2 Month Progress Pics!

Today is exactly 2 months from the very last time I used (and will EVER use) topical steroids.  I have had many low days, but in the last few days I’ve seen measurable healing!  For anyone that is going through this and just starting out, I encourage you to TAKE PICTURES to document your progress.  Healing can be such a slow process that it’s easy to get discouraged when seeing how far you have yet to go, but with pictures you can see how far you have come.

(The following are pictures of my elbow creases.  I realized they’re not all from the SAME elbow crease, but the condition of both of them was pretty much the same.  For the record, the ONLY thing I ever put on this area while going through TSW was plain ol’ Vaseline after I got out of the bath at night.)

Here was one elbow crease on Feb. 25.  About 1 month in.  Very painful, red, burning.

Here was one elbow crease on Feb. 25. About 1 month in. Very painful, red, burning.

Elbow crease, on March 8th.  About 6 weeks in to TSW.

Elbow crease, on March 8th. About 6 weeks in to TSW.  Very itchy.  Still had that ‘sunburn’ feeling where it hurt to bend my arm.

Elbow crease on March 15, about 7 weeks in to TSW.

Elbow crease on March 15, about 7 weeks in to TSW.

Elbow crease this morning!  8 weeks in.  It is barely red and only has a few little scabs.  It no longer itches or burns and feels nearly normal.

Elbow crease this morning! 8 weeks in. It is barely red and only has a few little scabs. It no longer itches or burns and feels nearly normal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pictures of my right hand (my right hand was always a lot worse than my left, maybe because I’m right handed and touch more stuff with that hand?  not sure).

Right hand on March 3rd.  It was actually a lot redder and itchier looking than the picture shows.

Right hand on March 3rd. It was actually a lot redder and itchier looking than the picture shows.  Middle finger knuckle is very dry and wrinkly looking.  I had used steroids there a lot.  Scabs and roughness are prevalent but it hadn’t started getting super red yet.

Right hand on March 15, about 7 weeks into TSW.  Looking a little better but I still was really self conscious about my hands and always tugging my sleeves down over them.

Right hand on March 15, about 7 weeks into TSW.  This may not be a very good picture to demonstrate but you can see the blotchy redness covering almost my whole hand and wrist.   Looking a little better but I still was really self conscious about my hands and always tugging my sleeves down over them to hide.

Right hand, picture taken yesterday (3/22) at almost 2 months in.  It is definitely smoother and less red.

Right hand, picture taken yesterday (3/22) at almost 2 months in. It is definitely smoother and less red.  In this picture it looks almost normal!  In person, my hand is still a bit red and rough, but much better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have had other measures of progress too!  All the oozing on my groin and thighs has dried up within the past 2-3 days and is now just mildly dry and flaky.  My skin in general feels a lot softer.  I still do itch, but it is MUCH less intense.  It’s more of a just “my skin is dry” itch than the uncontrollable overwhelming itch.  The red areas on my face and neck are, for the most part, looking way better.  I have a long ways to go, but seeing all of this is really encouraging.

Yesterday I was also really pleased with another thing.  It is said that diet doesn’t have too much of an affect on TSW – and that we shouldn’t go crazy trying to avoid foods.  The skin is so sensitive during this time that it might react to things that it normally doesn’t react to, which gives kind of a “false positive” when it comes to food intolerances.   I had pretty much given up dairy over the past months for my eczema as it seemed to make me more itchy, which was perfectly fine for the most part – I don’t like milk, yogurt, or ice cream, and I can pretty easily stay away from cheese.  I had also tried to stay away from any tomato products as they seemed to give me perioral dermatitis.  However, there was free pizza and cheese-breads at work due to this event we had.  Pizza is my problem child, I absolutely love pizza.  I don’t eat it very often, but if it is around, I find it hard to resist.  So I figured this would be a good “test” to see if eating a bunch of dairy/tomato sauce made me itchy.  I had a couple slices of pizza and a few cheese sticks and I felt perfectly fine later and didn’t itch any more than normal and didn’t wake up with any aggravated symptoms.  This seems to support the case that my skin reacting to everything was really TSW, since a few years ago I could eat whatever I wanted; and therefore the point that I had NO reaction seems to further confirm, yes, I am healing!

I am really curious to know what pattern my healing will take from here.  Will I continue to just get better with a few minor itchy red setbacks?  Will I go through another couple rounds of big flares?  Should I expect the trajectory of taking an entire year to heal, or will I be almost normal by summer since I didn’t use strong steroids nor use them over a very long period of time?

No matter what, even if I do regress and have a setback and go through flares again, seeing this healing was exactly what I needed, knowing that my body can heal just fine when left to its own devices without steroids.  I am wishing all of you fellow TSW warriors out there continued and speedy healing!

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6 thoughts on “2 Month Progress Pics!

  1. Amanda says:

    It is looking much better!

  2. WOW – it’s so great to actually see your progress! So encouraging 🙂

  3. Courtney says:

    DANG that is looking great!!!!

  4. tomatoskingirl says:

    Okay we can’t be hand twins anymore haha. Looking good eczemaexcellence. 🙂

  5. amanda says:

    Looks Awesome…..What are you using on your hands? Mine are horrible, painful and red, red, red!!!!!
    They will be super dry and then they will weep fluid which in turns dries and crust over. Then a day or two later the skin will come off….very sore when it is crusted over. Kind of gross too..lol

    • Oh goodness, yeah that sounds like many of the typical experiences that I’ve read from other people on blogs and the ITSAN forum. Your poor hands; it’s such a hard place to have rashes and skin issues. Honestly everything I put on my hands stings (even Aveeno eczema cream and vanicream) so I just use Vaseline or nothing at all. I’ve tried to coat my hands in Vaseline and then wear soft gloves in the night, but I always rip off the gloves in my sleep so I can scratch!! Today they are more rough and red again but I know they will heal in time.

      I know you can use Domeboro to dry up the oozing and I would recommend just plain Vaseline to hold in moisture. Also use only gentle soaps when you have to wash your hands and try not to wash them too much. I use Dove sensitive bar soap and even carry it around at work to the restrooms so I can avoid the harsh soaps in there. some people have used coconut oil but I found that made me more itchy and it wasn’t moisturizing enough. The forums at ITSAN.org probably have even more suggestions. Regardless I hope you can find something that works and helps your hands feel and look better!! Sending you healing thoughts!

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