Please feel free to critique this post. I write this because I’m literally sickened by people giving “well-intended” advice which may be iatrogenic. I’m feel sorry for people (especially TSW sufferers, parents) who are so desperate that they are willing to try all kinds of advice (the trying is a good attitude to have) and get suboptimal/worse results from them. I have been there and done that. I’ve heard all kinds of shitty advice that did not help my progress with my skin condition, from eating fish oil, grapeseed oil, moisturize with this cream, that cream, use this steroid, use oral steroids, use wet wrap, take this or that chinese medicine, and etc. This post is intended for readers to develop an active mindset of questioning, learning and making smart decisions. I’m not someone to hold my words. The world will be a better place if everyone is candid. So please don’t hold yours too. Post is intended to be direct, crude, even rude. I find that posts of such nature incite critical thinking more than well-natured sounding posts (which is always the intention of this blog).
The first thing to evaluate when people give advice (any) to aid your skin problem is 1) Do they have a financial incentive in recommending this product. If yes, be less apt to giving credit to the advice. Doctors do. In my last consultation, a doctor recommended me physiogel. I believe it is the most widely marketed moisturizer in this region for now. Did physiogel help? Perhaps psychologically (because back then I was 100% dependent on moisturizer). Once I stopped them, my skin improved tremendously after a period of moisturizer withdrawal. (My gf can attest to that, since my rate of “skin whining” has decreased to close to zero when I’m off moisturizers compared to when I was on them). Snake oil salesman do too. These are a group of people who are keen to profit from your misery. You have problems getting it up? Look at all the viagra alternatives. You have piles? Here is another new product for you.
Second, ask “Do these people (who are giving advice) have my best interest in mind?” If the answer is no, then it is obvious. The tricky part is that for some people, the answer is yes. Even doctors or snake oil salesman. Often, they believe wholeheartedly and sincerely that their products WILL help you. Topical steroids are effective. Oral steroids are even effective! Certain “natural” moisturizers ARE truely effective. Your relatives will often chime in to tell you this product work/that product work even when you don’t seek out their advice. It is also easy to get all sorts of well-intended advice on products in health forums and etc. So what than, how do we make a good decision for this second criteria?
My answer is to disregard all these advice all together and LOOK at the product they are recommending. If a product is truly good and effective for ALL people, this product will be well known, well marketed, effective for all, has minimal side effects, has little to none negative responses and reviews, and people will recommend this product collectively. Example, painkillers. Immediately and instinctively, we know panadol will work. Do we even need to ask for advice for painkillers? No we don’t. If there is a HIV cure or pill in the market today and is truly effective, ALL of us will know it and will use it if we have HIV. So, look and investigate the product deeply.
The sign that (for TSW/eczema sufferers) SO MANY different type of advice could be given by SO MANY different people tells us something. There is no magical pill that can solve your problem effectively. (yes there is, oral steroids, but look at the side effects). So, for desperate parents/current sufferers, stop looking for the impossible. I know all of us want some form of control over ezcema. The truth is that you have to give up control in order to let your body heal itself.
Now that you have evaluated 1) financial-incentive for product, 2) evaluating product itself and you decide to do something about them. Perhaps you are worried and so you ask others for their experiences on those products. I say, cut that bullshit and don’t bother about other’s experiences. Make a smart decision and experiment it yourself so that you can make an informed conclusion. Other’s experiences are a double-edged sword. You have to evaluate advice based on experiences the same way as I’ve mentioned earlier. Doctors have experience. Older people generally have experience. But how often we see that their experience is often bullshit, hocus pocus, or make believe? For god’s sake (I’m an atheist btw), EXPERIMENT IT YOURSELF.
If the result is not so good, stop doing it. You make a mistake, learn from it and move on. STOP asking for more advice of the same nature and all you will get is the same results. The key is to live and make decisions smartly. Ask questions and think critically.
Now shoot away.