Monday, November 10, 2014

UPDATE: Healing from Topical Steroid Addiction

It's been almost a year and a half since I began this journey. A year ago, the worst was still yet to come and on the other side of that experience, I can only feel grateful that it's (mostly) behind me. 

My skin is now manageable in the sense that there are no devastating itch, ooze or flare attacks, just small cracks here and there due to heavy use during chores. 

What's my current routine? 

I'm still not using moisturizer and taking dead sea salt baths as detailed in this post. I'm up to 4 days between baths, washing my hair when I get a little grimy. Still using taping for broken skin management as detailed here.

The difference now is that I could take a shower if I wanted to but my skin will be a little on the dry side. As for moisturizer, whereas previous lotion use would result in red inflamed skin, I can now apply it without incident. I'm still keeping it to a minimum so as to let my skin's oil content recover itself. 

Speaking of oil content, I'm also breaking out again! Yes that is excitement since it means my skin is oily enough to trap dirt and grime again. 

All in all, everything is progressing slowly but nicely. Here are some progress pictures. 

Feet still have remnants of damaged skin but have not flared since last reported. 

Upper lip cracks are pretty persistent, but slow progress is visible. Jawline still has flakes sticking too it, which I can scratch off without breaking my skin!

Finger cracks are finer and skin is still poofy  around knuckles. Perhaps plenty of white blood cells are there doing their job?


  1. Looking back, I now am of the opinion that dss baths are mainly best to do during tsw when the skin is broken up bad with open wounds. In later stages of my tsw when my skin was much better I found they caused more itching than benefit, unlike my earlier days when they helped my open wounds heal, and soothed my skin. I do not do them anymore now simply because they make my skin itch too much and that causes me to scratch more. It was a gradual realization for me over the last several months as I noticed this more & more. I now am at a stage where I don't bathe or shower but every 2-4 weeks. When I do, it's always a bath to soak well so I can get clean. I either do straight water, or add a few drops of tto to it, or do an acv bath on occasion. I have my dw wash my hair with a natural shampoo about once every 2-3 weeks. I've never had a problem with my scalp so I can get away with that. So, I guess what I'm trying to say is once you are in later stages of recovery, you might want to cut way back on dss baths and then eventually cut back to none. Last one I did was a good 2-3 months ago and it made my skin worse. I hope this info helps. I also wonder if others have noticed this same thing.

    1. Hi Dan,

      Hope you are well. I have also found it does increase itchiness if my skin is relatively "normal". I only resort to a bath when my skin is really really really dry and slightly inflamed, about one per month at this point. Other than that, I've been taking showers about 2x a week, because my scalp is too oily (who would've ever imagined!)


  2. Hey! I have had the same problem for 2 years now. My upper lip used to crack all the time. After the sore has healed it has left me with wrinkes.. Do you know what this is or what this may be called, since you suffer from the same problem?

    1. Mariam,

      I'm not sure what it's called but it seems pretty common among eczema sufferers. I have not yet gotten rid of my upper lip eczema 100% but I'm hoping it will heal over and the wrinkles will reduce over time, perhaps not to super smooth but improved. I haven't seen an actual name for it.