Because it’s International Women’s Day, these are the women I’d like to thank, the women who have taught me, helped me and continue to help the eczema and topical steroid withdrawal community with education, service, blogging etc.
Finding women working in a professional capacity in this arena (ie. dermatologists, doctors, scientists etc. was tough, it seems to be a highly male dominated industry. I wanted to find women scientists, inventors and dermatologist but I didn’t find many. I don’t know why. The women I’ve found seem to make up the caring, nurturing, wholesome, natural and holistic side of eczema healing so go women!
There is even a study examining the state of Dermatology and the women working there. Read ‘Women in Dermatology Leadership: Results from a Nationwide Survey’, Significant progress has been made in the representation of women at various fronts in dermatology. Nonetheless, women fall far behind their male counterparts when it comes to leadership roles as indicated by recent research data.
If this is something that interests you, check out Women in Dermatology for more about why this is so important. Women don’t get the best care, particularly women of colour, as it turned out many dermatologists didn’t even know how to even identify eczema on darker skins – all the text books and learning is on white skin, though that is now changing.
So my women superstars are, in no particular order, here they are…
- Kathy Tullos, RN – President/CEO of ITSAN and all the wonderful ladies supporting this charity; Jolene MacDonald – Secretary, Jodie Ohr – Treasurer, Michelle Li – Board of Directors, Natalie Lawton – Board of Directors. Janelle Harris has just joined the board.
- Kelly Barta – Board of Directors – ITSAN and former president. Also on the Allergy and Asthma board and a full time advocate fo rour community. She is really fighting for better research and aw
- Dr Ruth Cammish, GP with a special interest in dermatology and skin conditions, in particular TSW as she has gone through it herself. Also know just as Dr Ruth GP on Instagram!
- Samantha Skelding, Deputy Chief Executive of the National Eczema Society in the UK.
- Julie Van Onselen, Dermatology Nurse and also a member of staff at the National Eczema Society, she is always raising awareness about eczema.
- Briana Banos, producer of Preventable, the TSW documentary. This woman inspires me and I was proud to attend the public screening of this documentary in the early days of my TSW journey. Tea with Bri…
- Lianne Reeves, my allergy and eczema dietician, who has taught me so much about diet, what foods to avoid and how to maintain a balance diet whilst avoiding foods that I’m allergic to.
- Ashley Ann Lora, guides health organizations to improve resources and treatment options for the eczema community. She also shares her own skin and eczema healing journey through topical steroid withdrawal and is a huge inspiration to me in the community. Visit: https://www.ashleyannlora.com
- Dr Heba Kaled, also know as TSW Atlas, has been sharing her education and invaluable videos about what TSW is, how it affect the the body and more. You must follow her on YouTube and she’s also on Insta as TSW Atlas.
- Cara Ward has a brilliant TSW blog and a book, Curing my Incurable eczema all about her TSW journey. She has healed from TSW and her journey gives me so much hope.
- Louise King, also known as Louigiskin on Instagram. Founder of @scratchthat.uk, 🎬 Director of @ourprescribedhell and one of the Owners of @skinsolaceclinic.uk where she treats people with TSW skin.
- Ashley Wall writes one of my favourite blogs, Itching since 87, where she shares her positive outlook on living with eczema.
- Lauren Dupree shares her eczema and TSW story on her blog Just Dupree the blog and uses her creative side and music to educate others. She was also featured in the Skin on Fire documentary.
- Nina Ajdin is one of the first people to ‘come out’ and share their TSW journeys. She is featured in the Preventable Documentary and also writes brilliant articles for AD – atopicdermatitis.net. Nina has been a constant support to me in my own TSW journey and is one of the long haulers – now 6+ years TSW and healing. Nina is also working with ITSAN on an awareness campaign.
- Jennifer Fugo is a clinical nutritionist who recognises TSW and has spoken about it on her podcast. She also shares so much good information about how to focus on your gut to get on top of eczema. Check out https://www.skinterrupt.com/Instagram/
- Rebecca Bonneteau runs The Eczema Expert – Giving parents the support they need and deserve while learning to take control of eczema naturally.
- Camille Knowles – the brains behind The Beauty of Eczema book and her own skincare range for eczema skin.
- Lydia Finnegan has her own blow – https://www.itchie-scratchie.com/ shares her journey to healing her skin from eczema and also topical steroid withdrawal. She can also be found as Lyds Life on Instagram.
- Karen Fischer – author of The Eczema Detox cookbook has also taught me loads about good and bad foods for eczema and I use some of her recipes often. Her cook book is also one of the first places I saw TSW acknowledged in print. You can find her at https://www.eczemalife.com/
- Lucy Gulland – Founder of Balmonds – one of my favourite skincare brands. Natural skincare to support people with sensitive skin. I know many of us with eczema can’t live without it so thank you.
- Vicky Lyons – Founder and owner of Lyonsleaf – who make the zinc and calendula cream and the marshmallow emollient I am always banging on about. Seriously cannot live without it, another wonderful natural skincare brand which I buy every month.
- Sian Louise – the brains behind new skin care brand on the eczema arena Obvs skincare. I’m trialling her range so watch this space for more information.
