Erlyn the eczema warrior.
Health Hub blog

Erlyn the eczema warrior.

Erlyn never thought Topical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW) would happen to her, coz she only used steroid creams off and on. 

Fast forward to 2023, and she went through it. Oh boy, was it ROUGH.

She’s a Sydney-based gal working in physiotherapy in the disability sector — mainly with babies and children. She loves spending time with her husband, cavoodle, and healing by the ocean.

Erlyn can’t remember a time where she didn’t have eczema, and grew up slapping a range of steroid creams on them to manage her itchy skin. It started by her knees and elbows, and spread to her face and neck as an adult.

Uni stressed her, to the max (fair), and this is when her flares were at her worst. She found herself using stronger steroids to manage.

“I’d read about TSW over the years, but I thought this couldn’t happen to me, I barely use steroids. I’ve now learnt that the cumulative effect of using them over the years can cause TSW.” 

Topical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW)

TW: suicidal ideation, mental health struggles

Erlyn really struggled through her TSW journey — her mental health was at its lowest, and she was having some pretty dark thoughts. A bone-deep itch, bleeding skin and inflammation were only a few of her symptoms. 

Plus, she was hardly sleeping. Her scratching would wake her up, in a pool of flakes. Not to mention that everything feels worse when you’re not well rested. Her husband went out of town for a week, and her thoughts got really dark. Daily life was extremely hard, and she leant on her family.

She started sharing real, raw pics on her Instagram stories on her personal account. She had people reach out to her from high school who were going through the same thing. This is where she learnt about Dupixent — which kickstarted her healing journey, to new-found happiness. 

“Especially in Fillipino-Aussie culture, so many of us bond over the struggle, but we also suffer in isolation. I was the toll of eczema and TSW was spoken about more, especially in Asian cultures”.

Starting Dupixent around a year ago has changed Erlyn’s life — it’s helped manage her skin. At first, it felt like she was giving in rather than riding out TSW. She now knows, this isn’t the case — everyone has to do what’s right for them.

“Overall, I’ve learnt just how strong and resillient I truly am”

Erlyn’s advice? 

Her whole story has one main theme. SUPPORT.  

  • Have people around you to talk to. She had her fam. 
  • See a psychologist
  • SLEEP. If you can. 
  • Eat healthy where possible
  • Find your triggers through allergy testing 
  • Look after your mental health — stay active, speak to a professional.

She’s so grateful she shared her story online, as she found people who GOT it, right in her circle.