BEFORE&AFTER

in case you didn’t notice the “before and after” post at the side bar (yea i realize it isn’t placed that strategically… my bad! but i want you all to see who i am before reading my posts..!), i thought it’d be nice if i put a page dedicated for this purpose.

you can click on the images to enlarge, most of them aren’t that big though.
i’ve cropped most to 600 pixels, good enough to see most details.

FACE
Topical steroid withdrawal before and after, healed
(i did this image to be used out of my blog, which explains the rectangular black shades i have.. let’s just say i try to keep my face exclusive for this blog only, okay?)

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NECK
topical steroid withdrawal, neck before and aftertopical steroid withdrawal, neck healed

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SHOULDER
topical steroid withdrawal, shoulder before and aftertopical steroid withdrawal, shoulder healed
the little holes you see on my arm is not due to TSW, it’s injection marks left on me since i was a baby. you may notice several brown spots on the top of my shoulder, those are the pigmentation spots that i have all over my body now.

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ARM
topical steroid withdrawal, arm before and aftertopical steroid withdrawal, arm healed

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WRIST
topical steroid withdrawal, wrist before and aftertopical steroid withdrawal, wrist healed

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HAND
topical steroid withdrawal, hand before and aftertopical steroid withdrawal, hand healed

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KNEE
topical steroid withdrawal, knee before and aftertopical steroid withdrawal, leg healed

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FEET
topical steroid withdrawal, feet before and aftertopical steroid withdrawal, feet healed

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97 thoughts on “BEFORE&AFTER

    • 我不可以說中文! :X 哈哈哈, 當然會說中文呀, 只是現在懶得打廣東話, 請你將就下~ 我的皮膚也是比之前暗沉, 咖啡色.. 😦 我相信時間一久了皮膚就會變回白皙! 畢竟皮膚受刺激了那麼久, 需要時間給它慢慢代謝~ 你已經多久沒搽類固醇了?

      • 我第五個月喇, 以前查左最強的類固醇 3-4 年. 頭一兩個月又紅又出水, 好嚴重, 同 withdrawal 前好像兩個人! 而家來到第 5 個月, 全身都好乾, 鞋十十, 好返既位又咖啡色. 有時唔係痕, 係有種吉吉地的感覺. 同埋我好大汗, 可能皮膚損左, 所以一出汗就好拿. 這個過程真係好痛苦, itsan 冇咩中國人, 可以用中文同你傾真係好好! 我而家食緊supplements, 其實都唔知有冇用…. 下年年尾結婚, 我都未試衫呀, 個身一撻撻, 可能要做包到實一實既新娘 T_T

      • itsan裡面比較少亞洲人,不過都係有既!我諗你到明年就會好得7788架啦!要有d信心!
        食咩supplements呀?我之前都食過d無謂嘢,我覺得好晒錢〜 因為食完都係冇好轉,始終需要時間。
        睇黎你已經度過咗最難熬既時候,皮膚的確受損了,俾多d時間佢就會好!我之前都係一流汗就好唔舒服,宜家冇嘢lu!
        加油啦!

  1. You inspired me! I am from Hong Kong and just started my TSW. I had no idea what I am going thru until I found itsan, and one of the members directed me to your blog. I am currently in my 4th month of withdrawal, getting very dry, flaky skin, feels like a snake and can’t stop crying from time to time. It’s just very frustrating… you’re such a brave girl. Everyday I look into the mirror and I start weeping… I have a 20 month old baby boy, sometimes I just hold him in my arms and cry non-stop. If it weren’t him I probably would have committed suicide already.
    I just want to say thank you, your blog gives me (or all skin warriors) lots of support and hope here. And you look amazing!

    • hey there brenda! thanks for dropping a comment 🙂

      please stay strong for your little baby boy. it’s a feat that you managed to stay 4 months into TSW without knowing what you’re having! i would have went right back into steroids already.

      i hope i can continue to give you little dosage of hope along your TSW journey!

      😉 talk to me if you need to. always love speaking to a fellow hongkonger. 😀

  2. Thanks a lot Juliana. I think your blog and your reply has touched a lot of skin warriors out there. You’re like running a non-profit 🙂
    You live in Singapore isn’t it? I used to live in Singapore for 2 years too, love the country. Definitely cleaner and more spacious compare to HK.
    Did you take any supplement during your withdrawal? If so, what’s that? And do you find that helping or not? Also, have you tried acupuncture?

