[special post] TSW and magic treatments

another full disclosure entry here.
this time on the alternative treatments i tried (on top of the supplements i took during my first 2 months of TSW).

i didn’t try a lot of stuff because it didn’t take me long (2 months) to realize that they don’t work for me,
as with ALL the other natural remedies that have healed others’ eczema.
(is this the case for you too? you tried everything from earthclinic that is said to alleviate eczema but they didn’t work?)

i know that the desperation to recover faster can drive a person to try anything. if you’ve followed my  blog long enough, you would have realized i NEVER mentioned about taking any of these stuff (other than TCM, which i did mention towards the end of my TSW) before. this is because i didn’t want to mislead anyone into thinking that these are what healed me. 

i’m writing this entry because i understand that the TSW population is a very easy prey to alternative health supplement sales (or widely know as MLM reps). if you have the money to blow, that’s perfectly fine with me. for those of you who are financially unstable especially now that you’re unable to work due to your skin, i strongly suggest you to hide your wallet, hide your money. hold on to them dearly because dr rapaport has already spoken (in his papers) that only time can heal our skin. instead of blowing thousands of dollars on things that probably won’t work, why not save that money up to travel the world after you’re healed?

if something is too good to be true, it probably is.

i’m also aware that as with any other desperate individuals, we will not give up the slightest chance of hope in healing faster. i’m not here to tell you not to try them (even though i did suggest you to safeguard your money), i just want to set your expectations right so that you don’t end up being disappointed (and thousands of dollars poorer).  i’m going to lay out all the facts and observations for you (sprinkled with my own seasoning, just like how i did for the entry talking about my diet). you decide at the end of it what you want to see and how you want to interpret them.

before you jump to the conclusion that these are the things that led to the healing of my skin, i want to repeat myself that they DIDN’T CONTRIBUTE TO MY SKIN HEALING. I STILL TOOK A FUCKING LONG TIME TO HEAL. MY SKIN CONTINUED TO WORSEN WHILE I WAS ON THEM. WHILE I WAS OFF THEM, MY SKIN STILL MANAGED TO HEAL ON ITS OWN.

i needed to get that out first because i’m afraid people will stop reading past “5. traditional chinese medicine” and quickly fire up their search engine to search for all the 3 times listed above and try to get their hands on it. HOLD YOUR HORSES!

with all that said, let us begin.

just a summary of the things that i’ve tried, chronologically.

  1. health supplements mentioned in the previous entry.
  2. izumio hydrogenized water (1 month)
  3. pien tze huang (2 weeks)
  4. kangen water (<1 month)
  5. traditional chinese medicine (8 months)

wait a minute. just a while ago i said it didn’t take me long before i realize nothing will work for me. why did i go on to try so many things?

the health supplements are the only thing that i willingly put into my body because back then i didn’t know i had TSW. i really thought they would work to heal my eczema.
the next 3 items are forced upon me by my friends and father.

(disclaimer: they didn’t force feed me, i just mean that it was against my personal wish.)
the last item was consumed not for the sake of healing my skin faster, but to improve my overall health (and to make myself feel more hopeful that i’ll heal).

============= fancy divider ==============


what it claims: antioxidant that will bind to free radicals, leading to overall improvement in health and vitality. some testimonial claims that the water is able to remove the toxins and improve skin problems.

according to my friend, her mother who also had skin problems tried drinking the water and it healed her. bless that kind soul of hers, she bought a box of water for me (1 month supply) to try in hope of clearing up my skin.

when i was on it, i didn’t notice any significant differences. however, towards the end of the third week i notice my 1st flare was subsiding, so it could be the water. but things worsened again in the 4th week, so it could also be the water.

doesn’t make sense, right? if i were to attribute the subsiding of my first flare to the water, then the worsening of my skin should also be attributed to it. moreover, if the water did help, then i wouldn’t have worsened again.

verdict: no significant results to show that it works. 

============= fancy divider ==============


what it claims: a traditional chinese medicine that can kill off certain types of cancer by inducing cell death in over proliferating cells. it was mainly used for treating liver diseases.

my father told me this is da bomb in china, all the tourist flood to beijing tong ren tang to hoard this product because it works! i’ve found scientific journals that proved that this magic pill proves its claim to treat cancerous cells..

but dad, do i look like i have cancer? why are you forcing me to consume something that doesn’t address my issue (steroid damaged skin)?

he thinks that it will strengthen my liver and.. somehow eradicate my skin problem. despite me persuading him that nothing will work for me countless times, he insists i must try it. i explicitly told him “don’t waste the pill on me because it won’t work for me at all. you might as well keep it for yourself because your liver is probably more damaged than mine.”.

so i tried it to prove that i’m right.

after 2 weeks of swallowing that putrid tasting little bugger (check out its ingredients: musk, calculus bovis (gallstone of the ox), snake’s gall, and Tienchi. wtf is a gallstone of the ox!?), i’m still red as ever, skin still cracking and oozing, no sign of observable improvements at all.

