Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Moisturizer withdrawal (2 weeks in)

2 weeks ago I was in a bad place. I had areas on my face that would not heal (for months). It was red, itchy, flaky, oozing, and I could not sleep. I decided to quit using moisturizers. Turns out, it was the best decision I've made so far. Within 3 days all the oozing completely stopped. The places that would not heal are healed! I am still red, itchy and flaking, but nothing like before. I'm not lying on the couch all day and I'm sleeping at night. I hope this progression continues, but you never know with tsw. The first week sucked. I looked horrible and felt worse. I had to keep splashing cold water on my face and legs to help with the dryness and pain. I was shedding like crazy. It was like stopping steroids all over again. But, it was totally worth it. to see such a big improvement in 2 weeks is a welcomed change, The challenge is in taking showers. The warm water really helps to sooth, yet it does dry out your skin. Some days I don't care and I just take a hot shower and deal with the dryness afterwards. Other days I can talk cooler showers and feel better throughout the day. Either way, it really helps just to stay busy. Don't look in the mirror. Don't itch that itch if you can help it, and just live your life. Oh yea, and keep your head up (literally). If people look at you funny, just look at them and smile, and say hello. Try not to feel bad for yourself. Feel bad for all those poor people that have to look at you. Seriously, that must suck to be them and have to look my face. I feel sorry for them.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Skin addicted to lotion

So I'm 16 months into tsw and I'm.... managing, I guess. It's 7am and i haven't got to sleep yet so I thought id post something. I keep reading other peoples posts about their skin being addicted to moisturizers as well as steroids and it got me thinking. My skin has never liked moisturizers, never. I've always gotten into trouble when I tried to use them. However during the steroid withdrawal, it's been essential for me to use something on my face, because it gets ridiculously dry and flakey. I alternate between aveeno baby eczema and an ointment that's around 40% petroleum jelly. However, I can put lotion on, just out of the shower, and be flaking not 5 min later, and also be itching my face. Then I have to re wet my face and re apply the moisturizer, which always makes my face more red. I guess the flaking is somewhat related to using hot water. However using luke warm water just really isn't usually an option because it stings so bad when I get into the shower. The hot water is much more soothing and burns less. However, I can turn the temp down prior to getting out and try and cool off. This doesn't necessarily mean I'm not going to peal like crazy when I get out, but sometimes I do, and sometimes I don't (noting that hot showers are worse). So I thought, hey, maybe I should try the no moisturizer approach and maybe it will speed up my healing. I was at a point where I was pretty bad and decided, what the heck. If it's going to be this bad, I might as well go "all in". Well, I'm 2 days into it and it sucks. My face is just gross to look at. All around my mouth, chin and neck I've got the ooze going on and it's pretty depressing. I finally decided to take some time off work and I'm hoping I can stay with this program and hopefully it will speed the healing process. Interestingly enough, when I was on cyclo, I didn't need any moisturizers at all, and I felt great. That's where I want to get back to. It's like when you start using chap lip, it seems like you just got to keep putting more and more of that stuff on because your lips keep getting dryer and dryer. My derm says I have to moisturize several times a day! I asked him, "do you moisturize?", and he said "no, but I don't have eczema". Eczema or not, there's something not quite right about having to put on moisturizer every day of your life. We weren't born needing moisturizers, people lived for thousands of years without them. I just don't think it's natural (and I'm NOT one of those naturalists!), I'm just saying I don't think it's necessary, and it's probably counter productive to our bodies natural responses anyways. If my skin is dry, my body should fix the problem on its own. Me putting moisturizers on is interfering with the process. (That's my Non-medical opinion anyway). We'll see how it goes. Keep your fingers crossed for me, I'll be laying on the couch in misery for a while now.