Holy crap! It’s been a whole year already! I must say, time went by much faster than I expected. But then again, that’s just looking back. In the midst of the pain, it was as if time had stopped still.
Unfortunately, I am still not healed. However, I am doing much much much better! Upon scrolling through my blog, I can’t believe how far I have come the past year. It has been a hell of a ride, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
I guess I can’t complain too much, as I have had a better withdrawal than some I’ve seen. I didn’t suffer too much from swelling of the body (just my face), my hands and feet stayed clear the whole time, and I slept relatively well throughout it all. Considering my cumulative usage is ~20yrs (although I only really used it for about 10 yrs, and except for last 2-3yrs it was very sporadic), I am doing much better than expected. I attribute the following for my better-than-expected-withdrawal:
1. Stress free recovery.
I was hugely blessed to be able to just focus on getting better for a year. I feel so lucky I was able to do that. I was able to sleep whenever and however long I can/wanted, which I believe helped immensely. There were no external stress, which I know helped as stress definitely worsens things for me.
2. Korean Traditional Medicine
About two months in I took Traditional herbal medicine for few months. It was supposed to aid in overall wellness, with focus on drawing out the heat and support my liver function. When I seemingly didn’t improve after the first round, he took out all the “tasty” thing that may be more pro-inflammatory and made it more hardcore and really nasty. While my skin didn’t improve by leaps and bounds, I think it helped me function as a whole. I didn’t suffer too much from insomnia and the nerve pain went away relatively quick.
3. Moisturiser withdrawal
I stopped using all forms of moisturizer about a month or two into it. I started before there were all the controversies on Itsan about it, mainly due to laziness. I hated water and if I moisturized, I’d have to shower or bath longer to wash off the old goop. So I stopped. When I did, I stopped getting blister clusters and the itch was reduced. My oils started to come back and my skin felt less uncomfortable. I’m still not using any moisturizers and I would say my skin is now more naturally moisturized than pre-TSW when I still had “normal” skin.
4. Autoimmune protocol / autoimmune paleo
I only started this diet about two months ago. You can read more about my experience here, but basically it’s a pretty restrictive diet that’s meant to heal your gut and help relieve any issues that stemmed from it. For me, the difference before and after starting the diet was huge. Once I started to haphazardly reintroduce food, my skin got worse. I went back on it, it got better. Not to mention, my bowel movement improved a lot.
Edit: I have been bad about diet because I’ve been meeting up w people and eating out. I definitely see difference in skin- drier and itchier. I stopped eating chocolate everyday and it’s on the mend again.
5. Supplements & Tea
I drank rooibos tea like water for the first half of TSW. It’s anti inflammatory and I think it helped. I recently started to take Tulsi tea which has helped a lot as well. I highly recommend the two tea. I’ve been bad about supplements. I’m a bad patient. But I’ve taken fridge- probiotics regularly and I think it’s been helping me. I also take fish oil on and off because I have my doubts whether it helps or makes me itchier. Asians are supposed to be better at using vitamin D so maybe I don’t have a vitamin D insufficiency after all.
I hope these can help you in your Topical Steroid Withdrawal. I’ve been doing so well now that skin is steadily becoming an afterthought. I dress however I want (it helps it’s winter!) and go out with friends till late at night without worries. My energy is almost all back which has been amazing.
Now come the pictures (which is what you wanted to see aha)