[special post] moisturize or not?

before i wanted to write this entry,
i actually did a lot of reading about this matter..
however, i realized all those papers that i spent hours digesting didn’t matter at all, because people will choose what they want to see at the end of the day anyway.
i was skeptical at first, but after reading through those journals i do agree with what they propose, that steroid damaged skin will most probably recover faster if left to its own feedback mechanism.
if you want to read more, dr fukaya has already translated the scientific results to earthling’s language.
in short, if you stop using moisturizers and keep your skin as dry as possible during TSW, the skin barrier should (in theory) recover faster than it you were to keep it moisturized.

perhaps i was just in conflict with myself.
after all, i’ve used emollient (vaseline mainly) during my TSW and i did recover anyway (discounting the rashes that have been popping up lately).

i didn’t intend to write this entry after some serious debating with myself,
but after being to louise’s blog and having seen her photos of her during moisturizer withdrawal, i thought my face looked like that as well back then..
which made me realize: i didn’t moisturize my face during my second flare.(however, from month 20+ onwards I started to use lotion on my face because my skin was good enough to withstand it again)

it’s funny because i think i went on the moisturizer withdrawal unknowingly.
and i just realized it NOW!?

either way, i’m raising this point because i noticed my face healed up faster when compared to my body (by month 22).
however, i don’t know what’s the reason that’s contributing to that, since
1. my face used lesser steroids than my body
2. lesser parts of my face was in touch with the steroids
3. my body has been in touch with steroids for a longer period of time and more extensively.

as with the remnant rashes that i still have right now,
i’m kind of sitting on the fence about withdrawing from moisturizers.
the only reason why i didn’t moisturize my face (with either cream or vaseline) back then was because it was oozing, making it very messy if i were to smear vaseline all over my face.
moreover, i didn’t like the feeling of vaseline on my face, it makes my face feel warm.
yes it sucks to have my face dry out after my shower,
i still remember feeling like a dummy with a very tight face for 1+ year.
as for my skin, i admit i’m using the moisturizer to get rid of the rough touch of the skin, even if i don’t use it my skin won’t crack.
they just feel dry and i don’t like it.

so.. is it a coincidence..?

another question that i can’t answer.

by the way, i’m actually experimenting with not using moisturizer on my feet.
at least i have something to compare against, left vs right.
it’s too early to conclude anything, we’ll see.

speaking of which my moisturizer is running out soon..
is this a sign to stop using it for good!?
HAHAHHA hell no.
it’s just a sign for me to replace my moisturizer.

but then again, i do wish for the skin on my body to recover sooner,
even though the rashes are minor, but when they act up they can be quite a bitch.
you know what, even after my skin fully recovers,
i’ll still use a moisturizer to keep it supple and prevent premature aging.

i guess moisturizers might only be a hindrance for people who are still in the midst of TSW.

i understand some people have very divided thoughts on this issue,
at the end of the day i just listened to my body.
please listen to yours too – do what makes your body feel most comfortable with 😉


36 thoughts on “[special post] moisturize or not?

  1. Hey juliana,
    Good post. I think people have to do what feels right for them and that eventually the skin gets to the stage where it doesn’t need moisturiser anymore anyway.

    You look great by the way, I can’t wait to have skin like you x

    • hey Louise! (are you Louise uk?)

      yea I think people have to decide for themselves which feels better for them. I have a second thought on whether or not some can ever get to the stage where they don’t require moisturizers though..

      some people who are atopic might have a defective skin barrier to begin with, so no matter how well they recover their skin will still be drier than normal peeps. I feel that it is perfectly fine to use moisturizer after one is sure that the skin has completely recovered from steroid damage. 😉

  2. Hi Juliana,

    Thank you for your post. I have been wondering about moisturiser too. My face and hands are the last places to heal. On my hands I used clobetasol propionate for two years and on my face, absolutely nothing. But those are the only two places I used moisturiser – I never used moisturiser anywhere else because it didn’t help even though I had withdrawal flares on my arms, legs and chest.

    To be honest I don’t understand why I should be flaring on my face, it feels tight, uncomfortable and tingly, but not itchy. Anyway, I just wanted to throw my thoughts into the mix. I haven’t figured it out completely either 🙂

    • hi Tina! thanks for chiming in!
      just to make sure I am understanding what you wrote the right way, you used moisturizers on your hands and face during TSW, and they are the last to heal?

      it’s a weird thing huh! even though some parts of the skin has never touched steroids before, but I think the withdrawals affects the entire system, hence some parts are affected too.

      good luck!

    • Oh yes, I realise that my post wasn’t very clear. I’ve always used moisturiser on my face and hands but nowhere else. Then TSW kicked in. Suddenly the moisturiser would cause my skin to flare on my face, incredibly badly. That was the first clue that actually what I was suffering from wasn’t eczema but TSW. (I spent ages convinced that it was because cetaphil had changed the ingredients slightly) and that was the reason. After a while I was able to find a moisturiser that didn’t cause my skin to erupt as soon as I put it on, but decided after 18 months to stop moisturiser entirely. My face has continued to flare on and off since then.

      I continued to use moisturiser on my hands as I was too embarrassed to go anywhere with such unsightly fingers. However, after a while I realised that within a day of using the cream, my fingers would flare up to twice the size. In the end, I stopped using the moisturiser and stuck my hands in my pockets 🙂 My hands are healing very well these days.

      Today, I am going through a mini flare. I use coconut oil on my hands, and that doesn’t cause flaring, but no moisturiser at all.

      My feeling is that the effects of the steroid will present in your body anywhere that is vulnerable, ie. inner elbows and behind the knees (classic places for eczema) and on the face and neck (because the skin is thinner there), or maybe because moisturiser weakens your skin?

      I think you also have to be really careful about the ingredients of the moisturiser that you put on your skin. I was horrified when I started looking up the ingredients of cetaphil and read that one of them actually strips a layer off your skin, leaving it much thinner and healthy than it would otherwise.

      • hi tina!

        thanks for your clarification!
        hmm, i remember reacting to the lotions and creams that have never irritated me prior to TSW. i concluded that my skin was in a state of hypersensitivity during TSW.

        i tried coconut oil too! but my skin was too sensitive at the start to tolerate any, so i couldn’t apply anything for some time.

        i’m glad to know your skin is healing well after you went off the moisturizers! i always feel that it’s best to listen to the body. if my skin itches after applying moisturizer, i’ll stay away from that. if my skin cracks and is immobile, and if vaseline doesn’t irritate me, i’ll apply that so that i can function. 😉

        and i totally understand what you mean about unsightly fingers 😦 sometimes i wish there are gloves that can cover them entirely! hahaha i actually did contemplate getting those really fashionable leather gloves! but it’s too hot for me to wear that in singapore! i hid my hands in my long sleeved sweater or zip up jackets 😀

        i do feel the same as you, since the facial skin as well as skin folds are thinner than other places, it does mean that it is more vulnerable. it’s possible that moisturizer weakens our skin, but i am kind of sitting on the fence regarding this question because i have reasons to believe both sides of the spectrum.

        and yes, we have to be very careful about the ingredients of the moisturizers, especially when our skin is hypersensitive! i am afraid topical steroids have a more serious systemic effect than originally perceived. good lord, which ingredient would that happen to be!? i think it is wise of you to stick to something natural for now. they always say, less is more! 😀

  3. I’m 41 years old and have never ever moisturized, other than a ridiculously unpleasant brief stint during tsw. Worst mistake ever. Moisturizing ages your skin. Serums that do not add oils but only nutrients such as vit c prevent wrinkles. I look 28, every single time I tell people my age they are blown away. Including my cosmetic dermatologist from whom I get my serums. I’ve been using serums on my face my whole adult life (learned that in Japan) but never never anything with oil or “moisturizing”. Finally if you want wrinkle free skin lay off the sugar. Dermatologists can tell who eats a lot if sugar and carbs by the deep lines in their face. Insulin reactions are highly inflammatory and break down DNA.

