If you’re going through topical steroid withdrawal, you’ll be all too familiar with how dramatically it can affect the face, and how very painful that can be.
Symptoms of TSW on the face include: flushed skin; swollen eyes; pustules or pimples around the mouth; rashes; extreme sensitivity; ‘elephant skin’, ie saggy, wrinkled skin; severe dryness; flaking or shedding skin; oozing or weeping; cracked or bleeding around corners of the mouth.
So what can you do to ease your way through the rough times of TSW?
If you’re using emollients (and not everyone does: check out No Moisture Treatment for a moisturiser-free route through TSW) then you’ll need to find something that doesn’t sting, and which is heavy-duty enough to cope with the extreme dryness, flaking, cracks and soreness that characterises TSW.
We’d follow the example of TSW influencer Louise King (aka @louigi_skin on Instagram), who uses a combination of Balmonds Skin Salvation and rosehip-rich Intensive Facial Oil to soothe the worse TSW symptoms. You can read her blog about the considerable powers of rosehip oil here, but the takeaway is that it's packed full of regenerative nutrients that can support your skin’s natural cycle of repair and regeneration, which is exactly what damaged skin needs.
What’s so good about Skin Salvation?
And what about a balm for cracked lips, swollen eyelids, sore chins, cheeks and noses? Here's where our hero product, Skin Salvation, comes in.
Skin Salvation is a safe, effective, non-steroidal, intensively hydrating emollient that works in four crucial ways to help you manage your TSW or chronically dry skin:
- It is free from the preservatives, perfumes, parabens, essential oils, coconut oils, nut oils, soya, petrochemicals and other common irritants that can hurt so much when applied to such sore, sensitive skin.
- It nourishes depleted skin with the essential fatty acids, vitamins and other nutrients that the epidermis needs to repair and regenerate.
- It uses beeswax to protect broken or raw areas by providing a fine, protective barrier over the skin - like a sticking plaster over a wound - reducing itchiness and stinging.
- It hydrates, softens and conditions severely dry, flaking or shedding skin, locking in essential moisture and softening rough or scaly skin.
For support through TSW, go to the ITSAN website.
Hashtags to follow for peer-to-peer support: #thisisnoteczema #tsw #ScratchThat
Current medical advice is not to use daily topical steroids continuously for more than two to four weeks; then the frequency should be tapered to twice weekly use.
Skin Salvation balm with hemp seed, beeswax and calendula, from £7.99 for 30ml
Balmonds Intensive Facial Oil with rosehip, calendula & lavender, £22 for 30ml
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.