- Aramide, is a skin model and is almost healed from TSW. She also shares her journey on YouTube with healing tips and organises TSW skin family meetups in London. You can follow her on instagram as myatopicskin and on YouTube.
- Erin Gilbert, MD, PhD, FAAD – President of the Women’s Dermatologic Society. You might also be surprised to know there even is such a thing, but here it is: Women’s Dermatologic Society. Sadly there is no mention of TSW when you search their website so I may reach out with some information for them soon. Feel free to also do the same.
- Cristela Tello Ruiz, for writing so many pieces on the disparity of women in dermatology. Read The importance of gender equality in dermatology. International Journal of Women’s Dermatology examined this gender disparity in the leadership of professional societies of dermatology worldwide. To do so, researchers used online databases as well as individual society websites. They also collected data from 92 countries, with 1,733 society leaders identified. According to the study’s findings, women constitute a minority in dermatology professional society leadership throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Middle East. In contrast, women make up a slight majority in South America, Central America, and Africa. Additionally, men were more likely than women to hold the position of president in all professional societies and, female leaders were less likely to hold concurrent academic positions as deans, chairpersons or directors.
- Ruth Holroyd, author, blogger and patient advocate – I had to add myself in here somewhere didn’t I? So proud of my book, The Shape of Skin, eczema poems which I hope will help dermatologists and eczema and TSW patients see their skin in a different way. And if you’ve found yourself here, then this my friends, is my blog! All mine! Written by me for people with allergies, asthma, anaphylaxis, eczema and topical steroid withdrawal.
- Lauren Bell who has suffered from chronic eczema since childhood, invented the Cosi Care range of cooling stars, rollers and stop scratching aids. I don’t know what I’d do without my Cosi Care stars.
- Holly, Hannah, Harriet, Lou and Laurie – the girls behind Scratch That, the UK website for topical steroid withdrawal information and awareness.
- Abby Tai, a holistic nutritionist who also hosts the Eczema Podcast.
- Linette Roungchun – Recently featured in Skin on Fire the documentary and co founded The Itch Factor, showcasing the creativity in this community. She is also a tireless advocator for awareness pf Topical Steroid Withdrawal.
- Rakhi Roy – a registered dietitian living with eczema, shares her advice on how to eat in a healthy way that benefits your skin, whether you have eczema or not – Gut Skin Nutritionist
- Merel Van der Ham – Founder of Clover Skincare Fashion, making wonderful, soothing, cooling Lyoncel eczema clothing, including gloves, scarfs and tshirts.
- Michelle Mills – Eczema Coach, helps adults with eczema heal naturally. Follow Michelle on Instagram.
- Raelle Brown – Woke Within Skin, blogs about her eczema journey. She is currently 3 years TSW and share her experiences and helps raise awareness.
- Clare Hart – Host and founder of the TSW Podcast. Topical Steroid Withdrawal success stories, expert advice and community support. Disclaimer: Please note the advice given within the podcast does not constitute individual medical advice, and it is important you discuss your personal situation with a qualified medical practitioner.
- Daisy Malin and Katie Mackie, creators and hosts of the Itch and Bitch podcast and both skin warriors, going through TSW.
- Zainab Danjuma – also know as beezeebuz on instagram has done some brilliant YouTube videos to help people through TSW and especially TSW and having a baby. Check her out on YouTube.
- Claire Oxenham – Author of This is not Eczema, a pictorial portrayal of all the symptoms of Topical Steroid Withdrawal. You can find her on instagram as Theendlessitch
- Hannah Davies – A professional writer who has been running poetry and writing workshops for a small group of topical steroid withdrawal poets and writers. I cannot praise her talent at writing and her amazing skills at teaching and enabling us to spend a few hours creating, using words and exploring the power of poetry to heal. Follow Davieswords_tsw on instagram
- Nina Marshal, was in the Preventable documentary (mentioned above) and is one of the first people many us came across who has healed from TSW. Follow her on instagram as NinaBean
- Olivia Friedman – Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine practitioner who is helping many heal through their TSW journey. You can find here at Amethyst Holistic Skin Solutions.
- Celia French – A last minute addition after the recent unveiling of her absolutely incredible short film, My Life During Topical Steroid Withdrawal. Please watch it. It’s truly outstanding. I felt like she was looking inside my head, and it felt so good to see how I feel and what I’ve been through, and am still going through, portrayed in such a beautiful and heart-breaking way. You can find her on Instagram as MissCecifrench
- Melanie Wieseler – Works at Merakoi, enabling successful patient expert and healthcare industry collaboration. Helping to research and understand Atopic Dermatitis and working with patients to explore the unmet need and emotional toll this condition takes. Follow on instagram.
There are hundreds and thousands of amazing women sharing their eczema and TSW journeys on social media, so a huge shout out to all of you too, but I can’t list you ALL here. Special thanks to Nina Ajdin who helped me brainstorm and hopefully ensure I’ve not missed any shining stars.
Have I missed anyone who absolutely should be on here? When I wrote a blog for Women in Allergy the list grew from 10 to 30 and some of these were your suggestions so please yell if I’ve not included someone who is helping our community!