a dead sea salt bath cleared it up. Now my scalp is actually producing oils and I can sleep through the night. Worth a try?

      Megan

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    5. Hi Megan, not at all. Feel free to post anything you want anytime here. I don't delete posts I don't agree with either :) One thing I know is I don't know everything, so if it works what can I say? I just worry about the chems in that stuff and think the dss baths should clear the scalp symptoms on their own. Sleep is so important though and if it helps you sleep you are getting a lot of benefits from the sleep. Probably more than the detriments of the shampoo. I would just use as little as possible and not wash my hair too often. Just my two cents.

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  5. Hi Dan, Do you take any extra supplements? I have been reading about L Lysine. Your thoughts on this?

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    1. Hi Alisa, I take MSM, Vit C, omega3, flax oil, Probiotics, and Seeking Health Homocyste X Plus, every day. I just replaced my low potency multivitamins with the Seeking Health Homocyste X Plus. L-lysine is good at keeping the frequency of herpes outbreaks down and can be taken by most people. I have gall stones so I can't take it much. I do take it when I feel an outbreak might be coming on and it seems to stop it most times. It seems pretty safe to take short term for most people from what I've read and experienced with it.

      Paprika is supposed to be somewhat of a wonder herb for inflammation and many other things but it's another one I can't take much. Check out the benefits of paprika when you get time. Nothing to do with your question, just thought I would mention it.

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    2. Correction. Not paprika, turmeric is what I was thinking of.

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    3. Hi Alisa,

      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.:)

      Tracy has a thread there on the gene mutation stuff which should be quite informative in due time. I also just recently got my results back and tested out the exact same way as Tracy with the same mutations.

      http://forums.nomoresteroids.com

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  6. Hi Dan, on the subject of supplements I've heard turmeric has natural anti-inflammatory properties as well, but with your gallstones you'd have to check with your doctor before using. It's used in mustard, curry and many middle-eastern spice blends so you can find various methods of consumption.

    I've been trying to make a blog on my recovery, 2 weeks on tsw, but I've been slacking. Thanks for all your info, you've helped a lot.

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    1. Hi El, thank you for mentioning turmeric. That is the spice I was thinking of when I said paprika. Two weeks in huh? Let me now if I can be of any help.

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    2. Correction...Let me know if I can be of any help. Maybe you can teach me how to spell :D

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    3. Hi El,

      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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  7. Thanks Dan, do you make your email available for us readers, just in case of a longer question? Thanks

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    1. Hi Alisa, I don't make it public but if you were to post yours here the same way you just asked, I can email you and then you'll have my personal email. I won't publish your post and will delete it so yours won't be shown either.

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  8. Replies
    1. Hi Bev, this is something I'm not s clear on myself. I haven't seen that many people take advantage of dss baths until just recently so I'm really not sure but suspect it could help. You can you send me your email if you like and we can talk about it.

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    2. Bev, if I were your husband I would be doing dss baths every 2-3 days.

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    3. Hi, Dan, been a very busy time since I wrote to you. A few things I would like to tell you. I am so thankful I found your blog! When my husband quit using the TS cream, and started to break out all over his body, we put every kind of cream on him that was supposed to be for eczema. Nothing was working, the last thing I tried was Crisco! When that didn't absorb, I knew it was time to checkout more on the internet, I found your blog about MW. We have been doing MW since the first of January 2014. It has helped so much, we are really afraid to put anything on his skin. He did use the DSS baths for awhile, but he really didn't like them, dried him out too much. His experience sounded different from others I read about. He did not have the yellow weepy discharge I read about. I had written about our experience with TSW My name there is Puffy, I started quite a thread about my husbands problem. I was very offended with the response. There is no doubt that my husbands skin problem was from TS. This is the thread on ITSAN
      Topic: Only on TS for Four weeks (not to good at this blog stuff, sorry)
      I hope you can follow everything I am trying to tell you. He has cleared up pretty good except he has a good size rash on his lower leg he is soaking right now. There are a few spots on his arms and other leg. I am going to leave it here and hope you can find the ITSAN blog. Thank you, Bev K

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    4. Hi Dan, if you would, I have something from ITSAN group I would like you to read. It is under "only on TS for Four weeks" it started quite a discussion
      I am very thankful for your blog on MW! We have been doing it since the first of January, 2014. For my husband it has worked very well. He has never!! had eczema until he started the steroid cream. I will stop here and hope you will read the articles, my user name is Puffy on ITSAN. There are 3 pages.
      I am hoping you can let me know what we should expect in the coming months, with his recovery.
      Thank you, Bev K.

