3 YEARS 36 MONTHS 1096 DAYS

15 march 2014

for the past 3 days, my skin has been feeling close to perfect.
no need for moisturizing in the morning.
the previously dried patches on my neck, arm, thigh, abdomen are all baby smooth right now.

i think it’s the end of the 3 months cycle.
this cycle was a little longer than expected, but whatever,
it’s slowly dying down.

why do i not attribute it to my hormones?
because i have observed this general improvement over the past three months even though my hormones fluctuated every month.
but then again, the particular smooth and hydrated skin might be related to the increase in estrogen.

i’ll write a separate entry on that next time ๐Ÿ˜‰

just embracing the good skin (like touching my arms more than ever to remind myself IT’S NOT A DREAM) right now, because i know that the healing is not done yet.

that shiny (atrophied) skin.. *squint*

================

24 march 2014

i can totally tell what’s going on in my body because..
the dry skin is back this week!

skin is more sensitive too!
but the rashes weren’t particularly agitated.
this goes to confirm that the cycles are ceasing soon ๐Ÿ˜‰

not much to update about. skin is pretty constant.
no marked worsening or improvements after mentioning about them the previous time.

================

6 april 2014

so little updates for this month because my skin feels normal and good.
it was drier a week ago due to hormones, but it wasn’t as dry as it was as compared to a month ago. there is gradual overall improvements that i can actually see ๐Ÿ™‚
the rashes on my thighs are clearing up bit by bit. they aren’t red anymore. pigmentations are slowly fading. dry spots are diminishing. skin is getting increasingly smooth once more.

but lately, a rash came back to above my lips. i can feel the slight difference in texture there, and when i perspire it will irritate it. it feels slightly rough, and it changes skin every few days.

other than that, i seem to be having more clogged pores than usual of late.

perspiration is still crazy, not sure if i’m supposed to blame the weather or just the over active sweat glands that are still parading after they are no longer oppressed by topical steroids.

my sleep has been a little weird too. is it just my bad habits?

BLAH, WHATEVER.
i’m going to start a detox soon.
been feeding my body with too much crap ever since christmas.
everything will be better if i eat better.
“you are what you eat”.

===============

11 april 2014

skin is still good. there’s no need for moisturizing in the morning, and sometimes i find myself skipping out on moisturizing before i head out too.

some rashes are leaving while some are still staying.
let’s start with some photos!

topical steroids withdrawal, eczema rashes on arm healed
those 3 spots are GONE! last month those 3 spots still appeared to have shiny skin, they’re all gone by now.

topical steroids withdrawal, pigmentation fading
raised patches aren’t raised naymore. pigmentation is slowly fading, i feel less and less as a leopard as the days go by.

topical steroids withdrawal, eczema rashes on arm
my arms are still having a few active rash that lives a 3 days cycle. it itches a little more on one day, and over the next few days it will calm down and then.. repeat itself again. i’m not surprised my arm are still having issues as this was the very first place i started using steroids on. yesterday night that rash was a little swollen as i’ve scratched it, but it has flattened out today.

topical steroids withdrawal, recessed finger nail healing

last month my finger cracked, and there were many visible vesicles underneath my fingertip. this month, the skin there has thickened and i can’t see anymore vesicles. no more cracks, and waiting for my fingernail plate to recover (so that the nails will grow back normally. it does grow back eventually, trust me. my pinkie and middle finger’s fingernail experienced the same thing a few years back, they look perfectly normal now). that weird patch of bad skin above my middle finger’s cuticle is also gone.

topical steroids withdrawal, skin tone darker than normal
no idea why my skin is two toned. my legs are really fair, just the way they used to be.. but my arms. =_=

and now to list down the parts where my rashes are still active,
areas above my lips,
and my neck.
i used a hell lot of steroids on my neck last time, and the skin on the neck area are thinner than the body.. so.. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ i hope it heals up soon. it was fine last month, but for the past few days it’s getting rougher and redder than usual. sometimes i wake up with visible dryness on those areas.
the rash on my lips isn’t too visible most of the time unless i perspire. it irritates it and it actually stings. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

that rash on my feet is subsiding slooowwwwlllyyyy.

not sure if i mentioned this the last month.
maybe i didn’t, because i wanted to see if this thing lasts..
but.. MY ABDOMEN IS CLEAR!!! and it has stayed this way.
no more bumpy skin (seems like the hair follicles hardened or something~), no more rough skin, no more itchy skin there.
the skin is still relatively darker than my normal skin tone, but much lighter than a few months ago when it was still rough.

thighs are smooth too, as you can see from the picture, there’re no bumpy parts like before. just some darn pigmentations that have turned from a tint of dark reddish brown to a light orangey/yellowish brown.

I MUST STOP PICKING MY FACE.
those clogged pores are bothering me because i love clearing them.
some of those pores don’t care about me evacuating them.
but some take revenge on me by getting inflammed, which results in a friggin bump that takes a few days to heal.
MUST. RESIST. SQUEEZING. THE. SHIT. OUT. OF. IT.