    In terms of “doing whatever makes you comfortable” in tsw, remember that so did steroids once. There is no reason for people late in the game to be moisturizing, unless you want to prolong your suffering. I preferred to get it over and done with.

    Take care,

    • hi J!

      thanks for your comment 😉 I do see where you’re coming from, but for some it may be too difficult to come off moisturizers altogether. if the symptoms are mild and manageable enough, I think they don’t mind spending a little longer time to recover fully. while some are in situations that forbid them to take things the hard and rough way. but it’s up to everyone’s choice!

      you are so lucky, perhaps your skin’s integrity is really good to begin with. it’s partly genetics and partly environmental. I hope you wear sunscreen though. some people aren’t as lucky as you to be born with resilient skin that don’t require moisturizing, so they need a little help. all the oil does is to seal in the moisture because the skin is unable to do so on it’s owns, especially if one is in a harsh weather condition. truth is, today’s environment is so vastly different from centuries ago, our body is still adapting to the new surrounding.

      with that being said, i do agree that laying off carbs and sugar will help towards slowing down the rate of aging in our cells in the long run. everything in moderation!

      I wish you well!

  4. Julianna, I swear that is the best laugh I’ve had all day! I mean I really chuckled out loud at your comments, especially the one on using sunscreen. Sunscreen blocks your skin from absorbing the Vitamin D3, and other things that give life. Sunscreen blocks the sun and all the good stuff from it! And, it’s moisturizing! And, most commonly used sunscreens have been shown in controlled studies to give you skin cancer! You advocate smothering your skin so the skin barrier remains damaged, and to block yourself from getting the most valuable thing people need, the sun!

    I use sunscreens when I go to Hawaii but only natural sunscreen and only at first until my skin adjusts to the intense sun. That’s about 5-8 days of using it over a 2-3 year period of time.

    It s so weird how you are parroting exactly word for word what itsan teaches everybody. Jsan just gave you some very valuable info and you don’t get it. First off, MW is relatively easy, especially after several months of tsw. It is only “hard” if doing it early on like I did after moisturizing for a couple months in the beginning of tsw when my skin was at it’s worst due to the initial rebound that happens when we stop using ts. And that “hard landing” lasted a week and saved me many months of suffering. After MW I was 1,000% more comfortable than before MW! For you, it would have saved years of suffering, and there is no doubt in my mind that you would have been 100% healed by now. You are nothing more than a victim of misinformation by the medical establishment, corporations, and vets who don’t have a clue.

    Secondly, people don’t mind spending longer suffering? Maybe you don’t mind but why would anyone want to do that? And wrong again, no one is in a condition where MW won’t work for them. You have been brainwashed if you truly believe that garbage. Jsan hasn’t been lucky, she has been smart. It has zero to do with luck, genetics, or environment when it comes to MW. She doesn’t and didn’t have stronger skin than anyone else does. She just didn’t destroy it on an ongoing basis by moisturizing like the majority of people going through tsw have done.

    “some people aren’t as lucky as you to be born with resilient skin that don’t require moisturizing” Really? Wrong again! We are all born with skin that has the same ability to self moisturize itself. You weren’t born with a bottle of moisturizer. Jsan isn’t just lucky. She is like everyone else. “all the oil does is to seal in the moisture because the skin is unable to do so on it’s owns”. That’s not all it does. Try educating yourself on how the skin really works, and what continuous moisturizing does to the skin barrier. Have you ever bothered to research any of this? Or, do you just blindly follow the advice of other vets who aren’t healed after years. Try following the advice of people who heal in under a year if for some reason you are unable to educate yourself.

    Yeah Julianna, keep on moisturizing. Let’s see who heals first lol. Whether MW actually helps us heal faster or not, what does it matter if you can spend 3 years of being comfortable as opposed to the misery you have put yourself through? And please stop spewing your uninformed conclusions. There are many new people to tsw and they don’t need to be led down the path you were. Get a clue girl!

