*Scroll down to enter the giveaway below for a chance to win Dr. Wang’s Eczema Ointment! Giveaway ends April 30th*
I have a new episode for Season 2 of The Eczema Podcast today.
In this episode, we have a special guest from one of the leading cancer centers in the United States.
Meet Dr. Steven Wang, M.D, Head of Dermatology and Director of Dermatologic Surgery and Dermatology at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Basking Ridge New Jersey (which is the leading cancer center in the USA).
Dr. Wang has authored four books, he is a lecturer throughout the country, and he also serves as the chairman of the Photo Biology Committee for Skin Cancer. He also works on the development of a natural herbal healing ointment together with his acupuncturist father in New York City.
Dr. Wang believes that there are several causes of eczema/dermatitis. He believes that it is immune based, but he also believes that there can be genetic issues of the skin barrier on the stratum corneum. Sometimes, the cause can even be a combination of both.
Dr. Wang’s approach on treating Eczema
In treating people with eczema, Dr. Wang believes in a comprehensive and holistic approach that involves looking at the patient as a whole. He believes in looking at the skin, the genetic background, but also the individual’s stress level and work environment – which is different from most dermatologists who only examine the skin topically.
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If you’d like to listen to the audio only version, click below to listen.
Here’s what we cover in the podcast:
[2:01] Dr. Wang’s most fascinating research on eczema
[5:25] How Dr. Wang treats eczema patients
[6:09] How you can treat eczema using a combination of an Eastern & Western approach
[11:37] How Herbs can help in treating eczema
[16:05] How he created an eczema ointment to stop the itching
[20:40] Dr. Wang’s ointment Vs. Steroid creams
[23:53] How Steroid creams work
[25:11] Health effects of steroids
[27:09] Dr. Wang’s opinion on banning steroids
Dr. Wang’s Western and Eastern approach
Eczema is often treated differently depending on whether you take a Western or Eastern approach to it.
For instance, when you go to a dermatologist with eczema (which is a western approach), you will likely be given a prescription of steroids cream to take topically. But, if you go to an acupuncture clinic (which is an eastern approach), they will ask you questions about your daily routine, your stress level, the products you use, your skincare routine, your environment, and much more. They’ll also examine you internally to get a sense of how your body is doing internally. Dr. Wang believes that we need both and it would be effective to fuse both together.
Dr. Wang also provides great advice for eczema sufferers – including:
- Avoid overly hot showers (lukewarm is better)
- Pat yourself dry, instead of scrubbing
- Reduce shower duration
- Put a good moisturizer or oil on after your shower/bath
These simple things can make a huge difference in a patient’s life.
Dr. Wang’s ointment
His work was greatly influenced by his father, who was an acupuncturist and herbalist for forty years in New York City. His father, Gui Wang, LAc, a specialist in Eastern medicine and acupuncture, has treated over 10,000 patients over four decades of clinical career and is the Founder and Director of the New York City Acupuncture Center.
In creating their product, they took a look on the chemical composition of these herbs and found certain herbs with a lot of antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. These herbs were rich in flavonoids and antioxidant.
Dr. Wang, in his research had chosen eight herbs with rich mixture of compounds that interacts with each other with complexity then added with natural wax such as beeswax and special minerals as a barrier function. Surprisingly, the final formulation helped to stop itching.
They did a clinical trial on their Eczema Ointment Natural Repair and found that the herbal ointment had immediate and long lasting effect to help with relief of itch. There was an overall 61% reduction in itch score 5-10 minutes after application (on the other hand, steroid creams can take two to three weeks before the itching lessens).
Dr. Wang’s Ointment vs. Steroid Creams
According to Dr. Wang, the reason why steroids work so slowly at times is because the steroids enter your skin cells and then goes through the nucleus to make your cell immune to itching and inflammation. This process can take 2 weeks sometimes.
Steroids can be effective for treating eczema, but continuous use of steroids over a long period of time may cause thinning of the skin and Topical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW).
Dr. Wang believes that we have to be responsible on how we think about steroids because it also has a lot of good effects on patients with different skin conditions; however, it has side effects like those common medications or drugs that have risk profiles and we had to recognize that.
Enter the giveaway below!
Giveaway ends on April 30th!
BELOW IS THE TRANSCRIPT:
Abby Lai: Hi, guys. Welcome to the Eczema Podcast. Today, I am here with a very special guest. I am here with Dr. Steven Wang, who is the Director of the Dermatologic Surgery and Dermatology at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. The amazing thing about his cancer center is that it’s always been ranked the top one or two cancer center in the United States. Dr. Steven Wang is the director of his dermatology unit, and he’s written four books and over 85 peer reviewed articles and book chapters.
