Eczema and TSW: They are not the same! Here we tell you why

Eczema and TSW: They are not the same! Here we tell you why - Scrachee

We want to talk to you about a very important topic that causes a lot of doubts in our community, especially when we talk about terms like eczema and TSW (Topical Steroid Withdrawal). Here we teach you to differentiate them.

Little spoiler: If you are dealing with elevated eczema symptoms and have just stopped a topical steroid treatment, then TSW could be the root of your problems (and not the eczema itself).

Manifestations of eczema

Eczema usually begins in childhood, from 3 months of age (although there are cases where it can start earlier).

In children, rashes can appear on the neck, eyelids, scalp, hands, arms, feet, and legs. But it is usually localized and can rarely be perceived as being all over the body.

Older children often develop a rash that usually appears (and reappears) only in one place or in very specific areas, especially the front of the neck, the inner creases of the elbows, and the area behind the knees.

Although the color, intensity and location of the rash can vary, it is always itchy, which can be mild or moderate.

Also, over the years (and without the intervention of steroids) it disappears. By the age of 20, 80% of children with eczema no longer have flare-ups.

How is the TSW presented?

The flare ups are not localized (as in eczema itself), but can spread throughout the body. Giving a "Red Skin" appearance.

Likewise, the itching can be very serious, becoming unbearable. In addition, the skin is very irritated, there is a lot of burning sensation and appearance. This is why TSW is also known as "red skin syndrome"

Other symptoms are:

  • Hair loss.
  • Shaking chills.
  • Liquid out of the skin (sometimes clothes get stuck to it).
  • Much sensitivity.

In general, very similar to eczema, but much worse. This is why it is so common to confuse it with "severe eczema".

Pay attention to the causes of eczema and TSW 


  • Food.
  • Dust.
  • Mites.
  • Pollen.
  • temperature changes.
  • Soaps or detergents with irritating chemicals.
  • Contact with artificial fiber clothing.
  • Other internal issues such as leaky gut, candida, etc


It is totally related to the use of steroids and even more so if you have recently stopped a long-term treatment with them (more than 2 weeks).

The way in which TSW is produced through a vicious cicle, where eczema flare-ups appear, we are prescribed steroids to calm them down, they are relieved at first, but then the flare-ups get worse and more steroids have to be used. However the flare ups keep getting worse and you keep increasing the potency, perpetuating the cycle and skin's "addiction" to the steroid. So your little one, with the passage of time, gets worse and not better. This is all due to the use of steroids.

In the end, after months of fighting, trying thousands of soothing creams, testing allergies, taking care of food, avoiding triggers, carefully choosing soap and thousands of other measures; you still see no improvement. It's probably because your little one is going through TSW.

How do steroids influence the course of eczema?

We know that the symptoms of eczema begin in childhood, are mild to moderate, generally localized, and gradually decrease until they disappear in adulthood.

However, once topical steroids enter the equation, the vicious cycle and TSW begins. This is why it is suggested that the "severe or chronic" cases of eczema now seen, particularly in adults, are due to continued excessive use of steroids.

Does TSW have a cure?

Yeah! But first you have to stop the use of topical steroids completely (Cold turkey). The second step is patience, since at first the symptoms will be much worse, you will get frustrated and feel very sad, but little by little, when the skin is purifying and detoxifying, it will start to improve.

Keep in mind that as long as TSW lasts, you will feel like it only gets worse and nothing brings relief. But this is temporary and will last depending on how long the steroids were used.

Our experience

By doing a lot of research on eczema and listening to up-to-date specialists, we decided to cut with the steroid creams cold turkey. Since these were the causes of our little one only continuing to get worse (regardless of the fact that we were taking all the appropriate measures).

And yes, the symptoms were terrible at first, a lot of frustration, uncertainty, sleepless nights, etc. But then Scrachee was born, as a solution to my family and our little one.

With the use of our products, the knowledge of eczema and TSW and its symptoms, plus a lot of love and patience; We made it past that stage. And you can too!


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