Photos

 

Beware, these photos are quite gruesome at times…

When I made the decision to quit the steroids and detox my body to heal myself of eczema, I didn’t really consider documenting my progress.  It was hard enough for me to look in the mirror much less take photos of myself.  The only reason why I started to take photos was to email them to my health coach with an explanation about what was going on with my body just to make sure that it was normal to be experiencing what I was experiencing.  In hindsight, I wish that I actually had taken more photos of more areas of my body.  The most constant areas under attack were my legs and feet, hence why there are so many photos of them.  The rest of my body did undergo the whole oozing and flakiness, but not to the extreme degree that my feet went through.  My face became swollen at times, oozy in some areas, then got dry and flakey.  I had experienced some discolouration on my face and neck as well, but the healing time for those areas were the first areas that I saw quick relief in.  My arms and torso also became oozy then dry and flakey, but again NOTHING like my legs and feet.

 It is said that the body must detox and heal itself from the inside out, then from the top to the bottom, through the extremities.  I take it that is why my feet are the last to heal, as well as still finding my hands to be thick and in need of repair (through the extremities).  I also believe that my feet have been the worst throughout this process because of the steroid injections that I had in them (as well as my hands) a few years back.

 Further along into my journey I would find my torso, face and upper arms to be in the best skin health I had experienced in a long time.  I finally had smooth, soft skin in those areas and knew it was only a matter of time for the rest of my body to catch up!  I can’t wait till the day that this is all over… I look forward to digging my toes in the sand, doing cartwheels on the grass in a park, running, skipping, jumping lol and wearing cute shoes again!!!  I will definitely be posting a photo of my feet, nicely healed with a fresh pedicure haha!

Hering’s Law of Cure:
In the 19th century a Hungarian homeopathic physician named Constantine Hering made a discovery that is now known as Hering’s Law of Cure.  He stated, “All cure comes from within out, from the head down, and in reverse order as the symptoms have appeared in the body” (pg. 162 Anderson, Richard.  (1988). Cleanse and Purify Thyself).  In other words, healing starts from the inside of the body and works outward and from the top of the head and works downward, occurring in the reverse order in which sickness afflicted the body.  This means that your body will heal the internal organs first; liver, kidneys…etc., before your skin is healed.  In addition, if you have eczema on your face and upper parts of your body, that will heal first before eczema on your legs and feet can heal.

Steroid/Emollient Use: Desonide – on face, Triamcinolone – all over my body with wet wrapping at times (more concentrated), Steroid Injections – hands & feet, compound steroid mixes with Lubriderm, I think I tried Elidel and Protopic at a point in time, and some weird Tar cream, along with heavy Aquaphor usage for years, Vaseline, Eucerin cream, different Aveeno lotions (these last 4 OTC emollients have many unnatural and chemical ingredients in them).

 It is truly amazing to see the transformations that my skin goes through from day to day.  It just shows how awesome our bodies is at healing and restoring itself.  It will take time, but it will heal!

**I started my withdrawal process in March 2012.  June is the beginning of my documentation…

JUNE 2012

AUGUST 2012

*During the fall and winter my skin was pretty calm, it was going through a break from the withdrawal.  I was still itchy at times, not as bad as in the very beginning of my withdrawal and I didn’t experience any oozing or open wounds.  During this time I was able to leave the house and be productive with little to no pain.

FEBRUARY 2013

*Spring time hit and I started to go through the withdrawal process again.   I became itchier and started to develop more scaliness and oozy spots that turned into crusted scabs.  I thought that the reason why the process was starting again was because of the high pollen count and it being allergy season effecting my skin.  I wasn’t experiencing any irritated nasal symptoms or itchy eyes like how I would in the past, just skin issues.  It also could have been that some people have breaks in between their topical steroid withdrawal process, which allows their bodies to rest and get strong enough during the break to battle it out all over again.  I would realize that although it was happening again, it wasn’t as intense as it was the year before.

