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Sunday, 25 August 2013

Cortisone Addiction Recovery - Month 11.5 update

Recovery from cortisone addiction which sent my skin very red and very dry for years and years is near the end!! For so long I was told I had terrible eczema, when in fact all I had to do was stop taking cortisone. Now 11.5 months off the steroids and I'm looking and feeling fabulous!!


  1. feel encouraged after seeing your words! My face is white and super dry now (if i apply vaseline and other moisturizer, it turns red) how long does it take to moist itself normally? are you still taking cod fish oil?

  2. I'm still taking cod liver oil, although much less regularly. The only thing I take daily without fail is vitamin d capsules.

    I went through the dry white face as well, it was frustrating with all the dry skin, but over about 60 - 75 days it should moisten up. It will relapse, but only temporarily.

    Keep going, you're doing great!

  3. Thanks for the update Josh.
    Ten months for me tomorrow. Unfortunately the last week has been rough again. I've had a couple mini two-day flares as well, but my new one is over a week. The 30 plus degree weather is not helping. Sweating really brings on the itching. Actually looking forward to fall. The cool air feels much better. Went swimming in Lake Superior off the sailboat this weekend. The 15 degree water cools you off in a hurry too. I'd like to add to your comment about perspective; Whenever I was feeling sorry for myself, I'd just watch the clip of the fella from down there with no arms or legs and see how positive he is. It really helped me through some tough days. I will say though that once in a while it can be therapeutic to say fuck it. I'm miserable today and I want to feel like that for a bit. Not recommending wallowing in it for too long, but a good "bitch" session once in a while can be healing.
    Anyway have a great time in the states. It's not as much fun as Canada, but your getting close.
    Cheers mate!
    Cory Zyromsky

    1. Thanks Cory, couldn't agree more about Canada. My dad is from Montreal and most of my family live in either Vancouver or Toronto, so Canada is my home away from home. I'm actually thinking of moving over for a year in 2014. I'll keep you posted.

      I agree with you about recognising your situation and occasionally being frustrated/upset. The way I see it, I channel that frustration into positivity and long term planning. It's not easy, but you can make things productive if you try.

      I also had a week long flare up, in fact I think it lasted about 2 weeks (when i was at the 10 month mark). It will pass soon enough pal, then we will be drinking beers together in no time!

      Glad to hear you are out sailing, that's brilliant news.


  4. Your optimism is inspiring. I'm happy your doing so well in your recovery. I'm about 11 months in and it has been a roller coaster. My worst month by FAR was last month, July. It was very discouraging to be 10 months in and far worse off than my flares in the first 4 months. However, I had about 3 months of nearly normal skin in between in which I lived life normally, partying, drinking, pulling all-nighters studying, etc. I'm still in this current flare, but I can tell I'm on the up-swing and have started feeling much better. I just wanted to mention this for others who may still get the brunt of withdrawal after the first 6 months. Everyone recovers differently, but in the end we all heal.

    Good luck with the remainder of your recovery. I hope you continue to see great improvements.


  5. Thanks Chantal,

    I absolutely agree, I think my off the cuff comments may not have thoroughly explained my opinion. Everyone does heal at different speeds, but essentially we go through the same process and similar reactions etc.

    I had a rough 10 - 11 month mark, I think some of it was self-induced and once it flares it can be tough to get it under control. The biggest problem I experience is how tired you are when your skin is inflamed. Pretty happy to be out of those flares right now.

    Let me know how you get on. We will pull an all-nighter soon, bring your dancing shoes! ;)


  6. Hey josh, May I know how heavy was your steroid usage like? Did you use steroid all the way since 13? During the earlier months were you constantly in a state of flare? Or do you have distinct flare and calm periods?

    I am slightly over 6 months into it, and my is characterized by periods of flares accompanied by calm periods. I have just ended my second flare, and was wondering how would my second half of the year be like. Glad that you are almost at the end of this road. I really hope that I will be like you, ending this nightmare by a year.

  7. Hi Oregene,

    At 13 I barely used steroids at all, maybe once every few months. By university I was using it weekly and by 27 it was every couple days. For a long time there were long periods of normaility, with just dry skin or a rash here and there, but eventually it became constant redness on my whole body.

    Flares come and go during the recovery, the duration of these gets shorter and shorter and you can avoid them most of the time by just letting your body relax and eating good food with lots of water.

    Best thing for you to do is go back to the start of my blog and check out the regular updates, all the info you could possibly need is in those pages.

    All the best

  8. Hi Josh,

    I'm new here. Yesterday I read your blog/watched your video's from Day one until now. I'm on Day 5 of a withdrawal, but mine differs in that I've been a heavy user of inhaled corticosteroid on and off since I was about 14 (so close to 15 years), I developed a late eczema due to overuse of my inhaled corticosteroid, 2 months ago, they prescribed me the dreaded topical corticosteroid. My naturopath, although she's amazing, didn't prepare me for what it would be like, and the past 5 days have been really rough, so finding your blog has not only been educational for me, but also very inspiring.

    I knew some of the risks of topical corticosteroids before I accepted it, and I got into it with the Doctor I saw, because I wasn't comfortable, but he said to me "The benefits of a corticosteroids for you, far outweigh any of the negatives." What I didn't know until last week is that, like you, and many other corticosteroid users, my immune system (mine, which is already weak from a lifetime of allergies and asthma) was being suppressed by my inhaled corticosteroid and my bouts with prednisone, that the damage this topical steroid was about to cause me, I didn't see coming. I assumed, I could use it for the 12 days, and use natural means to maintain the Eczema. Boy, I was wrong. He told me to apply 2-3 times daily, for 12 days, than only reapply when I had a flare. Well the flares started coming in faster and faster... and my eczema (which already covered a large part of my arms and neck) spread and spread and travelled to my face.

    Thats when I saw a Naturopath, and I took to the internet to find out about corticosteroids and their true harmful effects, and I stumbled up Libby & Jakes blog, and that's how I found your blog. Thank You so much for sharing your journey, its comforting to find some real information about what to expect, and the stages of recovery. I can see it's not easy, but showing us how strong you are, really made me find a strength in myself I wasn't sure was there on Day one. Your blog is great and it really invested a new hope and optimism in this process for me!

    I'm excited to see your further progress from here out.

    1. Hi Isha,

      I'm glad to hear that the blog has helped, it's a great compliment to know that I've been able to help others.

      In my time recovering I did a lot of reading about the condition and Dr Rapport's studies. In many cases those that have stopped using an inhaler have recovered from their asthmas and even other symptoms they were unaware they had.

      I know in my recovery I didn't realise how beaten up my insiders were. It's only now nearing the end that I realise how much better and healthier I am, how much more energy I have and how fluid my internal system is.

      All the best with the recovery, just remember that you only need to get through today, and once you reach that goal you repeat until healed.

      All the best,


  9. Beautiful and inspiring video. Your friend's recovery was nothing short of amazing! Enjoy your trip in the US.