the outer shell

Two Years After

And so I have reached two whole years since I woke up one morning and realised I had recovered from Red Skin Syndrome.  Since that wonderful, wonderful day I've had the best skin of my life and enjoyed a kind of freedom I never thought I'd be privileged enough to experience. The small things mean so much more than before and I am amazed every single day just what the human body is capable of.

In the two years since I have recovered, I've had two isolated issues on my hands that lasted barely a week and some minor rashes - the worst symptom I've had is the little voice inside my head telling me it's only temporary and that at any given moment I'm going to flare again.

I have had moments of fruitless, unfounded deep despair that has left me at times in the midst of vicious panic attacks and nights spent lying wide awake imagining the worst but what I've finally come to realise on a deeper level is just how pointless it is to worry about a future I cannot possibly predict - and wouldn't want to. Absolutely anything is possible and that is ever so scary but it is also a magical thing. Life has the ability to change completely from one moment to the next - take me for instance; one day I was in withdrawal, the next, I wasn't.

Going forward, what I'd like to do is accept that every day is an adventure and understand that even if things look terrible for a moment, to stop and take a breath to see if they look a little differently away from the black cloud of anxiety. I want to remember that everything will be ok and guess what?  So far, it has and all all those wasted hours spent in fear were wasted. I'd like to stop living in the shadow of the big bad wolf that has never come to my door. I am not saying it won't - I'm saying I don't care. Now, in this moment, everything is ok - I have everything I need and skin I cherish.

I thought I'd end with a quote from the brilliant Mark Twain:

"Some of the worst things in my life never even happened."

Here's to living for the now as that is all that truly matters.

Cara xxxx

My Topical Steroid Withdrawal update – 50 MONTHS TSW

This post comes to you via my brand new laptop (it's so pretty!!) and I am so excited that I can post blogs again and write but honestly, it's been amazing having a bit of a break. Seeing as 50 months of anything is a pretty big deal though, it seemed daft not to post another update of how my skin has been over the last few months. There are a few things I want to discuss but as per, they are all minor.

  • I am not sure if it's the warmer weather but the skin on my face has been absolutely fantastic. Last winter, even though I still had great skin, it wasn't as good as it had been but since my last update post on 6th June, my skin has gone from strength to strength.
  • On Tuesday 20th June 2017, my skin started feeling a little irritated. Not enough to scratch - more a prickling (and you definitely couldn't see anything was wrong). Over the next few days, I noticed a few faint rashes dotted about. My legs started looking a little bumpy/rashy too (pictured) and the following day, a small rash came up on my neck. I took an antihistamine on Thursday 22nd June which really helped and my skin was back to normal within a few days - I think it was just a reaction to the very hot weather we were experiencing in the UK.
  • On Monday 26th June 2017, I tried a small amount Green People sun cream on my hands which a lot of people had been raving about but later that day, I noticed a little rash on my left hand (pictured) and a small irritated hive on my right hand (not pictured as my camera couldn't pick it up). If you have read my blog for a while, you will know that every time I have tried sun cream/lotion in the last few years - regardless of whether it's a natural or generic brand - I get rashes. When I have the funds, I'm going to get a skin test to see what I'm actually allergic to.
  • When I moved back to London on Saturday 8th July 2017, I noticed I had a few raised lumps on my legs. Over the next few days they came and went but by Thursday 13th July there were many more (pictured) and for the next few weeks they would come up and go down. At first I tried using antihistamines to see if they would work but I sensed that whatever it was, just needed to run its course and nothing was going to help (a bit like TSW really...). It is very much like the rash I had last summer on my chest and torso etc which I talked about in a blog post (here) and I think this, like last year, is urticaria (hives). I have taken some photos over the last few weeks but for a start, we all know cameras don't truly capture what's going on and really, it was so minor in the first place that there wasn't much to see. Last year, I was in the middle of a very hard time, this year I moved to London and started a brand new job ... I think these things take their toll, no matter how you are feeling mentally and it's a lot of stress for the body. I think the rash stayed for as long as it did as I walk absolutely everywhere and for very long periods every day, so the constant friction doesn't exactly aid healing. After searching online, there is also the chance it could have been exercise-induced vasculitis ... well, whatever it was, it's gone now and that's all I care about. Interestingly, I didn't use moisturiser on my legs from Wednesday 19th July and that is when my skin really started to calm down. I love using moisturiser on my legs now for shaving etc but when my skin is irritated, I believe moisturiser exacerbates any issue - only my opinion though - and that is why I think moisturiser withdrawal helped me so much through TSW.   
  • I want to finish with something positive. What's been interesting is my reaction to the rash on my legs. Last summer when I had the similar rash on my torso and chest, I pretty much thought the world was coming to an end - this time around, I am more rational and in the moments where I have occasionally felt myself getting nervous about it, I have refused to let anxiety take over. I simply told myself that it is only a harmless rash that will go on its own - and it did. Even though I'm not there yet, I really do feel like I'm finally healing mentally from TSW.

Well there's everything that's happened with my skin over the last few months. I'm still living life to the full nearly two years after TSW and it couldn't feel more wonderful. 

Never give up.
Cara xxxx

Blog Design by pipdig | © CARA-PACE