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Living with eczema by Saskia P.

27th Feb
Having struggled with Eczema since I was a toddler, it’s always been a huge part of my life. My condition has flared lots over the years, but I’ve had two flares holding huge significance.
The first was in 2016 and during my second year of University. I visited a private doctor who prescribed me a drug called ‘Prednisone’. Initially, these tablets worked incredibly well, clearing my skin almost overnight. Waking up without pain, leaving my moisturisers at home and regaining my confidence was honestly life changing. However, once I came to the end of my tablet treatment my skin deteriorated rapidly, getting worse than before I had started the drug. At this point, my doctor prescribed me more. 
Coming off these tablets was by far one of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced both physically and emotionally. The only thing that helped me come off the tablets was a strong steroid cream. 
Since 2016, I’ve been prescribed a few different topical steroids, which I have always used with extreme caution, never using more than instructed, and until now, these steroids have kept my eczema at bay. 
At the end of 2022 I started to notice my skin wasn’t responding as well to the topical steroids, and I found myself using more of the ointment to keep my skin under control. These symptoms snowballed between the months of October and December, and, at its worst, I wasn’t able to straighten out my arms, and during the first hour of waking I struggled to open my eyes or mouth. I desperately made multiple dermatologist appointments, trying anything to stop the uncontrollable pain. 
girl with eczema
I had been aware of topical steroid withdrawal but had been told multiple times by healthcare professionals it was either something that was something incredibly rare, or something that was an over exaggeration, exacerbated by social media. 
Topical steroids weren’t working for me anymore, and in December 2022, with the help of a private dermatologist, I made the decision to stop using them. 
I want to be super clear, steroids are life saving drugs that are used in incredible ways every day. I just want to raise awareness about my experience in the hope this can help anyone who may be struggling with the same thing.
– Saskia P. 
Thank you, Saskia for sharing your story, if you’d like to read more please follow the link here