I have been feeling wonderful these last 3 or so months but I also was a bit scared to write too much because I have heard this same story from so many people who have passed the year mark that they have an elongated period of 'good skin' before they unfortunately and unpredictably return to where they were in the early days. So I guess I just wanted to protect myself from getting too excited.
I've been working heavily on my new website Top Eczema Treatments which I am writing articles, doing videos and podcasts about all things to do with eczema and topical steroid withdrawal treatments and management. I've learnt SO MUCH over my life, plus I still have access to a huge amount of information that I wanted to make this site for people going through this stuff - so there's one place, one resource for everything people want to know. It is still growing obviously, but it is a joy to put my energy into :)
Here is the URL if you want a bunch of helpful info and to follow my progress with it http://topeczematreatments.com/
In any case, I wanted to give you an update on where I am at right now just for posterity :)
Here is a photo of my face around the worst period, in March 2015. Then second photo is my face in March 2016 only a week ago - no makeup except for my eyebrows.
The hydration and 'fullness' of my face and skin is also getting some equilibrium happening, which is seen in the second photo around my mouth, chin, cheeks, and eyes.
I don't have any other photos at the moment but I intend on getting some more to post here. But to give you a run down on how everything is going, read on!
Its looking pretty good! I only have a few small patches of what you'd call eczema, but its nothing major - But I don't honestly think I could call anything major now after what I've experienced!
I do still react to the usual culprits as my allergies and sensitivities are still there. So if I drink too much coffee and eat rubbish food then yes, my skin will become inflamed and itchy - so I'll have to eat clean again for a while to get it all settled again. If I go out into the rain or humidity or if I sweat, I get red and itchy all over my face, chest and tummy. If I pat my dog too much, my hands will get eczema type symptoms.
Basically I know what I can and cant do, but do you think that stops me from doing them? (I type this as I am drinking a morning cup of coffee)
I can use moisturizers again now which I've been doing for a while. I use very natural and supportive products at the moment as I'm too scared to touch the products I used to use. The dehydration never actually found equilibrium especially with my face. So those who go through moisturizer withdrawal and no longer need to moisturize afterwards are lucky!
While this is almost a thing of the past, I do have dryness and a small amount of flaking that makes me still have to vacuum my room and bathroom every three or so days. I could probably go longer but I think I have developed a bit of a phobia now with having skin flakes on the floor and the issue with ants.
The minimal amount of shedding I have still seems to attract those little buggers and because I work from home now, they are way too common and always lead a trail towards where I sit so they can bite me every few hours.
In a nutshell though, the flakes are subsiding thank goodness and after 17 months of this crap, I'm totally ready to be done with it all.
Its still growing and is growing into ringlets! This is pretty cool, but it does look like shit overall. I have a head full of about 12cm long curls and the rest is dry, damaged and slightly wavy thin strands just blowing in the wind like cobwebs. Do I want to cut it yet? Nope! I'm still hanging onto those webs like they're gold.
Lately though i have noticed it has been falling out a lot which is concerning. It's not to the extent it fell out last year, so I assume this is because there is a small amount of inflammation on my scalp which I tend to pick at a lot so its probably my own fault.
I spoke before about my phobia with not vacuuming because of the ants, well I have also developed another aversion of sorts.
I'm showering now a lot more often, but I still avoid showering quite a lot simply because the thought of it scares me. My skin still becomes itchy and I get hives a lot with water, which is something I have always had anyway even before TSW. But because of the intense agony I suffered during TSW when I would bathe, I still really fear being in the shower! So when I do wash this way, I make it as fast as humanly possible.
Other stuff - well I do have a messed up sense of pride in how far I've come. There were so many people in my life who either didn't believe this would 'work' or that it was even a thing. Its nice to be able to kind of rub it in their faces a little ;)
Also, I do feel a sense of loss at the amount of time and life TSW has taken from me. I certainly don't regret doing this, as my health and my future depended on this process. But I have missed out on so much LIFE and now many of my good friends are disappearing with new families that I wish I could have spent that last year enjoying these final moments of fun with them.
Actually on the note of friends, I do feel that I really am a bit lost with my social life now after TSW. I cant drink, so there goes a bunch of get together shindigs. I am scared of many types of activities especially if it means I will sweat - which is very probably here at the moment as it's summer and hot and humid! I often end up with a face covered in itchy red hives just from being outside.
I don't have children (nor will ever have any), so there goes any chance of kiddie play dates with friends. I try to make dates with the ones left, but they are so flaky that I'm forever being cancelled on. Where are all the cool 30+ people who want adventures! Okay, end rant.
- No more laser or any treatments for my skin
- Using creams for my skin now including Elaj
- All skin is improving
- Shedding reduced significantly
- Wrinkles and sagging improved - fullness returning
- Patch of eczema on back of right foot
- Asthma still bad
- Hives and itching on body whenever I get wet still