How I Healed My Skin

I am writing this page for anyone who wants to know how I managed to heal my skin from topical steroid addiction/withdrawal faster than most.  I say faster because my overall TSW outlook was not good.  I used all strengths of topical steroids from age 10 until age 40.  I learned about TSW on 2/14/2013.  I had gone through a semi-withdrawal 8 years ago where I went from using potent strengths to over the counter strength.  I went through 3 years of agony not knowing what was happening to me.  I continued to use over the counter TS though and had a brief year or two where my skin was not so bad.  Then I went back to work and started increasing my usage again.  I never stopped using TS for longer than a week during the last 30 years.  So my cumulative usage remained at 30 years when I stopped last year.  Compared to others who used TS for a similar length of time, I was looking at a 3-4 year recovery time.  I personally could not accept that time was going to be the only way to heal.  I could not accept a 3-4 year "sentence" of TSW.  So I went on a mission to find a way to get through this faster - and I did find something that worked for me. 

My first 7.5 months were pure torture - a constant state of flaring - red, burning, oozing skin.  I tried nearly every cream, ointment, oil out there.  Nothing helped.  I even tried emu oil which seemed to help initially but then stopped helping after a few weeks.  I blogged about most of my experiments.  I cried nearly every day.  Yet during these months I also managed to research cellular repair and so forth to try to find an answer as to why the skin cells did not heal quickly.  I read all the articles and research papers and finally determined there had to be something wrong with the RNA of the skin cells.  So I searched for someone to help me.  I found a naturopathic doctor with a degree in molecular and cellular biology - just the guy I needed!  I took my thoughts and ideas to him along with my tortured body and asked him to help find a way to heal the RNA of my skin cells. 

When I went to see said ND, I was not in a state of wellness nor was my brain functioning properly.  It is a wonder I was able to drive there in the first place.  I vaguely remember him telling me that he thought I might have a genetic problem.  He wanted to do some blood tests, but initially I said no because the thought of getting blood drawn terrified me - I mean where would they draw from when 90-95% of my body was swollen, oozing, and/or excoriated?  So I opted to just start basic treatment for this genetic problem.  Within 8 days I saw drastic improvement.  But I also started moisturizer withdrawal at the same time.  I had just heard of MW the week before and thought it couldn't hurt to try.  Well the first 5 days hurt a lot as my body was SOOO gosh darn DRY and TIGHT!!  But within 2 weeks I felt wonderful compared to what I had been feeling!  I returned to work 3 weeks after starting the supplements and MW - that's how good I felt.  And a month in I decided to get tested for the gene thing...and sure enough I had a serious MTHFR genetic mutation. 

So what is all the buzz surrounding the MTHFR gene?  It is primarily responsible for what is called methylation in the body.  Methylation is necessary for the conversion of specific B vitamins into an active form.  When the methylation is altered because of the gene mutation, all sorts of bad things and diseases can occur.  One thing is that cellular repair and cleansing is diminished by anywhere from 40-90% depending on the specific mutation one has.  Mine is one of the bad kinds where my cells repair at a 10-20% rate compared to other normal people's cells.  A great article on methylation is HERE and explains things a little better than I did. 

Bottom line is my cells cannot repair themselves without some help - that help includes ACTIVE forms of B12, folic acid, and B6.  Not all MTHFR genetic mutations need the same thing.  There are about 40-50 different mutations on that gene alone. 

My theory is that the majority of those suffering with TSW have some form of MTHFR genetic mutation.  It would explain why some people can use TS and never get addicted and why some of us do.  It is estimated that 30% of the world's population has one form of the MTHFR genetic mutation.  So far 5/5 of us with TSW have tested positive - that's 100%.  Now statistically, a sample of 5 people is way too low to get excited over.  However if even 5 more people get tested and all 10 are positive then that is more significant and worthy of looking into further. 

