I wanted to use this blog not only to share experience and tips living with allergies and all things skin related gained along my journey but to also document my own personal journey – my road to skin recovery.
6 weeks into TSW
So as I sit here and type this, I can honestly say I’ve not used steroid cream for 6.whole.weeks!! It may not seem like long to some but to me this is huge! As someone who has used them on and off for years, it’s one thing not using them, it’s quite another knowing that I don’t have anything to put on my skin during a flare-up. It’s a strange one as whilst I now know they were actually adding to my issues by causing my red skin (red skin syndrome), knowing I had something that I could ‘put on’ should I need to felt strangely comforting. In the past, if I’d stay away from home, I’d make sure I packed the steroid creams… Just in case!! If I went away and forgot them, I’d have a sense of panic. What if my skin flared whilst I was away? What would I do!! It’s actually ridiculous as these creams were THE problem! It was so evident back in January when I visited my father in laws. I had a small flare. Applied the hydrocortisone that I’d taken with me, and bam!! The next morning my skin was burning, it felt like it was on fire, red, itchy and inflamed!! (See my skin update from that time here). It was then I thought THIS HAS TO STOP!
Ditching the Steroid Creams
I’m a little scared to actually write this incase I jinx it but my skin is the best it’s been in such a long while. I look back to when I started my blog in October last year when my skin was ok and thought I had it under control. This is the thing with a condition like this… it lulls you into a false sense of security! I was already using the steroid creams as and when back then when winter took its toll and lead me into a bad flare.
I’ll be totally honest, seeing other peoples journeys into TSW online, scared me!! Sh*tless! How was my skin going to cope without the creams? Would I be like others? Would my life stop? What would I do with my kids? How would I cope managing the day to day tasks with horrendous cracked and open skin? It filled me with dread! It was such a hard decision to decide when to ‘put yourself through an illness’! I decided to quit the creams after my trip to New York however if you read my skin update last month you will know that I decided to hell with it, and whilst getting ready for a charity ball, applied the cream for the last time!!!
Social life / Social Media
Having found the eczema and TSA / Red skin Syndrome community online I found myself assuming that my skin would be unbearable. I guess I was seeing these poor people online suffering and thinking, god, I’ve used far stronger creams that they have, assumed I’d have the same journey. We are all different though and every one’s journeys are different.
I found myself cancelling social events as I was preempting how I was going to feel. Assuming the worst and assuming I was going to to be housebound. I missed out! I missed out on a friends big birthday getaway, all because I didn’t want to be exposed to my irritants (loads of girls all getting ready together, perfume and hair spray being sprayed, champagne flowing, swimming (having to get in swimwear with bad skin, having to deal with the chlorinated water drying my skin, having to not wear makeup in the water etc etc !!). It was too much to cope with so I declined the invite! In reality, my skin has actually reacted better than I could have imagined without the steroid creams!
Since my last skin update, my skin has stabilized. I wake up and don’t dread my reflection! The dryness has subsided and the redness has calmed. It’s not perfect but my god is it a million times better than it was. My chin, neck, chest and arms still have patches of dry, inflamed and red skin but its bearable. It’s not angry! I’m starting to feel like myself again and by that I mean, I’m starting to think less about my skin and just get on with things. The other day I was asked by a neighbour for a lift. Without so much as a second glance in the mirror, I jumped in the car. Before I would have asked for a bit of time. Applied cream, checked for dry patches, slapped on a little foundation etc and then gone. This just goes to show how much better it is getting!
Do your research
If you are reading this and are wondering about ‘Topical steroids’, wondering if you are using too much, wondering if they could be causing your red skin, get online and do some research! Knowledge is power!! I keep saying this but I just wish I’d known about this earlier!! The more we can share awareness and spread the word about this preventable condition, the better! Currently, it’s unlikely doctors will be on your side with this but things are slowly starting to change!!
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