APRIL 2013

MAY 2013

JUNE 2013

JULY 2013

*The month of August had me on my feet a lot.  I was packing up, getting ready to move from North Carolina to New York City at the end of the month and as much as I tried to rest my feet they started revolting on me.  The emotional stress and physical stress that my body was going through didn’t help my healing process at all.

AUGUST 2013

SEPTEMBER 2013

OCTOBER 2013

NOVEMBER 2013

*The winter was another wonderful break of no oozing, huge flaking and irritation.  I was still itchy during this time, but more so on my legs and feet.  The break allowed me to work and be really productive without pain and irritation.  I feel that these breaks during the fall/winter allow my body to store up energy to battle out another healing process come spring/summer.

FEBRUARY 2014

 

February 4, 2014 - Super bumpy and definitely itchy at times.
February 4, 2014 – Super bumpy and definitely itchy at times.

MAY 2014

*May began the end of the break and started another flare session.  I do remember having anxiety about the weather getting warmer and feeling self conscious about having my skin exposed.  This added stress definitely wasn’t good for my skin.  By the end of May I was taking off days from work because of the pain that I was in, and eventually had to take a leave of absence.  It became difficult and uncomfortable to put on socks and shoes and really get around.  The whole summer wasn’t completely terrible, there were a few good days here and there where my feet and legs were calm enough to get out and run errands or have a little bit of fun.  Even on those days I had to know my limits and pray that I wouldn’t be paying for it the next day.

JUNE 2014

JULY 2014 

AUGUST 2014

*So there’s A LOT of documentation for this month.  I had moved, again… not that far, like 20 min away but still the stress of packing and cleaning took another toll on my feet.  I was on them a lot more again, and didn’t get to rest them as much as I would’ve loved.  The move happened on the 15th, and the days leading up to the move had me on my feet non stop, leaving me with achy, swollen feet by the end of the day.  There was also something that I shouldn’t have done that I feel brought on such an intense break out.  The day before the move I had felt confident enough in the state of my feet to shower without the shower cast boots (I had been keeping them dry since May, using the boots to protect the oozy, flakey wounds).  I used the same soap I always use (African black soap) and moisturized with the same stuff I always use (coco oil and shea butter).  I thought all was well, but the next few days I noticed that it may have been a premature decision to wet my feet.  They started slightly oozing again and becoming irritated.  Soon enough it was full blown, leaving me housebound and with extreme discomfort in even walking around. It got so bad that I would just slide around ON TOP of my slippers instead of actually putting my foot in it.  I just didn’t want anything rubbing up against the open wounds and tugging at the huge flakes, prematurely pulling them off.  It’s amazing to see the transformations that my skin goes through from day to day.

SEPTEMBER 2014

 

 

OCTOBER 2014

November 2014

It’s pretty crazy that this is November and I’m still dealing with the end of this flare.  Around this time last year I was doing a lot better, no oozing, flaking swelling etc.  I was out and about and living my life.  I’m still homebound because it just hurts too much to be on my feet for any length of time.  I had a few doctors appointments, which I was forced to leave and even then it was a mission.  I had to wear my Adidas sandals (I have 2 pairs, one for outside one for in), but have a paper towel wrapped around my feet and gingerly slip it into the sandal.  The paper towel was to help with any rubbing that would occur (and oozing) from the strap up against my skin.  Even this had me in aching pain after a few hours of being out.  At home, I get around by sliding on top of the sandal, so I don’t have to deal with the strap covering my foot and rubbing up against it.  I guess I just chalk it up and figure that I haven’t had a break like in the past because this is the home stretch of my withdrawal process.  Some people get breaks, it could be a few weeks or in my case months, and some people just go straight through with no breaks at all.  Everyone’s body is unique.  If this is the case, that I’m not experiencing a break right now and that it really is the end, then Hallelujah lol!  I’m just taking it day by day, and trying to not let whatever new stage my foot decides to be in that day bother me.  I’m experiencing such smoothness and moisture retention in my skin everywhere else, that I know it’s only a matter of time until my feet are finally done and in the same state as the rest of my body.  Patience is indeed a virtue!