“i told you so.”

verdict: while this pill may work for cancer patients, it certainly did not work for my skin. no observable difference to show that it works.

============= fancy divider ==============


what it claims: better hydration, increased endurance, anti-aging properties, detoxification.

i don’t want to go all science-y and break out all the big words that will probably confuse you. i shall illustrate it as simply as i can. i was told that the water ionizing machine is able to split water into two portions, one being acidic and the other being alkaline.

it’s sort of like how moses parted the sea (sarcasm alert).

the alkaline water is to be consumed so that it will alkalize (that’s what it claims) your body (to fight off diseases and inflammation), while the acidic water is to be applied on my skin to speed up healing.


first of all, the electrolysis of water will NOT split up pure water into its acidic (H+) and alkaline (OH-) component because the free ions are just too unstable, what you get will are hydrogen gas and oxygen gas at either end of the electrodes. nature dictates that atoms and molecules be in its lowest energy state (which is the H2 and O2 instead of H+ and OH-) unless it’s under constant excitation by an external stimulus.

secondly, what they didn’t tell you is that they added some minerals into the water to make it alkaline (and/or acidic).

water (H2O) is neutral. it contains 50% hydrogen ions (H+) and 50% hydroxide ions (OH-).
an alkaline solution does not mean it is made up of 100% hydroxide ions. it merely tells us that the percentage of hydroxide ion is higher than that of the hydrogen ion.
the reverse is true for an acidic solution.

if you’ve seen the demonstration video of kangen water before (they added drops of universal indicator to different waters), they managed to show you that tap water is slightly acidic.

GASPS. discovery of the century!? don’t deny that you weren’t surprised when the universal indicator turned tap water slightly yellowish (instead of green). tap water IS slightly acidic because there’s chlorine (forms an acidic solution) in it. you guys can’t fool me!

so what makes the resulting kangen water alkaline or acidic? my guess is that they added an electrolyte into the solution. sorry about the big word.

to make water alkaline, they can use a base such as a hydroxide or a carbonate. magnesium hydroxide (MgOH), sodium bicarbonate (also known as baking soda, NaHCO3) or any other metallic salts that will form a hydroxide ion (OH-) upon contact with water (usually calcium, potassium, magnesium or sodium).

to make water acidic, a non-metal salt is used. hydrogen sulphide (HS), hydrogen chloride (HCl).. anything that makes H+ ions. you get the idea.

so what’s my point??? you might be better off consuming your home made baking soda water than to invest in a machine that will set you back by SGD$5k.

while i’m not ditching the idea of alkalizing the body to ward off inflammation, it doesn’t mean to consume alkaline substances. alkalizing food and alkaline food are two different things!!!

alkalizing food is supposed to alkalize the pH of our blood, but it doesn’t mean they score a point of more than 7 on the pH scale.

alkaline food on the other hand means that it scores >7 on the pH scale, but doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll alkalize our blood. but i’m dead sure it’ll neutralize your stomach acids and give you indigestion (or relief your heartburn if you have stomach acid reflux). be prepared to fart all day.

moving on to my experience with it. my friend’s aunt bought a machine because she was so sold by the little demonstration that showed our tap water is acidic (duh, what’s so surprising about that really?? that’s like showing me the sky is blue.). that also successfully gave her entrance into the big boys club (i mean MLM club). she was nice enough to let me try it (read: my friend forced me to try it).

alkaline water for consumption. acidic water for external application.

i can’t remember how long i tried that for, but you guessed it. there were no observable improvements while i was on that. go ahead and argue that a few weeks is not enough to make a significant change, the point is i healed up without it anyway. (thank god i didn’t buy into that because if i did, they’d have the chance to make claims that the kangen water healed me, stealing the lime light from the real deal – time.)

i have read about the acid mantra of our skin before. the surface of our skin is slightly acidic, by maintaining the acidity in our skin, it was found that the skin barrier function performs better as compared to slightly alkaline skin.

however, i didn’t see any discernible differences even though i was applying the acidic water on my skin. that water pricked my skin and made me itch even more though. little bugger!!! URGH. i have no idea why i allow myself to be influenced by others.

verdict: no observable changes on me. or as i was trying to tell my friend’s aunt nicely “maybe it requires a longer time for the effects to show”. what i really meant was the stuff did not and will not work for me (small voice: you’re not getting my 5k!).