If my theory is correct, it would then explain why so many people have good results with MW (moisturizer withdrawal).  If you have this genetic mutation AND put creams/lotions/oil on your skin, then your skin cells cannot process all those added ingredients at a normal rate.  So your skin gets agitated and starts itching and shedding more.  Most people who go through MW, notice a huge decrease in itching and shedding and even swelling.  Some people who only take the supplements notice a good change in their skin. Those who only do MW also notice a good change in their skin.  But the few of us who do both notice a huge change in their skin and TSW symptoms. 

The bottom line is no matter what you do or not do, you will still heal.  But the time frame and severity of symptoms greatly reduced for myself .  I am now nearly 13 months in.  My first 7.5 months were pure agony.  However the last 5 months have seen no full body flare, no more swelling, significantly reduced oozing (localized to mini-flares and only when scratching breaks the skin).  My flares are localized to specific problem areas only - and those areas have shrunk week by week.  The length of my mini-flares went from 5-7 days (in one or two areas) to a few hours in a few areas that are about 2-4 cm long.  So intensity, length of time of flares, and skin affected by flares have all shrunk little by little over the last 5 months.  I have not had any spreading of problem areas whatsoever.  About 90% of my body is perfectly clear...no dryness, no irritation - nothing but strong, smooth skin. 

Could I flare again?  Could I have a full body flare of oozing, redness, and swelling, and of course pain?  I would have said without a doubt about a month ago.  But now I am about 99% sure I will NOT ever have another full body flare nor even just a bad flare ever again.  That 1% uncertainty is there because I have to be reasonable to some extent.  I have to take into consideration what the majority of those with TSW have already been through.  However the difference in my skin from 5 months ago and the ever improving condition of my skin speaks volumes to me that my days of torture are well behind me.  And at 13 months with a 30 year history, I say that is darn GREAT! 

(Just an FYI: in the event I do happen to have a bad flare, I WILL blog about it and post pictures - I do not ever want to give false hope or any false information - I am an honest person and will make sure to always give proper info to all my readers out there!)

Now here is what I did to survive TSW and to increase my healing.  Remember this is for information only - this is not an attempt to diagnose or treat anyone.  Some of this had to be done under the supervision of a doctor/ND, so please seek medical advice from your own personal doctor or ND. 

#1  Moisturizer Withdrawal (MW)

This is easy to do but not easy to get through.  I stopped putting anything on my skin - no natural oils, creams, lotions, Vaseline, etc.  My skin got super tight, dry, and yes painful!  The pain lasted for about a week but peaked on days 3-5.  I planned for this and stayed at my mom's so she could help look after my kids while I went through some pretty bad pain.  Some people choose to do one body part at a time.  For me I did most of my body all at once except for my neck as my neck was the most painful part of my TSW.  I chose to continue using Neosporin with pain relief on it for another month or so.  I finally did MW on my neck when I had a week off of work and made sure to have plenty of ice packs on hand.  I literally used ice on my neck 24/7 for over a week during MW.  Of course I used ice on my neck during most of my first 8 months of TSW because my neck never got a break. 

#2  Dead Sea Salt baths

I do these now about once a week - sometimes once every 2 weeks.  I was doing them about 2-3 times a week.  I never found relief in my baths ever.  They always burned my skin - whether using plain water or Epsom salts, ACV, or Dead Sea salt.  Nowadays I take one for their health benefit but do not find they speed up any healing (nothing noticeable anyways).  They no longer burn as bad - and the only burning I do experience is on my hands where the worst and majority of my TSW is currently. 

#3  The Supplements!

These are the supplements I use for my genetic mutation:

*** L-5-MTHF (active form of folic acid).  I take approx. 6-7 mg of this daily.  I plan to reduce down to 1-2 mg when my skin is 100% clear.  I use Seeking Health brand.

*** Methylcobalamin (active B 12).  These are sublingual and I take 2 mg daily.  Plan to reduce to 1 mg daily when 100% clear.  I use Solgar brand for this

*** Active B6 - I take this in a combo pill

*** MSM Powder - This greatly reduced my oozing and inflammation.  It is necessary for the extra methyl groups needed for healing.  I used anywhere from 6 grams to up to 20 grams per day.  I would mix it in something tart like grapefruit juice as it has a bitter taste.  The tart juice would mask most off the bitterness. 

