Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Moisturizer Withdrawal During Topical Steroid Withdrawal

Many people are now finding out that not moisturizing is a much better way to get through topical steroid withdrawal as opposed to moisturizing. They are discovering that not moisturizing brings much more comfort, allows the skin barrier to recover at a much faster rate, allows the skin to strengthen, and in general allows one to lead a normal life while recovering from topical steroid poisoning. Something that moisturizing during tsw does not bring.

The purpose of this post was to show the various ways I have learned to deal with my symptoms since doing moisturizer withdrawal approximately seven months ago into one place for easier understanding and referral. I'm short on time right now so will just ask that you check out the many posts I've written on my blog on this subject.

I have learned many things in those seven months of dealing with tsw via no moisturizers and feel what I've learned should be of value to those of you who have either began tsw without moisturizing, or those of you who have made the transition from moisturizing to not moisturizing, commonly referred to as "moisturizer withdrawal".

There is plenty of info on this throughout my blog, but much of it is me talking about things I did at those specific times. And some of the info may not be relevant now, or outdated. I have learned much from my experience on what works well, and what doesn't work so well, in dealing with the various tsw symptoms while not moisturizing. Feel free to ask questions.




15 comments:

  1. Hello Dan,
    It's me again :)
    I get a lot of comments that I look more 'tanned' now. I get UVB therapy at the hospital but that doesn't tan.. . So my theory is that I look much more tanned and 'alive' because cortisone sucked all the life out of me. I remember when I was younger I got white patches where I put cortisone. Anyway my question to you is if you have heard, read or experienced this yourself?
    xx Jo

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    1. Hi Jo, from what I understand, UVB therapy should tan your skin if it's done correctly. You are probably more tanned but don't realize it. I don't remember pronounced white skin from the ts but possibly a little white.

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  2. Hi Dan, I'm pretty much three weeks into TSW and have been trying MW out for four days now but I find that as well as shedding more skin than I ever thought possible, I barely have any mobility in my neck and arms as a result of this. How long did it take for you to regain mobility? And does your skin ever become 'normal' when not moisturising?

    I've been on prescribed emollients pretty much since birth and this is by far the longest time I've gone without moisturising, so I find it difficult to believe my skin won't stay in this state as long as I'm not moisturising.

    Also, your blog is helping me so much through these first stages of TSW, so thanks so much for the regularity of your posts!

    Mash x

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    1. Hi mash, thanks! I'm glad it has helped you. It took me about 10 days for the dead skin to fall off at which time I gained full mobility. After I did moisturizer withdrawal my skin completely cleared (looked normal) in all areas except for my hands where I used the most ts over a period of maybe 1-2 months. The hands improved drastically but didn't clear 100% like the other areas. I'm still dealing with them but they are 95% better than when I started.

      The skin can begin to repair itself once you stop moisturizing it. Why were you prescribed emollients since birth? Are you doing dss baths? What is your steroid usage history and your age?

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  3. That sounds amazing- I hear horror stories of people enduring this hell for two years, sometimes more! Would you say it was MW that's helping you heal so fast?

    I've had eczema since I was a few months old and my mum found that keeping my skin moisturised with prescribed emollients helped keep the eczema at bay, so steroids weren't needed much.

    I'm 18 years old and for the first four years of my life hydrocortisone was applied to the backs of my knees and insides of my elbows, but usage was very minimal.
    From 15-17 I had to use stronger steroids on my neck and on the insides of elbows each time I got a flare- usually brought on by stress or winter.
    At 18, the eczema wasn't letting up and I was using steroids pretty much daily for the last 8 months- namely eumovate and betnovate- on my shoulders, neck and arms. A month ago when the steroids stopped having an effect on me my doctor prescribed a five day course of 30mg prednisone, two days after I finished them the 'eczema' returned. I discovered that my symtoms matched tsa exactly (minus the burning) and I stopped the ts immediately.

    No, I'm not doing the dss baths, I was considering trying epsom salts as I've heard they're good for oozing, which I'm having a problem with. Is one better than the other?

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    1. Where would you hear such a thing? Two years, sometimes more? I think that's for people who moisturize during tsw. They are fools and you might want to be careful about listening to what fools have to say. I would say my MW has not only helped me heal faster, but even more importantly, it gave me my life back and enabled me to spend my recovery in relative normalcy. It's a shame you started using ts right about the time in your life when childhood eczema burns out! Most people with childhood eczema see it disappear for the most part by their mid to late teens. Mine did.

      Dss baths are far more beneficial than Epsom salt baths for all your symptoms. It's not even a close call. Be sure to read my blog thoroughly as possible (including comments), especially my DIY Moisturizer Withdrawal Guide post and let me know if you have any questions during this crucial period of MW. You're in for a tough couple of months ahead and if you manage your symptoms right you should be able to get through tsw relatively easily compared to others you might have read about. Also be sure to read others blogs who have done MW to see their success to help give you the resolve to stick with it.

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  4. Hi Dan, I just wanted to let you know that despite the fact that I'm still flaky, it's nowhere near as bad as it was at the start- I've already regained full mobility on my arms and it's at maybe 70% on my neck, also the oozing has stopped! So grateful to you as your numerous MW posts convinced me to give it a shot and it seems to be working! I wanted to ask you your opinion about using steam rooms? A few people have suggested it would be good for the dryness...

