If you think your skin problems might be related to long term topical steroid use, read below. Let me direct you to a website that may help you answer some questions about your skin problems: http://www.itsan.org/.
Well, here is my story:
I'm a 32 y/o white male and I've had eczema since I was a child. I've used hydrocortisone creams on my body and face since I was young (probably 10 y/o). I've also been prescribed many different steroids to help with my skin problems throughout my life, and I've probably had 4 or cortisone shots in the last couple years. When I tried to stop using cortisone cream on my face in 2009 I was in for a real shocker. My face turned red while I was on antibiotics for a skin rash, so I decided while I looked so bad anyways, I'd stop using the cream on my face. I was off the cream for about 2 years and I was VERY ITCHY and VERY RED. After 2 years of little to no steroid use on my face I decided to give up and get back on locoid (a nice feeling, but stronger steroid cream) because I couldn't bare it anymore, and I thought my skin would go back to normal. After using the cream again for a little while the itching and redness persisted and my condition did not improve, so I said enough is enough, I was not going to use any steroids anymore, period. Since then the redness, itching, and flaking has been persistent and some days are better than others. This condition has definitely affected my life in a negative way. I'd say that I'm somewhat anxious and my social status sucks.
After visiting the above website, I've decided to quit all steroid creams. So as of today (July 4th 2012), I am steroid free. I am excited to see my new dermatologist next week and get her opinion. I'll post an update after my appointment.
Things that have helped me:
-ice packs when needed and before bed
-Aveeno baby Eczema therapy cream (this is the only moisturizer that my face can tolerate, although I just read another article where people were stopping using any moisturizers which I may try):
-avoid coffee :(
-avoid caffeine :(
-avoid alcohol :(
-basically avoid flare up triggers
-try to only take 1 shower a day (skipping a day is hard for me, but my skin always does better if I do)
-the candida diet helped me reduce inflammation and itching , but I could only keep it up for 2 weeks because it was so strict, now I just try and avoid foods that spike blood sugar levels (sugars, bad carbs, etc.).
I'll keep you posted!