*** TMG - I take this separately - it is part of the whole process of methylation.  It is included in the above pill combo which I linked to. 

*** NAC 600 mg twice a day.  Again I take this as part of the whole genetic mutation and giving my body the tools it needs to get past the mutation.  I will not need this for ever - I will only need the 3 active B's listed above.  While still dealing with skin issues, I plan to take supplements that can support the process that the genetic mutation interferes with. 

*** Glutathione.  This supplement I no longer take!  I took oral soft gels and liquid forms during the first 4 months.  I also did  4 or 5 intravenous injections of glutathione at my ND's office.   The IV form was not that expensive  - about $60 per visit total I think.  Glutathione is the final thing produced in the methylation process.  It is responsible for cellular repair and cleansing.  Taking it for too long can make your body stop producing its own, hence why I only took it for a few months.  Also I could not buy the liposomal type through the internet or health food store - I could only buy it from a health practitioner.  The ones you buy online or in a health food store are not easily absorbed.  I figured there was no point in wasting my money and went directly for the IV form to kick start my cells healing. 

*** Low dose naltrexone (LDN) - this is by prescription only and is made at specialty pharmacies.  I started this only a month ago (around my 1 year mark).  This has been shown to help those with auto-immune diseases in some studies.  Supposedly helps boost the immune system, not suppress it.  Noticed a slight decrease in frequency of mini-flares.  Could be coincidental.  I plan to take for only one month then stop to re-evaluate.  If my mini-flares pick back up again, I will go back on this for another month or two. 

Other supplements I take to support my body through this process:

*** Vitamin C, D3, and E

*** Fulvic minerals

*** Sea-adine to support my thyroid

*** An adrenal support - I stopped this a few months ago - only took to help boost my adrenals.  When I stopped taking it I went through a few weeks of increased fatigue, but now I am back to an ever increasing level of energy. 

*** Cod liver oil with butter oil

*** A GOOD probiotic - I use "Ultra" with 50 billion live organisms. 

*** Milk thistle - I use this to support my liver.  I use it for 2 months then stop for a month.  I will do this on/off cycle for another 6 months or so.  I had serious liver problems during my pregnancies and the doctors never figured out why - after researching the MTHFR gene mutation, it is all clear to me now. 

*** Digestive enzymes - I use these for helping aid digestion. 

*** Magnesium as most of our foods are depleted in this.


 # 4  The Diet!

I do not go on "a diet" - the way most Americans think of a diet.  A diet to me is just a way of eating.  For my family, we eat as all-natural as possible.  I utilize certain books to help guide me in this venture:  Sally Fallon's "Nourishing Traditions" is one of my favorites.  We try to eat the way of the Weston A Price Foundations dietary guidelines as much as possible.  Basically we try to eat the way God intended food to be eaten.  "The Maker's Diet" is a great book as well by Jordan Rubin. 

Do we stick to the diet 100%?  No, we are realistic.  If we travel, it is almost impossible to not eat out.  But we try to make better choices, even if we have to pay more for it. 

# 5 Exercise

I kept exercise to a basic level during this whole process.  I did scant amount of exercising before I started the supplements.  After I started feeling better, I spent most of my energy working full time, but threw in a few walks here and there.  Now that I am much better, I walk or do the elliptical 2-3 times per week.  I am reasonable and know that my body needs most of its energy for healing.  Exercising is good but I believe should not be over done.  Some weeks I did nothing but sit on the couch.  Going grocery shopping was my form of exercise most of my first 8 months. 

