Topical Steroids have wreaked havoc in my life

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  1. jseven profile image79
    jsevenposted 12 years ago

    I just wrote my hub about my travesty with topical steroids. My whole story is on my website, which is linked to the hub page. I am in my seventh month of steroid cream withdrawal and am meeting people from all over the world every day that are going through the same thing.

    A little girl in the Philippines is one of my latest heartbreaks. The addiction happened for me over a period of years, not sure when it actually turned to addiction, but I am 56 and have used them off and on most of my life for eczema.

    I cannot even begin to tell you the whole, hellish nightmare, but I am trying to, and warning others of the serious dangers of these drugs. Most doctors have no idea how bad this health and social issue is. My doctor feels horrible that this has happened to me and really has never seen it. That is because most patients just keep using them until they have so many health issues, no one knows how they got them.

    I was diagnosed a few years ago with osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cysts on my ovaries that led to a total hysterectomy and chronic fatigue. I attribute all of this to the topical steroids after reading the side effects. Please be warned and aware, steroid are dangerous! ~Joey~

    1. profile image0
      Home Girlposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      We almost always have a choice in our life. Taking steroids was your choice. Doctors can prescribe you anything. it's like standing under the tree in a thunderstorm hoping that you'll be okay. When people trust doctors and they ruin people's health so easily - it makes me so mad!  I am so sorry for you. I hope you'll find the right solution for your health. Eczema can be very annoying but in my experience is better treated by home remedies because unfortunately it's hard to get rid of. Fortunately it is not life threatening, you just have to be patient.

      1. jseven profile image79
        jsevenposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Taking steroid was done since I was a child and I had no idea these ointments were addictive. If you read my whole story, you may have a better understanding of the "duping" that goes on with many prescribed treatments. Please get all the facts before saying pat things like you just did. If you drink coffee, chew most gum today, eat processed foods, etc. you are taking a chance with chemicals. The big problem is we are not told the addictive risks of these things. Topical steroid addiction is known by the big dogs AMA, but many doctors, like mine, do not know the damage they can do. It is hellish and can do lifelong damage. I am not using any steroids ever again and have researched much natural methods of healing. Too bad the medical community does not endorse the holistic healing approach. My website tells all of this.

      2. donotfear profile image83
        donotfearposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Home Girl, at first, when I read your post here, it sounded a bit like you were shaming and blaming her for using steroid cream. She used the topical ointment for a known condition which is widespread, at the advice of a physician, not for any other reason. It's used by thousands who may or may not get the negative side affects.  I myself used it for a year on a condition known as Lichen Schlerosus (I wrote a hub about it) with no side effects.   

        I agree with you that people trust doctors too much, they don't know everything.  But patients don't know everything either so when their doc recommends a product that helps with a chronic condition, they go with it. I too have learned to look for answers on my own. If I had waited on the Infectious Disease doctor to see me just to tell me I did not have Lyme, I'd have chronic Lyme Disease by now. But, thankfully, I sought answers on my own and found treatment through a literate source. 

        Because I found out on my own not to trust the medical bureaucracy, I learned about the greatest cover-up in medical history: Lyme disease.

    2. Aficionada profile image79
      Aficionadaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I understand, in theory, that a person could become addicted to steroids taken internally - but topically?  How does that addiction manifest itself?  I don't quite understand.

      1. profile image0
        Home Girlposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Our skin has fantastic absorbency, you put poison on it - you've got it!

        1. Aficionada profile image79
          Aficionadaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          I'm actually more interested in the details of what the addiction is like, as experienced by the one who is addicted.

          I don't know of any addictions I have experienced, but I always understood them to include a degree of "craving."  In what way does the skin sense a "craving" for a cream?  - It's something I can't figure out.

          1. Maddie Ruud profile image72
            Maddie Ruudposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            I don't know too much about it, but I'd imagine it's sort of like self-harm.  There is an urge to engage in a certain behavior that is associated with bringing emotional or physical relief.

            I'd imagine with steroids there is a physical component, but even if there weren't, you can be psychologically addicted to almost anything.

            1. Aficionada profile image79
              Aficionadaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              Thanks for this explanation.

              As you have described it, I'll have to backtrack on my statement that I don't know of any addictions I've experienced!

            2. jseven profile image79
              jsevenposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              This is not a mental addiction. The steroids shut down your body's ability to produce cortisol and regulate the hormones. This causes immune system suppression and makes the body rely on the steroids to do this from the point of reliance on the drug. Have you read the side effects of topical steroids? It is a very physical side effect and can ruin your bones, eyesight, blood sugar levels, skin and more. The Big Phama and AMA know this and do not warn the public in BIG RED letters about the potential side effects and addiction possibilities.