ON A SIDE NOTE, I’M 3 YEARS OFF STEROIDS TODAY.
WOOT WOOT!
well. till now, i have no idea when was the exact day i stopped steroids because i did that accidentally. whatever!

topical steroids withdrawal, initial stages, red skin syndrome
this is the first photo that i took that started off my documentation process. it was in may because i took an entire month to accept that i have withdrawals and decided that the least i could to do comfort myself is to record down my skin’s progress so that when i look back, i know i have healed for sure.

one of the best decisions i have ever made.

the only thing i regret was not taking more photos during my really depressed days (which was the later stages of my withdrawal process). but i guess it don’t matter anymore, because what’s most important is that everyone else can now see that i have healed.

juliana antisteroid
this is me from yesterday ๐Ÿ™‚

don’t lose hope, hang on to whatever support you have and wait it through. the TSW journey WILL end, and soon you’ll be free like me ๐Ÿ™‚

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29 thoughts on “3 YEARS 36 MONTHS 1096 DAYS

  1. You look amazing! Im so glad to see you doing so well. Its incredible to compare your first picture with your last. So happy for you! Cant wait to be there one day ๐Ÿ™‚

    • thank you sweetie! hahaha it’s more incredible if you compare me at my worst to the current me. it’s just two different worlds and two different person. you’ll be there soon!

      xoxo

  2. wow! three years! such an amazing accomplishment….congratumalations!

    “free”…i like that word. sometimes this skin process makes me feel like a bird with clipped wings. when i heal i’m going to spread my wings and fly to korea and buy snail mucus face cream and drink a lot of sikhye.

    currently on month #2 now. god damn time is going by slowly.

    • hey–i have a question for you. what is your opinion on stronger antihistamines/anti inflammatory medications? i have hydroxyzine which i use when my skin gets really bad, or to help me sleep. my doctor wrote me a prescription for “doxepin” that she said i can use if i want if the hyrdroxyzine isn’t getting the job done.. she said it’s a stronger version of hydroxyzine and will definitely knock me out.

      i’m in the midst of a pretty evil flare with now and i considered getting this prescription filled…but then again the idea of going stronger seems a little risky. do you think there’s an addiction or dependency factor in antihistamines, similar to steroids?

      • hellooo grant, i’ll just reply both comments here. firstly, thank you so much! secondly, i do agree that TSW makes all of us feel like we’re caged. hahaha and i still can’t stop laughing when i see all you wanna do is to fly to korea to get specifically, the snail mucus cream. what’s sikhye? i only heard of soju and makkoli. HAHAH!

        time will pass by faster if you busy yourself with things other than your skin ๐Ÿ˜›

        my thoughts on stronger antihistamines are quite neutral. i think it’s absolutely ok to use them once in a while. disclaimer: once in a while meaning when it’s absolutely necessary like you haven’t slept for 3 days and counting. don’t push it, your body needs the sleep to recover, i’ve just talked about sleep and inflammation earlier on. there may be a dependency on the drug over the long term, that’s the case with almost any drugs. the truth is, our body is one smart machine that reacts to everything we throw at it. so it’s best to use the drug just enough to achieve enough benefits while escaping most of the dreaded side effects of it.

        i know how steroids heightened our sensitivity towards the danger of drug overuse, but the keyword is “overuse”. use it just enough and it can be a medicine, once you go over the limit, it’s a poison. hope this helps!

        good luck!!! i want to fly to korea too! URGHGHHGHGHG.

      • sikhye is a sweet fermented rice drink. this korean restaurant in my town that i like going to serves it at the end of the meal like a dessert and it’s yum yum in the tum tum. when i heal, we’ll go together. we’ll double date. and make it a point to go to the COEX mall and get ourselves head-to-toe in ulzzang gear. ์•ผํ˜ธ!!!!@

        my brother said that exact thing to me this morning. my first month i seemed to just mope around and be depressed when i am suppose to be watching neflix and eating…huehuehue…

        i see, thank you for your input. i think i’ll get this prescription dropped off tomorrow. i’ll be sure not to overdue this. thanks a bunch for your response, have a great one. =D

  3. Congrats on making it this far juliana! There’s only going to be better days ahead of you, Thanks so much for the inspiration you give to each and everyone of us currently going through it. What a hero!

    • hellooo derek!!! not sure if your name is derek, but i’ll just assume it is.

      thank you so much! hahaha but i’m not a hero! but thanks anyway HAHAH ๐Ÿ˜€ so flattering. you’ll get there soon, so stay strong and keep going on!

      good luck!!

  4. You look terrific, Juliana! Thanks again for continuing to blog and encourage. It is informative, uplifting, and funny. Laughter is the best medicine!! God bless you!

    Rosemarie

  5. You are looking so lovely Juliana! Since starting my tsw journey (2 months in!), you’ve given me so much hope! Thanks for all your efforts and congratulations on hitting 3 years!!