# 6 Stress reduction

This is near impossible as TSW itself induces so much stress.  I found though that when I stressed out about other things in life (most of which was out of my control) I would worsen my flare.  So I learned to just not think about the stuff I couldn't control.  I watched more TV last year than I did in my entire lifetime before TSW.  I had Netflix for everything.  I went through 10 seasons Of Grey's Anatomy in 3 or 4 weeks!  I played tons of Sudoku on my phone.  I was a computer and phone junkie!   I also was able to get my kids to do almost all chores (vacuuming, cleaning, putting clothes away, washing dishes, feeding the dogs).  I pay them $10 per week each to do all this.  I also homeschool them - they were school deprived for the first 4-5 months, but I got back into it and now they are doing extra work to catch up.  That is the beauty of homeschooling!  Mind you they are ages 12, 10, and 8.  So they are old enough to help out yet young enough where taking a few months off of school is no big deal. 

# 7 Tanning

I started tanning once I started feeling better on the supplements - around the 8/9 month mark.  I find that I would itch afterwards more intensely for the first few weeks.  But now I tan 2-3 times per week and no longer itch at all.  I find the tanning to keep my skin strong and it seems to help heal my sores slightly better than if I don't tan.  I use a tanning bed with both UVA and UVB rays to mimic the sun as much as possible.  I also have a low voltage facial tanner at home I use for daily tanning of my hands.  I find if I skip a few days, my hands have more mini-flares. 

Some tips and advice:

*** The best advice I can give to anyone wanting to come off of topical steroids knowing they are going to go through TSW is to PLAN!!!  Do not feel bad about continuing to use TS until a certain date.  Make sure you plan for all contingencies - child care, being out of work, etc.  READ, READ, and READ some more - find out what worked for others - find out what your TSW might look like compared to your usage.  Learn all you can about this first before making any moves.    

*** If you decide to get tested for genetic mutations, please make sure you seek out someone trained in this area.  The 23&me data can be entered here: https://geneticgenie.org/methylation-analysis/ however treatment still needs to be done under a healthcare practitioner. 

36 comments:

  1. Hi Tracy,
    Thank you so much for including my blog on your list and for sharing your cell repair theory. I finally got the genetic data for me and my son and was hoping your site would show me what to do with it--and it has! I'll get back to you with the results later.
    I'm glad you are doing so well! Wishing you continued healing and return to full health,
    RAC

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  2. hmm... I've been following your posts on MTHFR for a time. I think I'm going to try some of the supplements with Josh. I already have MSM, but I'm going to try the active b vitamins and see if that helps. I can't afford much more than that at the minute - do you think if I only do this it may help some? Louise x

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  3. Louise - if you have been reading the comments on my ITSAN post, you will see Ronda's comment on how she started taking the active B's and felt significantly better - she then added other things later. So while the extras I believe enhance the healing - all you truly need are the active B's if you truly have the MTHFR mutation. The healing will still be noticeable and the extras are not necessary to see improvement. Some people have what I call a healing response when first taking the active B's. This can be a worsening of your TSW symptoms for about the first 3-5 days. I experienced this and so have many others. Let me know how it goes if you decide to try it. :)

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  4. I meant if Josh has the mutation - although if he does he got it from one or both parents so if you personally have any health issues, it may be worth looking into at some point when things are more calm on the home front! :)

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    1. Great thanks Tracy. I'll have a look at those posts. Hopefully we will see some improvement. :)

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  5. Hi Tracy, I'm sad that you're not on the forums anymore. I just received my genetic tests back and I have tested negative: MTHFR C677T -/- and MTHFR A1298C +/-. Dr. Ben Lynch says "Again, a single copy of A1298C MTHFR does not appear to be harmful unless it is combined with the C677T MTHFR snp – known as compound heterozygous."

    I was definitely having symptoms of overmethylation (anxiety, anger) from taking too much L-5-MTHF and now I know why, I am not an undermethylator even though I am going through TSW. I do feel now that this is why the moderators of ITSAN encourage moderation and caution- I spent quite a bit of money for the supplements and tests. I do not regret this at all, because I wanted to know. Also, people can get violently dangerous if they are overmethylated and haven't done the proper research on how to use Niacin to use up the excess methyl groups. It's very important for people to do this testing and treatment as you did, with a trained expert.

