Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Sweet Cecily's Skin Soothing Cream

A week or so ago, I received a lovely message from a Yorkshire-based company called Sweet Cecily's, asking if I would like to try their soothing skin cream for free in exchange for a blog review.

At the time I was unsure whether to take them up on their kind offer, as I'd been strictly adhering to moisturiser withdrawal and having some success with it. However, since the cold weather has hit the UK, I found that my hands were getting extremely dry without some sort of barrier and I have been using Vaseline on my hands to prevent cracks. Whilst Vaseline is functional and does the job, I'm not a big fan of using petroleum-based products on my skin and would rather use something natural as long as it doesn't make my skin react. Another problem I have is that my youngest son has broken out in nummular eczema on his arms and you can guess what the doctor prescribed: Betnovate!  I got in touch with the company and said I'd give their product a try, as well as trialling it on my son.

The jar arrived today and they've been very generous in giving me a big 120ml jar. It looks like it will last for ages!
When I opened the jar, the appearance of the cream surprised me. it looked quite thick and was a sort of pale lilac/beige colour. Sort of "earthy" in appearance.
The cream has quite a strong fragrance and it's one of those scents that may polarise opinion. I'm not sure which ingredient gives it the unique scent, but I'm guessing it may be the Cannabis oil. It's not a "weed" smell though. To me, it smells more like liquorice or aniseed. I love liquorice, so the smell really appealed to me, but I don't know if everyone would like it. The scent also stays on the skin when you use the cream, so it does help if you like it!

The cream is thick in texture but has a slightly "mousse" feel that means it spreads easily on the skin. It is not greasy and rubs in really well with no residue. It is perfect for "on the go" when you want a quick moisturiser but don't want shiny or greasy skin. You can just rub this stuff in and get on with life.

The jar suggests patch testing on a small area before use, so I've put it on my palms where the skin is very dry and on my son's arm on the red patches. The cream didn't sting when applied and felt instantly soothing. It felt much nicer than the Vaseline because it cleared the dryness instantly and wasn't greasy afterward. My son didn't mind the cream on his arm, although he does have sensory processing disorder and wasn't keen on the scent.

 It contains:
Aqua
Sodium Stearyl Lactylate
Cocoa seed butter
Stearyl alcohol
Sweet almond oil
Glycerin
Glyceryl Stearate
Propolis extract
Propylene glycol
Canabis Sativa seed oil
Borago Officionalis Seed oil
Phenoxyethanol
Tocopherol
Caprylyl Glycol

...so obviously people with sensitivity to any of these ingredients would avoid it. I know that some in the TSW community are sensitive to Propylene glycol, as this is used in many moisturisers, so please exercise caution, as the packaging suggests.

That's all from me so far, but initial impressions are good. I will be back with an update soon about whether it helped me and my son.

You can check out the product on their website at www.sweetcecilys.com and it is currently on sale for £10 for a 120ml jar.

I'll be back soon with my verdict.




Sunday, 24 January 2016

The Dangers of Steroid Cream Addiction in the News

I was glad to see another Daily Mail article featuring TSW today.

A lot of people in the TSW community will know Jake And Libby and their amazing story of Jake's full recovery from dependence on steroid creams. It's a great reminder that it is possible to heal from this condition and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Thank you so much Libby and Jake for all that you do in raising awareness!

Friday, 22 January 2016

Topical Steroid Abuse in Taiwan

In Taiwan, even the most potent steroid creams are available over the counter without a prescription and this is causing big problems for dermatologists who have to deal with the aftermath.

Since a reporting system was set up, hospitals were reporting over 500 cases of topical steroid abuse a month, according to Focus Taiwan News.

We are thankful that organisations like ITSAN exist to support these people through what is likely to be an horrific withdrawal phase.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

New Medications for Eczema in the Pipeline

Now that the medical community are becoming more aware of the dangers of steroid rebound, many new and exciting innovations are taking place within the pharmaceutical industry. Targeted medication seems to be the new buzz-word and is generating a lot of interest.

The NEA recently featured a link to a study of a new targeted eczema medication that has the potential to change lives. I like the fact that the article actually mentions steroid rebound as a bad side effect of steroid medication.

Wouldn't it be great if these new, targeted medicines became the standard treatment for eczema and steroid creams became a thing of the past? Maybe it's a long way off, but I live in hope. It would be so good if the next generation didn't have to suffer the way that we have from overuse of steroid creams.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Cold Weather Hives

I'm going to write about weather-induced allergy today because it is something that affected me badly when I was using steroids.

Back when I used strong steroids on my face, my face became very sensitive to external stimuli. One problem that I had was whenever I would go outside in cold weather, my face would break out in hives. At first, it was just one or two spots, but after prolonged steroid use, the welts got really bad. It became a big problem for me in winter, as I would have to walk my children to and from school, which would result in a messed-up face most days.

Anyway, as readers will know, I've been off steroid creams for 4 years now. I'm on a bit of a fitness kick to lose all the weight I put on during that time (I lost 7lbs already!) and I went for a walk this morning. I walked several miles in the cold, January UK weather and suddenly something occurred to me. My face wasn't itchy. I didn't have hives. The arctic wind was blasting my face and my face was ok!

I find this sort of progress really encouraging. Cold induced hives were a big problem for me for such a long time and they have vanished over time without me even noticing. This must mean that my skin is getting stronger. I'm not fully healed yet, but this is a really big step for me. I dont have to fear the cold any more!

I'd love to know if anyone else has ever had this problem. Has the weather ever affected your skin? Did you think that steroid creams were to blame? Has you skin improved since stopping steroids? Please share your experiences.

Monday, 21 December 2015

New Online Community For TSW Patients

Just to let people know there is a brand new online resource that people with TSW can access. It's not replacing the ITSAN forum, but it is a brand new platform where TSW patients can go to access information and has the full support of ITSAN.

Hopefully, this new platform will enable more discussion about TSW online and help spread the word.

http://edenos.com/communities/red-skin-syndrome

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Quick Progress Report and Survey

Time for a super quick check in from me with my skin progress. I'm doing GREAT!!! I will try and post some photos in the new year when I'm less busy and the kids are back at school, but my schedule is hectic right now, so this is a very short post! I just wanted to encourage the folks out there that it does get better and that all the hell we go through in TSW does have a happy ending.

I also wanted to post a quick link to a TSW survey that one of the members of the FB group has created. The more people that fill it in, the better picture we can form about TSW, so please fill it in as it only takes 5 minutes.

See y'all in the new year! Healing though to everyone going through TSW right now. X