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    1. Hi Mash, That's good to hear. Thank you. I wasn't familiar with the steam room idea so dd a quick search on the web and the first site I checked says...

      "It's not so good:
      Although steam from hot water helps to open the pores and eliminate dirt and impurities, it can have an irritating effect on some skin types. If you have sensitive or delicate skin, it's better to avoid steamy baths as they may make the problems worse. This can be a particularly true if you suffer from dry skin, eczema or rosacea."

      http://www.hellomagazine.com/healthandbeauty/skincare-and-fragrances/201005313615/steam/skin/benefits/

      I didn't bother to look further because it dawned on me that we don't want our pores open, we want them closed. I spent a lot of time experimenting with ending my dss baths with a rinse in a cold shower in order to close my pores as much as possible so my body could retain as much moisture as possible from the re-hydration of the bath itself. A 20 minute soak in a dss bath will eliminate all dirt and impurities, and at the same time give the skin valuable minerals which has many benefits. Hope that helps!

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  5. Thanks so much Dan, I guess I'll give it a miss. And so you know, I hadn't read your latest post about not replying to further questions when I posted this, so I really appreciate your reply. Take care of yourself, and thanks so much for being so active in the 'tsw community'- you've helped so many people xxx

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    1. Hi Mash, no problem. I don't mind at all when I have the time. I enjoy helping others. I only posted that because I know in the next couple of weeks I'm not going to be available as often as usual and just don't want people to get upset if I don't reply right away. Maybe I'll update that post and reword it a little. Thanks again!

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  6. "Break on Thru to the Other Side" was a big hit with an old (!) group called "The Doors" back in the late 1960s. If you follow Dan's suggestions, exactly as they are listed, you too will break on thru and as a result, reclaim your healthy skin! I started MW withdrawal and DSS baths in mid-December of 2013. I was at my wits' end after years (not months) of not sleeping--including the times I used anti-histamine tablets, and at this point my skin was becoming infected and re-infected. It was very uncomfortable and itchy at first, to say the least. When I started MW, my face was cracked and continually peeling and itchy. After a mere month of doing DSS baths 1-2 times a week and stopping moisturizer, my skin had cleared up. My hands and face remain clear and clean of cracks, peeling and even itching and no more "red skin" coloring on either my face or my arms. I do have some residual eczema but it is the kind were scratching does not lead to an hour long trance. I sleep very well at night now, and if I do get up to scratch, I am able to go right back to sleep. I'm rarely tired in the daytime anymore and am back at the gym after a 7 month hiatus. With the coming summer, this is an optimal time to try MW as you can go outside and let the sun nourish your skin after a DSS bath. Doing this during a particularly dry and cold winter was not the greatest idea, but it still worked magically! Follow Dan's suggestions if you want to end your steroid use permanently.

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  7. Thanks for all this great info! I wouldn't have known half of this stuff. I am 6.5 weeks into TSW and 3 days into MW. Now with MW, should that be to the entire body? Or just the areas affected by TSW? I cannot wait to get through this first part of MW, it's on my hands and using them makes me split open again. I have twin toddlers and it is near impossible to not use my hands and just "rest" them. I have been wearing cotton gloves or wrapping them with dry gauze to protect them. Any other suggestions? I also started Dss hand soaks two days ago! Those seem to help heal some of my cracks. I am super dry after the soaks tho, but that's the point right?

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  8. I forgot to ask in my last post, what do you use to wash your hands with?

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    1. Hi Ashley, I wear super thin 100% white cotton gloves with XL vinyl gloves over them anytime I go to do things that would get my hands dirty. I haven't used soap but for a two week period when I thought I was completely healed at my one year mark. Dr. Fukaya told me to not use soap until two years after being 100% healed. I found out why! So, I typically rub my hands together under cold water once in a while if my hands get a little dirty when not wearing gloves.

      The skin is one entire organ, so it is important to treat the entire body and not only the areas that show symptoms. That means no moisturizers anywhere on the body. Although, I think it wouldn't hurt to moisturize small places that have no symptoms, but I don't understand why anyone would put anything on their skin in the first place. Our skin needs to "breathe" in order to function normally. Best thing people can do is read on the web about how the skin functions. Once you understand how the skin functions you will understand why it is not good to smother it, or expose it to anything other than sunshine and air.

      All the info you seek is in my blog in various places. The kind of gloves to wear. Where to buy them, directions for doing dss baths properly, etc. If you want, you can post your email address and I won't publish it here, and we can email privately. The first two weeks of MW is brutal but well worth it.

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    2. Hi,

      Thank you so much for the plethora of information that you offer. I really appreciate your no-nonsense approach and advise. I am two months in to tsw and two days in to mw. I was going along just fine with my tsw until I started the mw and now I am an uncomfortable wreck! I am determined to stick with it though. I do have a concern about living at 8200 feet altitude (denver foothills) with little to no humidity. Do you think this matters? I have so many questions and would love to communicate with you thru my personal email if you wouldn't mind. I'd like to include pics and pick your brain about a few things. Please contact me as I am a little perplexed about this whole damn process. Thanks for everything :) Jeannelle L.

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