============= fancy divider ==============


what it claims: to return my internal balance to the optimum level so that it will lead to a better overall health. the doctor also claimed that it’ll make my skin heal from TSW faster.

now, how do i define “better overall health”? this depends on individual i guess. for me, better overall health just mean a state of being free from any ailments. i didn’t have painful joints or muscle aches to begin with.. i had bad skin, that’s right. so i was hoping to be free from my bad skin. but even when i was on TCM, my skin continued to go through bouts of ups and downs.

there are two parts to the treatment, the first is chinese medicine for consumption, the second is a “medicated vinegar” that i have to apply on my skin. the doctor soaked some herbs in vinegar so that the medicinal properties are (supposedly) leached into the vinegar.

honestly i can’t say for sure if the TCM made any difference to my skin. while my skin did get better while i was on it (but then again it could just be time, since i was almost 2 years into TSW by then), bouts of cycles and flares still occured (as described by both dr rap and dr fukaya). does the medicine work? i don’t know.

as for the vinegar, there are a few observations.
1) it made my superficial wounds heal faster. superficial wounds meaning torns skin from scratching (NOT the bloody wounds brought on by TSW).
2) it seem to alleviate itching in those superficial wounds, but not on my rashes.
3) it didn’t make my rashy (which was a manifestation of steroid damaged skin) part heal faster.

i mentioned about the benefits of keeping our skin slighting acidic previously. my wounds healing faster could be attributed to that, or it could be the herbs that went into the vinegar. you decide.

verdict: no significant results to prove that TCM healed my skin faster. it did make me have loose stool though. is this part of the “detox” thing?

============= fancy divider ==============


in fact i was quite worried that if i were to mention these in the past,
people might associate my healing with the products that i used (even though i only tried them for a brief period of time).
i don’t want to mislead anyone into thinking that “oh, juliana healed her skin with those products, if i want to heal, i have to get them too.”.
the truth is, i healed even though i didn’t continue those treatments.
do you hear me?

you have to realize that what i had was not the normal kind of atopic dermatitis.
i was going through withdrawals.
i was recovering from steroid damaged skin, not an allergic reaction to some possible allergens.

while those treatments might have worked for people with atopic dermatitis,

i don’t think they did a shit for my steroid damaged skin.
notice it’s two different situations we’re talking about right here.
if you have TSW, you can save up your money and pay me a visit in singapore after you’ve healed.
if you have AD, you can try using those treatments and see if it’ll work for you. if they don’t, maybe you don’t have AD after all.

it’s all about knowing what’s the cause of our inflammed skin,
only then can we find the best possible way to treat it.

as for us, only time can heal steroid damaged skin.

i admit i tried TCM just to give myself a peace of mind that my body is getting healthier (which in turns mean my skin will heal eventually). placebo effect that worked for me for 8 months. i probably spent $1k on it!

you have to bear in mind there wasn’t anyone that i know of who’ve healed up from skin as bad as mine before me. rochelle healed but her case wasn’t as wide spread and as long as mine. i didn’t have much faith in healing in time (or being functional enough) for school. i needed something to ease that uncertainty in me.

i hope i can take the place of what TCM was to me so that you don’t have to burn $1k just to be assured that you’ll heal.
let me get rid of any doubts and uncertainty in you, ok?
i’ll give you a 100% discount and won’t charge you a single cent for it. 😛

if you feel uncomfortable with the idea of not doing anything at all, do this.
drink at least 1.5L of water daily. (but don’t overdo it or you’ll burden your kidneys.)
eat well. sleep well. try to be positive.
don’t focus on your skin. don’t look at your skin. try not to think about your skin.
do anything that will make yourself happy (like going on a massacre in GTA if that pleases you).
doing all these puts the least amount of stress on your body and mind, so theoretically you SHOULD heal faster.

i know right? sometimes we just have to do something for the sake of assuring ourselves that we’re actually trying to improve things.
like when i reached my bus stop and i had to wait for my bus, i would rather walk to the next bus stop just because it makes me feel like i’m not wasting time (even though i accomplish nothing out of it).
why can’t we just sit still and relax and wait for everything to go? humans..!

good luck skin warriors!

12 thoughts on “[special post] TSW and magic treatments

  1. I’ve also had a lot of experience with Traditional Chinese Medicine (3 different courses, 6 months each, click my name for a blurb of my TCM timeline) and I also wonder if it made any difference for my health – other than odd bowel movements… I took it while I was still using topical steroids though. Sometimes I wonder if it has “neutralized” my TSW experience, because I find that I have a very mild withdrawal in comparison to other skin warriors.

