Man With Eczema Shows Incredible Transformation After Ditching Steroid Medication
When Jonathan Rowe, 32, developed eczema on his face when he was 18 his doctor gave him a steroid-based cream to treat it, and although it seemed to fix the problem initially, the rash-like eczema returned soon after.
Jonathan, from London, visited his doctor every month for his eczema, which was getting worse, and with each visit he was prescribed a stronger steroid cream. By the time he was 24, Jonathan's skin was out of control as his whole body was covered with eczema.
Whenever Jonathan stopped using the steroids, his eczema would come back worse. He began taking an oral immunosuppressant normally used for transplant patients and although it didn't completely clear his eczema, it became more manageable.
But Jonathan knew he couldn't keep taking the medication forever, so
after two years he came off it as he was warned that long term use
could cause cancer.
Jonathan decided to try Protopic as a last-ditch effort to heal his inflamed skin. The cream would burn his skin for 12 hours but then the area of eczema would be cleared for a short while, but it would always come back after a few days.
Jonathan came to the realisation that his eczema was getting progressively worse and despite increasing the quantity of cream he applied, his skin was uncontrollable. He knew he needed to find a better solution.
In early 2018, while researching ways to stop using Protopic and topical steroids, Jonathan came across articles discussing topical steroid withdrawal (TSW) and soon came to believe that was what he was suffering from.
There are arguments that TSW isn't real and Jonathan was advised that he should continue using steroids.
He explained: "I realised I couldn't stay on [medication] forever and I was given an immunosuppressant cream called Protopic after seeing the skin expert at my local surgery. It was sold as a wonder cream to me as it didn't have the same side effects as steroids, such as skin thinning.
"Over the next four years I attempted to manage my eczema with a combination of Protopic and topical steroid cream.
"Protopic would burn for around 12 hours when I applied it but then the skin cleared after. I did find the severity of my eczema just carried on getting worse and any amount of cream I applied made no difference and my skin was out of control."
Jonathan stopped using steroid treatments in April 2018, and then in January 2019 he began the no moisture therapy (NMT) to dry out the skin and allow it to create its own moisture again. NMT has transformed Jonathan's life for the better and he highly recommends others going through similar trouble to try it themselves.
By sharing his story, Jonathan hopes to discourage people from using topical steroids to treat their eczema as they don't treat the condition, they just mask the problem for a short while.
"I realised that using the creams wasn't a long-term solution, so I knew that something else had to be done. I was worried I would have to go back on cyclosporine, which had the cancer risk," said Jonathan.
"One day, I googled how to stop using so much topical steroid and I came across a website about TSW. I realised I was addicted to steroids and Protopic and if I stopped using the creams then my skin would flare out of control.
"I visited a consultant dermatologist and they said topical steroid addiction was not a real thing and I should carry on with the steroids. I told him that I'd been researching TSW and I disagreed with him so I wouldn't be following his treatment recommendation."
He continued: "I just felt disappointed that he was so close-minded and he couldn't even see it as a possibility. There could be thousands of other people with this, but the dermatologists don't think it's a real thing. I had a mentality that I was going to show him that I could get better without the creams.
"For eight months I saw little to no improvement and had all of the symptoms as mentioned above, until I found the research of a Japanese doctor called Dr Sato who has been treating TSW using his ground-breaking approach of NMT.
"I drink a maximum of one litre of water a day, no moisturiser, I limit showers to one per week for two minutes, no baths, no water after 7pm, and I eat more protein to counteract the loss of protein. Effectively, you're treating TSW by completely drying out your skin.
has never been better than it is now and it does not affect me in my daily
life. I never apply anything to my skin anymore, especially not moisturiser."
To see more and follow Jonathan's story, you can visit his Instagram by clicking here.
Featured Image Credit: Media Drum World