Tuesday, June 23, 2015

ANNIVERSARY: a flare to begin another year of topical steroid withdrawal

My two year came and went this May and things have been calm. I'm slowly transitioning out of wearing leggings 24/7 and reintroducing non-cotton clothing back into my life. 

My routine has been taking showers (no soap) 2-3 times per week and NO LOTION! And my skin looks normal, albeit a little on the dry side. The last two pictures are my hands with NO LOTION at all. Note how my unaffected skin doesn't look ashy or dry. 

My skin is pretty much all healed except for my left hand, right ring finger and bottom half of my face. The facial skin looks pretty normal but does shed more than the rest of my skin and gets flakes once in a while on the cheeks and chin and upper lip areas. My hands look like typical eczema and just kind of persists with very slow improvement. 


Last week, the skin on my fingers just started disintegrating. It felt spongy and was easy to rip off and started oozing liquid. After the first few days, I resumed Dead Sea salt baths and it seemed to help seal over the wounds (see Friday's picture below). This again has shown me the power of dead sea salt baths as I had tried coating my fingers with antibiotic, Penaten, anything that would make a dent. It wasn't until I used the dead sea salt baths that my skin began to stop oozing and turn around.

Sunday, 6/14/15

Tuesday, 6/16/15

Friday, 6/19/15

Tuesday, 6/23/15

So flares do still happen, just not the devastating ones of yesteryear. I will continue taking dead sea salt baths for the time being but as you can see the skin on the fingers has healed over and very manageable. 

I still can't emphasize enough how much not using moisturizer and taking these baths has impacted my journey. Moisturizer draws out the ooze more, I believe, and keeps the skin in a fragile state. I definitely noticed it this time around, when I was trying to "protect" my skin by using antibiotic creams. The ooze would just break through and keep the area inflamed. Staying dry really forces the skin to stand up for itself, build up its layers and return to normal. 

Until next time, stay dry! 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

CHAPPED: A brief respite, and a flare.

Well, it was good while it lasted... Month 21!

Between mid December and mid January, I was doing well, skin-wise.

So well, in fact, that I may have gone a little overboard. I started wearing makeup and moisturizing my face. My skin felt smooth, but perhaps was still a bit weak. Well, I may have jumped the gun on that one b/c a flare began the last week of January and has still not subsided.

At least there's no terrible itch or lack of sleep. It's just really peely skin on a few of my eczematic spots of my hands even with slight ooze on one finger and my lips, OH my lips. They have just been terribly chapped for the past few weeks. They would heal perhaps for a day or two then go back to being super chapped again. I'm getting close to a chap cycle and hoping it will subside after this.

How am I handling this? I'm back to my dead sea salt bath every 2-3 days as needed (It feels SO GOOD). And NO MOISTURIZER. I think this was my mistake in jumping the gun on my facial skin before it was ready. The thing is, my forehead is just fine, as it was not an area affected by TSW. But the TSW affected areas (cheeks, chin, lips and upper lip) are really not happy with me and are super flaky. At least I'm not panicking and I just have to continue to remind myself not to get too excited the next time I get a turn around. 

I'm fairly certain this flare/setback is a result of me moisturizing too early. Why? My legs and feet are just fine. I moisturized very minimally in these areas whereas my hands/face where I got overzealous in moisturizing are really punishing me right now. 

Here are the pix. 

3rd finger is so unhappy! There's a bit of ooze coming out of the cracked upper knuckle.

Right hand has always been ahead in healing, but still shows a sign of a flare on the ring finger, it was oozing 2 days ago but I've been keeping it taped up for the most part so it's healing nicely.

Woe is me. The entire outline of my lips is a mess. With cracks and thick skin, it's hard to even eat a large bite! It looks like I got a lip job from far away. HAH. My jawline has tender flaking skin which shows pink very easily, as is the case with my cheeks. You can probably tell I was just scratching my cheek, with that tell tale piece of white showing through. My upper lip skin has just begun to heal from being cracked all week.

Moral of the story? Don't moisturize before the skin is 100% healed, if at all!

Happy healing and stay dry!