Did you know, topical steroids, if applied regularly, soon become addictive? They can also seriously erode the skin and damage or destroy many of its numerous protective functions. (Fig. 1.) Therefore, TO RESTORE THE SKIN TO NORMAL, TOPICAL STEROIDS MUST BE CEASED AND REPLACED WITH WHEATGRASS EXTRACT. Twice weekly application is sufficient. It may take two or three months, but if you persevere, your skin will gradually return to normal. Avoidance of topical or oral steroids is essential.
In Figure 2, you can see how numerous sensations such as pain, heat, cold, touch are continuously signalled to the brain from the skin and throughout the body. In this case, the brain has responded by "instructing" the hand to move away from the pain the pin is causing. But, constant use of topical steroids soon begins to thin the skin and destroy the millions of pain and other sensory receptors in the skin such as touch, pressure, heat, cold, vibration, etc. - all of which are essential for your skin to protect your body. However, continued use of topical steroids eventually thins the skin, significantly, exposing the body to infection, which can often be difficult to control.
There are many ways topical steroids damage the skin
As already mentioned, every time a steroid cream or liquid is applied to the skin, numerous cell receptors are damaged or destroyed, reducing their ability to keep in contact with the brain. Patients can even suffer severe pain when they cease topical steroids because of the numerous pain sensors in the skin that have been openly exposed. Painkillers are often used, but counteracting the pain can be difficult.
Steroids also damage blood vessels that are essential for providing skin cells with nutrients, oxygen and many other important ingredients. Also, stopping topical steroids often leads to withdrawal "rebound" effects such as painful red skin, weeping, itchiness and even infection. They can also severely compromise the healing process, exposing the patient to infection, pain, inflammation (red and often weeping skin), and, worst of all, addiction to these drugs.
Figure 3 shows that immune cells responsible for protecting the body from infection, are located close to the skin's surface. (Blue arrow) However, because topical steroids can readily destroy these cells, risk of infection increases. Wheagrass extract can do much to prevent this happening.
Clearly, topical steroids damage the skin. Wheatgrass extract heals or "normalises" it.
Because it is easy to apply, dries quickly and does much to help the skin recover, I recommend usiing the wheatgrass skin recovery spray. It is easy to apply and dries quickly. By absorbing rapidly through the skin, a twice weekly application will, in time, repair the skin damage done and return the steroid-damaged skin to normal. Recovery times will vary, but it works.
Remember, that every time a steroid cream or liquid is applied to the skin, numerous cell receptors will be damaged or destroyed, disconnecting the link between the skin and brain. Patients can suffer severe pain when they cease topical steroids because numerous, highly sensitive pain sensors have been exposed.
Topical steroids also damage blood vessels in the skin that provide nutrients, oxygen and many essential elements to body tissues. And, stopping topical steroids abruptly, withdrawal effects such as painful red skin, weeping, infection, and itchiness can occur, so these recommended changes need to be done gradually, over time.
These drugs were first introduced in 1951, when they were seen as a breakthrough for "healing" eczema by reducing itchiness, inflammation (redness), and eliminating the eczema rash. Unfortunately, they were soon found to be highly addictive and capable of damaging and/or thinning the skin. Also, bright red, inflamed skin areas can develop, causing weeping and often severe pain. This drug withdrawal-induced damage is often referred to as the "red skin syndrome". (See Fig. 4.)
(Read about adverse effects of topical steroids Wikipedia).
For instance, the patient in Figure 4, suffered severely from topical steroid withdrawal, for several years. As well as widespread, painful redness, she also suffered severe skin dryness, dehydration due to marked fluid loss and subsequent leaking skin. With the help of wheatgrass extract, I was able to wean her off the steroid drugs she had been applying. It took a year, but, as can be seen in the photographs, her skin has completely recovered.
Many of these patients can achieve similar results if they are prepared to persevere with the extract. This can take a year or more, but at least, at the end of the road, recovery can be expected.
It may sound a little strange, but the wheatgrass extract spray is the preferred treatment over cream. Experience has shown that when using the extract, “less is best”. Therefore, only apply it lightly over the affected areas TWICE WEEKLY maximum - and persevere. Remember, do not over treat!
Although there is no "quick fix" to TSW, perseverance with the extract has helped many avoid the steroid trap.
Rmember that as the skin gradually thins due to continued topical steroid use, it becomes increasingly prone to infection and inflammation. Also, pain receptors located in the skin are laid bare, often causing severe pain. Continued use ultimately damages the skin's ability to protect the body from bacterial and other infections which must then be treated with antibiotics which may also have adverse side effects.
Finally, aim to replace topical steroids altogether using the wheatgrass extract, and be patient. It will take several months at least for your skin to recover, but at least you will know you’re helping your skin, not harming it.
