History of my troubled skin - First Post
I'm a video editor, female and currently living in the UK with my lovely husband.
For my first post, I would like to share the history of my skin.
All progress pictures can be found here.
ChildhoodMinor eczema on my arm and leg joints and ears. I didn't use any medication and it naturally went away when I was 11 years old.
2006 (22 years old)It all started like an explosion. One morning, my face and neck flared up terribly. My eyes were swollen up and couldn't open. I didn't know what it was, so went to see a doctor and took a blood test. Nothing came back too abnormal - just a minor allergy on grass and dust. After visiting several other doctors, I finally discovered that it was adult eczema. I was prescribed with a collection of TS and moisturisers. However, none of them worked for me. I tried different doctors, without success. Few months passed. My eczema gradually expanded from my face and neck to my head, ears and arms.
A friend of mine recommended a dermatologist in Tokyo. He was very popular, and prescribed me Protopic for my face and neck. He told me that Protopic doesn't have any side effects and was absolutely safe. After 3 days of using it, my entire eczema disappeared. It was a miracle.
In August, I moved to the UK. Whenever I felt the beginning of another flareup, I used Protopic and it always cleared my eczema.
2007 (23 years old)In July, I was in Japan for holiday. Something strange was happening in my body. I had a sore in one of my fingers that was bleeding for weeks. This developed to my nipples and eventually to my face. I had a long-lasting fever. I saw a doctor, but he didn't know what it was.
In August, I went to the USA for an internship. I saw a doctor in California and he diagnosed the herpes infection for my first time. I took antibacterial tablets and the sores went away after 7 days. Later, I discovered that this was the common side effects of Protopic.
2008 (24 years old)Back in the UK. I googled how to 'cure' my eczema. I was fed up with having to deal with my eczema for so long. Soon, I realised that there was no cure for it - or at least that was the common view of most dermatologists. On the other hand, I found some Japanese blogs and websites by people who 'cured' eczema by not using any TS or PT. Their story completely changed my views on eczema. I stopped using any medical cream and started a vegetarian diet. The withdrawal effects came in gradually yet quickly. My eczema, or later I found it was called Red Skin Syndrome, developed to all over my face, neck, arms and upper back.
In late April, I developed eczema herpeticum on my face and was hospitalised for 2 weeks. I was injected 800mg of antibiotics everyday in addition to taking Hydroxyzine Hydrocholoride tablet 25mg(anti-itchy tablet) and Cetirizine Hydrocholoride tablet 10mg(anti-allergy tablet). My face was covered with thick moisturiser several times a day.
During this time, I was emotionally very low. But, the good thing was that by the time I was released from the hospital, my eczema herpeticum, altogether with withdrawal symptoms, was completely cleared. I had my healthy skin again. I looked completely normal except for the fact inside of me was a little traumatised from the experience. When I left the hospital, they gave me loads of Aciclovir Tablet 400mg and instructed me to take them twice everyday, which I did for the next 6 months.
This time, it only happened to my face and neck yet the condition was severe. My face swollen up and skin was peeling off endlessly. My mum cried and my dad lost his words. I was depressed and embarrassed. Whenever I had to go outside, I wore a hat and sun glasses with high neck jumper to minimise my skin exposure. I even went to a psychic to find the solution to the problem.
When I thought my life couldn't get any worse, I lost my best friend. His funeral was 280 miles away. Also, I had a job interview coming up on the same day. I wanted to skip the interview, but my mum's sad face made me feel bad about not going for it. So I decided to use a weak TS cream (0.05%) just for a week so that I can attend both.
The TS cleared my skin to the level I could go outside and meet people. Even after I quit the TS, my eczema or withdrawal reaction didn't somehow come back. I got my normal skin back.
2009 (25 years old)Back in the UK, I started my full time job. My skin was fine. I wore make-ups everyday and enjoyed my work and life.
2010 (26 year old)In June, my eczema was slowly coming back. I didn't use any TS or PT. By the autumn, my skin was pretty nasty. My colleagues noticed my red flaky skin. I became uncomfortable being in the office, felt tired all day that made me psychologically and physically difficult to deal with my everyday life.
2011 (27 year old)I was diagnosed for "severe clinical depression". I managed to cut my working hours to half. But, due to the nature of my job it was difficult to keep working this way. I left my job.
I went back to Japan to organise my wedding. During this time, my skin condition started improving. I had minor red patches on my eye lids, but every other part was almost clear. I could even wear make-ups sometimes. Before my wedding, there was still a rough patch under my right eye. So, I used weak TS cream(0.05%) for a week, twice a day. That cleared the last red patch.
2012 (28 year old)I was in the endless cycle of skin exfoliation. This time it was on my face, neck, ears and left arm joint. Bleeding. My immune system seemed low as I regularly had cold sores and sometimes sty. My eyes were sticky and uncomfortable. For the first time, I was suffering from insomnia.
2013 (29 year old) - *added on 28/07/2013My withdrawal symptoms spread further to my right wrist. However, they stopped oozing. Just really flaky and wrinkly. Started using Dr. Fukaya's skin repair lotion in spring, and began to notice some improvements.
And life goes on...
I remember that back in 2008 I could barely find the websites or blogs on TSW. It was only this week that I noticed there are more people out there going through Steroid withdrawal. (Yet there are still little information on PW. )
I started this blog to keep record of my skin, and to hopefully meet people going through similar problems.