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Switching Treatments: How Do You Decide?

Switching our medications can be a complex process. As a long-term patient with eczema, I must keep an eye on all the latest treatments on the market. It would be foolish not to! I know I am very careful when it comes to trying new treatments. When I do I make sure that I have gone through a mental check-list. There are certain factors that I consider when I am checking out new products or medications.

Why bother changing my regimen at all?

My skin feels like it is constantly evolving and changing and very often certain products and treatments stop being effective. This is either because my body feels like it becomes immune to a particular treatment or worse it will begin to irritate my skin. My skin is so sensitive that it is really easy to notice when something does not feel quite right. Also, sometimes I just fancy trying out a new product if there has been a lot of buzz around it.

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Why have I stopped using topical steroids?

In the community, we often read about the negative impact that has come from eczema patients who have used topical steroids. I have used them on and off throughout my life and I have to say for the most part the experience has been pretty bad. I think I always knew deep down that they were not the right treatment for me but it was making connections on and reading about people's experiences that led me to make some fundamental changes.

Essentially, I realized that I was going through topical steroid withdrawal after I stopped with the creams. My body was burning hot and red and it was just awful. I no longer use topical steroids and that is not to say I won’t in the future but it will now always be the very last port of call if this does happen.

How do I decide on the changes I make?

Basically, it is all trial and error. I do my research by reading various articles and listening to YouTube videos and podcasts. The trial and error part is when I try certain products on parts of my body that are hidden or not overly exposed. For example, earlier this year I tried an oat-based moisturizer by Aveeno on the back of my hand, and it did not agree with me. My skin felt like it was on fire so I stopped using it immediately. I had a similar experience with a product called La Roche-Posay Lipikar cream. I spoke to a friend who had used it to treat her hand eczema. She raved about it for weeks which got me curious.

It just goes to show that we all have very different experiences. A few years ago I was in a fortunate position to be able to have some light phototherapy sessions. It worked like an absolute treat on my skin. This was all on the back of talking to people in the community who had gone through phototherapy. Hearing many different perspectives helped give me the impetus to seek the therapy out for myself.

How do you decide when and which treatments to switch to?

Treatment results and side effects can vary from person to person. This treatment information is not meant to replace professional medical advice. Talk to your doctor about what to expect before starting and while taking any treatment.
This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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