    • you’re most welcome brenda. 😀 this is what i want to do, to give hope to all the skin warriors! i have been there before, i know what it feels like to hear from people who have healed.. now it’s my turn to do that for others. 😉 it’s definitely very satisfying to hear from people like you telling me how much you’ve benefitted from my documentation/blog. i’m not profit driven, but driven by personal satisfaction 😀

      i live in singapore right now. maybe you can come back next time!

      i didn’t take any supplements during my withdrawal. but i started taking TCM from month 21 onwards, i don’t know if it has helped or not? maybe, maybe not. i have nothing to compare to. it might be placebo effect? who knows. i have not tried acupuncture.

  3. From time to time, I would check out your site just to see how you’re doing. I too suffered from over usage of topical steroids, mainly on my face but no where as severe as your condition but you’ve managed to heal much better than I. You are so brave and thoughtful for putting your story and pictures up. I hope this site reaches many others for encouragement and equip them with knowledge that doctors aren’t advising us. By the way, the whole skin transformation is incredible. Your skin is BEAUTIFUL now!!!

    • hello ella!

      i guess i’m kind of lucky in a sense that most of my steroid use was on my body? i did use them on my face but its much lesser as compared to what i applied to my body. :X

      i wake up everyday feeling so thankful to have normal skin now! your turn is coming soon 😉

      xoxo

  4. Thanks Juliana. Now that your skin is normal, do you use a gentle scrub/exfoliant to remove some of the dead skin off if you have any? I think I am past the edema stage and now the skin is just super dehydrated and flakey. PPL are telling me now I need to exfoliate it off but it just doesn’t make sense to me. The skin is still so fragile and the microscopic dead skin is connected to some really healthy skin underneath and if I force it off with more lotions and potions, it’s defeating the purpose of letting the skin rebuild itself naturally so it can become stronger, right? Eentually the dry skin will peel off on it’s own to reveal fresher skin. Let me know what your thoughts are. Thanks!

    • hmm! it all depends on you at the end of the day. a few questions to ask yourself.

      1) are you bothered by the look of dry flakey skin?
      2) does your skin remain calm even after exfoliation?

      if your answer is yes, I guess you can go ahead and exfoliate them!

      when I was still in the scaley stage I didn’t really exfoliate though. or so I thought.. haha! I didn’t scrub myself or whatsoever but I was scratching all day which sort of removed quite an amount of skin off me.

      I think you’re right. the scales actually protect the new skin underneath. if it’s not bothering you or getting in your way, just let it be! as you said, they’ll fall off on their own 🙂

  5. Hi Juliana, thank you for detailing your healing journey and continuing to post updates and comments. I chanced upon your blog on the ITSAN forums and I’m really glad I did. I’m a fellow Singaporean and in a strange way find it comforting to know someone else on this tiny island has gone through the same problem.

    A little info about myself: I’m a first year uni student, currently into my 4th month of TSW. I’ve been using steroids for over 10 years, mostly topical although towards the end I did go on 3 separate periods of oral steroids. Found out about RSS and decided on going through the journey as I got tired and annoyed at the perpetual state of my skin.

    I have to say your skin now looks beautiful and I waiting for the day I too have normal looking skin. Looking at the transformation of your skin through your journey is just inspiring and uplifting. During my initial few weeks of TSW, I kept questioning myself if this was a bad idea and it wasn’t what I thought it was(TSW). But as I went about reading stories from other people suffering through this ordeal, I grew confident on my decision and pressed on. Seeing pictures really did it for me as I would be thinking to myself, “Hey that looks just like my skin!”

    Thank you once again and to fellow brothers and sisters, we shall overcome and prevail!

    • you’re most welcome! it’s my pleasure to be able to give people assurance during this tough journey because real life successful examples are not widely available to the public!

      I hope you have an easier TSW journey..! mine was quite bad for some reason.

      good luck and stay strong!

  6. I LOVE your blog Juliana! You have given me complete hope I’m going to heal well. THANK YOU. My skin looks very, very similar to yours..in the mid-months of withdrawal. It is awful. Takes so long, feels like two steps back and one up..but I keep reading your blog. You write so beautifully! 😉

    • thank you dear 🙂 do come back often whenever you need a dose of hope and positivity 😉 I strive to deliver!

      you’re absolutely right, it’s a 2 step forward 1 step back process. soooooo frustrating at times!!!

      xoxo

  7. JULIANA! I was thinking about you the last few days, and decided to give your blog a visit. So glad I did – you look amazing and healthy, and I’m so so happy for you. Such an inspiration ❤

      • I’ve been okay!! Had a few good months during the last semester, but now that exams are here I’m flaring pretty badly. But nothing like how I did initially, so I’m positive. Stumbling on your photos also give me hope! Let’s set a date for that ice cream outing 🙂 I’m going to email you now!