    • Hi Dan!
      I’m glad I’m able to give you such a good laugh, it’s what I always aspire to do, since I know how TSW can strip that away entirely. And you’re most welcomed! 😉
      I think I should have made myself clearer, but I only suggested the use of moisturizers and sunscreen after the skin has fully healed, i.e. the skin barrier has fully recovered. During TSW however, I am inclined towards letting the skin heal on its own by not disturbing its feedback system. It’s just a suggestion! I wasn’t pushing others by saying “you must use this and this and that”. I apologize for leading you to think that I was trying to make others heal slower, or to stop them from getting the sun. It is really not my intention. I for one, know how painful TSW is and would never wish it upon anyone, and I truly wish for everyone to recover faster.
      Regarding sunscreen, you may want to read the following two papers:
      I only wished for Jsan to use sunscreen because vitamin C is a photosensitive chemical that will make the skin more reactive to UV rays. Moreover, I believed she wanted to prevent wrinkles. UVA rays damages keratinocytes in our epidermis and leads to premature aging in skin, that’s why I thought a sunscreen would be able to aid her. In no way am I trying to force her to use it! It’s just a suggestion!
      I appreciate Jsan’s information and I am able to see things from her point of view, it is not that I don’t get it. I totally understand and agree with her, I was voicing out the concerns of some people who are really placed in unfortunate circumstances that are not able to withstand the effects of going off moisturizers.
      Really? I was parroting itsan’s words? I haven’t been in the forum for a long while. Any point that I raised are my own. I have not used moisturizer on my face during my second flare, i do agree that it was hard in the beginning when the skin was at its worse. As time goes by, it started to heal, while it was still uncomfortable, it was bearable. I still won’t call it easy though, because it’s not a feeling that I can just ignore. Sadly for me, the hard landing lasted for months, but then again I had no choice but to lay off the moisturizer since my facial skin just can’t tolerate it back then.
      I am glad that your skin is 1000% more comfortable than before MW! I always knew the skin is very resilient and able to adapt to the different harsh conditions, otherwise humans would have perished thousands of years again. We are all amazing creatures, seeing how my skin is able to recover from the years of steroid assault have reinforced that thought. 😉 and you might be right, I would have been 100% healed by now if I stopped using moisturizers altogether, but that is just a hypothesis that can’t be proved because there is only one me in this world. If there has got to be an experiment, then there has got to be a control. Moreover, I have used topical steroids very really long and very extensively (daily application all over my body), I wouldn’t be surprised to know that even if I laid off the moisturizer, I might still require a long time to recover entirely. Moreover, I am an atopic. I have a family history of certain food allergies and sensitive skin, it is no coincidence that I still have some remnant rashes that occurs once in a while.
      Of course I know people wouldn’t want to prolong their sufferings. I am sorry if I led you to believe that I was saying some people want to suffer longer. I am saying for those who has been through the worst of TSW who now have manageable small rashes, they might not mind their presence at all and wouldn’t be bothered by how long it will take those rashes to heal. And some people really can’t bend their mind around the look of unmoisturized skin. I agree with you that “no one is in a condition where moisturizer withdrawal won’t work for them”, since it boils down to how an individual think. Not everyone is as brave and courageous as you to stop it entirely. For you to be able endure that pain, I admire you for your perseverance and strength 😉
      And it is true that some people are not as lucky to be born with normal skin. Genetic defects are common and may lead to defective skin barrier function. Have you heard of ichthyosis? And psoriasis? Those are caused by genetic defects and not long are their skin not able to moisturize itself, their immune system goes into over drive. Research has also found that most atopic patients have a defective gene that results in decreased filaggrin production, which is the main constituent of the natural moisturizing factor in our skin. What that means is that an atopic person is most likely to be born with less than perfect skin barrier function.
      I am sorry, I may not have read up enough on said subject yet. I have tried to read as much papers as possible but it is never enough to consider myself “well read”. Do you mind sharing with me your expert opinion on what does continuous moisturizing does to the skin barrier? I always like to know more about our skin  I only know that skin that was adapted to a humid environment had a slower recovery rate. And to answer your question, no I do not blindly follow the advice of others. You may not know, neither are my words able to tell that about me, but I am actually very skeptical and would prefer to digest information on my own before reaching a conclusion.
      It is not a bad idea at all, if I continue to moisturize, while you continue your moisturizer withdrawal. Even though I think that it is difficult to compare two difference individuals because there are too many other variables involved, but it would still be interesting for others to know that you healed faster! And when that happens, I am sure everyone will then be able to see for themselves the differences and decide on their own if they want to embark on the hard landing method which you have took so bravely! You are really doing the entire TSW population a huge favour by testing out this method on your own, and I really admire you for that.
      Lastly, I apologize one more for making you think that I was forcing my conclusions on others. I think I have to try harder to communicate better with my readers, because all I wanted to do is to lay out the facts and descriptions for them to decide infer the conclusion based on their own understanding. In no way am I trying to tell others what to do. Thank you for your advice, I will take this chance to reflect upon what and how I write in order to prevent misleading others. Surely, I won’t want others to suffer like I did! You should know where I’m coming from after having gone through the hardship of TSW! 😉
      Thanks once again for your enlightening speech! I will keep moisturizing so that our experiment can carry on. In the mean time I shall get my hands on more scientific journals and educate myself on how the skin really works. It shall benefit me greatly. 😉
      Good luck and take care!
      Oh! And by the way, my name is Juliana. Not Julianna!

      • Hi Juliana, you took my post rather well. I often will post this way to try and make people think. I apologize for my tone but just wanted you to understand the reasoning behind it. Bear in mind that most studies are done with a predetermined outcome already in mind, and very often the desired results are reached. Amazing huh? Same way for me in researching the best way to do MW. I felt my skin wasn’t healing due to moisturizing, and then proceeded to find info to back up my theory. But, I don’t have a financial incentive. Companies and the medical industry make trillions of dollars over time from the sale of moisturizer products, so naturally they will hire consultants and companies to make studies showing how effective moisturizers are. There is a huge financial incentive there. Same way for topical steroids. But, studies showing how damaging moisturizing or using TS are, don’t have a financial incentive. Therefore, there are far less studies on that side of the equation. I put more weight on the latter studies and when combined with logic and common sense I can easily separate truth from fiction.

        I think people misinterpret Dr. Fukaya’s “hard landing” language and think it’s something extremely difficult to do. He is just eluding to the fact that MW can be hard temporarily for the first couple weeks (my interpretation and also my experience). And I’m sure this can differ to a great degree depending on how severe individual cases are. Also, this applies to beginning tsw when the skin rebounds the worst. It is only logical that MW must be much easier to do after getting through those initial first 2-3 months of TSW where the rebound is at it’s worst. Most people who have actually done MW will tell you it is not very difficult to do, and that one can find much more comfort this way. There are those who are so convinced that moisturizers are the “key” to comfort that they subconsciously make sure MW doesn’t work for them, if they even attempt it at all. It’s just simple logic and really not very difficult at all after the initial first week or so. One week of extra pain and discomfort in exchange for many months of comfort.

        As for my comments on itsan. Itsan’s views and influence with people doing TSW is all too apparent on nearly everyone’s blogs, including yours. We don’t need controlled studies to prove anything on things that are obvious, despite what many say. You may need a study if you want definitive proof. But are you after proof or are you after comfort? If I catch a cold bug I don’t need controlled studies to figure out if I really did catch a cold bug, or to figure out effective ways to deal with it. I am not that brave or courageous and the fact is MW is not very difficult for most case of TSW. It can be very difficult if one takes the approach that it will be difficult I suppose. There is far too much confusion over this with people that haven’t done it, or haven’t done it in a successful way. Let me be clear. I did not endure that much pain. I was already in so much pain from moisturizing for two months at the outset of my TSW that a little extra pain didn’t make much of a difference. It lasted for 7-10 days. Well worth the normalcy that followed for many months as I continue to recover.
        I don’t see people that are moisturizing as being very comfortable from what I read daily on their blogs so not sure why people aren’t understanding this. I am just a worn out old hippy who abused his body all his life and I don’t have any special endurance capabilities. In fact younger people should have a much easier time of both TSW and MW than myself. So, why wait for me to finish TSW when I have already shown how much more comfortable I have been since MW? Why is it when you add my experience with MW along with others like jsan, and the consensus of the Japanese doctors, what Dr. Fukaya and Dr. Sato say, that you think you still need to see “controlled” studies? Because that’s what itsan espouses. How much freaking evidence do you need? Can you not see the pain and suffering people are experiencing after many months and years of moisturizing while in TSW? Including yourself? These people are only suffering at this point because of continuous moisturizing and the belief that nothing cures TSW but time imo.

        I have both psoriasis and childhood eczema. I also have atopic dermatitis according to doctors. My skin wasn’t born with any less ability to self moisturize than anyone else. I may be more prone to allergic reactions, but that’s it. Has nothing to do with my body’s ability to moisture itself. It only means that there are things that can damage my skin barrier if in too much contact.

