Okay so here are the things that I have found have helped me the most.
- Lots of water. Like at least 4L a day. It’s almost hard to drink that much water but my skin dries out really fast so this is imperative to keeping the skin less dry.
- Epsom salt and Oatmeal baths – I use Quaker oatmeal, I can get for like $2.50 at Wal Mart. Make sure you use Epsom Salt or Dead Sea Salt if you can afford it. DO NOT USE SEA SALT. I made that mistake for awhile and my face was oozing constantly.
- Aquaphor healing ointment – this is the only moisturizer I have used that seems to not irritate my skin. Emu oil also seems to be okay, but is rather expensive and sold in small quantities. I tried moisturizer withdrawal for awhile but it was pretty painful and after awhile it felt like it was making things worse. I did see some signs of healing while doing it though.
- Skin Fix – this stuff works pretty well at drying out an oozing spots and repairing the damaged skin.
- Avene Moisturizer – I’ve only just started using this stuff but it seems to help retain moisture pretty well.
- Dust buster – my sheets are pretty disgusting with skin flakes every morning, this helps keep laundry to a minimum.
- Cotton Pads (Quo, or Shisheido) – for bed, when my face starts to ooze.
- Filing down my nails and using a thick comb to scratch. This reduces injury to the skin from scratching.
- Aztec Healing Clay – this stuff seems to help heal the skin pretty well, mix it with some Apple Cider Vinegar at a 1:1 ratio and leave it on for like 15-20 mins. Mist yourself with water if you can as it heals better when wet.
- Probiotics and Omega 3’s.
- Changing my diet. This one is a bit controversial I guess. Dr Rapparport has said that diet has nothing to do with TSW but I strongly disagree with him. His reasoning is because there is no medical evidence. But TSW is so understudied that I have no idea how he can come to this conclusion so rapidly. I guess he’s still a dermatologist and will therefore think that he’s right despite not having a full understanding of the problem. I’m currently on a Paleo diet, more meat and veg, with some fruit. I can’t say that it has sped up my healing but I definitely notice a difference in the severity of my itching and oozing if I’m eating sugar, gluten, dairy, coffee, and alcohol. Coffee especially seems to wreak havoc on my skin. If nothing else, I thought it couldn’t hurt to rule out any food allergies. Most eczema and other auto immune disorders seems to start in the gut. I was skeptical about this at first but it makes a lot of sense; I have never had a healthy diet, going back to when I was a kid, so my gut flora is most likely messed up. Also,due to my compromised skin I am having to fight off infections, so I really need to be as healthy as I can possibly be right now. The diet change is the hardest thing but it’s worth it.
Other than that the only things I can think that have really helped is quitting work and not stressing. Obviously not everyone will be able to do this but I had the financial means at the time to do so and took advantage of it. My sleep schedule was completely wrecked by TSW so I felt that I had no real choice but to drop everything and make this my priority.