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    5. Hi Bev,

      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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  9. Author Topic: Only on TS for Four weeks (Read 526 times)

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    1. Dan, this is a short history on my husband's nightmare,

      My husband has a work shop where he has restored, old tractors. He had his bare hands in a lot of different paint thinners, oils, ant thing connected with the restoration process. This past Oct we insulated our garage, we did wear gloves but I feel the insulation penetrated the gloves. I was unaffected because my hands are in good shape. Within two weeks his hands were red and raw.
      Oct 23 2013 went to the Derm. She took one look at him and called his condition Hand Eczema.
      She gave him a prescription for Clobestal. After applying the TS he was to cover it with Aquaphor or Vaseline twice a day then cover with cotton gloves,do this for two weeks. His hands cleared up somewhat over the next two weeks, and had used up the tube of TS. Nov. 23 is when he started the second tube because the rash came back, but was now on his arm also . He was using the TS on his hands and his arm. Then it started to take off to different parts of his body, back, legs, feet, and buttocks! I thought something is not right here! I started researching the side effects of TS,
      I had him stop using the TS. after researching about steroid creams.
      New Year's Eve day we decided to try another Derm. that was closer to our home. When we got there the nurse had told us she had never seen anything like the rash on my husband. I told her about the information I had researched on TSW, and that my husband would NOT use anymore steroids! In comes the doctor, said that TSW was a phenomenon and did not think this was the case. He took a biopsy of his skin was checking for Erythema Muliiforme, he wanted to start him on TS. We told him NO and he did actually seem quite annoyed with us. The biopsy did come back as eczema related not the EM that the dr thought. That following Friday night we drove in a snow storm to the hospital, because hubby had a red streak going up his arm. I do not know if it was from the biopsy or the TSW. The ER dr started an IV, wanted to put him on steroids for his rash. I told her about TSW, she didn't know anything about it, diagnose him with Celluitis and sent us home. We did get prescription for antibiotics and hydroxyzine. The rest is to wait it out I guess.
      He has no other health problems other than being on low dose HB pressure meds.
      I feel after MUCH research the skin on his hands were already thinning because of his age and the exposure to chemicals. The TS was able to go right into his blood stream and raise this havick on his body!
      We are past the furry of the ignorance of the medical community! However, I blame them for not doing their research on the drugs that they tell their patients are ok to use! I blame the drug companies and FDA for not researching more before they ok a drug. We are retired for 12 yrs., I have lots of time to research this TSW. You would not believe the stuff I have found, there ARE articles about the effects of TSW! I have spent hours researching!
      I am going to stop here.
      I am so thankful to have found this site! My 90 yr old friend told me God only puts on us what we can handle!

      His hands were the only place he used the TS! They were so bad before MW he could not open them. We followed your advise and stayed home and away from people for two months, trying to get his condition under control. He will be 70 in July no history of eczema until TS.
      Bev k.

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    2. Hi Bev,

      I see this all too often and think you should pursue a lawsuit when this is over if you have the resources and the strength. I strongly feel that first Derm was very negligent in his diagnosis and treatment. But aren't they all? These guys aren't stupid. If they don't prescribe steroids they would pretty much have to turn to holistic medicine and there ain't no money in that! Not compared to what a Derm makes, including the kickbacks many receive from pharmaceutical companies.

      If I were the doctor(s), I would have sent him home with nothing and told him to avoid getting anything on his hands until they heal on their own. It's rather obvious to me.

      If you misspelled the word and actually meant "ClobetasolI", this is a super potent steroid and should never be used for that long. I also was put on one of the most potent ts the very first time I went to a doctor and asked about a very small spot of psoriasis and was told to keep putting it on even when the rash went away.

      I can't give medical advice since I am not "licensed" to do so. But if it were me, I would keep my hands free of everything until they heal 100%

      The skin will recover quickly if not moisturized and kept out of water (other than dss soaks) and away from dirt, contaminants, soap of any kind, etc. A couple questions. How bad are his hands right now? Is he wearing 100% cotton gloves, the ones I specifically have suggested that work the best? Is he using tea tree oil? Getting sun exposure?

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    3. Oh, I forgot to ask, you mentioned Itsan. Did they help you? Please share your experiences to whether the site was helpful information wise, or not. I'm just curious because if I hadn't found that place I would have never moisturized for two solid months. That was what the vets there said was the best thing to do at the time and I had to search further to discover why my skin wasn't making any progress. It was because I was moisturizing!!