        I truly admire your open mindedness and kindness. But I do hope you will continue to do research on the skin. But please don’t think people have to wait and see how others are doing before making a decision. That’s itsan talking. See? You are subconsciously parroting what you learned there. I did the same thing before I realized what i was doing. Unfortunately, you learned all the wrong things. I did too in my first two months before realizing that itsan’s vets are wrong on the most fundamental and basic things on healing. Such as the only way one can heal is via “the passage of time”. The placebo effect blows that logic out of the window. “Moisturize for comfort”. Actually, this is the opposite thing to do for comfort and it only creates extreme discomfort. Just look at blogs where people are crying out in pain and misery after months and years of TSW via moisturizing. Base your decisions on common sense and logic. No studies needed. I and others have loudly exclaimed how much better we have been due to MW so there is no need for anyone to keep waiting. And it’s not a matter of waiting to see if MW heals me faster. The major reason for MW is to be comfortable. Again, all I see on blogs is how extremely uncomfortable people are. These people are the ones that moisturize. I didn’t feel you were pushing your views at all. I just wanted to make you think. It is I who is guilty of pushing views. And I don’t mind as it has already helped numerous people. Here are some good links:

        Please read email exchanges at bottom of this site:

        Read the consensus of the doctors from this referenced conference:

        Various studies showing moisturizer affects on the skin:

        Dead Sea salt controlled study results:

      • Just one more analogy. If I’m standing in intensely hot sun and I feel it burning my skin do I need studies to know if I should get out of the sun? Do I need to wait to see if other people burn first before making my decision? Of course not. Common sense, logic, and instincts dictate what I do. No time to wait for controlled double blind studies or see others burn first. I can understand doubts when there was no information available. But this is no longer the case. And doubts or not, common sense dictates that moisturizing hypersensitive skin during TSW irritates the hell out of it. It also further damages the skin barrier further. Studies that are done with no financial incentive show this to be true. This is not rocket science. If wet skin breaks down the skin barrier than it is better to keep the skin dry. If keeping the skin covered in moisturizers damage the skin barrier and inhibits healing, then it is better to not use them. If not using moisturizers during TSW enables people to go through the journey in a much more comfortable fashion, then that is the most optimum way it should be done. Naturally, there will always be exceptions to the rule, but for the majority of TSW’s, moisturizing is a very wrong method of finding comfort. But again, people have been led to believe just the opposite in the past. It’s way past time for people to update their conclusions imo.

      • hi dan,
        thanks for your reply! i accept your apology regarding your tone. rest assured i see it as a healthy discussion.

        i just want to clarify a few more points.
        1. i am not parroting itsan, however we share the same thinking that since none of us are certified doctors or medical practitioners, we are not able to give others medical advices. it is within my responsibility to disseminate my personal opinions and beliefs in a way that will remind everyone that i am merely sharing my experiences and the several other factual data i have read in literature. i wish i am Juliana M.D. instead of just juliana, in that way my words would have more weight to it. but i’m just an ordinary girl who have been through TSW, trying her best to share what she knows with others who might not know it. i am leaving the conclusion to be made by all of my readers. yes you are right, they do not have to wait to see if other people heal first before making a decision, but that is all up to their own discretion. to each their own. some people prefer to have more evidence that a certain method might benefit them more so than it will disable them, while some are willing to try anything to make their skin feel better. i leave it all up to them. in no way am i asking others to wait for the results before they make their decision.

        2. there are people who react to moisturizers, there are also people who don’t. either way, i suggest people to listen to their body. this implies that if it irritates them, they should stop using it. if it doesn’t irritate it and they absolutely need it to function, they can use it. again, this is left to the individual’s preference and choice. so i totally agree with you when you say “common sense, logic, and instincts dictate what i do”.

        3. everyone have a different threshold to suffering and pain. it’s not that i do not know how keeping the skin dry can promote healing, but there is always a price to pay, and different individuals value different things.

        4. i concur with you that most researches are done with an end in mind, since it’s a multi billion industry, a lot is at stake. i totally understand your reasoning behind stay away from moisturizers, but like i have mentioned in point 1, my responsibility is to lead the horse to the water by laying as much facts i can find, whether the horse will drink the water is up to their discretion. i’m not saying people have to wait for results before deciding. that, is not up to me to decide. i am aware that doctors in japan encourage moisturizer withdrawal and that they have seen a lot of successful cases. i’m sure that is an encouraging thought to most people who will want to embark on moisturizer withdrawal as it boost their confidence that it will indeed work.

        5. i will definitely continue my research on the skin, for it is what i have done for the past few years thanks to the resources my college was able to provide me with.

        6. i am a little confused. first you wish that i can continue my research, next you say i should base my decisions on common sense and logic. if we all based our decision on “common sense”, which sometimes could be wrong, we would all still be using topical steroids till the very last day of our lives.

        7. thank you for making me think, i truly believe this will benefit my readers utmost. i hope you understand my choice for a neutral stand and not pushing views on others. if i were a doctor, i might have tried to tell others what to do exactly. but i’m not.

        thanks once again for this discussion! 😉

  5. Hi Juliana,

    After reading the most recent comments from yourself and Dan, I feel that it is really important to re-iterate my point that it is so important to manage your withdrawal in the way that fits in with your life.

    While I come down on the no moisturiser route, I realise that it wouldn’t fit everyone. I had a pretty hard landing, and MW was pretty tough for me and went on for a very long time. It’s not over yet. I can imagine that if it’s even harder, that it doesn’t make sense to put even more pressure on yourself to follow this particular path. The thing is with people going through TSW is, it is horrible, you are completely filled with self-doubt, you feel tired, ugly, uncomfortable and pretty unhappy. And during this, you have to carry on with your life, most of us can’t focus exclusively on healing. And if you say to yourself, I’m going to do MW and it doesn’t work out, then the next step in your mind is to think, I’ll stop the pain altogether by reaching for that tube of steroid cream. We’ve all been there! Therefore, you always have to do what is right for you, with the eventual end point that you’ll get through this, and the aim is to get through TSW, not to do it the perfect way.

    That is not to say, that we shouldn’t be striving to get a generally recognised protocol to manage TSW. We should! If you think about it, 2 years ago when I started TSW, the question was, “is TSW real?” Two years on, the question is “what is the best way to get through TSW?”. To have gone from step one to step two is brilliant, and it is because people like Juliana have put themselves out there, exposing themselves to the world, at probably the lowest point in her life. That takes courage. We wouldn’t be here without these people.

    And, I think that we will also get that recognised protocol for TSW, through the efforts of people like Juliana (and yourself) who put the ideas out there about how to best manage TSW. Please keep putting it out there, maybe only half the thoughts that we have are ‘right’ but without the thoughts there will be no discussion, no way forward. We are all in the same boat.

    All I can say is that I am profoundly grateful for those experiences – I would never have continued had I not been able to read and re-read many of the blogs at my lowest point. Lastly, I didn’t just swallow it all wholesale, I think most of us don’t. What works extremely well for one person doesn’t work for another. In life, there can be a lot of solutions to the same problem.

    Keep up the good work Juliana.

    • tina, you’re such a dear! thanks for voicing out 🙂 I totally agree with you that TSW is a personal choice and we should tailor it to fit our own life as much as possible. 😉 high 5!!!

      and i totally think just the same like you. at first i also wonder if TSW is real, now that i’m pretty much done i wonder if there are ways to make TSW more manageable (or to shorten it if possible!).

      and thank you for reaffirming my thought that my fellow skin friends and readers are forming their own conclusions based on the things i share. 🙂 because that is what i aspire to do, and you just pretty much told me i achieved my aim! thank you so much :)))

      i’m so elated to see all the kindness poured to me. god bless your kind soul!