 

December 2014

 

January 2015

 A new year, let’s do it!!!  I’m not going to lie, 2014 had it’s ups and downs, and unfortunately for the latter part of the year I was down (as you can see from the photos).  I’m super hopeful for this year, and that the issues with my feet will finally be cleared up completely.  It’s insane to think that the rest of my body is super clear, smoothing out, barely itchy, the discolouration is evening out and my natural oils are coming back!  Just a little bit of thickness left in my hands and they can get slightly itchy at times as well, but other than that it’s just my feet still left to restore!  They haven’t been oozing as intensely as previous months Thank God, and they seem to be drying and flaking a lot more which is a great sign!  I’ve been continuing my healthy plant based, whole food pretty much vegan diet and my supplements (probiotics, enzymes, wild blue green algae and a vitamin D supplement), the only new things that I’ve been adding is taking a spoonful of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water about 15-20 min before my “linner” and drinking golden turmeric milk at night before bed (about an hour or so after my green drink).  I feel that these additions have helped a lot as I keep on keepin’ on in this healing process.  Since my feet are in a bit better shape I’ve also added jumping on a rebounder.  This helps to stimulate the lymph system and aids in healing.  I’m slowly working my way up to at least 20-30 min a day so I can work up a good sweat and release those toxins.  I do experiencing some itching and slight burning while jumping but after I’m done with my workout it’s completely gone.  Although it’s low impact, because I’m not pounding on the hard ground, I think it’s just the feet getting used to the exercise and possibly has something to do with the nerves that were damaged from the steroid use.  Either way, I’ve been needing to get into some exercise, and I’m glad that I’m at a better place with my feet that I am able to do so.  Looking forward to a great year, and I’m praying by spring time (hopefully before then!!) I’ll be out and about again!!

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11 thoughts on “Photos

  1. Thanks for comprehensive documentation of your healing crisis. You are one brave soul and I for one am so proud of your commitment and patience towards self healing. Though I have gone through couple of cycles myself but your story has inspired me even more and reinforced my belief in the healing power inherent in our bodies. May the divine continue to guide you and may you get the strength to help others in need. Keep it up and thanks again for sharing this amazing journey towards prestine health.

    1. Thanks Bahu!! You’re words are so encouraging, and definitely gives me that extra push when I’m feeling weary about this process (as I have lately). I know that this rough road will all be for my best benefit in the end, I just gotta continue to persevere and have the patience like you said to know that in time I will be completely healed! I’m so glad I could be of inspiration to you! Your site gives me hope as well, and it’s so informative! Keep the great posts coming 🙂 I wish you well too in your healing journey!

  2. Thank you for sharing your journey. You’re positive attitude is an inspiration. I’m an ITSAN member and I wanted to write and let you know what helped me tremendously and perhaps it will help you. My TSW wasn’t as severe as yours but it kept me home bound for months with patchy red, painful, itchy, burning, stinging skin on my face, neck and chest.

    I learned about the healing properties of wheatgrass and the benefits of drinking it and applying it to the skin to help the skin heal and regenerate new healthy skin cells. I was so desperate that after finishing articles about its benefits, I left my house at 9pm to buy it and try it that night. I was so afraid it wasn’t going to help and that I was going to have another burning, itchy, stinging night that I was almost in tears.

    That night, I took a scoop and mixed it with distilled water. The key is that you must “hold the wheatgrass in your mouth for 3 minutes” before swallowing as this allows the essential propeties in it to absorb into your body instead of being destroyed in your digestive tract. I know it sounds odd but I was desperate so I did it. It took me 20 minutes to get through the mixture but it was well worth it. Within 20-30 minutes, my skin went from a 8-9 scale of itching, burning and stinging to a 3. I couldn’t believe it.

    I repeated this the next morning by which time my skin was at a 6-7. Again, the WG took me down to a 3. It only lasts 4-5 hours so I did it three times a day making the last a half hour before bed. The following day, I tried doing a WG mask (WG with distilled water). Ideally you leave it on your skin for 10-20 min. But the first day, I could only do it for 6 min before I started itchy really bad and thought I was reacting negatively. I rinsed and rinsed to find redder skin and was worried. But, within minutes of rinsing my skin, it went to a 1-2 from the 3 after holding and swallowing. Then the increased reddening went away to leave my “normal” red skin.

