So, I'm pretty active on Instagram. I follow pages that range from skincare to comics. About a month back, I came across a page in one of my random searches of a young lady from England that was sharing her skin journey. She stated that she was healing her skin from TSW.
HMMMM...TSW, what's that (scratching head)?. Time for further research!
After reading various website articles and individual stories, I learned 3 main things:
TSW is not widely recognized in the healthcare community; and the treatment is usually more steroids (which most people that are a part of the TSW community don't want).
TSW is NOT eczema and can not be treated the same;
TSW not only has physical manifestations, but psychological one's as well.
So, what is TSW?
It's known by it's sufferers as Topical Steroid Withdrawal. It is basically caused by the overuse of steroid based creams by eczema and psoriasis patients. The symptoms vary, but the most common are:
Rash and/or skin swelling;
Scaly, peeling skin;
Burning and stinging skin;
These symptoms can last for weeks, months or years.
I can understand how easy it is to get addicted to these creams. When my daughter was young, I would do almost anything to help ease her flare-ups, including constantly refilling her prescription of every increasing doses of steroid based creams. These creams DO come with instructions...how much you should apply daily is very prominent on the Rx label; but when your child (or you) are in a itching, burning, scratching, skin-tearing fit, you'll apply that cream as often as you deem necessary.
The more I read and understand TSW, the happier I am that I made the decision to stop the steroids and switch to a more natural alternative. I am following the Instagramer I spoke about earlier daily. I did not tag her because I have not asked her permission, but her journey is very inspiring. It makes me proud to offer people with eczema issues an alternative to prescribed creams. To learn more about TSW, click here.