A women who battled with life-long eczema, shares her recovery on social media, months after after coming off steroid treatment.
Stephanie Meredith, 32 posted her skin transformation pictures to track her progress and help others with the condition feel less alone.
Although she’d always managed her eczema with steroid creams, a particularly stressful period in her life two years ago caused a flare up that just wouldn’t get better.
At one point, Stephanie’s skin was so red, raw and painful that she had to visit A&E.
“I barely recognised myself and couldn’t get out of bed because I was in so much pain. I couldn’t look after myself. I needed 24/7 care,” she explained in her Instagram post.
“My skin was literally falling off in front of my eyes. I was oozing from head to toe. And I had lost all hope of getting better.”
Her GP continued to prescribe increasingly large doses of steroid creams to try and control the condition. All this did was make Stephanie's skin worse. Seeing private dermatologists for blood tests and patch tests, also did little to explain her worsening condition.
It was only when she decided to ditch the steroids altogether that her eczema started to improve.
She said: "I knew instantly that I wasn't going to go back to the steroid creams and that I wanted to let my skin heal itself."
Her eczema recovery
Stephanie went ‘cold turkey’ from the steroid treatment that she’d relied on her whole life – with a tough road ahead. Her skin got worse before it got better, and she had to take care of mental health, so that it didn't get her down. As she continued to post about her Topical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW) journey, and as the months progressed, Stephanie’s confidence grew.
“My skin no longer burns like it’s on fire, it doesn’t swell or ooze, and it’s not decaying in front of my eyes and falling off my entire body,” she posted during her healing.
Today Stephanie’s skin continues to improve and as she reflects on how far she's come, she looks forward to a clear-skin future that is free from steroids.
“I’m proud of the Steph who was mentally and physically broken by steroids but who never gave up,” she posted.
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Senior writer Ali Horsfall has almost 15 years of experience as a journalist and has written for national print titles and women’s lifestyle brands including Woman & Home, Woman, Woman's Own, BBC magazines, Mothercare, Grazia and The Independent.
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