    I continued the WG drink 3x day for two weeks and increased the daily masks to 20 minutes for a month. My skin was healing much faster and the WG keep my irritation levels between a 1-3 instead of the normal 7-10. I reduced the WG drink to 2xs a day in week 3 then 1x in week 4 on because I started getting hives. I wasn’t sure why since this was new and assumed it was the WG. I also reduced the WG masks to 3x week after the first month for the same reason.

    I also kept my hair off my face 24/7, very rarely left the house, ate a very clean diet (eating 4oz of wild salmon 4-6x week to moisturizer my skin from the inside out) organic mutivitamins, a calcium supplement and a vegatable smoothy everyday. Because I was also breaking out, I started applying Bragg organic with the mother Apple cider vinegar that I mixed with distilled water 1 (ACV) to 5 (dsw) ratio in the beginning and this also helped my skin heal. I applied it as a toner once a day at night before bed after gently washing with MD Perricone olive oil cleanser (the only one I could use). I also used Kinerase ultimate moisturizer which was originally used to help burn victims heal and generate new skin cells. It’s expensive but it works and it doesn’t sting. All these things and PRAYER helped to heal me.

    I hope this helps you as it helped me. My skin started consistently getting better week by week with the WG unlike before where my skin was in a constant state of irritation with what felt like no progression.

    I couldn’t leave your post without reaching out to you. You are in my prayers. My The Lord heal you and restore you to perfect heath. Amen

    Amazing wheatgrass (organic) mixed with distilled water
    Bragg organic apple cider vinger with the mother mixed with distilled water
    MD Perricone gentle olive oil cleanser (green label)
    Kinerase Ultimate Moisturizer (can be used any where on the body)
    Distiller water is important as tap water has elements that will absorb into your skin causing irritation.

    God bless you,
    Piña

    1. Thank you so much Piña for your kind words, encouragement and suggestions! I eat a super clean diet (vegan), make sure to get a green drink in nightly 😉, but I’ve actually never had wheatgrass! It’s definitely worth giving it a go. I’ll look into it for sure thank you! I’ve used ACV with the mother on my skin before, it did seem to soothe it then after more applications it became itchy so I just stopped all together. I do like to use it in my salad dressings as well as in a cup of water before my dinner. I’ll also do some research on the other products you mentioned as well. Thanks again for reaching out and leaving a comment! God bless you too! I’d like to keep in touch if that’s cool! You can email me at eczema.holistic.healing@gmail.com and we can chat!

      Take care,
      Jen

  3. Hi Jen, shame you’ve gone through hell here. You’re a very brave lady. I went through TSW 20 yrs ago but didn’t know that was it at the time so used a few steriods again a few years back and now I’m going through it again. Not as bad as you though. However, my comment is about your photo’s. Those blisters on your feet are not TSW they are eczema herpeticum. It’s a herpes virus infection. You need to get that treated asap as if it gets into your system it can be fatal as it’s a flesh eating virus. I had it when I did TSW and it was not spotted. I’m lucky to be alive. If you still have those please get them looked at. Be strong and all the best. Mike

    1. Hi Mike! I’m sorry you’re having to battle TSW again! Thankfully like you said it’s not as bad as mine, which I wouldn’t wish on anyone to experience! Thanks so much for your comments and concern! I’m doing much better now with only dry patches on my feet and legs, no oozing or awful filled bumps, thank the Lord! Although I haven’t experienced those filled bumps in a long time, when I would get the oozing a few months ago Id treat it with 4-5 drops of essential oil of oregano in a veggie cap. It’s anti viral, anti bacterial etc and would most likely work on herpecticum too! It’s a natural antibiotic. Thanks for you’re encouraging words and I pray that you see some relief soon! If you’re interested in any natural remedies, tips, diet, supplement and essential oil advice feel free to email me at eczema.holistic.healing@gmail.com ☺️
      Take care & God bless!
      Jen

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