He’s also lectured extensively in the United States and around the world, and he serves as the chair of the Photobiology Committee for the Skin Cancer Foundation. He’s an active board member on the Photomedicine Society and he has an active research program. Now, over the last four years, Dr. Wang has worked with his father, who is also a practicing acupuncturist in New York City. Together, they formulated a natural herbal healing ointment for people with eczema. We will be talking more about this later, but I just want to introduce Dr. Steven to the show. It’s such a privilege to have you, so thank you so much for coming on today.
Dr. Steven Wang: No, thank you very much for inviting me.
Abby Lai: It’s great. You have so much experience and you’ve worked as a dermatologist for over 10 years, so you have a wealth of experience, and I’m excited that you can be on the show and just share your knowledge with all of us who are just yearning to learn more about eczema and treatments that can help it as well. Why don’t we jump right into it? Maybe you can start by telling us some of the most fascinating research that you’ve found so far in eczema.
Dr. Steven Wang: Obviously, eczema is a very, very complicated disease. It’s a multi-bacterial, and some of the current thinking is focused both on immune-based as well as the barrier. Those are two school of thoughts. For a while, people thought that it’s the barrier repair, you need to have a good barrier repair. And the stratum corneum, the most outer surface of the skin, provides excellent, excellent barrier to keep the skin, keep ourselves, from reacting to bacteria, fungus, yeast, as well as allergies.
At the same time, this barrier also regulates temperature, regulates moisture, and it regulates the pH of your skin. So, it’s very important. And in a patient with eczema, there’s either genetic issues with the barrier so that the barrier’s impaired. That’s one school of thought. Another school of thought is it’s really immune based. The immune system is super active or overactive, it reacts to some sort of allergy inside the two people who have a normal immune system, that would not have that kind of strong reactions.
But I think it’s probably the combination of both, and I think that’s why when we’re dealing and treating people with eczema, you really have to think about a comprehensive, holistic approach in looking at the patient. Not only looking at the skin or the genetic background, but you also have to understand their home, and the stress level, and the working environment. You have to look at everything.
Abby Lai: That’s actually really great. I know a lot of dermatologists don’t really look at things from a holistic point of view. It’s great you’re one of the few dermatologists I’ve met that actually really recognize that you have to take into account everything from a holistic point of view.
Dr. Steven Wang: Thank you. And I think I always had this concept. You have to look at the patient as a whole. You’re not looking at an individual disease, a specific sentence, but you have to address the root of the problem. Sometimes, we never know the root of the issues, and eczema is one of the examples. We don’t really know the root of the problem sometimes. We’re doing a lot of research. Also, my outlook is influenced by my father, who is an acupuncturist and herbalist who has been practicing for more than 40 years in New York City.
We’ve been talking about medicine, talking about health, for decades now. His insight in looking at, “How does Eastern tradition treat patient?” And it has had a profound impact on how I look at my patient, how I treat my patient.
Abby Lai: Can you give us an overall idea of how you would generally treat an eczema patient? For example, do you use steroids? Do you use herbs or even acupuncture? Since I know you have a good influence of Eastern and Western medicine.
Dr. Steven Wang: One thing that I like to emphasize is that I’m a dermatologist. We deal with all kinds of dermatological conditions, but my focus is mainly on skin cancer. I’m also a surgeon on dealing with skin cancer. But in my view, eczema has a different range of severities. You have mild cases to extremely severe cases. I think using the combination of East and West, fusing the same holistic treatment is very effective.
For instance, I think if you just come into your regular dermatologist’s office, and they will examine you, and they will usually diagnose if a child or a person has eczema. Naturally, the physician will write a prescription for a steroid cream of different strength, either a lotion, a cream, or an ointment. The doctor is giving the instruction, but they also will perhaps give you a sheet of paper talking about some of the skin care regimen and what you have to do, and that’s it.
But if you turn into the Eastern traditions and some of the naturopathic doctor’s office, and the doctor acupuncture’s office, they cannot usually prescribe steroid cream, but they spend a lot of time in looking at it and asking you questions about, “What is your day to day routine? What’s your stress level? Are you getting enough sleep? What is your skin care regimen? How do you wash your face? How do you take a bath? What kind of detergent do you use? What kind of soap do you use?”
And so, they basically try to get all of that piece of information in place. I think we need both. I think it would be great to fuse that concept together. What I like to do is try to get those information about individual’s lifestyles, because there’s a lot of things a person can do to reduce the frequency of the flare, reduce the severity of flare. For instance in the winter time, you see that a lot. A patient comes in, they have eczema, but the reason for it is the ambient environment. Their moisture content is the household is really low, because they crank up the heat, and now all of a sudden the moisturization content in the household just drops.
