Dear Dr. Rapaport,
I am profoundly grateful to you. I am writing to express my admiration and deep appreciation for your commitment to uncovering the existence of steroid induced eczema (Red Skin Syndrome) and your willingness to state publicly and candidly that the cure for RSS is total and complete withdrawal from steroids.
My husband and I retired and moved from Michigan to Florida in January of 2013. We stayed overnight in a hotel and my husband was bitten by a scabies parasite. He was treated with Permethrin cream which contains a 1% solution of formaldehyde and that is how we discovered that he is highly sensitive to formaldehyde. The reaction to the Permethrin launched a cascade of events that has lasted over three years.
He swallowed a lot of wisdom, but it seemed as if all of it had gone down the wrong way.
The Permethrin cream caused a severe skin rash that was treated with Prednisone and topical steroids. This helped clear his skin initially but then more and more topical steroids were necessary to treat the spreading rash. The rash was identified as allergic contact dermatitis, a form of eczema. The itching, burning, sleeplessness etc of the eczema was intolerable. He was treated with more topical steroids, intermittent anti-histamines, immunosuppressants, and occasional antibiotics. He was patch tested and we went on a regimen of no dyes, fragrances, or chemicals with names I could not pronounce. We completely changed every product in our home including tearing out a soundproofing wall that was emitting low levels of formaldehyde.
In the summer of 2014 my husband was diagnosed as having “chronic” eczema. We left the doctor’s office and I said, “I do NOT accept chronic as a diagnosis–it only means that no one knows what is wrong.” And then we found you. The 16 minute video interview you gave explaining Red Skin Syndrome, topical steroid addiction, and topical steroid withdrawal has changed our lives. Your answers made perfect sense to me. I told my husband that I believed that he was addicted to topical steroids and that total withdrawal was going to be his pathway to health.
We both have enormous regard for mavericks in the medical profession who have the courage to present and defend their findings even though they are ridiculed and maligned. My husband has extraordinary mental discipline and the strength to stay the course. In August of 2014 he discontinued all topical steroids. The withdrawal was painful and difficult but a year and a half later he is COMPLETELY CURED! Yes, withdrawal is difficult, yes withdrawal requires commitment to a long process, but withdrawal from topical steroids absolutely cures RSS.
During the last two years I have done extensive research on eczema, topical steroids, and Red Skin Syndrome. It surprises me that your CURE is not widely accepted, reported, and publicized for all RSS sufferers including so many children. Your withdrawal protocol should be offered to any patient diagnosed with “chronic” eczema. Some will have the inner strength to get through the withdrawal process and some will not but at least each patient will have the choice. The easy convenient treatment with topical steroids provides only short term relief and comes with a long term future of serious complications from overuse of topical steroids. Total withdrawal from topical steroids is the difficult inconvenient path to actual CURE and a healthy future.
Sometimes in life we touch people’s lives in profound and significant ways and never know it. My husband and I want you to know how deeply and profoundly you have touched our lives. My husband’s health and the quality of our lives has been restored. We can once again relax and enjoy being retired on the beach. The long-term outcome was definitely worth the difficulties of withdrawal.
Linda & Rob Goudsmit