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    4. Dan,

      Please show us more photos since you are now almost at the year mark! We need inspiration!
      Your fan,
      -Ruth

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    5. Hey Ruth! I'll be posting one year pics on month 11 in about 2-3 weeks, and again on June 20th my one year mark. Mark your calendar! He he :)

      I'm doing pretty good right now and steadily healing. I would guess I'm 90-95% of the way there. Hope you are still doing well too!

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  10. Hi Dan, My husbands hands are about the same as yours. His fingernails look the same also. I bought the cotton gloves you had suggested on Amazon and he wore those for two months straight. Then I bought another " Parade " cotton gloves that were larger, than the ones from Amazon. He has big hands. His hands are still shedding and at times itchy,still no Moisturizer use. What is your opinion that he may have problems with eczema type rashes the rest of his life even though he never had eczema before,the steroid induced eczema? Do you think he will clear up completely seeing that he didn't use TS very long? How many months do you think he will have to deal with this!

    My opinion on ITSAN for what it is worth. I think it opened my eyes about TSW. I didn't know anything about the TSW at the time. I read about other peoples experiences and their journey in TSW. I was looking for what we were dealing with and how to get rid of it. Some person didn't feel my husband was on TS long enough to have his rash be related to TS. That started quite a thread . I think the people there are just trying to cope like everyone else that has this. Everyone has an opinion on what will work to hurry up the recovery time. I agree that it will just take time. I don't think anyone knows how long.
    Your blog has been the most helpful, and I can't thank you enough for your information. I think if people would give it a good chance and it might take quite some time that MW is the only way to go! My hubby doesn't use any soap, just water to shower. He just lately used allergy free shower soap. Maybe that is why his arms started to break out. Who knows?
    As far as him getting in the sun, we live in southern WI and haven't see the sun in awhile! He had skin cancer 12 years ago and usually wore sunscreen, now it causes rashes! Don't know what to use instead.
    Take care hope you continue to see improvements in your journey! Bev

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    1. Hi Bev,

      In my opinion, his steroid induced eczema will clear 100% once he recovers from the TS. I highly doubt it will take very long since he didn't use TS for too long, and he doesn't have a history of eczema. I can't predict how long but as long as he doesn't apply moisturizers, expose his hands to soaps or hot water, I would think not too long at all at this point.

      On rare occasions when I do need to use soap on my hands I use Grandpas oatmeal soap. Very safe compared to most soaps on the market. You can find it on the web, and in certain stores. I rarely use it unless I have to though. I imagine that so called allergy free soap he has used has some skin irritants in it. You can find out on the web by typing the name of the soap and the word ingredients.

      As for skin cancer. It is my opinion that most skin cancers are caused by suntan lotions and the ingredients in them. That is not just my opinion either. I use nothing on my skin in the sun so I can absorb the Vitamin D and other important things the sun gives us. Almost all suntan lotions block these out, and at the same time can cause skin cancer. That is my opinion. I am not a doctor, just someone who has done his research. I can not legally give medical advice so please do your research on what I say and consult your own medical professional for medical advice. You are responsible for your own decisions. Sorry I have to say that as they are so many laws these days!

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    2. HI Dan, I find your post v interesting and have tried dss and no moisturizer too. Just wondering how you are doing now, i.e. May 2015.

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    3. Hi Naomi, thanks for asking. I'm doing "OK" right now. Not fully healed though. The various spots on my hands begin to heal, and as they do the itch increases, and inevitably I break my skin open open just days prior to to being completely healed. Then the process starts over again. This has been going on for about a year now. I have had times where my hands have completely healed but those times only last for a few days at most and the process starts over.

      In retrospect, I don't think not using moisturizers makes all that much difference in the amount of time it takes to heal, but impossible to know for sure. I do know using moisturizers on the skin makes the recovery process far more painful and miserable. That I know first hand. Best!

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  11. I'm not sure if you're still reading this?

    I've been doing TSW for nearly 2 years. All is mostly fine apart from my hands and feet.

    I originally was barely ever using any moisturiser..

    Although I think in the last month or so I have been on my legs.. But I'm not sure if it's made it worse or not.. They are feeling really dry lately due to winter cold (winters are harsh here.. I already wear thermal leggings to try protect my skin from the cold)... Not sure if I just don't drink enough water as that affects how moist skin is to an extent.

    I have been moisturising with a beeswaxy moisturiser... But that prob was a bad idea.. Just was at a loss.

    I can't take off work.. so it has to be a slower process if possible, as I already barely can walk due to over all body swelling which has got worse recently...

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    1. All I can say is read the links on the right hand side of my blog about the effects of various moisturizers have on normal skin and you should understand. To me, they are in a way like ts. They give short term relief, but long term damage to the skin barrier. But, read the studies and see what you think.

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