Thursday, April 24, 2014

1 Month of Moisture Withdrawal

This is my 30 day account of how not using lotion on my skin went!  The process is called moisture withdrawal, and is supposed to be helpful for my skin condition.

Day 1 Not so bad-took shower at night... Was surprised it wasn't awful!

Day 2- Stretched. My shower... After shower it was rough.. I guess the reality that I am not using cream hit my skin.

Day 3 Redness and inflammation down, but very uncomfortable face feels and looks good though

Day 4 Tough day... Feeling dry and a bit itchy... But wounds have healed up...seem to be shedding lots of skin...

Day 5 Skin is comfortable... Main issue is dry ashy look :/ But I feel pretty good...I take a really dry for about 1 hour... Then it all sheds off and I am good to go! In one week I can see that my skin has gotten better...this is NUTZ

Day 6- Was awesome. Skin is great. Every time I get out the shower it's not as painful. Skin restores itself quite quickly.

Day 7 Woke up with some deeper cuts and splits on my hands. Some redness too but my face skin feels good...arms are fine I washed my hair and oil got on my hands so I am thinking it's a reaction to that.

Day 8 Serious swelling :/ in hands ,felt good after shower

Day 9 Skin is prb 30% better than last week little to no discomfort... You get used to that dry ashy feeling... And I barely scratch now. When I do its not intense. Also I use some dilute avc for any cuts or itchiness.I find I am sweating much more. My skin will look ashy and then the ashy look will fade.  Assuming oils are returning :0

Day 10 Skin is just fine. A little dry and wrinkled, my appetite has Had some blisters on my fingers. Over all quite comfortable... Look a little ashy in places

Day 11 Skin was good, a bit dry in my neck.  Was in the sun and felt a little more itchy than usual afterwards. Didn't take a shower Skin over all is pretty comfortable

Day 12 Woke up today dry. Didn't shower yesterday so that's prb why. Thumbs are looking much better, broken skin minimal, no redness. Neck is just dry. Still have yet to do a dead sea salt bath as I don't have any that don't have mineral oil in it

 Day13 Breeze! Lol Eyelids are bit dry this am, feeling better this eve. I must shower to get good results the next day. Otherwise skin feels yucky. I actually look forward to my showers. I am 1 year of steroids today. Yay

Day 14 Skin feels so normal hardly think about it. Getting out of the shower doesn't even feel that wierd anymore. Skin gets a bit dry now, not rough like it used to. Skin even has a shine. Oils are returning.

Day 15 Feeling great today, looking a bit dry. But nothing compares to how good I feel! I can see certain spots of my skin are actually healing on my hands.

Day 16 Honestly my skin is a non issue. Starting to feel day to day updates are pointless, but I will keep it going Skin is normal today. Neck was itchy last night

Day 18 Missed some days cause there wasn't much to update. Skin felt really good today. Even got some sun. However very crusty out the shower today. Hands are peeling ALot. Face looks a bit red and yucky, we will see what the morning brings. Feels a bit strange to be this dry, but not painful. And I am not itchy at all..

Day22 No complaints, skin is a bit itchy this morning, but I have been in the sun a bit more. My right hand is looking really good. Left hand healing a bit slower. Still nothing compared to before. Skin feels so normal I forget to update,skin feels smooth, not dry at all. Just a little dry when I come out of the shower, serious improvements from day 1-5

 Day 24 Skin feels great. Using lemon juice on some dark patches hoping to make them fade away. My skin looks pretty good. Went out without a scarf. This is a huge accomplishment

Day 26 Itchy day, got out of the shower and it took a long time for my skin to normalize. So so itchy...not the norm itchy but a hivey itchy

Day 27 Still itchy, woke up with a swollen eye. Ohh I am flaring... Haha totally forgot about those. But it was bearble. I layed in bed with ice on my eye this am and then was fine for the day. Now am itchy again this evening. Neck and insides of arms. It's easter weekend and I have also consumed plenty of sugar and bread...this could be why?? Lol If this is what a so called flare is ,its a piece of cake to my other flares. I was out today in the sun, running errands....completely uneffected by skin issues I truly believe MW contributes to more comfort during flares...well in general lol

Day28 Still flaring, time of the month came today.... Usually a flare culprit. That coupled with a sugary easter weekend. Found lime or lemon juice very helpful for reducing itch on my arms. Still using lemon for hyper pigmentation, I can tell I am healing because the things that were secondary issues for me before are my main ones. TSW really jacked up my skin. Now I am really seeing the effects and damage done. Was in the sun yesterday and super scratchy last night. Noticing a trend with sun making me more itchy??

