Regarding topical steroids

CW: #Eczema

Slight disclaimer: This blog is coming off like a medical/wellness blog, but it’s just my focus right now. This is just a “me” blog. In the gen z and millennial generation, this isn’t enough- everyone needs a “niche”. I don’t have one, I have many interests. So onto the topic at hand.

I have suffered from severe eczema my entire life, including during infancy. While I’ve certainly had a heaping serving of health problems throughout my life, this one tops the list as my biggest burden; worse than MS thusfar, worse than morbid obesity, worse than anything.

The constant itchiness and scratching, the pain of water against my skin in the shower, dry skin flakes on my clothes, the self-consciousness when it ends up on my neck and face and arms; the list doesn’t end. Eczema = suffering, and I suffer every day.

My #naturopathic doctor (oh yeah, I have one of those now) prescribed me #Clobetasol, which is a strong topical steroid. When he saw me a few weeks ago my hands had deep cracks in them. The magic of topical steroids is that in the short-term they work like a miracle. My hands look significantly improved after using it for only a week.

During my research of L-Histidine #supplements, I stumbled upon an anti-topical-steroid documentary called Preventable. It claims that many people’s severe skin conditions are the result of something called #TSW “Topical Steroid Withdrawal”, also dubbed “Red Skin Syndrome”. This is a rather significant discovery for me, considering many major organizations are in alignment with this documentary including the FDA and the National Eczema Association. There's even an advocacy network, the International Topical Steroid Awareness Network (ITSAN).

The documentary is highly concerning and heartbreaking. It's an important watch for anybody who suffers with skin problems and has used topical steroids.

I remember a few years back, asking my primary care doc if anything new had come out to battle this #debilitating skin condition, and she said no. Hm. This documentary contradicts that quite a bit, showcasing new medications that she failed to inform me of.

It’s confusing to me that all they ever want to do is prescribe topical steroids. This is how the medical world screws its patients. They refuse to listen to us, even when there are millions of other people saying the same things.

My opinion of topical steroids has certainly changed. I don’t think they are useless; my hands are currently healed because of them. But more than a week or two of use and you could cause devastation to your skin and quality-of-life for a long time.

I’ve been using topical steroids my entire life. My #skin drinks boatloads of #hydrocortisone. It's been my first line of attack against itchiness and rash. Before that, I'd coat myself in #triamcinolone, which is significantly stronger. I have stretch marks on the insides of my arms from long term steroid use (it thins the skin). Now they’ve prescribed it for my 1 year old niece's itchy neck. After the medical knowledge of the past 10 years, this is completely unethical.

I have now personally swore off the overuse of topical steroids. I’m using aloe gel when I get itchy and coconut oil for moisturizer. If in the future a small spot is severe, I’ll use topical steroids only if I haven’t done so within the last several months. According to #Preventable these changes might cause withdrawal and for things to get worse for awhile. That’s okay.

As much as I want to blame the medical system for a lot of problems they’ve caused me, I’m also grateful for all the healing I’ve been granted due to modern medicine. It’s undoubtedly saved my life multiple times. But I do not give 100% trust to it. There are pockets of knowledge that they are missing because they are driven by the American pharmaceutical industry and its #capitalist agenda. So I continue with a hybrid philosophy. I have regular doctors and naturopathic ones, and they are both essential to my health if health is supposed to be #holistic. And I always research EVERYTHING, neither of them are right 100% of the time.

It's your responsibility to take charge of your #health. Don't let someone else manage it for you completely. If I hadn't taken charge, I wouldn't be seeing the marked improvements in my life that I have been. It's due to my skepticism and my assertiveness with these people. Even if you must fight to get the help you need, fight tooth and nail. Your quality of life depends on it.

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Profile Picture featuring KVVPA's mascot - K V V P Λ  [e-mail] [website]
30-something, he/him, pnw. “Retired” show promoter and scene kid, a not-very-good gamer, depressed most of the time. I'm big into music, animation (old Nickelodeon), spooky things, self-care, and my family.