    Best wishes,

    Dominic

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    1. Thank you Dominic for your results - not sure if a single copy of the A1298C is considered a negative result or that it is not harmful. I don't think enough research has been done yet on genetics. Overmethylation is a concern however I remember Dr. Lynch saying that can be due to other genetic problems as well. One TSW boy had tested positive for the MTHFR gene mutation but his ND had said that other genetic problems were more concerning - so it is possible that other genetic problems can be linked to TSW. I am only in the beginning stages of all this research and there is so much to learn. Thank you again for you input and for stressing the importance of seeking out a trained expert on this.

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  6. Hi Tracy. Long time since I've actually chatted to anyone .. Eden's been doing well but all of a sudden turning a really bad corner and it's in her face (I thought perhaps change of seasons) or perhaps the fact that she's 2 weeks away from 1 year tsw.
    Either way it doesn't matter ... what does matter is to get her well again.
    I'm going to try active B's .... Do you think I can just ask a chemist for active B's or should I say I want the B's as pyridoxal-5-phosphate, methylcobalamin, methylfolate ... I had to read up on this as It's all very foreign to me. What should Eden start with specifically?
    So glad you are doing well and thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.
    xxx
    Eden's mom

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    1. I'm sorry to hear Eden is flaring again - she was doing so well! You are correct about the proper names of the active B's. I can't recommend a specific dose as I'm not a doctor. I have also heard from a few people who have had reactions to the active B's - it is not common but some people can over methylate with these especially if there are other unknown gene mutations. The over methylation can cause symptoms of their own (see my current post). Since my children (ages 8-12) will have at least one of the mutations due to me having 2 copies, I have them on 800 mcg of the methylfolate and 1000 mcg of the methylcobalamin that is combined in one sublingual tab. My ND says this is fine until we get them tested - I just have to watch them for over methylation symptoms. If they start showing any, I have to just stop giving them the tabs. I was OK giving them this because I know without a doubt they have one copy of the mutation. Many people choose to wait until they get test results back before starting anything - and then only after seeing a practitioner trained in this genetic mutation. There are other people with TSW who are finding out they have other genetic mutations - this can complicate the treatment so I suggest anyone interested to get tested first.

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. Hi Tracy, thanks for your blog! I'm struggling with TSW, 30 months in and still really finding things difficult. Just about to get tested for MTHFR but in the meantime, what combo B6 do you take? Thank you!

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    1. I use HomocysteX by Seeking Health that has the active B6 in it.

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  9. Hi Tracy!!!

    Your story is awesome! So glad to hear about it! Thanks for sharing. I`m so glad to read how much you`ve overcome! You're so strong and I'm glad you get to share it with the world :)

    I really look forward to reading your updates!

    By the way - do you have an email address that I can email you at?

    Thanks!
    Abby

    www.primephysiquenutrition.com

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  10. Hi Abby,

    Thank you for your comment and visiting my blog! My email is tracyscarpulla@gmail.com

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  11. Can i ask what adrenal support you used? Im taking all different supplements that im told that can help the adrenals....but id like a specific one. There seems dozens of them i do t know where to start!!

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  12. Re read my comment and thought i should at least introduce myself! Im in the uk and am closing in on a year off steroids. Still have a few patches on my hands, wrists and inside elbows, that are going through mini flares like yourself. Have done it all, ie. Moisturiser withdrawal, taking supplements like they are going out of fashion, and lots of sun (as much as the english weather will give me!) The reason i feel i need help with my adrenals is that i dont get alot of sleep, ive put weight on even though theres no change to my diet and generally feel run down. Ive followed your blog and id like to to say thanks for sharing, its made this journey a whole lot easier to plan for as i feel im one step behind you in the recovery!! Best wishes x

