who am i?
HELLO, this is me on 14 january 2014.
my name is juliana, that’s all you really need to know about me!
if you’re curious, i’m born in 1989.
currently residing in singapore.
i’ve used steroids for a total of 8 years.
the first few years were calm, steroid usage were minimal.
but towards the last few years, i was using steroids on a daily basis, twice a day.
before i know it, i was slathering it as though it’s my moisturizer all over my body.
i’ve quit topical steroids cold turkey sometime in april 2011.
you can drop me an e-mail at email@example.com if you need to ask more personal questions relating to TSW.
what is this blog about?
this blog is mainly to share with you my first hand encounter with topical steroid withdrawals (also known as red skin syndrome). i document my recovery as well as share things that i’ve learnt upon reflecting on the past in hope of giving useful tips to new skin warriors who have just embarked on their TSW journey. you can also call me your TSW tour guide, for i’ll show you the things you may see during your TSW journey.
the underlying message is to encourage everyone who are stuck in the seemingly endless topical steroid withdrawal recovery phrase by delivering bite size hope and encouragement in the form of assurance that if i can heal, so can you.
the next step for this blog will be to show the general public the true danger of long term topical steroids usage, filling up the knowledge gap that most dermatlogists created.
what is topical steroid withdrawal?
you can read more about it here. but i shall be a sweetie and summarize it for you.
topical steroid withdrawal is the rebound symptoms when a person addicted to topical steroids stops using topical steroids once and for all. the rebound symptoms looks a lot like the common “worsening eczema” that dermatologist passes off as – spreading rashes, red and dry skin, intense itching. but there is something new – the redness is usually full bodied, and it burns!
what about topical steroid addiction?
we always thought that it’s only possible to get addicted to oral steroids. contrary to popular belief, our skin can get addicted to topical steroids too.
the proposed mechanism by dr fukaya seems legit. the long term application of topical steroids will weaken the skin barrier by thinning the outermost layer of our skin, the weakened skin becomes more susceptible to external stimulus once you stop applying steroids, resulting in “flare ups” once steroid usage cease. what will the rational person do when their rashes come back after stopping steroids? the logical reaction is to apply steroids to make it go away again.
apply steroids -> rashes go away (skin thins) -> stop steroids -> rashes come back -> apply steroids again -> rashes go away again (skin thins even more) -> it’s a cycle.
click on the image to read the entire account of my story. because i know you don’t have time to read through that essay.. YOU’RE WELCOME.
i used topical steroids like it’s my moisturizing lotion all over my body towards the last few years of my steroid addicted life. FML i know..
what is my stand on topical steroids?
i named this place antisteroid because i was screwed over badly by steroids, no words can describe the amount of hatred i had for this little miracle drug at that moment. over time, i have realized that my hate for it is unfounded and unnecessary. in fact, if i were to rename my url, it should go along the line of “mostdermsaredumbasses” or “dermatologyfail” or “dermmyass”.
1. topical steroid is not the enemy
you heard me right. our body produce our own steroids, the mere existence of it in our body naturally means that it’s not entirely a evil thing! in fact, we do need steroids to sustain our lives. it’s been given a bad name because of the misuse. just like fire, you can use it to grill awesome marshmellows, you can also use it to set someone on fire. it really depends on how you use it.
it’s okay to use topical steroids sparingly, keeping it within a safe time frame so that you don’t get addicted.
2. misuse of topical steroids is what’s causing the problem
either the dermatologist failed to convey the correct information about the dangers of topical steroid addiction, or the patient failed to heed the medical advice given and used steroids inappropriately (such as using for prolonged periods). i dare say it’s mostly the former that’s causing the lack of correct information in us. pretty sure if we know about the dangers of topical steroid addiction (and how long and painful the TSW is), we wouldn’t have used/misused topical steroids at all.