Thursday, December 26, 2013

Why I Support NO Moisturizers

Among the TSW crowd, there are quite a few strong opinions on whether moisturizers help or hinder the course of TSW.  I stopped all moisturizers the same week I started my new regimen of supplements for the gene mutation I now know I have.  It was hard for me to determine whether or not the stopping of moisturizers was a small, medium, or large part of my recent healing.  I still firmly believe the supplements directed towards correcting my gene mutation was largely responsible for the big clearing of skin I have experienced in the last few months.  BUT MW (withdrawing from moisturizers) has played a big part in dealing with recent flares.

You see I knew I would still flare given that correcting the rNA of my skin cells would take some time.  In fact I realize now that since the supplements are aimed at repairing ALL cells, that my skin cells would be some of the last to heal....meaning my body is going to repair itself  from the inside out.  But I can say my recent flares have been very easy to handle compared to my first 7-8 months of TSW.  And that is where MW comes into play and how I have determined it is VERY beneficial.

You see while I stopped all moisturizers on my body, I started using my Neosporin with pain relief on my neck and hands when I returned to work.  While my neck cleared dramatically, it was still extremely sensitive, and even the smallest spots still bothered me.  Working was rough on my hands. So I used my handy little tubes of numbing antibacterial cream.  Only a dab here and a dab there.  Well, my neck started flaring on/off....sometimes red, sometimes pink. But over the last few weeks it has worsened down to my chest and shoulders....and I just kept putting on the Neosporin on those places. And then I tried different things on my hands....colloidal silver, tea tree oil, and a few other things.  And guess where I continue to flare?  Only my hands and neck/chest.  It has been driving me crazy!  I was getting the macerated skin again in those areas and I started getting angry.  I decided  4 days ago to stop everything completely.  Let's see if the Neosporin was becoming an addictive moisturizer.

Since I already went through MW on the majority of my body before I knew what to expect.  Except I wasn't expecting  the pain to triple on my neck!  But it did!  Only on days 2 and 3 were things really bad!  Last night I slept without waking!!  And I could actually move my neck without feeling like it was going to split wide open. So the final verdict is MW is the way to go for me and probably for most of those in TSW.  I think everyone has to decide for themselves but people should at least give it a go for a few weeks to see if it helps them.  I am still having pain in my hands and neck today but I can tolerate it so much better than the increasingly macerated skin I was getting from putting a cream on those areas.  I also want to stress that picking at the scabs or dead skin will cause the ooze to come out.  LEAVE THE SKIN ALONE!  I find it barely itches compared to when I used creams on my skin.  I can generally stop myself from itching. It's the absent minded picking that I need to stop!  If I pick even a little skin off, that area will burn and maybe ooze.  I think the scabs we form are like a blister....we "pop" the scab and fluid comes out similar to a blister.  So in order to do MW the correct way, we have to leave the skin alone.  Not easy, but I find it much easier to do on my neck, because one small picked area will cause serious burning for a few hours.  This morning I vowed to leave it alone and so far I have! And already it is feeling a lot better!

A few other big tips: Bathe as little as possible....quick in and out.  Baths should  not be longer than 20 minutes tops.  I do a Dea Sea salt bath 2-3 times a week for 15 minutes - yes I feel dry afterwards but nothing compared to when I used moisturizers.  I  also will wash only the necessary areas with Dove soap.  I don't think we need soap all over.  If I have to bathe a few days in a row, I spot clean with a washcloth.  That's it.

As for my flaring....I am red on my neck and hands and skin is split all over those areas. I am pink and broken out on my left arm and chin.  My feet, ankles, and legs are doing so much flaring!  Just some left over scabs that are healing.  My low back flared a bit last week but is almost all healed now.  I plan to return to the tanning this week.  It's hard because it is painful to dress and undress around my neck. Sounds small area will cause me not  to do so much. But I really think the tanning at this stage will help.  I'm really hoping it will help my hands!  They will be the last place to heal given my job as a nurse.

So my stance on MW is based on my own personal experience and those of others.  It stands to reason that one should at least give it a try to see if it works.  It is not easy and can be very painful for the first week. But if it works better for you then it will be worth it.


  1. Hi Tracy,

    I'm happy to see that you found MW beneficial! As most everyone knows, I certainly have and have made no secret about it. I truly believe MW will be the accepted way to do tsw soon.

    I think I posted a link somewhere on my blog to a study showing that it takes 20 minutes for the skin to fully absorb the dss minerals. I believe a 15 minute dss soak only drys the skin with little mineral benefits. Also, all soap is a no no. It strips all oils from the skin. Soaking for 20 minutes in a bath cleanses your pores pretty darn good. I haven't used soap but only occasionally on my hands, and only sparingly when I absolutely needed to. I use a chemical free and very natural soap called Grandpa's oatmeal soap. Again, I rarely use it and when I do I barely rub much of it on my hands. Usually just a little on my fingers and quickly spread it while washing my hands. And then I rinse for about a full minute in cool water. I maybe do this once a week. Otherwise I just wash them in plain water. And this is extremely mild soap.