    Anyway, you have blessed us with another post with strong evidence that you put so much time and thought into it. And it’s all just for us. Thank you so much Juliana. You’re a sweet heart 🙂

    • hey sweetie!

      you had odd bowel movements from TCM too? i thought it was just me! anyway, after i stopped, my poo poo is healthy again! i also tried TCM while i was still on steroids in the past, they didn’t have any significant impact (maybe because it was overshadowed by the steroid addiction symptoms? we’ll never know).

      it could have neutralized your TSW symptoms, it’s really hard to say! 🙂 thank you for showing me your appreciation, it feels great to know that ^^


      • Hey juliana
        i wanted to ask you. i’m in the scaley phase and have phased out moisturising cus it makes me itchy. how scaley did you get? my scales seems to be lumpy. like little pillars. not like the flat flakes. well i have it too. flat flakes on my forehead but i have like lumpy yellow tinged scales on my cheeks.
        is this normal? didyou have this?

      • i think i know what you’re talking about. the yellow tinged scales.. of course i had it too! hahaha! (nothing to be proud of) it’s perfectly normal. i had it almost all over me. hahaha you’re so lucky, you only have it on your cheeks! i assume you applied steroids on your cheeks?

        ahh, if moisturizers make you itchy, do without it! remember, we want to reduce irritation as much as possible. 😉

  2. Wow Juliana, I thought I was the only crazy one (sorry for that 🙂 trying out loads and loads of different things! Seems like we’re all in the same boat.

    I have tried loads too, all sorts of miracle moisturisers, apple cider vinegar (applied directly to the skin – Ouch!!) and internally, Manuka honey, an alkaline diet, cutting out wheat, cutting out dairy, cutting out gluten, cutting out all of the above, lol. Cayenne pepper, (internally, tastes disgusting) green smoothies, eating garlic cloves (apparently you don’t get smelly breath if you eat them raw – that is if you don’t gag first). Homeopathy, a dentist who looked at my non-existent mercury fillings and told me that I had mercury in my teeth and I had been exposed to radioactive waste. Not surprisingly he told me he was the only person able to help me. Spirulina, Chlorella, Osteopathy… It’s rather embarrassing when I look at the supplements still sitting on the bench to think of the money and desperation.

    Needless to say none of the above worked. Nowadays I follow a protocol similar to my daughter who suffers from true eczema (no nasty steroids near her skin). Hers is completely under control and has only had one small flare in ten months.

    She has Dead Sea salt baths once a week (for detox) probiotics for digestive health and Blackcurrant oil (she has dry skin). We also use natural products for skin and laundry (no sodium lauryl sulphate) and don’t overload on wheat and dairy.

    Her skin is perfect, and mine? Nope! Yes, maybe we’re not exactly the same but because of the genetic link I am sure we have similar weaknesses. I am convinced that I will heal as I see my flare cycles get less extreme each time. I feel really energetic just before a huge flare hits (almost like the body needs energy to go through a flare). I also see that 70 percent of the places I had flared are gone and the others have improved.

    Strength to all those out there suffering.

    • HAHAHA omg alexia, we’re on the same page.. i think i tried 80% of the things you mentioned. and swallowing garlic cloves? HAHAHAHHA HIGH 5!!!

      oh i still have some left over supplements in my drawers. there goes my money.

      your daughter’s skin is a true reflection of what real eczema/atopic dermatitis should be. not something that constantly worsens and requires endless steroid application! on another note, have you ever think of letting her try taking in fish oils which are high in omega 3 and 6 oils? SUPPOSED to be good for dry skin. or you can just include food items that’re high in those healthy oils into her diet to see if it makes any difference 😛

      i’m glad to know that your flares are getting better over time! i didn’t observe any change in my energy levels though. i’m just constantly demotivated and tired all the time, hahaha! the body is a complicated and marvelous piece of machinery.

      keep trudging on my friend!

  3. Hi Juliana!
    Did you draw the pics above yourself?? If so, I love your drawings!! Hehe 🙂

    Thank you for all your useful posts and for giving hope to everyone who is suffering from TSW. I haven’t commented on your blog much these past few months but let me tell you that i’ve read every one of your posts even if i havent commented 😉 reading your blog was one of the first things i did when i sat down on the sofa playing on the ipad everyday whilst suffering.

    I’m happy to say i’m feeling so much better these days now im about to begin month 20. Just like you mentioned on your blog, i can go without my morning bath/shower now! Just a bit of moisturiser and i can leave the house!

    • helloooo tom, haven’t heard from you in a while i think?

      hahaha yes i drew them! glad you love them~! didn’t want the entire entry to be a wall of text..

      geez! thanks for giving your time to my blog! hahaha i’m so flattered. you just made me sound like a daily newspaper that you’ll read over coffee and breakfast. my honour to have you give me your time. 😉

      month 20?? WHOA you’ve came a long way!!! i guess you’re almost at the end of it 😉 do let me know when you’re healed! you know what, it’s best to drop a message in the itsan forum after you’ve healed to give more hope to everyone 😀

      thanks for dropping a comment! it’s really nice of you 🙂 and, you’re most welcome. hehehe!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s