July 11, 2014

Topical Steroid Withdrawal | Fourth Month Update

(image: Pinterest)

I am really, really glad to finally be able to say that I had a good month! Yes, June, my fourth month of TSW, had been great!

In the last week of May, I was feeling good enough to go to my mother's boyfriend cabin two hours away, for a week of complete relaxation in the deep woods. They thought the fresh air, far away from the pollution and noise of the city, could only do me good, and they were right - I loved it so much that we even decided to stay another whole week! During these two blissful weeks, I noticed improvements in my skin - my face was not oozing at all anymore, it was just really dry and a bit red, especially on my forehead, around my eyes and around my mouth (where I applied steroids the most). As for my hands, I was really happy to see them slowly improve - I was no longer crying in pain at the slightest movement and the grey crusts fell one by one, revealing fresh new skin. My hands were still red, itchy, covered in tiny bumps and slightly oozy, and two fingers (where I applied steroids the most) still had those grey crusts with ooze underneath. Mid-June, I eventually decided to stop using zinc paste on my hands to let them "breath" and do their own thing.

When I came back home on the second week of June, I got a bit impatient with the stubborn dry and itchy patches on my face, so I decided to try MuLondon Organic Marigold, Frankincense & Myrrh Face Moisturiser, which I had received some times ago to review on my blog. Since it is natural and organic (made ony with pure natural essential oils and herbal extracts), I figured out it could only do me good... How wrong was I! After applying it on the same patches for two days, I did not notice improvement - instead, my face flared! I did not immediately blamed the moisturizer, but then I realized it was probably the culprit, and it was only normal since I have not been moisturizing for four months (I am doing Moisturizer Withdrawal as well). It does not mean that this moisturizer is bad for me, it just means that my skin is not used to being moisturized anymore, and that the healing is not finished yet. I must have been right because my face stopped flaring within a few days after I stopped moisturizing it.

My overall condition improved during the fourth month:

  • I slept better, although still not really well, but I had a more normal sleep schedule - I could go to sleep at around 1:00 or 2:00AM, wake up several times during the night, and get up around 12:30PM
  • my energy was better (although I had to be careful not to push my limits)
  • my face finally looked normal (except for the dry patches that would come and go)
  • my hands continued to slowly heal (there are still some stubborn grey crusts on two fingers that were the most affected by eczema and steroids, but they are not really itchy or irritated aymore - they almost look normal!) but I continue to be careful with them and limit exposure to water (I wear gloves to wash my hair)
  • my whole body looked almost 100% normal, except for a few irritated aread and scars from itching, especially on areas that don't "breath" as much as others (waist area, behind knees, under boobs) - this is caused by humidity, which is hard to deal with since the sun is good for healing but humidity is an itch inducer
  • I was able to shower without itching or feeling dry! I still try not to shower every day since it is not recommended for sensitive skin (thus, eczema sufferers) anyway, and I wash with water only
  • I dyed my hair without irritation to the scalp or any bad reaction

I was so happy to be able to be more active in June - I was able to see friends and even drink alcohol on a few occasions such as Saint-Jean-Baptiste-Day and FrancoFolies, and I even went on a 3-days tour trip to Ottawa, Toronto and Niagara! Of course, I realize this does not mean I am healed, but I try the best I can to take this challenge day by day, not push my limits... and dream of the day I will be free, have good skin and finally be able to travel the world without having to worry about eczema!

Bring it on TSW, I'm ready!


  1. Yé! Jsuis contente que tu aies un semblant de vie normale qui revient! Dis, le TSW ca doit pas etre fait pour les pauvres, jveux dire de pas pouvoir travailler comme ca? Méchante affaire!

  2. Ma pauvre, heureusement que ca s'ameliore petit a petit!

  3. Bien contente de savoir que ça va mieux. Tu vas pouvoir profiter de ton été un peu :)