Day 29 Normal day. Used lemon again and actually used it on the inside of my arm. Helped reduce itchiness. Didn't shower, so skin is looking wrinkled and dark, need to shed skin

Day 30 Feeling good today. Recovering from my flare. Woke up this morning and showered, which usually I hate doing cause it means I have to walk around and feel the dryness, as apposed to staying in bed. I am a bit uncomfortable. Maybe a 3/10...huge improvement.

So after doing MW for 30 days here are my thoughts
1) Redness is gone
2) Inflammation down 55%
3) Am able to function like I have normal skin, the day passes and my skin doesn't come to mind
4) Patches are drying up and healing faster

Some set backs for me are when I do my hair, I use oils in my hair, so my hands get super itchy and break apart almost immediately. When I sweat I also get super itchy and tear my skin apart. As long as my skin remains dry, I am good. That's a bit of a challenge but I try my best to work with it. Natural oils have definitely returned. I get a shine to my skin I never had before. I have applied Shea to my face every once and while. I do find since my face is always exposed to the elements it stays dryer and takes longer to recover from showers than the rest of my skin.

Well that was my journey through 30 days no creams,no lotions, no oils...shall I continue?  Yea I think so...

Thursday, April 3, 2014

1 year steroid free

So its now has officially 100%, been a year since corticosteroids have touched my skin!
What a milestone... Anyone who has been through 5 minutes of TSW knows that year of this is a HUGE victory!

I had begun to write this post two weeks ago. It had a very ho-hum depressing tone. But an interesting turn of events has lead to a more chipper post!

So since my last post I was not using as much creams...but was still using enough. How I dreaded showering...I hate the feeling of lotion on my skin.  I hate the feeling of greasiness. So I started to use a bit less each day. And oddly when I woke up in the morning when my skin was the 'driest' it felt the best. 

Then I received a 'friendly' reminder about the effects of 'moisture withdrawal'. For those new to the term, its basically cessation of all creams, lotions ,oils and the like.  Sounds like a total nightmare for an eczema patient.

We are so conditioned to think dry skin needs lotion.  Seems completely logical.
So after my 'ftiendly' reminder about MW, I decided I was going to do it full throttle for 30 days.  I have never done MW completely...I think at most I did it two weeks...and certainly was cheating on some days. I had tried it earlier on for about a month, but now that I think about it was doing baths with oils in them and once again cheating.  Also I was not mentally as strong as I am now. Tsw can take a toll on your pain tolerance... So I completely understand how one would not want to subject themselves to any more pain.

I have been doing MW for about two weeks now.  And will be posting a day to day update of my 30 day MW journey, but this is just a little summary.

At first it wasn't as bad as I thought. I would wrap myself up right after I got out of the shower and attempt to stay warm, so my skin wouldn't dry up like the dessert.

Then things started to get tougher.  My skin was sweating randomly and then I started getting deeper cuts in my hands. That wasn't very impressive but only lasted a day or two.

My day 5 I was cool. I looked forward to showers...I love how the skin drys out and then flakes off and reveals smooth skin.
My skin looked way better.

I am a chronic scarf wearer and have had no need to wear one at home now. Or to bed.
For the first time since summer my skin feels like it's actually healing.

Now this could be because I am a year in..
And I am sure that plays a part. But for the past 6 months...nothing has improved, and within one, two weeks of not using my trusty creams all has improved... Yah, I think MW has just a tiny part to play in that haha

Now when I get out of the shower my skin doesn't get all tight and gross. I honestly can't believe this.

My redness is way down, scratching way down... Shedding... Way down... Lol

So I encourage you if you haven't tried MW, do it...for 30 days. I read someone said...we are already uncomfortable using the creams...

I wish I had been more determined the other times I tried it.  But hey we live and learn, nothing before its time... And lucky me spring has sprung so I will be getting some sun and warmth as well.

I just want to express how happy I am!  How normal my day and life feels

The draw back with this is that my skin looks quite ashy. So I kind of hate going out because I look drier than usual.  But as each day passed I can see its getting better.  One of the days I was quite depressed I looked so dry, but then I thought about how bad I felt with lotions. So its a trade off. If I feel good, I am not as concerned with how I look.

At 1 year in I thought I would be healed, but atleast I feel good at 1 year in!
I can deal with feeling good!

Here's to what 18 months brings!!
These pics are all about 10 minutes after showering... So this would be the driest point, and most uncomfortable time.  Everything feels good, my neck hurt a bit to look up like that but if I twist my head a couple times the feeling goes away. Or just massage my skin!