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Lancaster woman’s journey through eczema to Topical Steroid Withdrawal

  • Scott LaMar
Isabella DeLuca and her mother, Nicole Vasquez

Isabella DeLuca and her mother, Nicole Vasquez

Airdate: May 22nd, 2023


Twenty-year-old Isabella DeLuca of Lancaster was diagnosed with eczema as a one-year-old.  As a baby she had open sores on her face. She was prescribed topical steroid creams to control the sores.

Now, almost 20 years later she has grown dependent on the creams and says she suffers from a rare condition called Topical Steroid Withdrawal and it has had a significant impact on her life.

Isabella DeLuca and her mother, Nicole Vasquez were with us on The Spark Monday and Isabella talked about her childhood with eczema, “Growing up with eczema, it would come around during the winter and go away when summer came around. It was really only in specific places like the crevices of my arms, my mouth, my eyes. And that’s only where it was. It had never really traveled to other places. And then for a few years, when I was younger, it kind of went away. I didn’t really struggle with it. And then it came back. My freshman year of high school when I was maybe 15.”

After that Isabella said her condition worsened to the point where she felt like her skin was on fire and she was constantly scratching because she itched so badly. She indicated each visit to the doctor would bring a higher dosage of steroid cream and then she realized she was addicted to the steroid creams,”My skin it’s a vascular issue. So put from putting the creams on for so long, my blood vessels kind of learned how to constrict and do all of that with the creams. So then taking the creams away, they just they don’t know how to they just stay open for as long as they want to. They don’t know when to close themselves. My blood vessels are just really confused, is pretty much like the main problem.”

Topical Steroid Withdrawal isn’t universally accepted as a diagnosis and patients are often blamed for not following their medication regiment.

Isabella thinks steroids are over-prescribed,”Steroids I feel are prescribed so often topical steroids, oral steroids. I feel it’s kind of just like a Band-Aid solution for almost everything. Steroids don’t solve any problems. They just kind of hide it. You know, I would get prescribed like prednisone for my asthma when it would get super bad. And I wasn’t it wouldn’t fix the problem. It would just kind of Band-Aid it. It would just stop the inflammation for a little bit. And so what I’m kind of realizing is that the steroids have never they never fixed a problem.”

Isabella takes medication to deal with her symptoms but she doesn’t believe they treat her illness.



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