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Can Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy be the secret cure to treat Topical Steroid Withdrawal(TSW)?

Sarah Todd
November 3, 2022

The number of eczema sufferers has been rising steadily for some years and now stands at 1.3 million here in the UK.

Eczema isn’t contagious, and around 90% of cases occur before age five. Half of the children affected by it will be almost clear of it by the age of six; however, three quarter will be free from it by the time they become teenagers.

Occasional flare-ups are always possible, though when they reach adulthood with symptoms of itching, redness and rashes often hot to the touch, dry and thickened or flaky or scaly skin, and unfortunately, scratching the skin increases the likelihood of more severe symptoms like infections, weeping and bleeding, with blisters and severe pain.

The most common treatment for Eczema in the UK are emollients and topical steroids. Still, even the National Eczema Association is committed to raising awareness about Topical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW), a profound potential side effect of topical steroid use that is not readily recognised by patients and providers alike. Much is still unknown about this condition, most notably how often it happens and the amount of topical steroid use that causes it to occur. While they believe topical steroids have a role to play in the management of eczema, it’s essential for the eczema community to be aware of TSW. Many people with similar conditions, such as Rosacea and Psoriasis, use topical steroids for management and should be mindful of TSW as well.

The debilitating withdrawal symptoms of TSW can include, to name a few, burning, flaking & peeling, swelling & redness of the skin, pain, insomnia, hair loss, shivering, fatigue and, depression and disability if the withdrawal persists for more extended periods.

So what is TSW?

Topical corticosteroids (TCS) and hydrocortisone creams have been used in treating eczema for more than 50 years and remain among the most effective, inexpensive and widely used drugs in dermatology, with no current, affordable alternatives offering the same efficacy. They work directly with the body to reduce inflammation and are closely related to corticosteroids made daily by the adrenal glands. Often, they take the form of over-the-counter creams or ointments, and they work on flare-ups from a variety of eczema type, including atopic dermatitis and contact dermatitis.

According to treatment guidelines developed in Europe, Asia and the United States, topical steroids remain the mainstay of treatment for adults and children with excess, even in severe cases where they may use them in combination with systemic therapies. Typically, topical steroids are recommended when the skin disorder hasn’t responded to traditional non-medicated skin care regimens and moisturisers.

So why does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy work so well?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HbOT) works to improve many conditions and illnesses. The standard air we inhale is made up of approximately 20% oxygen and 80% nitrogen, but in the hyperbaric chamber, you breathe in 95% pure oxygen. This oxygen races around your body, dissolving in your blood plasma and all the other cells, tissues and fluids in the body at ten times the average speed it travels. Here is a paper from the National Library of Medicine published in 2021 on Effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in Children with Severe Atopic Dermatitis highlights with great effects the results of Children with severe Dermatitis and how the HbOT greatly improved their problems.

Oxify, one of the UK’s fasted growing and respected Hyperbaric Oxygen centres. Now with three dedicated centres across the North, are seeing fast and amazing results from people with TSW. One regular client at Oxify ‘Leah’, who suffered severely from TSW wanted to share some before and after pictures of just how amazing the treatment has been for her and the results she has seen only over a short time.

Leah says;

Having first gotten poorly in 2018 and recovering but then taking ill again at the back end of last year (2021), by March 2022 I was in a mess and desperate for something to help. I wasn’t willing to take the medication offered to me by doctors and wanted a more natural solution. I saw a girl on the internet with the same condition as me having great results from hyperbaric oxygen therapy so I got straight on Google and found Oxify; I went for my first session the next day!

Sarah offered me 10 session in a 2 week period with a full refund if I didn’t see any benefit. She made me feel really comfortable right from the start and was super accommodating to my many needs!

By session seven I was starting to have my doubts as I couldn’t see much change but knew I needed to have the full 10 sessions before making my mind up. But after session eight, I was amazed! I could clearly see and feel the difference which is evident in my pictures!

I am now bandage free for the first time in 8 months (feet, legs and arms) and I don’t have to wear gloves anymore, having needed to wear them for over 2 years!!

I’m extremely grateful for finding Oxify and would recommend their services to anyone struggling with a chronic illness… just give it a go!”

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