              1. IzzyM profile image87
                IzzyMposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                Thank you for bringing a very important subject to the public's attention.

                I am from the UK and most doctors are very careful about prescribing any sort of steroid cream, because just like steroid drugs, there can be some very damaging side-effects.

                I was a topical steroid user on and off since my early teens. Suffering bad sun allergy my doctors always prescribed a hydro-cortisone cream to take the infernal itch away.

                I was ALWAYS cautioned to use sparingly, but it was the only thing that worked and I heeded their advice.

                You mentioned in your hub the healing properties of minerals.

                Can I tell you a little story about that?

                Here in the holiday town of Benidorm on Spain's Costa Blanca the tap water is very hard.

                It is disgusting actually. It tastes awful even though it perfectly safe.

                I wasn't living here long when a friend I had got to know, a well-known local musician in his 50s or 60s, who had suffered psoriasis all his life, was advised by a doctor who lived in the same apartment block as him, to drink the tapwater.

                We knew the tapwater was full of minerals from mountain run-off, and the added chlorine just made it awful.

                My friend did as he was advised, and his psoriasis cleared up in 2 weeks, never to return.

                That is an amazing true story. Just thought I'd throw it in smile

                1. jseven profile image79
                  jsevenposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                  Thank you for sharing that, Izzy. I am a huge fan of the earth's minerals and foods to be our healing remedy. Too many drugs have opened Pandora's box and many innocent victims are suffering. Bless you for sharing!

      2. jseven profile image79
        jsevenposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Addiction to topical steroid can happen within two weeks of using it. This includes the over-the-counter types, too. Of course, no one ever told me that and the two doctors that are trying to make this known, are shot down by the association of Dermatology. Dr. Rapaport was the head of the UCLA Dermatology Association and they will not listen. Think money might be more important?  Topical steroids go into your bloodstream just like anything else you put on your skin. It''s the largest organ of our body.

    3. Barbara Kay profile image74
      Barbara Kayposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I'd better read your hub. I use it for eczema too. What do you use now?

      1. jseven profile image79
        jsevenposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I am still in withdrawals and could be for many months, yet. When I am healed, I will keep doing the holistic approach to keep my eczema under control. Studies have shown that a leaky gut and too much processed foods are the big contributors to eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and many other ailments. I drink lots of pure water, organic, raw veggies and fruit, low grains and only sprouted if I do, because the gut can digest that better, low sugar and low canned or boxed foods. Grass-fed meats and good fats like organic butter and coconut oil help with the omega 3 that people with eczema are lacking. Also take B12 which is another big lacker with eczema people. I never use anything on my skin that I can't eat as those chemicals go into the bloodstream, too. Sunscreens are a big culprit loaded with carcinogens. I do all organic now.

      2. jseven profile image79
        jsevenposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        You can find a host of info here and support from others.

      3. jseven profile image79
        jsevenposted 12 years agoin reply to this
      4. jseven profile image79
        jsevenposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        BTW, I use organic coconut, palm or olive oil, but not too much because the skin needs to breath  and sweat out toxins.

    4. 2besure profile image79
      2besureposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I have used topical steriods for over 30 years off and on fro eczema and dermatitis.  What are the withdrawal side effects, because I never experienced any.  Maybe I did not now what they were.

      1. jseven profile image79
        jsevenposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Hi 2besure,

        Some people use them off and on and do okay with them. Dr. Rapaport says 50 per cent of people are atopic, which means they will get addicted. You might be the non-atopic or never stopped for a month or two? I could go a month without using it on my hands, but I did go longer and started the rebound side effects. Here is a link to my side-effects page. … thdrawals/

        1. 2besure profile image79
          2besureposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          OMG!  No I never did have these symptoms.  I am blessed.  I used cream and ointment just about all over my body in addition to periodic prednisone when the condition was extreme.  I found my skin did much better without medication when I drank Kangen Water and took Omega-3 supplements.

  2. profile image0
    Home Girlposted 12 years ago

    You can be addicted to:
    any kind of medication,
    any kind of food,
    cleaning your apartment/house all the time,
    reading junk literature,
    eating junk food,
    wearing high heels,
    wearing flip-flops,
    walking around naked,
    having animals in your house,
    nagging your husband/wife for no reason,
    shouting at your children,
    watching TV,
    watching your neighbours,
    playing video games,
    a lot more, just results will be different. big_smile

    1. jseven profile image79
      jsevenposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I have to disagree with any kind of foods. We were meant to eat foods from the trees, earth and ground and things like fruit, coconuts, vegetables have no drugs or chemicals to cause a physical addiction. It's the drugs in them that cause a physical addiction in the body. The other things are potential mental addictions.