  8. Whenever I have doubts about whether I will heal, I visit your blog. You are such an inspiration – and I love how responsive you are. Thank you for simply being around. It’s very supportive.

    • and you’re such a sweetie for always letting me know how thankful you are! it makes me feel very appreciated 🙂 you are welcome! i know first hand how hopelessly depressing the entire TSW ordeal can be. i just hope to be able to lighten that load a little.

      xoxo

    • hello annie,

      it took me about 2 odd years to finally get out of my worse withdrawal symptoms. i don’t know if i am considered fully healed now or not, but i have returned to my normal life 2 years into my withdrawals.

      • I was about to ask the same question but saw this… 2 years?! I’m just over 2 MONTHS in and don’t know how much more of this I can take. Any words of wisdom??

        For anyone interested, my blog is ditchtheitch.blogspot.com!

      • hey karina, don’t be stumped by my recovery process. there are many out there who spent much lesser time healing!!! i think i’m the worst case scenario.. i hope i didn’t scare you with my healing. considering i used steroids all over my body for a pretty long time, it’s quite understandable why i took so long.

        my advice is to take things one day at a time, try not to set a limit on the healing, just take it as it is, it’s easier on the mind that way. if you really want to have a “end point” in mind, i think it’s better to prepare yourself for the worse case scenario. chances are you’ll heal before that and you’ll be more than happy, instead of setting an unrealistic healing time and get disappointed over and over again.

        stay strong!

        xoxo

  9. Hi! Your story is comforting, and I’m glad that you went through it and made it out on the other side of TSW!! Your skin is beautiful now, especially after seeing the before pictures. I too am going through TSW, and have recently even realized that it was a “thing”! Thank God for Google. But anyway….I wanted to know the time frame of your before an after pics. Was it over a span of like 9 months, a year?? Thanks for sharing, though!! You’ve helped and encouraged, and prepared so many people (including me) with sharing your story!

    • Sorry….I’m just seeing the comment, that mine posted under. I was rushing by the time I got the your B&A pics. 🙂 I see now, that it was over a span of 2 years that you healed up. Thanks again!!

      • hello crystalina! glad you found the answer before i’m able to get back to you. it took me 2 years to get a lot better, but full recovery will take much longer. but as long as places that are visible to others looked fine, i think it’s going to be smooth sailing from there.

  10. Juliana I to am grateful I stumbled onto your story, I, like many others am just starting to withdraw, although I believe I may have experienced withdrawal 3-4 times in the last three years as I have used topical steroids for probably 30 years mostly on my hands except some on my face for short periods during the flares, for eczema and sometimes I wasn’t using it full time. But in the last 10 years I was using the highest strength available, about 3 years ago I experienced my first flare up not knowing what it was, so it may of been because I might of been not either using as much steroid cream or even possibly none for a brief time and then a flare started so as you would know I went to the docs and they told me to use the steroid topically again and more , I was given the steroid injections also during the 3 flares, this all lasted maybe 3 months, so I never knew what was going on, blamed many other things because I was at a loss to figure out what was happening. Tried or guessed at so many things that we’re not the problem, I even was putting on the damn steroid ointment each night then sleeping in vinyl gloves all night to help me to sleep without pain on my hands, I then blamed the toxicity of the steroid and vinyl gloves for my recent flare that started in February, the odd thing is I was using heavy topical steroid when the flare started, so I’ve suffered a lot but now I know the truth and I am never ever going to use steroids again. I am like others in extreme pain, so scared, exhausted, panicky. My hands have been almost unusable and now my face is so red hurting somewhat swollen all the things you’ve described and shown. Sorry this is so long, I am trying to handle everything and keep my job and stay alive. I am leaving on a long planned trip next Saturday, it is one we saved for for a very long time and I can’t believe this has happened but I have no choice but to go. I’m not feeling good but can’t cancelation it would effect others, We will be in the sun a lot, do you know if sun will hurt my condition? I’m hoping the sun may help as in years past when I spent a large amount of time the sun did help my eczema , so I’m praying it may help! Do you know what oils,creams,lotions etc work the best for some relief? I’m just so scared and don’t know how long my recovery will take, thank you for all your site and care in helping all us others suffering your a special person thank you!!