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  13. Hi Amanda! Thanks for your comment and for following my journey!! I too put on weight during this past 1.5 years. Now all of a sudden I am slowly losing it (without changing anything yet). I used to take "Raw Adrenal" - it definitely helped with my sleep and energy levels. I did further research and even a natural adrenal support like raw adrenal can inhibit your own adrenals from performing adequately - so I weaned off. If I had to do it over, I would still take it again though because the adrenals are so severely damaged after years of cortisone absorption in the body - so I think it is useful to give the adrenals some support for the short term. I have read a lot about the adrenals and there are ways to get them to work better without supplements - but that was hard for me when I went back to work so I think that is why I am still struggling with fatigue here and there. Cutting out caffeine, sugar, and processed foods are the biggest things I feel would help the most. Replacing with fresh organic produce, eggs, meats, and following a diet like the Weston A Price foundation dietary guidelines is ideal. I also plan to start juicing again as that can really boost the adrenals. For me I found it easiest to make a few changes at a time - that way I was not overwhelmed by a whole dietary transformation. However I did get to a point where I just dived in and made significant progress in my health. I am planning to do that again very soon as I have fallen off the dietary wagon. :)

    If I were to choose an adrenal support again I would use this one:
    http://www.amazon.com/Gaia-Herbs-Adrenal-Health-Phyto-Capsules/dp/B0036THML2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1410193870&sr=8-2&keywords=raw+adrenal

    This is the one I was using and it worked well for me:
    http://www.iherb.com/Natural-Sources-Raw-Adrenal-60-Capsules/5867?gclid=CjwKEAjwp7WgBRCRxMCLx8mMnDMSJADncxS2BeHgoiJaA1y-z2mg2taoLMxUVpbIqw5HEN9TxWCJZBoC-lvw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

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  14. Wow! Thank you so much for replying so efficiently and quickly! Ive tried to take the natural route with everything since this tsw started, so after reading up on diets etc have already made a start. Im vegetarian so i really should eat lots of veggies all the time......pasta and bread are my weaknesses! I think my adrenals just need a shove in the right direction so i will only take the supplements for a short while. Thank you for that suggestion, it really is much appreciated. Its so frustrating not being able to go and see a doctor for information (i was dismissed as having severe eczema that i wasnt treating properly!) but at the same time im learning lots about the body and how it works that i think im going to benefit in the long run. Thanks once again....keep on keeping on!! Xx

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  15. Hi Tracy! Hope all is well with you. Was wondering what kind of home tanning lamp you used and if you'd recommend it. I'm finally at the stage where my skin benefits from the sun and I notice if I go even a day or two without it, my skin starts to worsen. So I figured I would supplement with a home unit. Any input would be appreciated!

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  16. Thank you so much for your blog. I recently heard about topical steroid withdrawal. I have not had any steroid medication in about 6 months but still suffering. Your pictures were like looking in the mirror...you give me hope! ..thank you!

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  17. Tracy,

    I'm loving your blog, I've learned so much about methylation and detoxification from it. I wanted to shoot you a note because we've been getting a lot of positive feedback on one of our products for dry skin. I'm wondering if you'd be interested in reviewing it. I can mail you the product and write up any details you'd need to make it great. What do you think?

    You can get back to me at support@kigeliashop.com

    Best regards,
    Marcie

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  18. Hi Tracy! I am so encouraged to find and read your blog. I am 27, just had my first child and have had eczema all my life. It's always been localized in a few spots here or there and would heal then reappear somewhere else but pregnancy and delivery caused a total body flare that I am still working on getting rid of. My son is 6 months old and it appeared around the time I was 12 weeks pregnant. Did you notice a flare when you had your kids and was it worsened by breastfeeding? Light therapy/tanning was the only the thing that has helped and I am now taking some antihistamines to help (hoping it won't dry up my milk). I am also currently cutting out wheat and in a few weeks plan to eliminate dairy. It had cleared some and isn't quite as bad as after I delivered but it's all over my face and lately makes it hard to smile which makes me sad! If you have any encouragement or suggestions that would be great. I have some topical steroids that I've been using sparingly but not often because of touching the baby, I am going to put them away... Thank you!

