Feature #23: Katie & Ashley

Katie Vickers.pngKatie 

Age: 21

Career: Unemployed, had to medically withdraw from school

When did you cease using topical steroids:  July 2015

What type did you use: I used Triamcinolone 0.1% for 8 years, had a few rounds of oral steroids/shots of Kenalog

What is your favorite product for comfort? Lemongrass Balm and Frankincense

What is the hardest thing to deal with during this condition? The hardest part of TSW is the physical pain. There are days where I’m in so much pain that I can’t even think straight. The ooze is a close second though.

What is the first thing you will do when healed? First thing I’m doing is taking a trip somewhere fun and exciting. I’m not sure where yet, but I’m going to make sure to live it up and not to take life for granted. Oh, and I’m also gonna drink a margarita.


Ashley  ashley-c

Age: 29

Career: Attorney and Dance Teacher

When did you cease using topical steroids:  November 24, 2015

What type did you use: I used many different types, but the last two I was on were triamcinolone and clobetasol

What is your favorite product for comfort? 3 things: 1. White t-shirts- they’re great to wear around the house because they are loose and breathable and I also use them to wrap my arms or neck during flare-ups; 2. Benadryl to help me sleep during the unbearable itchy nights; 3. Aquaphor

What is the hardest thing to deal with during this condition? Sleepless nights dealing with the bone deep itch & trying to maintain as much of a normal life as possible

What is the first thing you will do when healed? Workout and take a pain free shower

Feature #21: Danny & Fleur

Danny Brooks.jpgDanny Brooks

Age: 24

Career: Was a sports staff member for RCCL

When did you cease using topical steroids: Oct 20th 2016

What type did you use: A large variety of tablets and creams over several years

What is your favorite product for comfort? Cetroben (heavy moisturizer)

What is the hardest thing to deal with during this condition? Around the 2 month mark I developed loads of tiny blisters all over my feet which burst when I walked making it incredibly painful to stand and walk until they eventually healed after about a week. (also happened on my hands)

What is the first thing you will do when healed? Reapply for my job as I loved my short time working on cruise ships!


Fleur Rose Blanchelorraine-blanche

Age: 10

Career: n/a

When did you cease using topical steroids: Nov. 13, 2016

What type did you use: Used Betnovate on and off since October 2015 for patches of eczema behind the knees and inside of elbows.

What is your favorite product for comfort? Calendula talc when skin won’t tolerate ointments. When it can, I like Egyptian Magic cream

What is the hardest thing to deal with during this condition? The flares with oozing, (they scare me), the itch is worst part now , also having to give up dancing and pulling out of a show in February. I miss my friends, school and gymnastics.

What is the first thing you will do when healed? Playing my instruments and dance lessons.

Why are we seeing the body as parts instead of as a whole?

I feel Chris Kresser said it best:

“In conventional medicine, there’s a doctor for each different body part, and so if you have heart disease and you have eczema, you go see the cardiologist for heart disease, you see the dermatologist for eczema, maybe you see an immunologist if you have an autoimmune disease, and all of these things are being looked at as separate conditions. As a patient, it can be pretty bewildering to just have this idea that you have all of these kind of separate and disconnected things happening and not to have an idea that there might be a common root cause that’s driving all of these pathologies. Of course, what that means is if there is a common root cause, then there’s a possibility of intervening at that level and seeing an improvement across the board in all of these conditions instead of trying to address each of them in a kind of silo fashion with specific drugs and things for each condition.” (CHRIS KRESSER PODCAST)

Now a days, when something is wrong and it’s pinpointed to a certain part of the body, we are referred to a specialist. This doctors specifically sees patients with one particular problem or problem area. It’s absolutely wonderful to have doctors well versed in one particular area of study, but why is it that when we speak of one problem in our body, that it is never thought to be connected to us as a whole? We are one huge machine.

When doctors now speak about the gut, and how so many other issues in the body arise from our gut not functioning properly, it makes absolute sense! Where do we get our energy? Food. Where does the food go? Into our mouths and down into our stomach and intestines and colon to get digested. Where do we get our nutrients from? Digesting the food! If we are eating foods that are creating a major imbalance in our digestive system, then we aren’t getting the proper fuel we need to function, which in turn can disrupt a slew of organs in our body. It can affect our brain, our eyes, our motor function, our muscle growth, our hormone levels and moods, our bone density, our blood circulation, and for us sufferers, our skin!

My biggest concern with modern medicine is the fact that it masks these problems. I recently watched a commercial for a pharmaceutical medication for helping lower cholesterol. This 1 minute segment was horrifyingly riddleddddd with side effects, including DEATH. Why on earth do we accept this form of treatment? Because it’s easier than changing our diet? That is the craziest excuse out there! We would rather risk death than yielding from a 3x a week McDonalds run?

This is where our solution lies! I will never bash steroids, be it orally, injection, or topically, because they are truly important in the medical community. However, what I can not and will not stand for any longer is the chronic use of this drug as a first line treatment for conditions that NEED to be better evaluated first because, chances are, patients don’t even need the steroids!! If you’re going into anaphylactic shock, of course take a steroid!! But, if you have eczema and you go into a doctor’s office and the first thing they do is write you a prescription for a steroid without evaluating it further… absolutely wrong (in my opinion). That is fast food service. You are receiving the McDonald’s $1 value menu treatment, and that is what is hurting so many around the world from ACTUALLY getting better.

Now, are there conditions that sadly may need chronic bursts of steroids? Yes there are. BUT, we should be finding alternative ways to help maintain a better balance for these conditions than subject innocent patients to the severe consequences that taking steroids chronically has on the body.


If we start looking at our body as a whole, instead of our problems being directed by the area they are located, we may start to see some real change in our world. And when it comes to Red Skin Syndrome prevention, this is VITAL! Taking the time to find out what is truly wrong with your skin, which may be actually stemming from gut issues, can save you so much pain and suffering. I would much rather give up dairy, or wheat, or fast foods (or all three if needed!) if that meant living a life that wasn’t constantly bombarded with skin concerns and anxiety for having to deal with them on a daily basis.

Are we perfect? No. It’s not always easy to eat optimally every single day of our lives (goodness, Christmas is upon us!), but we can make an extremely conscious effort to do it everyday. It’s important to stick to the diet that works for you 100% of the time, but give yourself credit.

Find a doctor who is willing to work with you, as an individual human being, and who cares about finding out what will work for you. They will take the time to dissect you from the inside out to pinpoint what is causing you harm AND help you live your life to it’s highest potential. No one deserves fast food treatment, especially if it leads to something as devastating as Red Skin Syndrome.