    • thank you for letting me know how i’ve given you hope! always make my day knowing that i’ve helped someone else!!! you are most welcome, i enjoy updating my blog ๐Ÿ™‚ good luck and stay strong! it’ll be a long journey, and that requires a lot of heart and energy.

      xoxo

  6. Hi Juliana, I’m glad to find your blog here and I hope you would kindly help since I’m feeling extremely depressed and suicidal these days due to the flare up on my face. I don’t know anyone else would understand my situation. I have been thinking of killing myself these days. I’ve been using steroid on my face for years, and stopped using it since 1 Apr. Yet my face is getting super red, swollen and itchy. I cry every day and night. I need to take some anti allergic pills (not steroid) to control the flare up since I still need to go out and work.. Somehow the flare up cycle is very short, after taking the anti allergic medicine, my skin would become less red and smoother. The better condition would just last for 3-4 days so the second flare up comed again.. ( slightly less serious than last flare up tho…yes just slightly)

    I would like to ask,

    – Would taking the anti allergic pills (not steroid) affect the heal? Cos my face is really too swollen and red…like a monster. I can’t just go out with that…:(

    – have u tried any Chinese medicine during the recovery?

    – was your face extremely swollen during the rebound period?

    Thank you so much Juliana

    • hi renee,

      i hope this reply reach you well. i understand the suicidal part, but please don’t do it. it’s not worth it to kill yourself now when you’ll be enjoying a lift time of good skin later on.

      i don’t think anti allergic pills will affect healing.

      i tried chinese medicine towards the end of my withdrawals when i’m visibly much better.

      my face was extremely swollen in the beginning, and was slightly swollen throughout my withdrawal.

      i know it’s difficult to go to work when the flare hits your face, i can’t offer you any advice on that other than to stay strong. if people do ask, and if you bother to explain TSW to them, that’d be great. otherwise, just pass it off as an allergy.

      xoxo

  7. You’re looking really great Juliana! 3 years is really a long journey and you rightfully deserve the good life that you have now after all that you’ve been through! Your blog was the first one I chance upon about TSW and I thought that I had struck the jackpot, my symptoms were the same as TSW! I started TSW on 1st jan 2014, now about 4 months in, there were so many things I had to give up but I know one day I will be able to get my life back..hopefully soon! Thanks for all the posts, they really do give us hope:)

  8. Hello Juliana! I went through your blog quickly and realized I’ve the exact same condition as yours. I stay in Singapore and we’re of the same age. I am glad that I’m really not the only one in Singapore having this condition and nobody else can understand these.

    I kept thinking is it because my body has toxic to be released out through the oozing and itching. Now then i know that it’s topical steroid withdrawals! I’ve just started to not rely on steroids oral & topical application. And i just left my job so that i can go through this period at home. After seeing all the testimonials on ITSAN and yours, i’m positive that mine will go away after I survived through this period. Just wanna ask you did you stayed home all these while or you were attending school?

    ๐Ÿ™‚

    • i attended school for my first 8 months, and stayed home for the next 12 months.

      there’re a lot more people who’re from singapore who’re going through TSW! i’m sure you can find a few in the itsan forum. ๐Ÿ™‚ you’re not alone!

  9. Congrats!!! You seriously are one of the most beautiful people I have ever seen!!!! And so brave you give me hope that Kline will get there too! Xxoo Loren

  10. Hey juliana, 1096 days, and your skin is looking quite decent do you use normal moisturiser or any type of anti-histamine ? btw you are very beautiful!, i would also like to add that i believe there is a correlation between food and eczema what’s your opinion on this??

    • hi nathan! yes my skin looks so much better than before! i do use moisturizer, but i’ve cut down on its usage lately. i don’t use anti histamine. ๐Ÿ˜›

      well, there is definitely a connection between food and eczema, more so if you’re tested to be allergic to certain foods. but for me, it’s not eczema ever since i started using steroids. so food doesn’t play a role in my skin’s integrity as long as i stay away from my known allergens. of course, it’s important to maintain the overall health too.

  11. Hello,i have eczema on my face, i use steroid to control it, should i continue?what type of makeup u use to prevent your skin sensitive to it

    • hi wenli,

      i think it’s not a wise choice to use steroids to control rashes on the face in the long run. my skin was not as sensitive after it healed, i can use any makeup. but if you’re still dealing with sensitive skin, mineral makeup may be a good option. the best is to not use anything during times of sensitivity.

  12. Hi juliana your recovery is amazing. I have a rash on my forehead and side of my face which was weeping. My doc gave me a steroid which is potent and after i had applied it i read the leadlet that said it should not be used on face. Now i have indented lines and wrinkles all over my forehead beside my eye and down one side of my face. Do you think these will go away? The skin is very thin and paper texture too. I used the strong steroid twice and i am so scared the damage is permanent after looking up steroid atrophy online thanks x

    • hi there, my recovery was amazing, and then my eczema acted up and now i’m back in that rut. true story. the atrophy should go away over time IF you didn’t use the steroid for long. using a moisturizer should help reduce the appearance of lines and papery texture too. give it some time, and eat well, your body will do its job.

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