    I have shampooed my hair with natural chemical free shampoo only 3-4 times in the last 6-7 months and my hair is very clean. Scalp and face are clear of all tsw symptoms due to soaking them in the dss baths. I know your job requires a lot of hand washing so can understand the need, but please do use a safer soap if you must use soap.

    Grandpa's Oatmeal Soap ingredients are: Coconut oil, palm oil, purified water, vegetable glycerin, rolled oats, essence of oatmeal.

    INGREDIENTS IN DOVE SOAP ARE: Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Slearic Acid, Sodium Palmitate, Aqua Lauric Acid, Sodium Isethionate, Sodium Stearate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Parfum, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Chloride, zinc Oxide, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Alumina, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Benzyl Alcohol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Coumarin, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool

    INGREDIENTS IN DOVE SOAP SENSITIVE BRAND ARE: Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Stearic Acid, Sodium Tallowate, Water, Sodium Isethionate, Coconut Acid, Sodium Stearate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoate or Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Chloride, Titanium Dioxide, Sweet Almond Oil, Rosewood Oil, Tetrasodium EDTA, Trisodium Etidronate, BHT, Cedarwood Oil, Rose Oil, Disodium Cocamido-MEA-Sulfosuccinate, Cetyl Alcohol, Tocopheryl Acetate.

    1. I wanted to post a link about how long it takes for our body to absorb the minerals from the Dead Sea salts but can't seem to find it right now. I did find this interesting information showing some studies done on treating psoriasis. This whole site is full of info. Many people try dss baths, but either don't use enough salts, or use too hot of water, or don't do them for the whole 20 minutes. Mostly they don't use enough salts out of fear they will sting too badly but they don't sting much at all. To get the full effects one needs to use close to two pounds per bath, in tepid water no hotter then 100 degrees, and soak for 20 minutes. I spend most of those 20 minutes rotating, putting my face in the water, pushing water over my hair and scalp, turning to one side and putting the side of my head in for a few minutes etc. I'm sure 15 minutes is helpful but think 20 is ideal.

      Also, here is an interesting study called The Natural Moisturizing Factor of the Skin: Effects of Barrier Perturbation and Anatomical Location and Relation to Biophysical Measurements which shows bathing for 20 minutes in water is ideal, but any longer is damaging to the skin.

    2. Thanks Dan for the great info!! I knew that greater than 20 minutes is too long, so I sit for 15 and then spend 5 minutes doing a quick wash and rinse while draining the tub. So I get about 17 minutes total. I use 2 cups of DSS in 1/2 tub of water. The water is only high enough to cover my legs when sitting. If I use more, it does burn...but I last tried to increase months ago before MW so maybe I will try increasing it again. Even at 2 cups I still sting quite a bit on open's the magnesium. I have used magnesium oil in the past for my asthma and getting it even on the slightest skin irritation will burn like the dickens! When we give magnesium IV in the ER, we have to make sure it's in a big vein or run it slow otherwise the patient feels a burning sensation. DSS is high in mag, so I figured that's why it burns so bad when I increased it in the past.

      Again, thanks for all the info!! I am thinking of taking a mini-vacation to Florida for some sun and ocean used to help in the past and I really need a boost right now! :)

    3. Your are very welcome Tracy! I noticed when the sun went away here my healing speed slowed down without it so I hope you do take that vacation. You are the second person that has told me the dss stings a lot and I don't understand why because they only would sting with me in the first few minutes and not really that bad of a sting. And when I started doing them my hands had many open and deep skin cracks, splits, fissures, etc. By the end of the 20 minutes these wounds always felt so much better then they did before the bath. I looked forward to the baths every day for the relief they brought. I suspect the stinging is mostly from the chlorinated water and not enough salt. I think if you use 3-4 cups you might find it much more soothing. Two cups is one pound. I know when I first started I used a couple tablespoons because I couldn't nail down what the correct amount was until I talked to Michelle at sfsc. Give her a call sometime, she is very nice and very knowledgeable on the salts. She works the customer service line and is a very kind person. Her voice sounds like she is in her 20's but she just turned 50.

      I had read everything on the web from using a couple tablespoons to two pounds and it was very confusing at first until I talked to her and read the website thoroughly. I was afraid to use too much salt and didn't know if my body would absorb it or what. But every day I increased the amount until I noticed it didn't bother my skin like I feared, and was doing 1-/12 pounds at a time within a week.

    4. Hi Tracy,

      I remembered something last night about the adrenals I wanted to tell you in case you hadn't read it. Back when I thought my adrenals needed help I had done a lot of research on it and found a site that seemed pretty good on the subject. What stuck out in my mind is it said to eat 1.5 teaspoons of sea salt every day, and that it was important for the adrenals. It stuck in my mind because I have high blood pressure and avoid all salt. So I started eating salt for a short while until I learned my adrenals were actually fine. I just wanted to tell you about the salt thing in case you didn't know.

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