December 17, 2020

Categories: Blog - Parents - Pregnancy

Written by Adele Devalda

Since 2007 I have been suffering with Eczema (and what now would suggest TSW for the most part). I didn’t have a clue about TSW and wish I had researched this years ago instead of taking direction only from doctors.

Flares would come and go, with a sudden break out of eczema herpeticum in 2016, where I was told I could lose my eyesight through misdiagnosis. Anyway, I did survive it and kept my eyesight!

How it started

I moved to USA when I was 27, naturally moving caused me stress so I experienced mild/moderate eczema flares.  I went to see a dermatologist who prescribed a new cream to try and little did I know it was steroid, I think what threw me was it came in a huge tub! I would apply this cream to patches every now and then, it was brilliant and cleared within hours.

At 28 I fell pregnant, I applied steroids through pregnancy. Halfway through my pregnancy I moved back to the UK and eventually I ran out of this supposed ‘miracle cream’, it was a clean stop 2 days before I went into labour.
.
And so, it begun. I was suffering with TSW – still unaware. (I just presumed it was my bad eczema coming back). I put it down to postpartum stress and moving home from the USA during a pandemic.

I moved to USA when I was 27, naturally moving caused me stress so I experienced mild/moderate eczema flares.  I went to see a dermatologist who prescribed a new cream to try and little did I know it was steroid, I think what threw me was it came in a huge tub! I would apply this cream to patches every now and then, it was brilliant and cleared within hours.

At 28 I fell pregnant, I applied steroids through pregnancy. Halfway through my pregnancy I moved back to the UK and eventually I ran out of this supposed ‘miracle cream’, it was a clean stop 2 days before I went into labour.
.
And so, it begun. I was suffering with TSW – still unaware. (I just presumed it was my bad eczema coming back). I put it down to postpartum stress and moving home from the USA during a pandemic.

Seeing the dermatologist

My skin flared badly and I ended up seeing a dermatologist when my son Myles was 8 weeks old. I’d hit breaking point; I was struggling to hold him because my skin was so inflamed, red and cracking.

The dermatologist sent me away with Prednisolone, Betnovate and Eumovate – this was after I cried my eyes out and begged him for a skin patch test and light therapy rather than steroids. I explained to him my concerns with steroids and that I did not want them while breastfeeding; I was so scared of the creams getting on to his delicate skin. But he did not care.

I chose not to use the steroid creams, but I took the oral steroids. During my second week on oral steroids is when I discovered TSW. I was on a very high dose so I could not instantly stop but for the remaining time I was haunted with the thought TSW was coming for me.

My skin flared badly and I ended up seeing a dermatologist when my son Myles was 8 weeks old. I’d hit breaking point; I was struggling to hold him because my skin was so inflamed, red and cracking.

The dermatologist sent me away with Prednisolone, Betnovate and Eumovate – this was after I cried my eyes out and begged him for a skin patch test and light therapy rather than steroids. I explained to him my concerns with steroids and that I did not want them while breastfeeding; I was so scared of the creams getting on to his delicate skin. But he did not care.

I chose not to use the steroid creams, but I took the oral steroids. During my second week on oral steroids is when I discovered TSW. I was on a very high dose so I could not instantly stop but for the remaining time I was haunted with the thought TSW was coming for me.

Becoming a new mum

Becoming a new mum and having to accept I was experiencing TSW was mentally and physically draining.

Along with sleep deprivation and my skin keeping me awake, I found it hard to see how I would even begin to heal.  I was heartbroken and angry that I was suffering and feeling hopeless when I should have been bursting with joy over becoming a new mum. 

With the huge support and encouragement from my husband, he helped me find my fighting game and I began my healing journey.

“I was suffering and feeling hopeless when I should have been bursting with joy over becoming a new mum.”

I will not lie, it is challenging, but I just take each day as it comes, having a baby who demands your attention every hour of the day is HARD.

Sometimes I just want to lock myself in a room and have a good old itch and scream but I honestly just do not get the time. If anything, my son is my saviour. He keeps me so busy and occupied that I do not have time to sit and worry about my skin or even feel sorry for myself.

Becoming a new mum and having to accept I was experiencing TSW was mentally and physically draining.

Along with sleep deprivation and my skin keeping me awake, I found it hard to see how I would even begin to heal.  I was heartbroken and angry that I was suffering and feeling hopeless when I should have been bursting with joy over becoming a new mum. 

With the huge support and encouragement from my husband, he helped me find my fighting game and I began my healing journey.

“I was suffering and feeling hopeless when I should have been bursting with joy over becoming a new mum.”

I will not lie, it is challenging, but I just take each day as it comes, having a baby who demands your attention every hour of the day is HARD.

Sometimes I just want to lock myself in a room and have a good old itch and scream but I honestly just do not get the time. If anything, my son is my saviour. He keeps me so busy and occupied that I do not have time to sit and worry about my skin or even feel sorry for myself.

My tips to any mamas going through TSW

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help, this is not a sign of failure.
  • Cherish those baby snugs in the middle of the night after all who are you kidding TSW isn’t letting you sleep anyway!

  • During the day when it’s just you and baby the only important thing to do is to look after them and yourself. Chores can wait! If they nap, then you meditate, read a book, even bath if it soothes you.

  • Finally walk, walk, walk, it is great for the mind and soul. I often throw my baggy top and pants on with my oversized coat for disguise and walk for hours with my baby boy.

Adele Devalda

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