    • hi debi, thanks for your heads up! I’m sorry to hear about your steroid story. wanna give you a quick reply, why not you use the steroids for now until your trip is over? steroid withdrawal is a big matter and shouldn’t be attempted without some good planning. if you’re gonna go on a trip, I think it’s not going to make any significant difference in terms of skin damage if you use it for a few more days. after all you have used it for 3 decades. enjoy the trip and come back home to start the withdrawals.

      I think the sun may irritate the skin initially as the skin becomes hyper sensitive during the start of withdrawals. but it differs for individuals. stay out of the sun if it did irritate you. Vaseline was the only thing that my skin tolerated, it only helped to retain some mobility in my join areas. I heard that ice packs are able to relief the burn and pain most effectively. most creams and oil may end up irritating your skin at the start, you have to test them out to see which works for you.

      I hope you can enjoy your trip!

      xoxo

  11. Thank you Juliane for your reply, at this point I’m starting with dr rapaport for help hopefully he can also guide me thru this horrible ordeal while on my long awaited trip and after, I know it’s going to be tough to stay strong but I’m a week into no steroid use and because I was already having a flare for 2 months even when using the damn stuff I believe I shouldn’t go back on it even temporarily, using it wasn’t stopping the bad flare :-(. So I will have to be diligent I guess. I am trying so many different oils/creams and your right I don’t know what’s good or bad as I can’t really tell at this time, I can try plain petroleum jelly and see, I don’t know if it’s just the beginning of worst to come or I pray since I’ve been flaring for a couple months it is ping to settle down awhile I pray it is. Again thank you very much! I will check in after trip.

  12. Hi juliana, and all the other TSW brothers and sisters. My name is Peter, i’m 26 years old and have been an eczema sufferer for a longggg time. Last august i was admitted to hospital as my skin was just out of control, all the while using Steroid creams. Like many of you, i have had eczema since i was a kid but in hindsight i realise it was a couple of years ago when i started regularly buying OTC hydro cortisone and applying it rather irresponsibly, that things got out of hand. Toward the end of that year, in the summer, i went on a camping trip with my dad and didn’t take any along with me. Exposing my skin to the sun in the middle of the day resulted in my face flaring up in the worst ‘ezcema’ i’ve ever had. I convinced myself i had a sun allergy was prescribed Tacrolimus. I found no answers in the years and months to come. You know the story, several G.P’s derm drs and hospital visits later, and the only answer they had was severe eczema and to use more steroid creams. I’m now on 100mg of azathioprine (immunosuppresant) a day and have been using advantan cream daily to control the flares. THe more i read about TSW the more i feel like it is EXACTLY what is going on with me. And from what i’ve read, its a long and rocky road ahead. I stumbled upon ITSAN.org and your blog and feel i’ve finally found the answer to this problem that has been ruining my life for the last couple of years.

  13. Hi Juliana

    I am Su. I had atopic eczema since 2002 (pregnancy) and on and off was on prednisolene tablets and e-creams for face and hands and legs. I was introduced to itsan by a naturopath this year and decided to do TSW…it has been 2 months now and I am sad to say I went back to steroids as I was suffering from severe swelling on my legs and had infection which lead to a day trip to the hospital for an antibiotic drip.. I am slowly weaning off the cream and pill and hope to go TSW agin. I am so motivated by you and other fellow TSW who have succeeded.. I will jump on the wagon again…thanks and keep your blog active. Lots of love.

    • hello su!

      i’m sorry to hear about your plight, it’s really unfortunate that you were down with infections. 😦 once you feel ready, you’re always welcome on board this TSW ship! there’re many of us here and we’ll all sail towards good skin. just so you know, swelling is very normal during the beginning of the withdrawals. i had a lot of swelling/edema in my legs too, simply due to gravity. thankfully i didn’t get any infections.

      and you’re most welcome! i’m glad that my blog is able to be of some help! i’ll keep updating! 😉

      xoxo

  14. Hi Juliana

    I am sorry to hear about the eczema conditions you had been suffering all these years? Have you manage to reduce the eczema flare up or these eczema still haunting you?

    • hello, thanks for the concern! i’ve managed to reduce the eczema flare up. right now they’re still bothering me, but it’s no longer haunting me because i know for sure that it can’t get any worse than what i see right now.

      • Wow good to hear that , it’s an inspiration story from you:). Just managed to saw your story through other people links. Look like you got a lot of followers haha ^^.

