This has really been worrying me. If you have asthma then you’ll be familiar with those brown preventative inhalers and you’ll also know that they contain steroids.
That’s just what they contain, not much we can do about that, and they work! They help you keep your asthma under control.
But what if you are also cutting out topical steroids? Apologies to the asthma peeps who are not doing TSW, I hope there will be something of use for you guys here too, but keep your eyes peeled as I have another blog about living with asthma coming up shortly that will appeal to everyone with asthma and I hope everyone without too! It’s about reducing indoor pollution and everyone needs a bit of that.
So back to the steroids…
Will using your inhaler affect TSW?
The blue inhaler which helps with flare ups or asthma attacks doesn’t contain steroids so you’re fine using that. But as everyone with asthma knows, using the blue inhaler a lot isn’t good. If you need to puff on your inhaler daily and feel your breathing isn’t controlled, then you probably need a preventative inhaler.
These are the ones that contain steroids. Some are brown, mine orange. These need to be taken every day, either one or two puffs or whatever our doctor or asthma specialist advises.
Reducing the dose of oral steroids
Always use a spacer to take your preventative inhaler and also remember to gargle after each dose, and also brush your teeth. I did get thrush in my throat from using this during a bad spell of asthma and you don’t want that. It’s horrible. Using the spacer means the drug is held inside the central tube and you can breathe in slowly, rather than the drug being blasted at your tongue and the back of your mouth.
This is the steroid in my preventative inhaler that I use, pictured above, and it’s administered doses of 125 micrograms of active ingredient.
Looking at topical steroids, choosing Elocon as just one example, each gram contains 1 mg of mometasone furoate, the active steroid ingredient.
There are 1000 micrograms in 1 mg. So yes, it’s less but it’s not THAT much less. I hate steroids so much that I don’t want any of them in my body at all.
When I first started my TSW journey I tried to reduce my dose of preventative inhaler and at some point, when I was probalby at my worst, I started forgetting to take it.
I realised I hadn’t used the preventative inhaler for about six months during lockdown when an asthma nurse phoned to check I was OK, due to having asthma and self isolating. I couldn’t actually remember the last time I’d taken it and my asthma was the best it had ever been.
This wasn’t a conscious move on my part and I’ve always advised anyone with asthma to keep up with the preventative meds because asthma can kill. It’s a very serious condition when it gets out of hand.
So what had changed for me? Was it the reduced stress? Less pollution? Getting out for regular exercise? Working less? Sleeping more? Learning to breathe? Eating better? Cutting out processed foods? Drinking less alcohol?
A combination of all of these?
Or was it something more sinister. Was my asthma improving as my skin was healing. Was there a link with the topical steroids and my asthma?
But then came a flare up..
In the last few months I’ve noticed my asthma has been getting worse. I don’t know if it’s linked to hay fever and pollen, moulds or pollution increasing again. I don’t know if it’s the weather.
Anyone else get a mild increase in asthma EVERY TIME THE WEATHER CHANGES?
This can be really annoying when the British weather gets into it’s four seasons in one day nonsense, which I actually love by the way. I’m one of those true Brits who loves the weather, finds it fascinating and loves how the scenery, views, nature and woodlands change with the seasons, skies, weather etc.
But it plays havoc with my asthma.
Holidays and asthma
My asthma also often seems to flare up when I go away. I’m not sure why. Again, is it dust? damp? Excitement? I have no idea. But I was really wheezy in the lake district, which was frustrating. I also stayed at a friends house, who have a dog and I had one evening where I could hardly breathe. I could tell they were really worried too and their lovely if boisterous dog was banished to see if that helped.
I was there for a few days and it seemed to calm down after that awful first night. I didn’t seem to be allergic to Murphy’s saliva (we played gross slobbery ball games for a long time) or his fur. I seemed to be able to pet him and be near him and not be wheezy but then really struggled in certain rooms of the house, like the living room with soft furnishings and carpets. I was happier in the kitchen which was tiled. So I suspect it may be my dust allergy, which is so annoying. I don’t seem to react like this with my own dust just other peoples.
TSW flare up vs Asthma flare up
My skin has flared up in the last few months. Is this linked to my asthma also worsening? I started to take the preventative inhaler in the last few weeks and my skin is just getting worse and worse. Is there a link? I’ll be gutted if there is because I really need to get on top of my asthma.
Steroids in your inhaler are low dosage
When I spoke to my ashma nurse I expressed my concerns about using the steroid inhaler whilst trying ot do TSW and she did allay some of my fears.
I was told that inhaled steroids mostly remain very localised to your lungs, and that very little actually enters the blood stream leading to systemic effects. The dosage of steroid in inhalers is also extremely small compared to the amount in topical corticosteroid creams that we were being prescribed.
I’ve also been told that topical steroids are perfectly safe so I am still a little skeptical, because the problem is, these so called experts don’t know. They don’t know and they don’t see; they don’t accept that TSW is real so why should I believe them about inhaled steroids?
I am clinging to the hope that the steroids in my inhaler will not spiral me back to square one. I hope that I will and can keep healing. I have to remain hopeful.
I have to cling to the belief that I will heal.
I felt so close back in March and April. In May, June and July I had the most amazing taste of what living with normal skin will be like.
So for now, I will keep using my preventative inhaler. I also have an oxygen machine at home which I think is also helping so I will keep on with that, twice a day when I can find the time.
And I am clinging to the hope that we will all get through this. Stay safe asthma warriors. Asthma can be deadly so take your meds. Eczema and topical steroid withdrawal are just grim, not life threatening.
Learning to love yourself, to love your faulty misbehaving skin and to really believe that you are enough, is also part of this healing process.
I am beautiful. I am perfect just the way I am.
(But maybe not quite the way I am, I mean I’d be so much better without this eczema plague #amiright ???)
I am beautiful, and so are you. All you beautiflawed TSW warriors. Keep fighting. Keep smiling and keep using your inhalers!
Anyone else out there have asthma and going through TSW? What do you feel about this? I’d love to hear from you guys…