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  19. Thanks for posting about the vitamins--I've learned a lot! I bought a Complex B vitamin, but not sure how much to take. How much do you take?

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    1. Jennie, thanks for your comment! I would not recommend any B vitamins unless you know your status of mutations. I remember when I was in my early 30's and was low on energy....my husband recommended I take a B complex vitamin. I did for a month and felt so much worse! Now that I know what I know about the mutations I now realize I was making my situation worse. And taking too much of the active B vitamins can have bad side effects as well. For me I only take an active B about 2-3 times a week at most.

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  20. mate can i get i touch for a chat, im 3 years in and thngs started gettin bad again, my e mail is frc.property.maintenance@gmal.com

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    1. I tried emailing you but it came back as unknown email. Email me directly at tracyscarpulla@gmail.com

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    2. hi tracy, i did e mail u but it probably seemed odd as my brain wasnt working properly at the time, so i used for 23 years from age 3 til 26 twice daily, medium to potent, i started my withdrawal 06 may 2013, it was brutal, i was in bed for around 8 months, i started using sunbeds as soon as i could and they helped greatly, any time a flaire started i would stop it in its tracks with a tan, i went back to work around march 2014, i had nothing but improvements up until my two year mark where things have been progressively getting worse, i ended up in hospital tuesday as i was very close to the state i was at the beggining of my withdrawal, my gp had said it was infection previously and gave me high doses of anti biotics, the hosptal ruled that out, sunbeds dont seem to help any more. the hosptal diagnosed me with allergic dermatitus. i have smoked pot for around 12 years but over the past 7 months it seams to have been making my condition worse, i stopped smoking it wednesday and the swelling, oozing and yellow scabs have subsided some what but the sunbed is still having no effect on me, i was wondering if you might have any ideas why this has happened its almost as if my withdrawal is going backwards, im tempted to start some oral roids or immuno mods/suppresents but really dont want to, thanks tracy

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    3. Has anyone else experienced this???

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  21. I used to go to the tanning beds but 3 yrs. ago I found out I had skin cancer on my hands so I don't go there anymore. Right now I'm in my 4th month & the only part I have issues with is with my face. It's red & flaky looking & my forehead & cheeks itch. Feels like ants or bugs crawling underneath it. It's a very uncomfortable feeling. My arms & legs are doing much better & so is my neck it just has a sagging wrinkled look to it but mine itched too & so did my chest. Now if I could only get my face to clear up!!!!

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  22. I used to go to the tanning beds but 3 yrs. ago I found out I had skin cancer on my hands so I don't go there anymore. Right now I'm in my 4th month & the only part I have issues with is with my face. It's red & flaky looking & my forehead & cheeks itch. Feels like ants or bugs crawling underneath it. It's a very uncomfortable feeling. My arms & legs are doing much better & so is my neck it just has a sagging wrinkled look to it but mine itched too & so did my chest. Now if I could only get my face to clear up!!!!

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  23. Thank you So much for posting all of your favorites!! My dry skin usually flares up when the weather changes too!

    botanical skin care products

    eczema cream for baby

    scar healing cream

    shampoo for psoriasis

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  24. Tracy,
    Thank you very much for your blog. My son is 12 months into TSW and 2 months into MW. Your blog motivated me to try MW. He also has MTFHR. He is doing significantly better with MW. By any chance can you let me know where your ND's office is ? We live in California. If his office is in the west coast, I dont mind taking him to your ND for a consultation.
    Thanks and regards,
    Usha

