Hey folks, Here’s my skin update since giving up steroid creams 18 weeks ago!
If you are new around here please feel free to read my story here: ‘About me’ and my other updates since finding out about steroid cream addiction and since giving up the creams for good here: ‘My skin updates’ .
18 weeks steroid cream free!!
Firstly, I’m sorry that I’ve been a little lapse with updating this monthly like I originally set out! Since giving up the steroid cream, my skin has done nothing but improve and as a result, I’ve been thinking less and less about it! Instead, enjoying life and enjoying not having it on my mind 24/7.
I can not begin to tell you how much better I feel in myself and how much my skin has improved since giving the creams the boot! Before when I’d wake up I’d be scared to look in the mirror for fear of how my skin would be. Would it be red? Had it flared overnight? Was it dry and flakey?
Going steroid cream free
Going steroid cream free, and seeing the difference in my skin has proven to me that they just don’t work! Topical Steroid addiction is real! Ok, so we all know they work short term. You apply them and they reduce the irritation short term, but that’s when the trouble starts as it’s only short lived. Quickly the symptoms return so, in turn, you reapply the steroid creams. Again they work for a short time and then stop. After a while, the cream stops working altogether so naturally, you visit your skin specialist or doctor and they prescribe a stronger one. The cycle continues all the while your skin is becoming slowly dependant on these creams. Stopping is the only way to stop the cycle. If you’ve read my back story you will know I’ve used steroid creams on/off since childhood.
I stopped using them on the 9th Feb 2019! It’s such a hard thing to do. To hand control over to your body. To go against the doctor’s advice. To allow it time to heal all by itself! For some, stopping the creams will send them into full-blown withdrawal, for others symptoms can be less severe. (Read up on that here- What is topical steroid withdrawal? (TSW) or visit ITSAN website here : ITSAN )
I am one of the lucky ones and whilst there is little research on tapering, I personally believe that due to not using during my pregnancies, (3 pregnancies in 7 years), my skin went through withdrawal during each pregnancy, so over the course of 84 months, almost 30 months were completely steroid free allowing my body chance to rid itself of the steroid. I didn’t know anything about TSW at the time!!
How I manage my skin these days
These days since giving up the steroid creams, I wake knowing that my skin will be the same as it was the night before!! Honestly, I’d say its almost 100% back to ‘normal’. Ok, so a slight exaggeration, I still have patches of eczema on my chin and neck and around my hairline and one very persistent patch on my elbow crease, but that I can deal with.
I avoid my triggers and moisturise regularly with my favourite eczema friendly creams (See them here…My Top 5 moisturisers for extremely dry irritated and allergy prone skin ) and ensure that I avoid the grass pollen as best I can as this can make me flare (My Top Tips To Avoid Hayfever This Pollen Season). I also avoid sulphites altogether as these cause me a really nasty flare (Red face after a glass of wine? You could have a Sulphite allergy!)
I’ve also found that as my skin isn’t already angry and irritated, the triggers and allergens don’t affect me as much as my skin is in a better state when it’s exposed to the allergen if that makes sense. I’ve been out and about loads lately with the boys enjoying the great outdoors – farm days, park visits and picnics – all things I’d have avoided if my skin was angry and itchy!
I do have pigmentation from where the eczema was on skin over the past few years. I’ve had it before and over time (without eczema) it heals and the pigment comes back. It’s just a long waiting game! I tan very easily so it does get highlighted quite quickly as the white patches become more prominent but hey, it’s not forever
Eczema vs. Red skin syndrome
Leaving the creams out of my life has meant red skin syndrome has also left my life. I still have eczema but this I can currently deal with! It’s not all over my body. It doesn’t affect all of my skin. The patches I have are predictable. The patch I have on my arm and around my neck generally, stay the same. It’s not there one day and gone the next. It’s consistent and manageable currently!
Since opening up about my skin, I feel like a weight has lifted and everyone knows so I no longer have to hide it! I’ve even gone out without foundation on this month!! Something I used to dream of! (I do use it as my sun protection on my face these days though as suncream irritates my face so if you are keen to see what sun protection I recommend for sensitive skin and suncream for children with eczema, click here – Suncream for Eczema-prone and Sensitive skin).
I can look forward to things without analysing how my skin will cope. I’m off on holiday with my girls soon and whilst I’ll ask them to spray their perfumes out of the room (which I’m sure they will!), I’m not panicking about how my skin will cope. Instead, I’m just looking forward to going!!!!
I have eczema!
I no longer have Red Skin Syndrome!
If you are currently suffering, just know this is not forever! Allow yourself time to heal. Try to look after yourself and avoid all the triggers.
If you are worried about TSW/Red skin syndrome, please get in touch with ITSAN here. They are an amazing resource as are the communities on instagram!
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