I remember it was March 2014 when I first suffered from allergic eczema. It was May 30th after one day and couple more hours sitting on the bus on my way from Jakarta to Jogjakarta to attend my best friend’s wedding. Probably I was sensitive with the hot weather, or I was just plainly unlucky. During my stay in Jogjakarta, as I did not know what to do, I concealed my face with more CC cream and face powder, which turned out make the outbreak a lot worse.
This was me in February 2014 (before the eczema).
And the first flare-up looked like pimples but itchy. I took a 12-mg CTM (Chlor-trimeton chlorpheniramine maleate) as suggested by a close friend of mine. CTM (known as antihistamine) is taken to treat allergic reactions, such as urticaria, hay fever and cold symptoms.
It did not get any better, thus I went to a well-known dermatologist in Jakarta. He then prescribed me oral dexamethasone (I read further and found out that dexamethasone is a corticosteroid and will have an addictive effect). Two weeks later my skin gradually healed (actually it was not).
In May 2014, I ate shrimp! And my face became itchy again. I thought I may be allergic to seafood. However, I was not born allergic to any! My face became worse afterwards. I was allergic to seafood, dairy products and even rice! I went to several doctors and they gave me the same prescription, corticosteroid pills and hydrocortisone topical cream.
My face became swollen and flare-ups were getting worse. It was itchy, red and there was a burning sensation. I remembered I have been immune to any kinds of medicine, including the latest Cimetidine and Ranitidine. I was frustrated and my friend at church then suggested me to talk to his friend in Australia as she also suffered from the same illness as me and she was already 7 months going through Topical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW). I talked to her through email and she suggested me to stop cold turkey. She also suggested me to become a vegan and soak myself daily in apple cider vinegar solution.
After talking to her, I decided to stop taking any prescriptions, going fully vegan (no meat, no dairy food and even no soy). I changed my whole diet. SO NOW YOU, STOP TAKING CORTICOSTEROID PILL OR APPLYING STEROID CREAM!
It may sound harsh, it may sound impossible for you. But, trust me, I went through this and I wish I could tell more people to not suffer from the same condition like me. Anyway, in the picture above, it was me in August 2014 after 3 months going through TSW. My face was still swollen but it got less itchy. So, here are the things I did during the TSW and how I was completely healed in just 6 months! (Everybody is different; the longer you take steroid, the longer the healing process may take).
1. Eat only vegetable and fruit (no meat, no dairy products, no poultry products, no rice and no soy).
2. Try drinking Rooibos Tea (suggested by my Australian friend) or Honey+Lemon+Warm Water.everyday in the morning.
3. Spiritually, forgive someone or something you hate. Heal your inner self first. (This worked for me, a healthy mind leads to a healthy body and vice versa).
4. Do not stress out (I admitted it was the hardest part, my skin was itchy and it bled, so it was impossible not to stress out. I sometimes cried to sleep because it was painful. However, every night I never forgot to pray because I believe prayer always works).
5. If it is so itchy, try soaking yourself or just patting your face with apple cider vinegar solution (1 part of vinegar and 4 parts of water).
6. Drink more water to flush out toxins (According to Mayo Clinic, the adequate intake for man is roughly 3 L a day and for woman is 2.2 L a day).
7. Do not use any creams, moisturizers, skin lotions even though they say it is hypo-allergic tested. Everybody is different and one individual may be more sensitive than others.
8. This is what I did, I used oatmeal as a natural face cleanser. Ground oatmeal until it becomes flour. Take enough oatmeal flour on your hand, add just enough water to form a thick paste. Apply in a circular motion and wash your face with clean (possibly alkaline) water. Towel dry your face softly.
9. Change your pillowcase often, and vacuum if your skin flakes during the TSW. Keep your surroundings clean.
10. Routinely affirm yourself, “I will be healed. I will be healthy”.
Those are the 10 things I would suggest you, but I know there are a lot more things that you, readers can also add in the comment. I will update this blog if I have got more information. Below is me in December 2014 🙂 I am healed now.. completely!
To remember: I wrote this post from my experience. Others might suffer from different kinds of eczema. Consult with your trustworthy doctors and dermatologists that are against Topical Steroid use. Find it here on ITSAN.
To talk to me: if you feel you are alone going through this, feel free to ask or talk to me via email here: firstname.lastname@example.org
I pray you will get well super soon! 🙂
Cheers and bunches of love,