  6. Tina,

    I don’t understand your comment where you say your MW “went on for a very long time. It’s not over yet”. MW takes less than a month. For me it was 7-10 days. Any skin symptoms after that is from the TSW. The symptoms from the ill effects of moisturizers are very difficult to ascertain between MW and TSW, which is why it isn’t that hard to do in the first place unless you have multiple deep fissures and other similar wounds like I did. I think it takes about a month for the skin to fully renew itself, so I would estimate that any and all symptoms of withdrawal from the moisturizers alone could be a month at the most. I had severe skin barrier damage on my palms and experienced a lot of extra pain from the onset of MW, but again, it was very short term and the rewards were huge. In your first comment you said you are using coconut oil on your hands but not moisturizing. That IS moisturizing. Due to these comments, I don’t see how you can even comment on MW with any credibility.

    I don’t think people feel pressured to do MW at all. When presented with factual information they do have doubts. But those doubts are bound to happen and are necessary for anyone to make a change in what they do. There are doubts about whether they have chosen the wrong path or not. They are doubts as to whether they should try MW. That is actually a good thing, not a bad think. When we doubt, we then re-examine our beliefs and readjust them if necessary. Most people going through TSW are intelligent enough to make their own decisions when presented with the proper information. It takes a strong minded person to figure out they need to do TSW in the first place, and then to buck the establishment and do it. I think this is something we all have in common. Juliana is a big girl and is intelligent. She doesn’t need anyone to rescue her. What she does need (you too) is to have a better understanding of how the skin functions so she can be better equipped to make the best decisions for herself. I’m not going to do anything other than disappear after this post since there isn’t much left to be said. So, relax.

    If TSW is still miserable for you then I suspect you haven’t really done MW, or you are still in your first 3 months of TSW. People like Juliana who are over a year or so in TSW and are still having the kinds of symptoms she’s having, usually are having those symptoms because of the continuous moisturizing, not from TSW. After I did MW at the end of month 2, my TSW wasn’t horrible, I wasn’t completely filled with self-doubt, I did feel tired, but not ugly, or nearly as uncomfortable, and have been pretty happy. Just the opposite of what you describe.

    There is no need for anyone to feel pressured at all to do MW. If you are happy with how things are going then by all means keep doing what you’re doing. I just haven’t seen very many happy people and I think know why. I presented my information and Juliana and others can come to their own conclusions. These are only my opinions and it’s up to Juliana to do with them as she wishes. I may be totally off base, but let Juliana decide that for herself by looking at the research and anecdotal evidence all around. I definitely agree with your main point, manage your withdrawal in the way that fits in with your life. For me, damaging my skin barrier further while trying to recover from TSW does not fit in with my life.

    • Dan,

      Firstly – I find your blog highly informative and so helpful, thank you for sharing your experience publicly as well as all the other information you’ve provided!

      My two cents, for what they’re worth: MW definitely doesn’t always take less than a month. I’ve been doing complete and thorough MW for ALMOST a month now, so unless I grow some baby-butt skin within the next few days I’d have to say you were very blessed to get through it in 7-10 days. Having said that, I do agree that I’m miles more comfortable than I was while I was moisturising and I’m very grateful to people like you and Jsan for encouraging TSW sufferers to try something new. Somebody once said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, so I’m glad I’m doing MW, while it’s a slow process for me it’s preferable to what I had to endure before.

      ‘Sugarcrusted’ definitely took your comments with an admirable amount of grace, I don’t know that I would have reacted in such a measured way to being talked down to like that. I definitely understand your zeal though, you want to prevent others from suffering which is commendable of course, but like ‘Sugarcrusted’ has said – none of us are medical professionals and should be careful not to present our experiences as Gospel truth, especially with the vehemence that charactarises your posts, Dan.

      Before you come swinging for me too 😛 I’d like to remind you that I am pro-MW, but anti condescension.

      – Krystle-Jade

      • wow krystle jade, i really appreciate your thoughts 😀 you’re such a sweet heart to stand up for me!

        and i’m glad to know that your skin is feeling more comfortable off the moisturizers!

        i wish you a strong heart and a good recovery!


      • You’re more than welcome Juliana 🙂 your blog is great – so courageous of you to find the energy to help others like this whilst going through TSW! I wish you every blessing and a speedy recovery!xxx

      • Hi Krystle-Jade,

        I appreciate your comments and I’m happy you found not moisturizing is more comfortable for you, and am not in the least bit surprised it is. The sooner people understand that not moisturizing is better than moisturizing, the less human suffering there will be. I take full responsibility for myself and although I appreciate the warning, I don’t understand why you aren’t saying this to the many people who advocate moisturizing rather than to me? They are affecting hundreds if not thousands more people than myself. Shouldn’t they be warned instead of me since the risks are so much greater? You, like many people, assume that only medical professionals have knowledge on healing when in fact their knowledge mostly applies to treating symptoms of diseases, prescription writing, and in performing surgeries. And quite often medical professionals miss the forest for the trees due to the way they are trained. Not to mention the negligence that is so prevalent amongst the medical community. I think the masses put far to much faith in a profession that is overly incompetent at best. And when people don’t educate themselves and rely on others to tell them what to do, they get into trouble. Ts use is just one example as is moisturizing. Telling me to be careful about this issue is akin to telling me to be careful about telling people there is a sun and a moon.

        I respectfully disagree with your comment on MW. I wasn’t blessed and I wasn’t “different” or some anomaly. MW will not give you perfect skin. MW is the process of transitioning from moisturizing to not moisturizing. That process actually takes place immediately upon stopping moisturizing. I use the term in the context of making the transition from continuously moist skin to dry skin that begins to moisturize itself after a short period of time. How quickly one completes MW depends on how badly the skin barrier is damaged. It took me a week or so and my skin was very seriously broken. So, for many people who have been in tsw for a long time, MW takes just hours in my mind. I’m not a scientist but it makes sense that once we stop moisturizing our skin begins to recognize that fact and then begins moisturizing itself with it’s own mechanisms. It is not noticeable to the naked eye, or your other senses, but believe me, it’s happening. This is what I basically confirmed today with a little experiment, along with my past experience. I would tell you how I learned it but there isn’t enough space here and I doubt people want to know anyway. Once MW is complete, it’s then just not moisturizing and no longer considered MW.

        I didn’t mean to sound like I was talking down to Juliana. I have a tendency to talk to kids like they are my own kids. To me, anyone under the age of 30 is a kid. It’s just how I am. I do get carried away sometimes and I feel bad for it afterwards. But, the lack of understanding is mind bogging and I do get very frustrated. My approach has varied from person to person and after reading this entire blog it was all too apparent that Juliana has been 100% itsanfied. She sounds like a mirror image of Itsan’s beliefs and I find that runs true for most people who have been on the forum for any length of time. See my recent post on “groupthink” for a better explanation of how this type of thinking comes about and persists throughout the tsw community. It should help shed some light on what I’ve been up against for so long. In the past I have taken an approach of shocking a couple of people into doing critical thinking with my comments to them. I only hope Juliana has rethought what she believes and has done more research and begins to rely on her own knowledge rather than myself or anyone else. If so, then my comments were worth it. If some ahole jerk told me there was a better way and that I was completely off track, I would look into what that ahole said regardless if I care for the person’s approach or not.