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  25. I've been using topical steroids for the last 20 years on and off and have had to use stronger and stronger ones to get any relief. I mainly suffer eczema on my eyes, chin, ears and neck (eyes and neck are the most severe). I decided to overhall my diet about a month ago to eat more healthy. No wheat, dairy, sugar, caffeine. I found that hasn't been too hard but knowing what I can eat is confusing & conflicting depending on what I read. I also don't find it making much difference. I am using vitamins & probiotics & water kefir too. I also think I have adrenal stress - I went to a reflexologist who highlighted this and also perhaps some IBS. About a week ago I came across TSW & MW. I am going on holiday in a week....a longed for hard saved for holiday...so I want to wait until I return before trying TSW & MW but I thought I would at least try to taper off. Well what a disaster that's been. I've mega flared up just reducing the steroids & trying to use a lower strength. Putting any moisturiser on my skin was like adding fire - the burning! I've been unable to sleep and so frustrated and angry with my husband who is trying his best but his advice of cold showers & get out for a walk when I feel and look so bad isn't really helpful. I have kids, he works away all week, so it's hard to give in to the 'depression' it is creating in my life and hide away from the world cause I looks so awful. I've resorted to slathering myself in steroids again today - I gave in to it. I have to for my holiday, hopefully my skin will be reasonable before I go in one week. At least if the itching burning & redness have subsided some what I will be able to try and enjoy this trip. When I come back I know I will have to start all over. I'm tempted to try some sunbeds for a few sessions. I don't think it can get any worse. I know there are dangers but I also feel desperate. I live in the UK. My doctor isn't interested, he gives me more steroids and that's it. I would like to try a more holistic route but other than researching it myself I have no idea if I'm doing it right or not.Any advice? I feel like I want to crawl under my duvet and hide...but the heat makes it itch more :(

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    1. I am truly sorry for all your suffering! And for not getting back to you sooner. Unfortunately I have been forced to work over time and that has caused me to slack with being online. Your story is sadly one I hear over and over. I can only tell you that there is an end to the suffering, but going into it is extremely hard to do not knowing how long all this will take for each individual. I suffered terribly for almost a year before I found out about the gene mutations and even then I still had to fight severe TSW on my hands for an additional year until I found a doctor that truly helped me heal completely. I can help you with the holistic side of things. And maybe working together we can find an easier path for you before you stop the steroids all together. Please email me privately as I get all my emails through my phone daily. My email is: tracyscarpulla@gmail.com

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  26. Hello, this is Shimona Elora, from India. I was suffering from the same condition, although I used a moderate topical steroid for dust allergies, but i used it for about 4 years. This had done a lot of damage to my skin. After I left using the cream, I faced typical withdrawal symptoms and I was pretty disheartened to see there was no speedy cure and that I had to live with bad skin for the coming year. But since my mother is a beautician here in India, she recommended me these Ayurvedic products, Rahul Phate's detoxifying powder and roopada. Mixed together, when applied can be used as a natural detoxifying peel. It helped me a lot with the flares and reduced them so much so that I could actually go out without being afraid of what my skin looked like. My skin flared up in the sun mostly for the first 2 weeks, but by applying this mix twice a day my skin looked a bit normal, atleast all the steroid induced pimples(or whatever they are called) were gone. The product is to be mixed with water taking a pinch of both, leaving it to dry and then massage off in circular motions and then wash with water. This actually had an advantage that it removed all my tan and redness that had been there because of the cream(it made me a lot fairer since it is a peel). The only problem with it is that it leaves the skin very dry. It is recommended to not use soap or any other cream while using this, but to get away with the dryness, I recommend using a baby cream. In my 1st week, no moisturizers were working on my skin, every cream seemed to not go well with my skin increasing flares, but by the end of 2nd week, most of the creams started to suit me like my normal skin would. It has been around 2 to 3 months that I have left using the steroid cream and my skin is back to normal, with absolutely no flares, and I do not use the ayurvedic product regularly either. I do not give any guarantees if this will work for you. I am just sharing this with you because it worked for me. This is no product endorsement or any advertisement. This is out of my own experience, to help you out of this depressing condition. I hope this helps you. If you have any further questions please contact me on my Facebook page( you can see the condition of my present skin there too) - www.facebook.com/shimona.elora

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  27. I am thinking of having photofacial , I am so fed up with these nasty withdrawal`s . photofacial gives you new skin so I am hopping end of flare ups. or if not maybe chemical peel. And yes at a skin clinic.

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