Some more tips:
For infants and children: Avoid soap and baths as much as possible as they remove the skin's natural oil which is so important for recovery and protection from bacteria and other micro-organisms. Preferably, wipe the skin with a warm, damp, soap-free flannel. Apply wheatgrass extract just twicee a week over affected areas.
Adults: Another day without TSW symptoms is a major victory. Mark your calendar for 12 months and tick off the days. You may or may not be fully recovered by then, but you should be well on the way.
- TSW IS A SERIOUS MEDICAL CONDITION and should be managed by a medical practitioner. Withdrawal symptoms can be severe and often require hospitalisation. Also, although wheatgrass extract can do much to assist recovery, it will take time.
- GRADUALLY REDUCE TOPICAL STEROIDS. This can take considerable time, and requires regular monitoring and review by a medical practitioner. I have used this method successfully, but always in combination with wheatgrass extract.
P.S.: Wheatgrass and other cereal grasses have been the subject of considerable clinical and laboratory research since the 1930’s. My own clinical experience has shown how effective it can be for treating many other conditions.
(Note: Many topical steroid addictions begin during infancy. Try to avoid using topical steroids on children at all costs. Wheatgrass extract can solve their eczema problem.)
Also, most juveniles outgrow eczema by the time they turn 20. If they are still using TS by then, they may become addicted for life. Instead, they should be weaned off these drugs as soon as possible. Often, stronger steroids are introduced at this stage to "help prevent withdrawal effects", but this only aggravates the condition and intensifies addiction.
Also, topical steroids (TS) do a lot more damage than “thin the skin”. In fact, many children – and even elderly adults – suffer from whole-body side effects of these drugs when withdrawal is attempted.
Topical steroids - So much damage they can do
These drugs were first introduced in 1951, when they were seen as a breakthrough for "healing" eczema by reducing itchiness, inflammation (redness), and eliminating the eczema rash. Unfortunately, soon after the drugs were released, they were found to be highly addictive and capable of doing damage to the skin instead of healing it.
Bright red, inflamed skin areas often develop, along with weeping and severe pain that is difficult to relieve - particularly on the head and neck. (See Figure 3.) This drug-induced condition soon became known as the "red skin syndrome" - a rapidly spreading drug-induced rash that now affects millions of sufferers worldwide.
Read about adverse effects of topical steroids (Wikipedia).
This patient (Figure 4), suffered severely from topical steroid withdrawal for several years. As well as severe, widespread "severe" redness and constant pain, she also suffered marked fluid loss and subsequent severe dryness from her leaking skin. With the help of wheatgrass extract, I was able to wean her off the steroid drugs she was using. It took a year, but her skin recovered completely.
Most, if not all of these patients can have similar results if they are prepared to persevere with wheatgrass extract. However, while wheatgrass extract has proven itself to work well for many sufferers to cease topical steroid use completely, many patients choose to go "cold-turkey" i.e. stop all medication, instead. However, this is not recommended because they may suffer considerable pain, weeping skin, infection, depression, even suicide, and should be hospitalised immediately.
The "standard" medical approach to TSW treatment
This is to reduce inflammation with oral steroids such as prednisolone, and follow up with topical steroids. However, severe rebound symptoms may often occur if the drugs are stopped abruptly or even reduced. Also, addiction to these drugs is possible. They may help ease pain, but do nothing to heal topical steroid damaged skin. Effective medical management may sometimes take several years.
Although there is no "quick fix" to TSW, perseverance with wheatgrass extract - I recommend twice weekly light application, preferably of the Skiin Recovery Spray - say Monday/Thursday, will help relieve pain and in due course, restore the patient's damaged skin to normal, as shown in Figure 1. Recovery may take six to twelve months or longer, but the extract can shorten this time significantly as well as overcome the steroid addiction.
How wheatgrass extract can help overcome topical steroid withdrawal
As the skin gradually thins due to continued topical steroid use, it becomes increasingly prone to infection and inflammation. Also, pain receptors located in the skin are laid bare, often causing severe pain. Continued use ultimately damages the skin's ability to protect the body from bacterial and other infections which must then be treated with antibiotics which also have potential side effects.
Alternatively, light application of wheatgrass extract - once weekly or even less - and perseverance, can do much to reduce withdrawal symptoms of pain, redness, skin cracking etc. It may take a year or even more (remember, the skin has been severely damaged), but I have seen it work many times. Eventually, the skin does recover.
In short, aim to eliminate topical steroids by applying wheatgrass extract instead, and ultimately restore all skin functions to normal.
Finally, compared with the "cold turkey” approach, the wheatgrass extract method will help the patient's skin recover. However, there is no "quick fix", because topical steroids frequently do major damage which needs time to recover. Wheatgrass extract is a far more humane method than using drugs or going "cold turkey", and has helped many patients overcome their addiction.