      • 😉 thanks! i don’t have a lot of followers. just a close knitted group of skin friends who are going through the same thing i did. hmm. do i know you? am i supposed to know you? i don’t remember knowing a melvin, but you speak like you know me out of this blog.

  15. Your story’s so inspiring! I’m about a month into my TSW journey, I’ve only ever used hydrocortisone on my face and it hadn’t been an issue until the last year when I started having really bad flare ups and photo sensitivity when I went in the sun. I now realise this is because of the fact I had been using hydrocortisone on my face. I went to the doctors who prescribed antibiotics for steroid induced rosacea but I’m tempted to go cold turkey and allow my body to heal naturally. My question is, did you experience photosensitivity? And is this something that has improved as your skin has healed? I’m so scared that I’ll never be able to go on holiday or expose my face to sun ever again just because ive used steroid cream on my face! Thanks so much x

    • hey there kirsty! I am not sure what you mean exactly by photosensitivity. I don’t get rashes by being under the sun, but I notice my skin tans a lot faster right now than they used to (before TSW) . you can always wear a sun screen if your skin is sensitive to the sun, I think? have hope! your skin will recover! it just takes time..

  16. Wow- you have achieved miraculous results. I can imagine the while process was very difficult. I am currently on my 28th day of TSW having applied potent topical steroids onto face only for the past 15 years. Finding it extremely difficult but trying to fight it every day. Flaking, blotchy, tight, oozing, red skin along with major bouts of depression is a very low experience. You look absolutely fantastic now so I will hope of the same in the future!. Daz x

    • hey daz, i’m currently going through another flare and i can totally concur with what you’re feeling right now. *hugs* it’ll get better! i hope my healing story encourages you a little. depression is normal, just let it come and go. even if it swallows you, don’t stop believing that you will return to normal one day. in fact, you’ll become better than normal.

      stay strong!

  17. Wow Juliana, totally amazing, I hope your still active on this site recently :O. Anyways, during your healing, did you go to school at all?
    Currently I’m healing for about 3 months now, and thank god its only on my arms and a little bit on my neck. Although i just hit my first break of withdrawal, the other days in school are so terrible since I’m literally twitching around in my seat trying not to itch in front of people LOL. Great Post by the way, and you look absolutely great!

  18. You are incredible! Wow, how you have overcome! You’re such a strong person, and I am so glad that your skin is healing. This blog is such an inspiration.

  19. My 18 year old son has been going through this for 10 months. Your own story has greatly helped him to keep going. As his mum it has been very very hard to stand back and feel so helpless. I think you have done so amazingly and I am so glad you persisted. It is however a very lonely journey. As my son said most people sympathise but they cannot empathise.

    • hi jenny, i’m glad to be able to offer some help during tough times like this. i hope your son is coping with TSW, it’s hard, he’ll need a lot of support. i pray for you to stay strong for your son! it sucks to watch him suffer.. it’s definitely a lonely journey, that’s why the itsan forum is so great! it connects all the skin friends and we find solace and each other’s daily experience. we share a lot in common thanks to the TSW experience, maybe he’ll like to pay the forum a visit?

      • 我來自香港,也是戒類固醇中,濕疹已由2001年到宜家,又係被d仆街醫生叫我係甘用類固醇,之後茶乜都冇用,後來要每日食30mg先控制到,現在戒類固醇中,已一個月,知道會反彈,現在痛苦地生活中,在網上搵料,有幸見到你的文章同相片,比左好大正能量我,你好叻,我要向你學習,想問你近況如何?冇用類固醇幾耐?有新相片嗎?希望你見到此文章,thx

  20. I can’t wait to show my son your before & after photos! He is now 4 months into TSW and his face and arms look like some of your worst photos. I’m nearly crying in joy to see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel for him! Thank you for doing this website!

    • hello heather! i’m so sorry your son have to go through this, and you have to witness everything! don’t lose hope! children recover much faster than adults. make sure he’s well fed and getting sufficient rest! leave the body to do its job in healing 🙂 looking forward to your good news!

  21. this is amazing. I am doing this as well but how can u over come this ? I mean when U go out and work . People all looking at you and I couldn’t sleep at night at all .

    • initially when i still went to school, i just tried my best to survive. it was hard facing people. then i took a year off from school to rest at home to recover. it’s tough if you have to work during such times! i give those skin friends props for being able to stay strong through those times.

