Month 8 skin pictures

Click for bigger pictures if necessary! Super happy with the progress I am making!
Still doing MW, still sleeping really well (7-10 uninterrupted hours), still eating relatively clean, not taking any supplements, still drinking lots of rooibos tea.

back torso

back torso

front torso

front torso

outer arm, left

outer arm, left

outer arm, left

outer arm, right

inner arms

inner arms

front of neck

front of neck

back of neck

back of neck

front of legs

front of legs

back of legs

back of legs

And there’s my whole body! Kind of weird that the internet knows what my body looks like in detail, but I hope it helps!

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Healed from topical steroid addiction?

What does being healed mean anyway? I was talking to the husband yesterday about how nobody really seems to know what healed means. There are people who claim that they are healed but they still flare here and there. Then there are those who feel better, and look better, but have been withdrawing for less than a year so they don’t get to claim they are healed. Those people are only on a break. Then how about those who have been withdrawing for years and are flaring? Are they not healed either? Or should they say that they are just on a break as well? If you are at 4 month and you feel better you have to watch our for month 6 flare. Then month 9 flare. Then month 11 flare. etc etc. When does that end?

That’s the thing I wondered about the most. There are blogs that claim to be done, but you never quite see what happens afterwards. There are very few who continue to update their blogs, with pictures, after their self proclaimed healing. The how do we know they aren’t just on a prolonged break? Did they ever flare again? How badly? Are your skin still sensitive? Dry? Do you have eczema patches that comes and goes? How do you treat it? Do you treat it?

If you define healing as “back to normal” then are you referring to back to “normal” when the steroids were still working? Because that’s not fair, as eczema was being suppressed by the corticosteroids. “Normal” when compared to other people in the world who never had skin problems? That’s not really fair either. Besides, for those who are going through moisturizer withdrawal, you then would be comparing yourself to “normal” people who are wearing moisturizers. That’s a unfair comparison.

Granted, with a lot of disease there isn’t a definition of being “cured.” You’re cured if the medicine worked (therefore the diagnosis was correct) and you feel better.

The following pictures show the worst parts of my skin right now. Face and left inner upper arm. Ridiculously enough, now my skin produces too much oil and I have pimple problems. There’s no winning is there aha. Nonetheless, I’ve never been so happy to see pimples! I think now it’s time that I start washing my face or something. I haven’t chanced taking a long hot shower yet, but I did take a short lukewarm shower and I was doing fine! I feel my energy is starting to come back and my main concern is discoloration.

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I will update with more pictures later tonight, hard to take pictures of your back by yourself. I tried, I really did, but my contorting can only take me so far aha. Will I claim I am healed? No, because I would still want my skin to become a bit better. And I have the time to do so. However, I know that I don’t really think I will be flaring again. I feel my energy increasing. I itch very little (less than 20 times a day, less than 3 seconds at a time). When I do scratch, it’s usually because there is a tag or a hair or something. I don’t really see any new patches cropping up. My skin continues to produce oil, although it can produce a bit more. Furthermore, if I stop improving now, IT WILL BE OK. I CAN LIVE LIKE THIS, HAPPILY. The discoloration will go away in time, and the dryness is nothing a light coat of oil can’t fix.

Well, whatever may happen, I’ll be sure to keep you all posted!

Month 7 update

Hello!
I ended up not putting up month 6 photos.. Oops. But it was basically the same as I do now, but the teensiest bit worse. I am still not using any moisturizers. I am still drinking lots of rooibos tea in lieu of water, and trying harder to eat gluten free now – I have gluten sensitivity but I’ve also been baking a lot and I was naughty the past few weeks. I try to avoid msg as I’ve always been sensitive to it. For supplements I started to take activated b12 (methylcobalamin). I’ve been taking vit d, vit c, and “complete” vitamins which includes bunch of vitamins and minerals. That said, I am not very regular about it (I’m a bad patient) and the latter two are in gummy bear form so they are delicious but i don’t know how effective it is.