        Sometimes it takes being crude and offensive to make people think outside of the box. Please keep in mind that I spent a good portion of my early days on the forum being nice and cordial. That approach only got me ridiculed, talked down to, marginalized and discredited, insulted, and absolutely nowhere. In the beginning my views were called “conspiracy theories”. I doubt anyone would dare call MW a conspiracy theory now. Well, maybe some still might, but there are all kinds of people in this world. Even most people that are doing MW now (something completely unheard of when I was on the forum), are crediting the Japanese for the idea. I did MW 6 weeks before any information was available from Japan on MW and most didn’t see or “hear” me due to my being so marginalized and then later banned and cast aside like a piece of garbage. Do you have any idea what it feels like to be in the throes of of your first few months of tsw and be cast aside from the group? No further access to information or even posts I had written. I doubt you do. Conformists rarely experience such things. I am a 100% nonconformist. Luckily it turned out to be a good thing. If people can not understand the vehemence that characterizes my posts after what I’ve been through, well then they just don’t really understand what’s really gone down since last August.

        I really am truly sorry for all I have offended, especially the ones that I have hurt their feelings. Not to mention the added stress I’ve caused some. It wasn’t my intention but there always will be collateral damage when wars are waged and I can’t change what’s done. Itsan has caused much of this and many people don’t even understand that. My feeling is don’t shoot the messenger. My ass is so full of buckshot I can’t even sit down. I know the benefits of my efforts will far outweigh what I’ve done to others and to myself. I truly feel in my heart that it was worth offending a few (or many) people to change the way things were, and things have changed dramatically already. Although we do still have a long long way to go. Th resistance to quality information is simply incredulous. Mark my words. Not moisturizing during tsw will be standard protocol for most people within another year or so at most.

        I have been wrong on things I’ve said in the past, and wrong sometimes in the way I’ve said them. I am still learning every single day. But my overall message has been right. I learned something new just today that I feel is quite valuable for people who don’t moisturize. Something that only can be learned by experimenting with dss baths for many months. I want to share it. I can’t help it. And I will share it on my blog as people don’t really want to hear it. That way people can ignore information like they have their whole lives and continue to believe what they choose. Or, people can seek knowledge. I’m done now with shocking people into reality and trying to make them think. My job is over. It is now up to the truth to prevail one way or the other. I’ve gotten enough people now to try MW in spite of Itsan’s efforts to shut me up and marginalize and discredit me. That’s all I needed for people to find out and the word to spread. Itsan’s vets continue to this very moment but it’s too late. They weren’t successful only because they were and are wrong. If they were right we wouldn’t be talking right now. They are the ones who have created much confusion and obscured the information to the best of their abilities. People wouldn’t feel so pressured or fear so much if it weren’t for this small group of people. You said it yourself with your statement about the definition of insanity. Telling people to moisturize year after year is insane, especially when studies have been around for decades that show continuous moisturizing damages the skin barrier. And, especially when someone shows a better way when it’s all too obvious that moisturizing prolongs recovery and is very uncomfortable. Despite peoples erroneous beliefs otherwise. And also especially when common sense so easily shows that it is damaging to the skin just through simple observation.

        Where did this idea of moisturizing during tsw originate? From Kelly and Dr. Rap I presume. And where did Dr. Rap’s ideas of moisturizing originate? From his training in medical school I presume. Where did they get the idea? From greedy corporate interests that want to make money selling moisturizers I presume. Our food is pumped full of chemicals, our water, air, furniture, on and on. Even many medicines are designed to not cure health problems, only to treat the symptoms. Just like a light bulb that is designed to burn out after 30 days, so goes most things when it comes to making a buck. It sickens me to watch commercial after commercial tout the false benefits of various lotions and moisturizers and the false need to use them. The false belief that we all need to moisturize our skin, It’s all pure bs and has been swallowed by the public hook line and sinker over the last 50 years. As has many other falsehoods have. Look at TS. They have added ingredients designed to ensure their ineffectiveness. People should question why that is.

        I admire Juliana’s grace as well. I learned from her, as I know she learned from me. I think she is bright enough to figure things out if presented with the right information. She has been subjected to misinformation for a very long time (all her life) and if I could get her to rethink just some of what she has been taught (brainwashed), I felt it is was worth it. But, lately I’ve questioned that line of logic. I also know it’s wise to live and let live and not to try and push one’s views on the world. There is a fine line between pushing one’s views and expressing one’s opinions.

        Frankly I wish I didn’t care. But I do and it does make me very passionate when I deeply care about people. And nothing affects me more than seeing people suffer needlessly. I’m pissed off at the ignorance, itsan’s vets, the entire medical establishment and our politicians who allow this kind of pillage. I’ll get over it when I feel I have contributed enough to effect change. I feel like I’ve accomplished that with Itsan, because like I said before there is no turning back now. The info is out and people are aware of it NOW. Talk about who is actually raising awareness on tsa/tsw! Itsan isn’t going to change until forced to by consensus of it’s members. That was and remains all too obvious. Once enough people have tried MW, and do tsw without the use of moisturizers, there will be no stopping it and I believe we have now reached that point of no return.

        I have decided to stop posting on others blogs and will only respond to comments made to me. So, going forward everyone can relax and not fear hearing what they don’t want to hear. At least from me.

  7. Hi Juliana,

    WOW. I can not believe the tone of some people here. There is so much arguing and debating, honestly. You take it very well considering. Well done.

  8. Hi Dan,

    I stopped using moisturiser on my face and hands (the only two places that hadn’t healed around 6 months ago). In those six months, my hands have just about healed. There is residual rough skin, and that is why I have recently started using coconut oil on my hands occasionally – please allow for my vanity. Occasionally my hands still feel itchy, but that is not directly linked to when I used coconut oil (ie. flaring within 24 hours)

    My face on the other hand was smoother, the skin was better and much more comfortable when I was using moisturiser (this is bearing in mind that prior to MW I had been going through TSW for 18 months). These days it is dry, flaky and tight feeling and that feeling never goes away. (I am convinced that this has nothing to do with occasionally using coconut oil on my hands in the last few weeks). During the first 18 months, I had flaring, but also long periods where my skin was calm, felt smooth and lovely. This is a valid experience and certainly doesn’t match what happened to you.

    I think that in all honesty, when someone comes out and states that one particular thing worked brilliantly for them, there is pressure to try that route. Eg. look at Jake who went through a horrific withdrawal but was pretty much recovered within a year. After reading his partner’s inspirational blog, I thought, wow, if only I had access to a naturopath mother-in-law, I too would be completely healed. But looking at the long list of supplements he took during that time, it would’ve been a complete minefield to have replicated that without help. But I am glad it’s out there, just as I am glad that you have taken the time to publicise your experience – there will be people who benefit hugely.

