What are the general experiences of people who did moisturizer withdrawal (MW)? I decide to curate these information as and when I see them. Here is a snippet from a facebook group, with Angie posting the question:
Curious. How many of you went moisturizer free because you (or your child) couldn’t tolerate it? We initially stopped using any moisturizer(homemade from coconut oil, shea butter, etc) because it always would sting my daughter’s skin. Once we stopped, I was surprised at how quickly her skin went through cycles. She heals quicker and her skin is more tolerable being dry and cracked then moist, red, angry and inflamed.
Here are some interesting and relevant responses:
We stopped almost initially because everything burned. I have nothing to compare it to, but he does seem to have TSW much more mildly than others here. We did only use hydrocortisone though. – Chelsea
We stopped for like four days. The pain from moisturizer withdrawal was unbearable. Way worse than the stuff before. But, he has been improving way faster since then. We’re no longer doing it, we’re moisturizing maybe even more often than we were. I wonder how much of it has to do with what we’re doing, and how much of it has to do with the passage of time. – Jess
Me, me, I stopped over a week ago and the difference is amazing! -Jane
I stopped like a week ago and I am way less red and itchy, however the flaking is really bad and I have to do sponge baths because I can not handle no moisturizer after a bath. -Rachel
We cut down a lot because she wasn’t tolerating it and the stress wasn’t worth it. Now we pretty much just put a little on spots as needed for movement. Joints and neck mostly. Her skin is drier but less red. The other day we bathed her and lotion’d her up for the first time in a month and she flared badly. Itching increased, weepy, red hot skin. Coincidence? I’m not entirely sure but stopped the moisturizers again. – Olive
I went moisturizer free at 8 months and saw great improvement. I went into another major flare at 17 months and had to use moisturizers again…starting with Vaseline and working through oils. I couldn’t have been moistur free during this phase. I am now 20 months and 2 weeks moisturizer free again. My skin was getting more and more irritated with the oils. Cycles speeded up and now I am Healing nicely. -Tracy
Olive that is exactly how my daughter was! Much more tolerable with no moisturizer – Angie
I stopped using moisturizer a couple of years before TSW and noticed a significant improvement in my skin. I tried Vaseline and a number of other moisturizers at the start of TSW but everything made me itch or ooze more. I’m now almost a year since stopping TS and still can’t tolerate any moisturizer. – Sophie
I stopped moisturize after two months – wish I did it earlier!!! – Johanna
Yep me too with good results. -Amanda
Im 2 wks into tsw and im not using moisturizer stopped it all at the same time ive always found I cant tolerate the same moisturizer for long as it seems make me redder and itchier so for me ditching both at the same time made sense im struggling with the backs of my knees at the moment but I no I would be worse with moisturizer. – Lynsey
I haven’t totally quit steroid, still using on my face. But I’ve quit steroids and moisturizer on my body. Last night my young daughter put lotion on my arms (after 2 months without) and they broke out immediately, I had to wash them off. For me, MW helps. -C’n J
I’m 6 days into MW and am seeing significant improvements. My movement is just as limited as before (roughly two hours after application), less red, MUCH less itchy/sore and a bit more flaky so far.
(I’m 7.5 months into TSW) – Hayley
I gave up on moisturizers one week into TSW (I have been dependent on moisturizers all my life) and I immediately noticed a difference. My skin could not even tolerate natural moisturizers such as coconut oil – everything made it more red, itchy and irritated. Now that I have stopped, my skin is almost not red at all, it is not irritated and it doesn’t itch as bad. It is just very dry and flaky, but I’d take that over ooze any time! My main problem area is my face which always ooze but I feel not using moisturizers allows the ooze to dry freely, hence speeding up the healing. I’m starting my second month of TSW. – Gaby
We stopped moisturizing and bathing because it was torturous for our son. We now do occasional baths with Epsom salt, lavender or melrose oil, and baking soda. Afterwards we do a light coating of coconut oil. We are in month 4. -Sarah
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I have been reiterating the same thoughts over and over again with my posts related to MW, and I would just like to highlight this:
Moisturizers, as tame as they seemingly sound, do have the potential to harm your skin, especially for barrier-impaired skin of TSW sufferers. More and more people have reported deriving positive benefits, from increased comfort, better manageability, less irritation and etc by going moisturizer free.
I’ll continue to curate and share more experiences related to MW.
Hoping for a speedier and easier recovery for fellow skin friends!