This post is an extraction of Teapot’s comment on her MW experience in the post Want to heal? Listen to music. + Skin updates.
Key comments from her experience are:
I posted a comment a while back on MW and your experience, asking if you think I could “pilot” MW on part of my body as a test, rather than go cold turkey and quit moisturizers all at once.
“Well I am happy to report that it has worked! I really think you are on to something here with the MW/quitting moisturizers. I started with my lower legs as they were completely healed from eczema and kind of out of my focus area in terms of fighting the itch/scratch cycle. The first few days were difficult, strange, irritating, but not desperately itchy or anything. Just a bit weird. I mean, I have been moisturizing after a shower, head-to-toe, every day of my life since I was 15 years old! I am now 34. That is intense.
Anyway, gradually I added in other body parts as I progressed–forearms, upper legs, upper arms etc. Now all I moisturize is my face, which seems to be a special case of hell. I have adjusted my diet which has returned me to a somewhat normal face, but I am yet to do away with moisturizer there just yet. I do find I use way less than I used to.
It has now been about a month or even longer for my lower legs and I wanted to share my experience with you to add my support to your theories. I agree my skin feels tougher and more resistant. Even though my skin can be on the dry side (winter in the Canadian Prairies, so pretty normal around here), it is no longer uncomfortable dry, and if I do scratch, the result is not catastrophic. It is more like when a normal person scratches their arm–they do not bleed or swell up. To combat dryness I bought a fancy humidifier and I crank it up before I go to bed at night so the room is nice and humid.”
Apart from her MW experience, what is interesting is that she has also tapered down and weaned off from TS instead of going cold turkey (something that most of us do). I don’t think this is necessarily a bad idea, given that the body always adapts subjected to the increasing/decreasing external stimuli we apply. It is the same for MW, in my opinion. Instead of going cold turkey (which is effective/quick with a higher level of sacrifice), you can opt to taper down (slower/longer with a lower level of pain and discomfort).
Either ways, the reporting of the same experiences shared by many who have opted MW while treating their TSW only provided strong empirical EVIDENCE that MW works. You get comfort, stronger skin, less pain, in exchange for a period of MW symptoms (which to some may not be that difficult at all).
There is no place for moisturizers in the world. There is no requirement. We live in a consumerism, capitalistic society with companies and people coming up with plenty of products that you don’t need. When you listen to the saying “moisturizing is important for eczema patients”, what you are hearing is just a narrative, not the truth.
Your body is born to regulate itself, and it is more than capable of doing so.