    I appreciate what you are trying to do, raising awareness and putting forth resources that back your view. In fact it was the Japanese doctors who inspired me to stop moisturising and I was very interested to later read your posts. I do agree with you that it is the right thing to do. However, please don’t discredit somebody else’s actual experience / feelings during MW by saying that they’ve not done it properly, simply because the same thing didn’t happen to you.

    TSW is no longer miserable for me, (I certainly felt self-doubt and miserable in the first twelve months) but it is still unpleasant, but not because I haven’t done MW completely and not because I am in the first three months. Hand on heart, I haven’t used anything on my face for six months, I have been going through TSW for over two years. Nowadays it sucks because I would love to not have flaky skin on my face. I would love my face to be smooth and my skin to glow with health. I would like to wear make up occasionally, I would love to wake up with eyes that are no longer puffy. I would love for this to be over. Yes, you may have felt pretty happy after MW, but be careful, people feel miserable during TSW for lots of reasons. My main reason for the first twelve months was sheer tiredness (the feeling that I could be doing so much more with my life had I not felt so wiped out). Apart from short periods of intense flares, discomfort was not my biggest issue.

    Lastly, I agree that Juliana is an intelligent girl and doesn’t need rescuing. I am sure she will continue to research and make her own decisions. But I also see that we all need encouragement to keep doing things which cost us time and effort, by knowing that that effort is appreciated and makes a difference to someone’s life.

    • Tina, you are very kind and understanding. I appreciate that as I know I’ve been a little confrontational. I don’t mean any harm. I am very surprised you are having problems with your face after that long of not using moisturizers on it in light of the fact that you are at 18 months and haven’t put anything on your face for 6 months! That really is perplexing to me but I think I can offer a solution for you. I had used TS in small amounts on my face, about 5 spots on my chin, one on the side of my nose, one eyelid, and both ears. Putting my face in my dss baths cleared those spots 100% within just 4-6 weeks while other areas I used much more heavily took longer to clear, mainly my palms. I would urge you to try it if you haven’t. And if you do try it you need to do it correctly as in the right salts, right amount in bath, right water temp, and right duration of bath. I assume you never use soap as you probably know it strips important oils from our skin as Dr. Fukaya told me. It can’t hurt to try the baths and can only help your overall skin as long as you keep it to about 3 baths a week until it’s gone. Ruth had problems with her face and they cleared by doing the baths within a month.

      My take on MW is one needs to compliment it with things like sun exposure, dss baths, and occasionally tea tree oil and witch hazel. Especially dss baths and sun. But sun or no sun I’m totally sold on the benefits of the baths from my and others experiences doing them. Some have done MW successfully without doing dss baths like JSAN. I honestly don’t know how or why she was successful that way.

  9. Hi Dan,

    Thank you for your words, I appreciate it.

    In some ways, I can understand your frustration. Having done research as you have obviously done, and having such spectacular results from MW, it must have been like ‘eureka’, it’s so obvious. Sadly, I didn’t have the eureka moment. However, from my experience I still think it’s the right thing to do, partly because of the Japanese doctors, but mostly because the moisturiser caused my hands to flare. Therefore, if MW is good for my hands it should be good for my face. I also think that you shouldn’t worry that your voice is not being heard, it is. From what I can see from the blogs, it is a very hot topic at the moment.

    I am also a huge fan of Dead Sea Salts. I and my daughters have been using them for the last year or so with great results (bathing in it twice a week). Both children have a tendency to get eczema, but with the DSS baths it has completely cleared up. In terms of TSW, it always caused me to itch incredibly badly and the wounds would weep (after scratching) within hours of the bath, but after four or five episodes of itching and weeping on my legs and arms, the areas completely cleared up. I am completely sold on the detox benefits from DSS.

    Sadly, however we all suffer from terribly dry skin, particularly in winter. I resisted using any moisturiser on the younger child for the first two years of her life, (because of the ‘skin should moisturise itself’ school of thought), but in winter, when the skin on her legs started to crack from dryness I finally gave in and used coconut oil (coconut oil because it doesn’t have any chemicals I can’t pronounce in it). No more cracking. We also don’t use any soaps except for washing hands, and even that is a olive oil based soap without SLS or other nasties. We use the gentlest washing powders, dishwashing liquids etc that I can find.

    The thing is with TSW – I know it will not go on forever. In the meantime, I’ve learnt a lot about myself, eczema, TSW and nutrition. For me, not one particular thing has given me the eureka moment, but I am glad that MW worked spectacularly well for you and many others. Keep spreading the word.

    • Hi Tina,

      Thank you for the kind words of encouragement. You are very kind. I am also learning as I go and plan to “tone” it down a little in my approach to spreading the word on what I believe. Early on when I was moisturizing I had used and really liked a Calendula salve that healed skin splits really well, but after a month it stopped being effective so started researching the ingredients and was shocked at what I found. The ingredients were organic Calendula flowers in a base of organic unrefined olive oil, bees wax, tea tree oil, and grapefruit seed extract. I couldn’t find nothing bad about any of these ingredients except for what I found on olive oil. I was quite shocked as it is used in most all natural lotions, creams, etc. as a base. Here are two links showing olive oil destroys the skin barrier. There are other studios done that show the same results as these as well. One was done in Europe but i can’t find it right now.



      After seeing those studies I certainly had a eureka moment! Anyway, I rarely use soap now but do occasionally on the tips of my fingers when needed. I’ll be using soap more when my hands heal back again but I learned how soaps strip the oils out so going forward I plan to just lightly use it very quickly only when needed. I use Grandpa’s Oatmeal soap and the ingredients are Coconut oil, palm oil, purified water, vegetable glycerin, rolled oats, essence of oatmeal. Have used this soap for decades and absolutely love it.


      I tried 15-20 different natural moisturizers early on and the only ones I found that were the least sensitive for my skin were the organic pure Shea butter and the Spectrum brand organic shortening, which is white palm oil. My skin seemed to react the least to the white palm oil but I only used it one day because I still got those tiny blisters that are so common from moisturizing during TSW. I used the Shea butter for a couple weeks and really liked it a lot but ended up stopping all moisturizers when I saw my skin breaks weren’t healing after two months. That turned out to be the best thing I ever did in my TSW journey. Within a week all my deep fissures, skin splits, cracks, etc all dried, scabbed over, and by the end of two weeks had peeled off on it’s own reveling new unbroken skin.

      Kind of got side tracked there. What I was going to say is I believe moisturizing “part time” is fine. I really don’t want anybody hearing me say that though! What I mean by part time is using it during the day but not at night. Or, using it for a few days and then not for a few days. I think the day night thing is an excellent idea. I imagine that is probably what you are already doing. If I were to do that I would bathe every 2-3 days for 15-20 minutes at night to rid the skin of it so your skin can function normally at night when it’s the most important. Maybe showers in between. I know bathing too much can’t be good for the skin. But, since many studies do show that continuous moisturizer damages the skin barrier, I think using them for short periods is probably fine. I had read somewhere about the idea of not using at night and thought it was a great idea for those who absolutely need to moisturize. I had a bad case of childhood eczema which covered both legs and arms until my late teens. Luckily for me, we couldn’t afford doctors. I just learned to live with it I guess. When you are born with something like that you don’t know anything else so it isn’t such a bothersome thing, other than the itching I guess. That was so long ago now.