My skin is doing awesome! It no longer consumes my life. I’m itchy here and there for few seconds at a time. Definitely nothing to upsetting. My face and scalp seems to be the itchiness. The most promising thing is the strength of my skin. Whenever I get itchy I just itch because 1. It doesn’t last long, nor is it intense; 2. My skin is strong enough that I don’t do any damage to it. The worst I’ve done is fingernail sized scab, which does not ooze and quickly scab over, or more commonly just white fingernail streaks which eventually goes away as oil comes back on the areas. Sweating has always made me itchy and it still seems to be the case. When I do yoga, Pilates, or go for a walk I try to not get sweaty.

As for other Topical Steroid Withdrawal related symptoms, I don’t really have any. I’ve been sleeping well for few months now, I seem to regulate temperature well. I haven’t had bad nerve pains in a long time as well.

All that to say skin is no longer the evil overlord of my life. Now the pictures!

Taken at 6.75 month

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Taken at month 7

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Mainly discoloration throughout my body as it figures things out. I’m thankful for the progress!

Four month picture update

Here is the pictures. Looking at pictures from month one, I have come a long long way. The lighting is so hard to get right with my iPhone and so I include multiple face and arm pictures taken from various lighting. My skin is definitely stronger and I think I’m getting stronger internally as well!

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I think the picture taken furthest away is probably the most accurate depiction.

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I am definitely going through a mini flare – I woke up once or twice and scratch my arm wound like crazy. Edit: just started my period, flares always come when I have my period Hence the red raw skin. My butt looks like that but worse and more scabby and oozey.

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There are actually quite a bit of soft to touch, almost normal skin on my back and stomach. My nipple oozes just a bit now, nothing compared to what it used to be.

If you have any questions or want better pictures, let me know! Happy healing everybody!!

Month two (really week nine and ten) update

Oct. 22: I have been put on more potent traditional medicine. Not sure if that’s what it was, but I was doing a lot better for about two weeks. I was sleeping a lot better, had bit more energy. Then this Sunday I got another flare and became a blistery itchy person again. Still, I am not oozing as bad as I had month one, which has been a huge relief.

Nov. 4: woe is me my skin decided that it doesn’t like me again. Less of the blister cluster this time around though. Actually like none at all. I’m just very itchy and skin is raw and uncomfortable. I have to move very gingerly because it hurts to move. Bless the boy’s heart he scratched my back and generally tried to distract me from the pain. The raw patches of skin is oozing, but it is nothing compared how much I used to ooze and how much people on the forum seemed to be oozing. Fight on skin warriors! (That sounds Trojan-esque… oops). I am still extremely dry and flaky. Face skin is rough to touch. Scabs everywhere! Yum. I’ve noticed that when I am having rough day, the normal skin/tsw and therefore red skin demarcation on my wrist gets more noticeable. I am sleeping much better though! The past couple nights were a bit more difficult since I was more itchy, but it is still better than in the beginning. Nerve pains are less severe and happen less frequently. Woo!
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Oh and hair loss! I’m losing so much hair whyyyy. My eye brows have definitely shed and is attempting to grow back. My hair just seems to continue to shed. The swelling of the face however went down a bit.

Six week update

Woo it’s been a month and a half! Yesterday was my first “good” day since I moved back home. I wasn’t super depressed! In fact, I felt motivated to prepare my own food and eat it! It’s a big deal, as sad as it may be. I gotta celebrate any and all victories! And I slept really well yesterday- so not last night, but the night before. I went to sleep before midnight, and never woke up! Last night however, I woke up couple times and was itchy. The saying one step forward, two steps back is really true with tsw. No matter, I will still celebrate because I feel better than two days ago! I had a flare and was the most uncomfortable I had been recently. I couldn’t sleep, spent four hours in the tub, was miserable when I came out, itchy, ooze, stressed and depressed mess. There were tiny vesicles everywhere, and one light scratch was all it took for the top layer to completely break and start oozing. It’s ridiculous – my epithelial layer’s integrity is completely compromised. My face feels like thick sandpaper. A lot of that is starting to flake over though, I’m hoping I will have at least few days of respite before the next flare, but we shall see!