Hi Folks! Here is my skin update having given up steroid creams 11 weeks ago!
Firstly my apologies for taking so long to write this skin update. I try to do them at the same time each month for consistency however the Easter holidays got in the way…Three boisterous boys have zapped any spare energy as well as all my time!
11 weeks steroid cream free!
Since my last update, (here – My skin today – An update. (6 weeks into TSW)) I’ve seen some huge improvements in my skin. My skin is stable for the most part but I have a few problem areas since giving up the steroid creams – my face, neck, around my hairline at the back of my neck and one arm! (Strange I know). It used to have a cycle… (red and inflamed, to dry and itchy, to nice for a day then back to red and inflamed etc) whereas currently it rarely goes through the red and inflamed stage (unless I happen to be exposed to an allergen!)
It has periods of being a little ‘scaley and dry’ but generally, my face has been really good! So good in fact that a few people (both online and in real life) have commented on how ‘glowing’ my skin is! For me this is HUGE!
(If you are keen to see how I prepare my skin for makeup AND how I cover up my red skin from Red Skin Syndrome, click to see my video tutorials here…Prepping the skin for make up (Eczema prone, red, dry skin), Foundation (For eczema prone, red, dry skin).)
SUN SUN SUN!
Aside from ditching the steroid creams, I have been making the most of the amazing weather that we’ve had here in the UK and allowing my skin some of the rays! I find the sun massively helps my skin and after a few afternoons out in it, saw a huge improvement! I had light therapy at Stoke Mandeville hospital when I was pregnant with my second when I was going through withdrawal again unknowingly and it helped immensely! I tend to tan really easily and never burn so whilst the sun seems to help clear the red dry patches, it makes my skin really patchy as the damaged skin doesn’t tan and becomes pigmented but hey, that I can deal with! (Over time this sorts itself out!)
Suncream almost always makes my skin flare on my face so I avoid it. Instead, I tend to opt for a hat in the midday sun along with my make up that contains SPF (see below) however make sure you use enough of the product allowing the full coverage to ensure it’s effective and also to reapply regularly like you would a suncream!
As I sit here now, my face and neck has taken a little backward step and has flared up but I’m putting this down to the fact that I’ve been ill, run down and have had to take two courses of antibiotics.
Antibiotics kill bacteria to fight infection and sadly as well as killing the nasty bacteria, they kill all the friendly bacteria that sits nicely in your gut. Whilst there is little ‘medical’ research to support good gut health and eczema, there are plenty of advocates who endorse good gut health and have seen improvements and healthy skin since improving their gut health. I’ve slowly been building mine up by taking my probiotics so will have a job to restore them all once I’ve finished the course.
I have been taking these probiotic tablets from Holland and Barratt so will jump straight back on these and will also try to get some of the Dairy-free yogurts with live cultures to help all the good gut bacteria to grow again!
I also think that I am allergic to antibiotics… I’ve had a bad reaction in the past where I had 3 tablets and came out in an almighty red itchy rash! The two lots that I’m currently taking are different types however I think the itchy rash on my chest and neck is a milder version of this reaction mixed with the flared skin that I already had. I’m down to my last few doses so hoping it calms down over the next few days.
A healthier mindset!
One of the most significant shifts I’ve seen recently has been in my attitude to my skin and my condition! I used to spend ages thinking about my skin. Worrying about it. Worrying what other people thought about it. Feeling self-conscious about it. Hiding it and wearing clothes to cover it etc but these days since finding out about Red Skin Syndrome (RSS) and TSW (What is Topical Steroid Withdrawal?), and seeing all those fighting this preventable illness, I’ve just stopped it affecting my life in such a negative way! Yes, it is still affecting my life daily BUT I’m not allowing it to control what I do.
I’ve had a 4 day trip to New York this month! Initially, I was panicking and stressing about how my skin was going to be when we were away. I was going to give up the steroid creams when we returned but decided to just get on with it and bit the bullet back in February and haven’t used them since! My skin was really well behaved when we were away, due to the water being a lot softer than it is back home and also as I avoided all my triggers whilst away (See my blog on ‘How to keep your eczema at bay when staying away’ here!).
I am not letting this condition define me! I’ve turned the negatives into a positive and am sharing my experiences online to try to help others manage their skin conditions and allergies. I found answers on Instagram and yes, whilst the doctors and professionals help, sometimes our own research, seeing what others have done can help significantly too.
Have you recently given up steroid creams or do you currently use them on your skin?
How do you find the steroid creams affect your skin?
Products in this blog are what I use and have not been gifted.
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