      I’m still perplexed as to why you are having problems with your face at this point since you aren’t moisturizing it and are using dss baths, but I think there are always exceptions to the rule. Not many will agree with my theory that “most” TSW’s can benefit from MW, but that’s what I believe and I also believe their are always exceptions. That’s why I always say “most” people. I don’t know if you tried this but I used to lay in the bath with 2 pounds of dss at tepid temperature on one side with my ear in the water covering half my head, and then after 10 minutes I would roll over and repeat with the other side. During this process I also would bring my head up several times and turn slightly to put my full face in holding my breath while doing this for the 20 minute duration. I always dried the inside of my first ear so when I switched to the other side any remaining water in my ear wouldn’t drain into my ear canal. I still do dss baths but haven’t had to put my head in for months because it cleared all those spots for me. But, I didn’t use much TS on those spots so maybe that’s the difference. I hope some of this is helpful and wish you and your family nothing but the best!

  10. Hi Dan,

    Another interesting post. I enjoyed reading about the study regarding olive oil for young babies. It is interesting because I had exactly the same advice when my daughter was born to slather her in olive oil for two or three days.

    It lead me to think a bit more about other oils, especially my favoured virgin coconut oil:


    It would certainly explain why coconut oil works for someone with dry skin who is not going through TSW. It would also explain why now that my hands are nearly healed that they enjoy coconut oil occasionally. I have never been a slatherer of moisturiser so would only ever fit the definition of part-timer.

    At the beginning of TSW it was really difficult for me to link flares and moisturiser because I was flaring so often. Later, when the flares became less frequent, there was a clear and definite link between moisturising and flaring within 24 hours. My fingers would swell and the very rash was ‘juicy’ and thick. It was almost like I had a lot of hyper-irritable little balls under my skin, which demanded that they be scratched into oblivion. Post moisturiser withdrawal, the flares kept coming, but the flares on my fingers were more like a general swelling where the skin split and wept on the knuckles – very painful very painful. (I had the split skin while using moisturiser as well) And although it was itchy, it wasn’t unbearably itchy and there was no rashy, hyper-irritable balls under my skin.

    Your story about how you submerged your face in water with DSS in it was also interesting. While I have been doing the baths, and my face has definitely been getting some water on it, I haven’t been putting it under water for so long. I will try that and see how that works. Thank you for the tip.


  11. Hi,

    I have been using hydrocortisone 1% cream on my face for 3 months and I have just started my withdrawal a few days ago. My skin is so dry and its flaking from dryness. Do you still think I should not put any moisturizer on it?
    I have read that emu oil and coconut oil help with eczema and idk about tsw stage skin so do you think I would be able to use those oils on my face or will it worsen my condition?
    Please help! This is brutal and damaging me internally and externally 😥
    What can I do to remove the redness and itchiness??

  12. Hi,
    Sorry I know I already wrote 2 blogs (I think) but I wanted to know if you know if there are any ways of helping me build my skin on my face to make it thicker? My sis said something about collagen pills. I was thinking of taking a multi vitamin or some other pills. Do you think it would help my skin get thicker to recover faster?
    Let me know what you think if you know anything about this ! Thanks SO much :’)

    • hi diana, i’ll just reply to all your questions here.

      I’ve been reading online that during tsw it is best to leave the face alone because it is super sensitive and that moisturizing slows down the process of healing since its irritating the skin. Do you know if that is true?
      If it’s true, should I not put lotion on my face even though it is super dry? :0

      moisturizing may slow down the process of healing not because it irritates the skin, but because it gets in the way between the normal feedback loop of our repair. dry skin will signal to the brain that some repairs needs to be done. if you moisturize, your body may think that there’s nothing wrong. this is what the japanese doctors promote, and they insist that one can only recover completely without the use of steroids and moisturizers. however, it may feel very uncomfortable, but it’s something you can get used to.

      My skin is so dry and its flaking from dryness. Do you still think I should not put any moisturizer on it?
      if the dryness is not bothering you (from socializing or working), i think it’s best to leave your body to do its thing. if you really have no choice, you can choose to use a moisturizer to diminish the appearance of dry skin.

      I have read that emu oil and coconut oil help with eczema and idk about tsw stage skin so do you think I would be able to use those oils on my face or will it worsen my condition?
      first you have to figure out whether your skin is acting up due to steroid damage, or if it’s just normal eczema. emu and coconut oil may help with normal eczema, but it may hinder the healing of steroid damaged skin.

      What can I do to remove the redness and itchiness??
      cold compress works well to numb the skin and constrict the blood vessels. other than that, i heard that dead sea salt bath works well too, but that may cost you a bomb. i just scratched a lot last time when i felt itchy.

      I wanted to know if you know if there are any ways of helping me build my skin on my face to make it thicker?
      right now, you really need to let your body heal, so all you need is really time. in the future when you’re done with TSW, you can consider consuming collagen pills, but i can tell you those stuff does nothing much. you can eat as much collagen pills as you want, but if your fibroblast cells are not recovered, they can’t synthesize collagen underneath your skin.

      Do you think it would help my skin get thicker to recover faster?
      multi vitamins may or may not help you heal faster. if you believe they help you, they’ll help you 😉 there’s no harm in taking multi vits i guess, if you can afford it that is.

      • Thanks so much once again!! You’re so sweet always helping others and answering questions. You’re an angel 😀 thank youuu

      • 🙂 you’re most welcome diana! i love being able to help others, especially in tough times like this. thank you for letting me know that i’ve helped you!


  13. Hi, as someone who has used a mild hydrocortisone on my face (only) for around 4 years, I am now 1 1/2 months into my withdrawal and the symptoms are the typical flakey, burning red skin. I have never actually used a moisturiser before, or at least successfully, because my face had gradually become too intolerant to anything other than topical steroids therefore always tending to react badly. Nevertheless, I have begun using epaderm for the last week and it has actually helped the flakiness, but the universal redness across my face has worsened. I also suffer from steroid induced rosacea (rather mildly) so I was wondering whether moisturisers should still be avoided for people who never used moisturisers before TSW. In other words, would it affect the healing process if I continued moisturising or is it best to not use any , considering I will obviously not suffer from moisturiser withdrawals?

    Sorry if worded poorly, I found it an awkward question to ask haha 🙂

    • hello there edward, I see where you’re coming from! but the essence of moisturizer withdrawal and it’s role in TSW is that by allowing your skin to notice it’s dryness, it will stimulate the cells to return to its normal capacity, the theory is it will then be able to recover to factory defaults. since you didn’t use moisturizer previously, you shouldn’t view moisturizer withdrawal as a withdrawal. what happened in the past doesn’t matter too much. if you choose to use moisturizer now, it may – theoretically speaking – prevent your skin from returning to its normalcy. if you can live without moisturizer, I think it’s best to lay it off unless really necessary.

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