Topical Steroid Withdrawal isn’t confined to just skin symptoms. Many who suffer with TSW experience severe body-wide internal symptoms as well. People often don’t think of skin conditions as debilitating, but they can drastically compromise someone’s overall function and quality of life. Often times the internal issues can be so severe that people are unable to work or leave their house.
Ryan’s TSW included both external skin symptoms and internal symptoms. He had severe insomnia, constipation, an inability to stay warm, as well as joint and limb swelling.
Ryan explains: “How do I adequately thank the person who helped me heal from the most hellacious health crisis I’ve ever experienced? I’ve been sick before, but not like this. TSW was another level.
“I was so bad that I was disfigured, oozed liquid onto my clothes-sheets, shed flaked skin non-stop, lost hair, had swollen joints and limbs, couldn’t stay warm even in the Vegas summer, and suffered from indescribable insomnia. I didn’t want to be seen. Things were so bad that I didn’t believe I’d survive the ordeal.”
Ryan’s TSW proved to be an excellent case for herbal medicine, which treats the body’s internal imbalances that are the root cause of both internal symptoms and external skin reactions.
Ryan Describes His Healing Process
“The truth is, I can’t adequately thank Dr. Olivia, but what I can do is share how she’s helped me restore my life, my family, helped me work again, and restore my health,” says Ryan.
“First off, she understands TSW and its impact on those suffering from it. Most doctors don’t. Second, she incorporates natural herbs — different kinds — at the different stages of TSW.
“One thing that struck me immediately is just how intently she listens. With empathy. Not too many doctors fit this description these days. Coupled with her ability to explain the impact steroids have on our bodies, she outlined a program that would gradually heal me.
“Every few weeks, we connect via Zoom. She assesses me, and over time, she’d make me aware that I was self-evaluating with better ratings over time — in terms of pain, itchiness, constipation, insomnia, etc. All of these symptoms were getting less severe. Pictures I sent her also showed gradual signs of improvement.”
Goal: Natural Skin Health
One great thing about addressing the internal causes of TSW through herbal medicine, is that the healing, once achieved, is lasting. Often, with topical prescription medication, you might spend much longer, even years, just managing symptoms without any real healing of the condition.
“What was so refreshing is today she said she’d start tapering me off. Her goal is to get me off all herbs,” boasts Ryan. “Wait? It seems like I just started working with Dr. Olivia. I just checked and my first video consult was a little less than four months ago and she’s already talking about weaning me from the herb treatment.”
Ryan is thrilled with his improvement and the results he’s seen in both internal and external symptoms with herbal medicine: “I’m eternally grateful. Dr. Olivia, thank you with all my heart … and skin!!”
*Ryan is a pseudonym used to protect the privacy of the patient, who gave us permission to post her story.
Need Help with Eczema or TSW?
If you know someone who suffers from Eczema, TSW, or other stubborn skin conditions, here’s a video that describes what an initial consultation is like, and provides more information on the herbal medicine approach to dermatology.
You can also learn more about eczema with our free e-course: “Solving Eczema from the Inside Out.”
About the Author
Dr. Olivia Hsu Friedman, LAc, DACM, Cert. TCM Dermatology is the owner of Amethyst Holistic Skin Solutions and treats TSW, eczema, acne, and psoriasis patients via video conferencing using only herbal medicine. Olivia serves on the Advisory Board of LearnSkin, is the Chair of the American Society of Acupuncturists Board of Directors, and is a faculty member of the Chicago Integrative Eczema Support Group sponsored by The National Eczema Association.