I have a new video for you today and it’s one of the most important interviews that I’ve done with Dr. Jason Lee (the naturopath that helped me overcome really severe eczema).
In this video, Dr. Jason Lee breaks down how Topical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW) works, so that you can understand how TSW works in your body. He also talks about his own experience going through it, why the medical community doesn’t fully understand it, and why you can’t heal TSW until the “fire” is put out.
He also talks about the different types of eczema and he gives a great explanation about how topical steroids can become so addictive to your body (I love his analogy that he uses in the video) – be sure to watch it! I’ve learned so much from him and I hope it helps you as well.
Main points about TSW that Dr. Jason covers in the video:
- When you take topical steroids on the skin, even in small amounts, it still absorbs systemically into the body because you are covering such a large surface area. Sometimes topical steroids can be worse than oral steroids because it absorbs right in, not bypassing the liver, just filtering right into the body.
Adrenals and Steroid Use
- Steroids are very similar to human stress hormones, which are manufactured in the adrenal glands such as cortisol, corticosteroids and many others.
- When you start putting on steroid creams (and using inhalers, etc.), it starts creating feedback against the adrenal glands. These glands help the body deal with stress, damage, fight infections and it helps to “rally the troops.”
- Normally the adrenals release a steroid hormone which is like cortisol and the body responds saying, “we got it.” The adrenals say, “alright I’m going to stop producing it” and that’s how it naturally works. When you keep taking in the topical steroids, overtime you get this feedback saying “ok, we don’t need it anymore, we have enough”, then the adrenals say, “why do I need to make my own when there are steroids already in the system?”
So they get lazy and suppressed, just like the adrenal glands.
- It takes years to develop steroid addiction because you mostly become addicted after years of usage (although for some people it can happen even if you’ve only used it for months). It’s rare to become addicted only using it once.
- When you stop taking them, the adrenals have been suppressed for so long that the body is now totally deficient, and it cannot regulate that natural steroid production. Cessation of the steroids happen and the flare ups become extremely high, even worse than it was before. Patients start to develop worse conditions than before like allergies, asthma etc. The longer you take it, the more suppressed the body becomes, causing many problems after many, many years of use.
For about every year you’ve suppressed the condition, it can take about a month of treatment. It’s not the case for everyone, but it’s a general rule to go with. Initially the itching will come down, and once that happens, that’s when the skin can start healing a lot faster.
Topical Steroids Among the Medical Community
- There’s a big debate about topical steroid addiction in the medical community. Many years ago, it was thought that steroids were fine to use and even for long periods of time. Now the tone is being changed to, “it’s ok to use, but not to overdo it.” There’s a time an a place to use it, for example; having a severe asthmatic reaction.
- The main point is to figure out what is the root cause, and that’s where you can get a real effect on healing the body.
- Rule number 1 for treating skin issues or other inflammatory conditions is to put out the fire first. There’s no point in healing the skin when it’s on fire by using treatments to bring down the redness and itching.
- It’s like a building that’s on fire, when you cover the building, you’re not seeing the flames but when you uncover it the flames come up. There’s no point in rebuilding a structure that’s burning until the fire is actually out. The rebuilding and repairing of the skin happens after the inflammation has been dealt with; it’s a two part process.
- When the itching and redness are gone, then the skin will be very dry and flaky which doesn’t look pretty but is a great symptom!
- It’s like a house that has been burning and the fire is out and now it’s just smoldering, so now we can bulldoze it and start rebuilding the structure.
- You do not deal with the inflammation by covering it with steroid creams, because that will just suppress it and it will come back. You deal with inflammation by dealing with the root issue through finding out what foods aggravate the body, and what metabolic issues are going on. The root cause all depends on the case.
- When the actual cause has been eliminated (once the fire has been taken out) then you can get more aggressive in the healing part of the skin.
Different Presentations of Eczema
- Weepy eczema will become red, cracked and then ooze clear fluid. This awful smelling fluid, dries with a brownish yellow colour and is actually toxicity coming out of the body. It’s metabolic waste that is supposed to come out of your bowel, but it is coming out of your skin. This weepy eczema is a definite gut inflammatory issue.
- Raised, bumpy eczema that becomes very itchy and breaks out in hives is more of an allergic type of eczema. Same cause, different presentation.
- In the journal of dermatology there are many pictures and different names for different types of eczema which is named based on the shape and appearance. They are basically all different ways of explaining fire.
- When you light something on fire there’s many different ways the fire can show, it’s like trying to label every different kind of fire based upon how it looks and how it burns, but in reality it’s something still combustible. In the end you still have to deal with that issue.
- Eczema shows in different ways and in many different parts of the body. The main common areas are the scalp, creases of the arms, hands, creases of the knees and some patients will get it on the neck and torso. It can form on any area where there is skin. Sometimes the way the eczema is presented, you can tell what the cause may be. But tests will have to be done to find out.
The area in where your eczema shows up can show you the root cause too:
- eczema on the face can be a dust sensitivity or something to do with sugar imbalance.
- eczema on the creases of arms and knees are dealing with digestion issues.
- eczema on the scalp is stress related.
- eczema that just cracks and bleeds is usually a sign of a protein metabolism issue.
- eczema that is really itchy and especially itchy at night is usually when a patient can’t tolerate certain fats.
- Healing Eczema: Why Dieting Is Not Enough
- The Power of Thoughts: How Mindset Shifts Can Help Eliminate Eczema
- My Detailed Eczema Healing Treatment Plan
Abby is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who helps clients achieve optimal health. She is passionate about seeing people use health and nutrition to transform lives. She hopes that her experiences and knowledge can help educate others on natural remedies that will help eczema. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or YouTube for more updates!
Disclaimer: All the information found on this website should be used for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace proper medical advice. Always consult a qualified health care provider before embarking on a health or supplement plan.