  3. K9keystrokes profile image82
    K9keystrokesposted 12 years ago

    Do you consider topical horemone replacement creams (for us older gals) bad? For example, Phytoestrogen topical cream for peri/menopause support?

    1. jseven profile image79
      jsevenposted 12 years agoin reply to this


      I used bio-identical phyto cream after my hysterectomy and it is fine as long as it does no have soy in it. Soy can wreak havoc with your estrogen levels. I don't see any steroids in it from my Google search just now. If it is synthetic, do a search on it to find the ingredients. Steroids are hidden in many topical creams, so I could not say for synthetic phyto creams.

  4. leahlefler profile image95
    leahleflerposted 12 years ago

    My boys both have eczema, and my older son has it the worst. When we first took him in, the nurse practitioner prescribed Elidel. I never used it, because I read the package insert on the medication: skin cancer and lymphoma are listed as potential side effects. My son wasn't even two years old, and instead of giving us aquaphor and lotion, they gave us a medication that could have caused cancer! We never give our kids anything without researching it first.

    1. jseven profile image79
      jsevenposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      You were a wise mother, leah. We have to be our own health advocates as the doctors just pull out their little booklets and find whatever it says works or that condition. I don't blame the docs as much as the FDA, AMA and Pharma big dogs. Are you doing low grain/gluten diets for them?

  5. profile image0
    Brenda Durhamposted 12 years ago

    Gosh.  I've never heard of topical steroids being so dangerous or addictive either one.   I've never used them much.  You say you think they caused R.A. etc.? 
    Thanks for the info;  I gotta read the hub, etc...

    1. jseven profile image79
      jsevenposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, the bones in my wrists were achy and my right wrist bone got swollen so much that it hurt to use the mouse. RA is one of the potential side effects of topical steroids. The good news is that you can reverse the ailments by stopping the steroids. Thanks for reading. I just want to help others avoid this awful journey. smile

  6. jseven profile image79
    jsevenposted 12 years ago

    I just met the mom of this little guy today on Facebook page, "National Eczema Association." They are slathering him up with topical steroids which makes me sad and angry.

    My Facebook page is, … 583138862.

    For those who want to follow the daily battle of the steroid jungle out there.

    1. jseven profile image79
      jsevenposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I guess that link won't work, but you can find it on Facebook by typing the name in the search bar. "Steroid Red Skin Syndrome and Skin Remedies."

      1. IzzyM profile image87
        IzzyMposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        The link works fine if you take the dot away from the end of it smile

  7. leahlefler profile image95
    leahleflerposted 12 years ago

    We aren't doing a gluten free diet for my sons - Nolan has such severe dietary restrictions that we aren't taking away any other potential calorie sources at this time(my younger son has some severe and complicated medical issues - we're going to the Cleveland Clinic in September to piece together some of the issues). Nolan has blunted villi in his esophagus, so they actually did a full work-up for Celiac - it came back normal, so he doesn't have a gluten intolerance. The eczema is fairly mild in both boys and appears to be seasonal - we see it a lot in the fall. I suspect there is some environmental allergy to grasses or plants in the fall.

    1. jseven profile image79
      jsevenposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Okay, here is the link without the . Thanks Izzy. smile … 7583138862

      I don't think gluten really a problem if the frain is sprouted to inhibit the phytic acid in the grain that our bodies have trouble digesting. Sprouting, sifting the bran out and soaking was a practice since ancient time and our ancestors also did this. Anyone remember the old grain sifters? The bran is actually the hardest part of the grain for our bodies to digest. Today's bread and grain product producers do not mill the grain right and leave all the bran in it, which can cause these bowel issues with people and they are on the rise. The gluten is taken care of in the soaking process by putting two tablespoons of plain yogurt and a cup of water on any flour overnight before using it. This breaks down the phytic acid and gluten which blocks the body's absorption of nutrients and people with gluten and other bowel issues have seen a major difference by doing this. Here is a blog with detailed pictures of this process. … ins-2.html

      I have had major bowel issues that landed me in the hospital in the past and was a major grain eater. I switched to sprouted and soaked and my bowel issues stopped. My skin would be fine had it not been slathered with topical steroids for years. It will heal and my diet of following Sally Fallon and Weston Price food for life with continue.

      Thanks about the Kangan water suggestion. My friend sells some similar water purifiers and my theory on those is the high mineral content in them, which I can do with a glass of water, fresh squeezed lemon juice and a dash of organic baking powder. smile

      1. jseven profile image79
        jsevenposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Whoops, organic baking soda. (because the aluminum is not in the organic.)


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