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Home UkNews I developed an addiction to steroid cream to treat eczema

I developed an addiction to steroid cream to treat eczema


A WOMAN says she can’t even look at herself in the mirror after steroid withdrawal caused eczema to erupt over her entire body.

English teacher, Elin Wade, 30, from Swansea, has suffered with eczema ever since she was little, mainly in the folds of her arms, which only lasted a few days and was easily manageable with Sudocrem.

Elin, pictured before she developed the skin reaction

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Elin, pictured before she developed the skin reactionCredit: MDWfeatures / @elle.tsw_

However, as she began teaching at 25-years-old, she started to experience stress, which triggered a flare up.

She started using topical steroid creams, which cleared up her eczema immediately and she was amazed at how fast it worked.

However, after two years, her eczema started to spread to other parts of her body.

She tried every diet and natural remedy, but nothing worked, so she decided to research her symptoms and found out about topical steroid addiction (TSA).

Showing her damaged skin after using steroid cream

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Showing her damaged skin after using steroid creamCredit: MDWfeatures / @elle.tsw_

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In February 2019, she stopped using her steroid creams but shortly after, she developed hot skin rashes, which made her body feel like it was on fire and lost three stone, dropping to just 6st 5lb.

Her hair also started to come out.

She resulted in taking a new drug, which she had to inject into her stomach – but she stopped taking this due to her condition worsening.

“I started panicking that my skin was going to erupt on my wedding day, as I’d completely lost control over my body and was obsessing over what made it worse,” she recalled. “I was barely eating anything because I was so scared something would trigger it – I just couldn’t figure it out.

 “After the wedding, it erupted into the biggest flare I’d ever had and I was prescribed a higher potency cream – but it just got worse and worse.

“I tried everything – every diet, natural remedy, but nothing worked and I was completely stumped.

Your whole body feels like it’s on fire and when it oozes, it’s metallic and super uncomfortable.

Elin Wade

“During some obsessive research, I read the symptoms of topical steroid addiction and withdrawal and I remember feeling elated because finally, here it was. Although, I never imagined how horrific the journey would be.

“I started the withdrawal immediately upon discovering this and my body went into complete meltdown and I had every single symptom that every sufferer reports – the skin rash that spreads everywhere, that’s red, hot, oozy and flaky, which cycles so quickly you can’t keep up.

“Your whole body feels like it’s on fire and when it oozes, it’s metallic and super uncomfortable. 

“You can’t regulate your temperature and I used to shake violently bundled up in huge duvets and at the very beginning, I couldn’t even get out of bed.

“I lost weight immediately and at one point, I was six-and-a-half stone, even though I was eating loads – but I think my body just used all the calories to heal.

The eczema spread to her hands and wrists

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The eczema spread to her hands and wristsCredit: MDWfeatures / @elle.tsw_

“Some of my hair fell out and I had crippling insomnia, where one night, I didn’t sleep a wink and I just got up and taught a whole day with no sleep at all. I still struggle with insomnia now – although I manage to sleep for two hours at a time at least.

“I had swollen lymph nodes everywhere, which led me to be tested for HIV, lymphoma and leukaemia and I even had to have an ultrasound on my lymph nodes because the doctors were concerned – but I knew it was just another symptom of topical steroid withdrawal.”

Elin reached such a low, that everyone was concerned about her, so she decided to see a private dermatologist, who prescribed her immunosuppressants, which helped a bit, and as she needed a blood test every two weeks to check her liver whilst on them – she knew something wasn’t right.

Quitting the creams in 2020, she now feels she is now still sick.

Elin, pictured on her wedding day

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Elin, pictured on her wedding dayCredit: MDWfeatures / @elle.tsw_

“My skin is just dry all the time, as it doesn’t hold any moisture and appears so flaky,” she said. “Each time I moisturise, it just goes red and I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle.

 “Aside from the physical symptoms, the mental ones are equally as bad and I’ve suffered with bouts of depression because of this; it ruins your whole life.

“I feel completely defined by this condition and I don’t feel like me anymore. I’m so passionate about my job, but I don’t feel like I’ve been able to do it properly for so long.

“I can’t look at myself in the mirror, because I don’t recognise myself and I’m worried I’ll have PTSD after this whole experience.

“I know I’ll get better, but I’ve lost two years of my life to something which was entirely preventable and not my fault.”

Meanwhile, this woman says she cured her skin condition with diet.

And read about a woman who got turned down for a job because of a skin condition.

Jacqueline Jossa begs fans for help as she reveals daughter is suffering from ‘severe eczema’



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