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Sensitive Skin, Eczema, Atopic Dermatitis - Oh My!

Chad Riddersen

Posted on March 27 2013

Sensitive Skin, Eczema, Atopic Dermatitis – Apparently, I’ve had it all since the day I was born.   I’ve struggled with dry, itchy skin, rashes, and redness my whole life, but six weeks ago, before I had my 3rd daughter, my eczema flared up like never before.  My face and most of my body were red and blistery and unbearably itchy and dry.  After I had the baby, Mark Cuban invited us to do an appearance with him on The View, so for vanity reasons, I called my dermatologist, who gave me a potent steroid cream to use for 3 days only.  My skin cleared up almost instantaneously, just in time to look eczema-free on the show.  I stopped using the steroid cream the morning of the taping, and twelve hours later, my eczema went into overdrive.  I had never seen my skin look that bad.

To make a long story, short, I'm convinced my skin is addicted to topical steroid creams.  I used them on and off throughout my life when my eczema would flare, but who knew you could become addicted to skin creams?  I am under the care of a dermatologist, who says the only remedy is to "withdraw" from the steroids.  The upside is that he says by withdrawing or stopping the use of all steroid creams, steroid injections, and oral steroids,  I will be completely cured of eczema.  The downside is that I will look like a burn victim and have intense eczema flares for at least 6 months to as long as 2 years!!!  Since one's skin is the largest organ of the body, it may take a long time to recover from this “addiction.”  Another thing that makes it difficult is that I need to stay out of the sun and keep my body cool for the time being.  This should be quite a feat considering I live in Southern California!

I have consulted many dermatologists over the years and thought long and hard about what to do about my persistent eczema, and I’ve decided that going through this God-awful withdrawal is my only option.   Right now, I look like I have 3rd degree burns all over my face and body, and it goes through a different phase daily - red, oozing, burning, extremely dry, etc.  Everyday is so unpredictable.  I go between getting chills and sweating profusely and it's uncomfortable to wear clothes, so I have not left my house except to see doctors.  Thankfully, Lollacup headquarters is in my home, so I am able to work and I have a precious newborn to love and care for, so that has been my saving grace.  It is going to be a long year, but I'm hopeful that this doctor is right and my eczema will be gone after the whole withdrawal process is said and done.

I know that this is just temporary, and I am so very thankful that I am healthy otherwise, but I feel compelled to write about my condition to alert those of you with eczema or children with eczema to be very cautious of steroid use.  I am not an expert or a physician, so I’m not saying that all steroids are bad, but I think it’s important to know that one’s skin can become addicted to topical steroids and the side effects of these creams are quite scary.

FYI, this is the non-profit organization (itsan.org) that is trying to get the word out about topical steroid addiction.  It wasn't until I stumbled upon this website that I realized what was happening to me.

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  • Mei: July 02, 2015

    Try using Atopiclair if it is available in the States. It is a non steroidal cream, paraben-free and scent free emollient cream. My youngest has very bad eczema and that’s the only cream that I use on her and seen great result! To moisture, I would suggest using something oil base rather than normal lotion as it keeps your skin hydrated. Baobab Oil is great for eczema. Hope this help!

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    Wow…thanks for sharing! Haven’t looked into this before.

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    Same story here! Let’s hope we heal sooner rather than later.

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    SO glad to hear your little one has been eczema-free for a year! Thanks for sharing what worked for you.

  • Lynda: July 02, 2015

    My comments didn’t show up yesterday but I would think bleach baths very dangerous!
    An oatmeal bath is much better.
    I saw on TV this past week that using bleach for anything persons (touching skin) was very dangerous.

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    Glad I could be of some help. Good luck with your child’s eczema.

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    Thanks for the tip! Will have to check it out.

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    Thanks for the tips! Willing to try anything at this point.

  • Leslie R.: July 02, 2015

    I did go through steroid withdrawl, not sure if that was clear or not on my post.. Anyhow, I have been off of all steroids for 3 years now and am almost totally all better although I still have a few slight issues.. I took a look at your sippy cups.. I am going to get one to give as a gift…

  • Kathy Pedišić: July 02, 2015

    Please see my comment below about trying Apolonia B Skin Cream- calendula is in if the main ingredients. I kind it would bring you incredible relief!

  • Josh Spadaro: July 02, 2015

    Have you tried simple sugars products? I hope you heal soon!

  • Kathy Pedišić: July 02, 2015

    I posted here yesterday but not sure what happened to it. My mother invented an all natural/herbal cream called Apolonia B. One of the ingredients is calendula. This cream is used for eczema, psoriasis, risacea and many other skin ailments. Please see the testimonials on the website. Hundred of people have found relief and even permanent resolution to their conditions. My mother passed away a few years ago but truly wanted to help people. I am positive this can help you! I can be reached anytime at (218)349-0293 for any questions. I also would be willing to send you a free jar to try. Please let me know.

  • Tracy: July 02, 2015

    Love this post!!! I too am going through withdrawal after using steroid creams for 30+ years. Not a fun ride – had to leave work for a month and have only left the house once in the last 3 weeks. Hoping I can return to work but this is a long process! Thanks for sharing this much needed information!

  • jenna: July 02, 2015

    Oral steroids for an infant?? My goodness those are some big guns to pull out. Bit dangerous too.

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    I have heard of calendula cream being good but have yet to try it. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • Kristi: July 02, 2015

    My son had horrible eczema as a baby. We tried steroids at first, but then switched to lotions (Eucerin) and natural treatments. I don’t see it mentioned here, so I’ll offer my two cents, too — calendula cream. Our chiropractor studies natural remedies and he recommended it to us. My son is 6 now and we still use calendula to clear up his occasional red patches. Boiron and California Baby brands are usually easy to find. Good luck!

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    I am torn about the bleach issue. I am guilty of trying them, but they do sound scary.

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    Thanks for your support!

  • Mel: July 02, 2015

    How are you doing with your withdrawal? I am 4 months without steroids myself. Some days are just God-awful. You are doing the right thing for your skin. You will heal.

  • Mildred: July 02, 2015

    Look up THE SKIN CURE DIET book by Kathleen Waterford.
    The best approach to clean eczema from inside out.
    I did her diet after dealing with horrible eczema for years and I have been doing so much better since then.
    Good read and great research!
    Good luck,

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