How to treat TSW with wheatgrass extract
Although fresh wheatgrass juice may assist healing of TSW, Dr Wheatgrass Skin Recovery Spray made from a potent wheatgrass concentrate, is considerably more effective.
1. Topical use (for the skin): Apply just a little Dr Wheatgrass Skin Recovery Spray over the worst affected areas only, no more than once a week - and persevere. Overtreating is wasteful and unnecessary. Many years of éxperience have proven that "less works best".
Do not expect an overnight "cure". It often takes considerable patience and courage (for both patients and carers) to overcome the symptoms of topical steroid withdrawal. Recovery from severe topical steroid damage could take anything from two or three months to a year. Try to persevere.
2. To strengthen the immune system, take wheatgrass juice or Dr Wheatgrass Supershots – half a teaspoonful (2.5ml) daily. Again, don’t overtreat.
Some practical advice:
For infants and children: Avoid soap and baths as much as possible as they remove the skin's natural oil which is so important for recovery and protection from bacteria and other micro-organisms. Preferably, wipe the skin with a warm, damp, soap-free flannel.
Adults: Each day without TSW symptoms is a major victory. Mark your calendar for 12 months and tick off the days. You may or may not be fully recovered by then, but you will be well on the way.
- TSW IS A SERIOUS MEDICAL PROBLEM and should be managed by a medical practitioner. Withdrawal symptoms are frequently severe, so this process should never be attempted without adequate supervision. (Read American dermatologist Dr. Marvin Rapaport's view on this topic.)
My wheatgrass extract approach will not immediately stop withdrawal symptoms, (neither will anything else) but in time it will restore the steroid-damaged skin.
- GRADUAL REDUCTION OF TOPICAL STEROIDS This is another approach, but it requires regular monitoring and review by a medical professional. I have used this method successfully, but always in combination with wheatgrass extract.
POSTSCRIPT: Wheatgrass and other cereal grasses have been the subject of considerable clinical and laboratory research since the 1930’s. My own clinical experience has shown how effective it can be for treating many other conditions.
More Cases: An infant with topical steroid skin damage responds quickly to wheatgrass extract
Note: Many topical steroid addictions begin during infancy. Avoid using topical steroids on children at all costs.
Figures 5 & 6. Note the severe damage to this young child's skin caused by application of topical steroids over several months. Note the same elbow following three-weeks' treatment with wheatgrass extract only. This child was fortunate. Had the TS not been stopped and replaced with wheatgrass, he may well have become topical steroid-addicted, possibly for life.
Most juveniles outgrow eczema by the time they turn 20. If they are still using TS by then, they may become addicted for life. Ironically, patients are often being “treated” to overcome side effects caused by topical steroids, with topical steroids, which seems rather absurd. Instead, they should be weaned off these drugs as soon as possible. Often, stronger steroids are introduced at this stage to "help prevent withdrawal effects", but this only aggravates the condition and addiction.
Also, topical steroids (TS) do a lot more damage than “thin the skin”. In fact, many children – and even elderly adults – suffer from the side effects of these drugs when withdrawal is attempted.
1. "Elephant skin" restored to normal. 2. Topical steroid caused fluid retention released by wheatgrass extract
Case No. 1. This patient battled topical steroid withdrawal symptoms on and off for about 30 years. During that time she developed thick, so-called "elephant skin" over both elbows, which is a common complication of prolonged topical steroid use generally considered to be "irreversible". Howevr, application of wheatgrass extract over the affected skin for two months shows significant improvement. Note the deep ridges that have reduced significantly in size, and the marked improvement 5 years later as shown in the picture on the right.
Case No. 2. Overnight drainage of fluid retention: This patient suffered for several years from grossly swollen legs and arms due to topical steroid use that apparently interfered with her skin's blood and lymphatic circulation. (Fig. 4.) She applied wheatgrass extract regularly for several months along with several other skin applications, but although her skin condition improved, the gross swelling remained.
Then, more as an afterthought, her daughter persuaded her to stop ALL skin applications (moisturisers etc.) except the wheatgrass extract. About two weeks later, the swelling in the "before" pics disappeared overnight. When she woke that morning her bed was soaked through due to fluid loss from her legs. As shown in the photographs, her eczema recovered completely. (View detailed account.)
It seems that wheatgrass extract is able to signal skin (and many other) abnormalities to the brain, which then responds accordingly to "normalise" the affected area(s). (See: How wheatgrass extract heals.)
- More cases of wheatgrass healing eczema and topical steroid skin damage
- Return to Cases & Conditions
- Read more about the dangers of TSW (Wikipedia)
Some other skin conditions that respond well to wheatgrass extract treatment: