Welcome back to our third installment of SKIN Journeys: a series where we spotlight members of our community for their incredible eczema success stories. Here, in their own words, they get real about their personal experiences with eczema and the impact it’s had on their lives — as well as how Gladskin ultimately changed the game for them.
Meet Ashley P., a young mom and inspiring member of the Gladskin community who brings new meaning to the term “eczema warrior.” Below, Ashley shares her dramatic lifelong journey with eczema and topical steroid withdrawal, and how Gladskin is finally helping her heal.
“I was prescribed topical steroids at about 11 years old. They worked miraculously for me until they didn't, which was during the summer of 2018. I couldn't understand why my skin was so flared and nothing was working, but I continued to use steroids until I came across someone's story that was very similar to mine. Essentially, steroids that I had been prescribed my whole life had stopped working. I had poisoned my body for far too long... Steroids had thinned my skin, entered my bloodstream, and wreaked havoc on my body in so many ways. It was time to quit on July 6, 2019.”
Unprepared for what came next: “Pain is an understatement.”
“I didn't know the Hell that I was going to endure. TSW (topical steroid withdrawal) for me is red skin syndrome. [It caused] a breakdown of the skin, oozing lymphatic fluid, heat to the touch, nerve pain to the extreme, [and the] skin's inability to ward off antigens, making me highly susceptible to bacterial and viral infections. Pain is an understatement: Itchiness to the extreme, cracked, open, bleeding skin, hair falling out, insomnia... and the inability to regulate my core temperature — all at once!”
“It was completely debilitating, miserable, and emotionally taxing. There were times where I questioned my will to live, and my two children were the reason that I showed up each day.”
A trip to the Emergency Room: “What was an annoyance became scary.”
“One Sunday, a few weird dots showed up [on my skin], and then I looked like Freddy Krueger by Thursday — an annoyance became scary. When ‘the dots’ started encircling my eyes, I headed off to the ER. At the ER, I was immediately hooked up to an IV receiving antiviral fluids and antibiotics every 8 hours... I was admitted to the hospital for 3 days.”
“I was diagnosed with eczema Herpeticum... It causes fever, chills, and enlarged lymph nodes, spreads quickly, and can cause organ failure if it enters the bloodstream. And because the integrity of my skin was compromised, bacteria had a field day... Staph, Strep and MRSA were positive for me and they had already entered my bloodstream.”
How Gladskin’s protecting her now: "I keep things as natural and simple as possible.”
“The chronically prescribed topical steroids damaged the integrity of all three of my skin’s layers, muting my body's ability to ward off antigens, and opening me up for unguarded attacks by viruses and bacteria.”
"I researched Gladskin and the ingredients, and I was impressed- ingredients that are compatible with broken, sensitive skin! I loved how it felt when I put it on my skin. It absorbs quickly without feeling greasy, and it has been so instrumental in keeping my skin infections at bay since steroids have ruined the integrity of my skin. It has been a big tool in my healing process as I go through TSW."
“While my body is healing from the wrath of steroids, I have to be very cautious with infections and what I put on my skin. I keep things as natural and simple as possible, and I attribute my continued protection from bad bacteria and viruses to my daily use of Gladskin.”