      • Hi,我係Derek,多謝你回覆,如你在香港,一定要約你出來交流下,見你真的同冇病一樣,叻女,我現在反彈中,有幸冇想象中爆得好利害,不過最奇怪係,身體一些從來都冇濕疹的地方,一戒類固醇,就爆出來,例如我的腳,一直都冇事,但類固醇反彈時,我對腳都幾利害,最令我苦惱,係我的私處,都爆出來,真係嚇死我,,,希望快過去,,,,

        另外我想問你,現在需要戒口嗎?同埋見你相片,見你有化妝,但面部不會敏感嗎?我現在冇睇中醫或西醫,只係食大麻籽油,洋蔥素,益菌,感覺都ok,希望keep到,

      • hi derek, 哈哈哈 如果我在香港的話再說吧.. 我的濕疹幾個月前復發了, 所以也不是一路順風的. 很多人都會在爆發時期連平時正常的皮膚都受影響, 但是你不必氣餒, 因為都會好的.

        戒口的話, 看你本身的身體吧. 只要不要吃過敏的食物, 多吃容易消化又有營養的食物, 長遠下來應該會有益無害. 但是每個人的身體結構不同, 需要你自己experiment. 皮膚好了過後完全不會敏感. 是最近皮膚還沒好, 感覺皮膚很薄, 會有點敏感.

    • 其實我把所有update都寫在blog裡了 如果你去home page那裏會看到更新。濕疹是自身問題,這次看起來應該不是反彈,因為事隔斷藥已久。沒有以前嚴重。

      • 你好,師姐,想請教你,在這兩年類固醇反彈期內,皮膚是否發炎,好返,再發炎,又好返地重複?我這半年就是這樣,不知是否正常?

  22. Wow, you are so strong and brave. I feel like eczema is dehabilitating and my eczema outbreaks must be a fraction of the pain and discomfort you have gone through.. I have only just discovered RSD through your blog and others and I’m so relieved that there is such a simple way of hopefully kicking this horrible condition. Do you have any tips or advice whilst going through withdrawal? Have you used anything on your skin in place of steroids?

    • hi emily! thank you so much! i was just as relieved as you are when i found out that my skin will not be bad eternally! being led to believe that it was eczema (and as the derms say, it can’t be cured), i thought i was doomed to live with itchy and red skin for life. my only advice is to take things one day at a time, and try your best to not rush it, because healing won’t happen as quickly as we wish for it to be. i have not used anything in place of steroids.

  23. Hello, it is Martin. I am not sure if my question is visible here so I need to ask you again :-).

    1.You used only vaseline nothing else for covering only really dry places right?
    2.Have you made any change in your diet? (alcohol, coffee, chocolate, wheat, diary, meat, etc?)
    3.How often have you took bath or shower? I heard that it is enough to take shower only twice a week and really very quick.

    Thank you much

  24. The top of my feet is similar to your ex-feet… How long did it last? I duno if wearing socks or stocking socks might help but it sure does contain all my flakes in it.. It’s easier to dispose them.. Did u soak ur feet in anything? What kind of shoes do you wear?

      • Wow that’s pretty Long..!! I’m still at month 5.. Got edema from month 2 till 4.. Ankle is still slightly swollen n oozing.. Do you wear sneakers all the time? Would ur socks be stained with blood or have flakes sticking on it? Hmm is there anything that u have tried then to make ur feet less itchy? Pardon my bombardment of questions cuz I can’t find any much info for pple having flaky dry oozy feet in sg…

      • TSW is a long process! i wear sneakers all the time, but my socks are not stained. sometimes skin flakes stick onto it. cold water makes my feel less itchy 🙂

    • E-lynnn want to converse I`m in month( and talking to others would be great also any other people that would like to converse I would love to talk to fellow flake skin warriors lol

  25. Hi Juliana,

    I think your blog is exceptional. I am month 23 and my feet are similar to the way yours look in the photos – but mine are super-swollen! Can yiu tell me about how long it took your feet to heal?
    Also – did you have scarring? Yiur ankles and wrists look scarred although healed.
    Thanks so much for sharing your journey.

    Carolyn
    Carrie223 on Itsan

    • hi carolyn!

      my feet look 2+ years. i can’t remember how long it took exactly, but it was a long time. also, once it heals it doesn’t leave any scars at all. 🙂

      • Wow – I’m in month 23 and feet just started up. I hope I don’t have to wait 2 years! Oh dear! My lower legs/feet are so heavy! Thanks for your quick reply! So happy to see you healed!! You are lovely!

      • Hello Juliana , I just sort of came across your blog , by searching & putting in all kinds of questions in Google . “What’s the first symptoms of Topical Steroid Withdrawal ” Your blog popped up !! Sure made my day 🙂 So glad you put your information & experiences onto the internet . I have read so many other peoples blogs , but none with so many details . Yours will really help me ” If ” I have a bad one .. Been on many different kinds , since I broke out at 6 months old . My Mom took me off formula & put me on Raw Cow’s milk . She told me I was so Ozzy & beet red from head to toe she was afraid to touch me , with out me being in pain 😦 Fast forward now at 57 years old ( next month ) steroid us , caught up to me . The past 2 years my pollen allergies got so bad – I was on almost every steroid for everything . Nose , breathing , skin & a couple time’s ,pills . My Reg. GP ( I guess ) wasn’t adding up all of what she was putting in me ? The last straw was when my eye Dr. gave me steroid cream for my eyes for 2 weeks . After I had stopped that my eyes never got better & my face started breaking out worse , my skin ( steroid ) cream was not helping . So I jumped on the internet .. POW there it was Red Skin Syndrome matched perfect for what I was going through . Tomorrow will be my 4 th day stopping everything . I’m so scared of what might come . I’m saying might because I’m holding out HOPE , but I have that little inner voice saying ” You know it’s going to get Bad !! ” All I have noticed more is my face is still red & itchy – but it’s starting to get flaky . Getting ( more ) little pimple like blisters on my fingers & get real bad cold chills . Of course I have always known that it wasn’t good to put a lot of Steroid cream on , just because I was told it thins the skin . But I would use it almost everyday through the years & a lot of Flonase ( Nose ), Neomycin & polymyxin B Sulfates & Dexamethasone ( eyes ) Fluticasone Propionate ( inhaler ) Triamcinolone Acetonide ( cream ) also Hydrocortisone ( cream ) this past summer . Maybe not enough for a Full blown withdrawal – Think I’m kidding myself – Wish I knew … This is already way too long , but mostly wanted your opinion 🙂 What ever your thoughts might be good or bad . I have to suck it up & handle the outcome . I know it will be just a guess , but reading yours & everyone’s story . Seems I will have better luck asking here . Thank you in advance for your Blog , even if you don’t have any answers for me 🙂 Very Very Happy for you & how you pulled through YEAH !!!! Diana

      • hi there diana! glad you chanced upon my blog and got in touch with the TSW community! your steroid usage history sure is long! because you also have breathing issues, it might be very dangerous if you go steroid free entirely! now that you know the negative side effects of long term steroid usage, i believe you’re now empowered to take charge of your own health and be willing to question your doctor’s opinions. after all, they are advisors, not dictators. we should not just listen blindly to their advices because not all doctors have our best interest at heart.

        please visit the itsan forum and enquire about doctors who are willing to work with TSW within your area. you might need medical supervision to get through TSW!

  26. Hi, Juliana! I am only in my second week of TSW and I already feel like dying. I had been on steriods for about 4 years and it just stopped working. I used to apply Comiderm (Betamethasone Dipropionate Gentamicin) class 1 steriod all over my body and face unkowningly and taking prednisone on and off. The doctor never explained the drugs he prescribed to me, even though I asked him about it. I did not google the medicines and cream as the medicines and cream work or simply I trust that doctor should have 医德. And just 3 months back, things just stop working and doctor just silently gave me steriod jab twice and only told me I will heal faster. Things just turn bad. Itchiness and rashes all over my face and neck. Initially I visited 3 dermatologists and all said that I had rosacea (I believed is steriod-induced rosacea) and I stupidly ate minocyclines and applied elidel cream on my face and neck. Minocyclines causes me to have slight depression and dermatologists told me it won’t. Elidel cream causes increase burning sensation on my face and neck day by day. So I stopped everything after 2 weeks and my face and neck starts to have redness, pimples/acne like rashes and my skin started to show peeling sign on the 3rd day. I visited TCM to heal my body internally as months of anitibiotics and steriods cause my immune system to be weak, After a week, redness reduced and I thought my skin is healing. But on the second week after I woke up from sleep, many big red bumps appear all over my face and neck. I am devastated and I have been crying as I really fear that I will not heal. I am not able to work and have to depend on my parents to look after me. I feel ashamed and useless as I am already 29 years old and still need to depend on my parents now.

    You are so brave to go through the whole journey! I hope I can be as brave as you…

    • hi lynn, i’m sorry to hear about what have happened to you. sadly, we are all similar in that we trusted our doctors too much. but all hope is not lost, you are now in control of your own health. you are now alerted to the possibility that not everyone has our best interest at heart.

      what i can tell you is, this won’t last forever. you will heal, i can assure you. it just takes time. if it makes you feel any better, i’m 27 and i’m also depending on my family to look after me as i haven’t been able to work too. sometimes i feel useless too, but i know deep down this won’t last forever. and if anything, this period of time merely primed me and made me want to provide for my family even more in the future when i’m finally healthy and able to. it’s pumping up my desire to work harder in the future for my loved ones to repay them for the kindness and love they have showered me with.

      try not to go down that track of negativity, instead of feeling ashamed, you might feel better feeling lucky to have a supportive family! i am brave only because my family is there to support me during such a difficult time. on my own, i’m nothing. and i am sure you can be as brave as me, and everyone else who chose to quit steroids. it takes a lot of courage and strength, so you are by no means weak at all because you’ve made this decision, and this decision requires strength.

      stay positive! moments of suffering are the best time to reflect on life, give thanks, be grateful for what we have, and to reconfigure our perception of reality. it can be very enriching if you do it right!

  27. Hi,I have been Tsw since 18/04/16.I have used steriod cream 1.5 year on all over my body.after I have stopped the cream for a few days ,my leg started swollen and oozing.it make me so itchy and can’t sleep well.the other part of my body also have some similar but is not much.the reason why my leg lis the most serious is because I have used more and Long time on my leg.but even until now my leg still the same scenario. In the month of November I have drink one Detox drinks which is make from Apple vinegar,ginger,lemon,honey and garlic. Then a few days later all my body which I apply the steroid cream before have flare up and red swollen and oozing on the same time.since I am working right now and this make me hard to sleep and very itchy when I working.could I know what did you eat when you have this kind of situation and did you apply any thing to reduce the itchiness or what is the ways you used to heal your skin.or you just do nothing when you are on the TSW stages.Btw,I stay at Singapore right now.

    • hello mei, sorry to hear about what you’re dealing with right now. sounds like the detox drink is working! but it’s detoxing through your skin, which is so uncomfortable. i tried my best to eat more fruits and vegetables during my difficult times a couple of months ago. i only used glycerin and almond oil to moisturize when necessary, they don’t really heal the skin, but it helps prevent cracked skin. i mostly just let time and my body do its job.

      • hi Juliana, what did you eat and apply when you just stopped the steroid cream.which means when your skin is flares and swollen and oozing.And you have use 2 and half year to get back to normal life is it?after that you see TCM. which TCM you went to? Because I have go some TCM but they absolutely dunno this TSW and say is my body inside allergy. And my friends and family also dun understand this also and say why my skin so terrible even through I have keep on explained.

      • my diet when I first stopped topical steroids was a vegetarian diet. then I went back to a normal diet after 3 months since I don’t feel any effects. I avoided junk food though. that would be sugar, fast food, and fried food.

        and yes, I took 2+ years to get back to normal, but that time frame is different for everyone as healing rate depends on a lot of different variables.

        I went to gingko TCM.

      • Can u know how you deal with ur itchiness? I was manage to control the itchiness of my skin on day time by not scratching too much.but the problem is I always scratch at night on my skin which cover with cotton. I saw my nail inside contain a lot of dead skin and blood when I wake up.and my leg and bedsheet is bloody.this make me Very irritating.Can I know how to you manage this? And I also fell very suffering on shower because it fell pain on my skin during shower and very itchiness after shower.thanks for your information again.

  28. One thing i like about ur blog is u r bieng honest and u r nevr misleading peopel that some remedy worked.So what ive read from all ur post .Should i frive conclusion that TIME IS ONLY HEALER IN TSW?

    • hello there! I do thing time is the only thing that surely works. with the passage of time the body has what it needs to rebalance and recalibrate itself into a new equilibrium. so yes, your conclusion is correct! as for all other remedies, because different people might have different issues external to the TSW they are having, not every thing works for everyone. 🙂

  29. Hi looking through your photos really made me tear up… I am experiencing a similar situation as you right now (except that my face is mostly untouched.. or at least it isnt as bad as the rest of my body)I know this might sound like a stupid question but having severe eczema for the past 20 years has affected my dressing, the way I behave and I always tend to stay at home because of my skin.. I would like to ask how did you cope with going out in the public?

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