We all may be walking beside each other, but our stories are never the same.
Name: Lauren Du Pree
Work: Actor, vocalist, writer, filmmaker
Date of Withdrawal:
11/4/2014, did the Dr. Aron regimen from 2016 – 2019, then stopped that 4/1/2019
What type(s) of steroids did you use?
Protopic, Mometasone Furoate, Triamcinalone, Dr. Aron compound: Betamethasone Dipropionate ointment 0.05% 60g, Mupirocin ointment 2% 44g in Vaniply ointment 500g, I know I took other prescribed topical steroids but don’t know the specific prescriptions.
Are you on any other medication?
Do you have a supportive doctor?
What is/was your favorite comfort product?
Dead Sea Salt to bath in, shea butter
What is the hardest thing you’ve had to endure during your withdrawal?
Not having the support I needed because others didn’t understand what I was going through. I barely understood what I was going through. I was just searching for answers and not really getting the help I needed from doctors, so I felt very alone.
What is one thing you are grateful for during the withdrawal process?
I’m more in tune with my body and what it needs. This process has really taught me to slow down, be mindful, and listen to what my body is telling me rather than bypass however I’m feeling.
How did you discover you had TSW?
I stopped using steroids because they weren’t working anymore. I was getting full body flares where my face would swell up and I’d have flakes and be itching uncontrollably. I was searching for a natural way to treat and heal my eczema when after about 8-10 months of searching I found a blog post soon Eczema Conquerors talking about Topical Steroid Withdrawal. After looking at the pictures and doing more research I knew that’s what I was going through.
What were the first tell tale symptoms you experienced?
I would wake up with my eyes swollen and my face really puffy, sore, and flaky. This is while I was still using topical steroids. I also was using a tube of topicals in a week or two just to treat the insides of my elbows and hands. I had to use that much to keep the eczema at bay and had been in a pattern of getting stronger and stronger prescriptions from the doctor.
What is one memory during the withdrawal that you will never forget?
There’s a lot honestly, but if I had to pick one I remember missing celebrating my grandmother’s birthday, because I was in so much pain. I moved back in with my parents after starting TSW to give myself some financial relief while figuring out what was going on with my health. During this particular period of time I would just stay in my room and lay in bed doing nothing. I was so depressed, so itchy and covered in calamine lotion. I had no desire to see anyone, interact with anyone or do anything. I just didn’t want to exist.
How is your TSW journey going?
It’s a rollercoaster. I experienced some really amazing healing in 2020 and I thought I was on the way to being eczema free for good. However, the winter of 2020 through the fall of 2021 I experienced frequent flare ups, nothing compared to the worst of TSW, until I had a horrible flare in the spring of 2022. This left me homebound for about two months. I’m feeling better, but still dealing with flare ups and learning exactly what my body needs to be healthy.
If you had a call to action for the medical community, what would it be?
Listen to your patients with empathy and curiosity!
What was a pastime you used to help during TSW?
Walks, yoga, breathing exercises, meditation, prayer, journaling and a new one that I’m still learning and “perfecting,” setting boundaries and speaking up for myself.
What is something you wish to share with the community?
Surrender to the process. I know that’s much easier said than done, but I think I wasted a lot of time focused on where I “should” be and how I “should” feel, instead of accepting where I was. Radical acceptance of where you are and how you feel allows you to navigate through the emotions and difficulties of TSW. Our bodies aren’t betraying us but telling us how they’re doing. It’s our job to listen and adjust and work with our bodies rather than against them.
What is a quote you live by?
Do It Afraid
What resources help during TSW?
- The Body Keeps The Score – Bessel van Der Kolk
- Gut and Psychology Syndrome – Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride MD
- Peace from Anxiety – Hala Khouri
What is your instagram handle?
@justdupreetheblog (I also have a website, justdupree.com)
Thank you, Lauren.
We love you. We see you. We are you.