Also, because it’s cold and they sit right next to the radiator to try to warm up. That heat also dries up the stratum corneum and strips away a lot of the natural liquids in the skin. All those problems have to be addressed, and it’s not enough to simply write someone a steroid cream, but you have to educate them about using a humidifier and try to turn down the heat as much as you can, and avoid taking really, really hot showers. Don’t take a very excessively long shower. Restrict the shower to maybe 5 to 10 minutes, that’s it. And when they come out of the shower, this is when the skin care regimen can really kick in.
A lot of times, people make a mistake of spending lots of time, 15 minutes, in the hot shower. They feel great. They feel relaxed. But at that time, the skin, the heat, will strip away a lot of the natural liquids and cholesterol ceramides, all of those things that are needed to build the barriers. What they do next is they take a tower and they just scrub themselves, and rubbing it, but that action helps them to reduce the itch, but that doesn’t help you because now you’re creating mechanical trauma, mechanical frictions that further erodes the protective barrier.
Those are the challenges. What I tell my patients, and what we try to do on Dr. Wang Herbal Skin Care blog posts is to educate people about what not to do and what to do. For instance, when you get a shower, as I’ve mentioned before, no hot shower, reduce the duration of the shower, and also just pat yourself dry and don’t scrub, don’t rub, just pat it down. So, you still have a lot of moisture inside on the skin. And then the next important thing is, that’s when you put the medication on, that’s when you put a good moisturizer on.
Simple things like that can make a huge difference in a patient’s life. The challenge also about eczema is this is a chronic condition. This is not a condition that, let’s say I found someone who had skin cancer on their face, I perform surgery, I remove it, the cancer is gone. But in eczema, the problem is let’s say next season, there’s a seasonal change. It becomes a lot warmer and you start to sweat. You have an exam. You’re not sleeping well because your child is waking up in the middle of the night, or your child is waking up in the middle of the night and he is not sleeping well. When you’re not sleeping well, your digestive tract is not working properly.
There’s also those gut connections and the immune system connections. You have all those triggers that will lead to certain flares. And it really requires an eczema patient to be mindful of what his day-to-day action is, and to keep a really, really good skincare regimen.
Abby Lai: What are your thoughts on that? I know you’ve done a lot of research on herbs as well. What are your findings and research on how herbs can help eczema?
Dr. Steven Wang: The herbal research we’re doing is work about almost four years ago now with my father. What we did was we actually looked through a lot of literature, medical literature, mostly from Asia. And looking at how in Asia, what herbs they were using both oral and topical to treat people with eczema. And then at the same time, what we found is that we create these meta-analysis. We created a database of herbs, a lot of herbs, and looking at the data to see how good are those data.
And then what we did was we backtracked and looked at, “What exactly are in these herbs?” And then we looked into the chemical composition and looked at some of the various components of the herbs. To make a long story short, what we found was there are many herbs that have anti-bacteria, anti-inflammatory properties. And because a lot of these herbs have rich flavonoids, rich anti-oxidants, that actually can be very useful to control inflammation.
I’ve done a lot of work with antioxidants in the past, mainly looking at the combination of vitamin C, E, and a resveratrol, other type of photoprotection for photoaging purposes. But then the concept is also very similar. Antioxidants are actually very interesting, because people sometimes think they just need one antioxidant, like a magic bullet, that will figure out and treat their problems. That’s not true. For antioxidants to work really well, you need them to work in concert, in a well-orchestrated manner.
It’s almost like a soloist versus a full orchestra. In fact, there are some vitamins if you give too much of it, like vitamin A, if you give too much of vitamin A, it’s actually very detrimental. A classic example of vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin and it neutralizes all the free radicals that’s coming from the water-soluble phase of the body, whereas vitamin is the liquid soluble, so that basically holds around the membrane of the cell which is filled with liquid.
They actually need both to interact, and work in conjunction. That actually increases the synergy or antioxidant potentials, that actually increases efficacy of that antioxidant cocktail to basically neutralize the free radicals. So now, what does all this have to do with herbs and eczema? The thing that’s interesting to me is that in our research, what we did, we chose eight herbs. And within that eight herbs, there’s such a rich mixture of compounds. We don’t understand exactly how they interact with each other.
So, I think the difference in Western medicine is you extract a single molecule, you refine it, you purify it, and you take that one molecule and you treat the patient. Whereas Eastern philosophy is, because we don’t know what is the best molecule, and we also think what’s happening is you need a cocktail of those molecules to work more effectively, that was the path we’ve chosen. And so, when we created our product in formulating eczema ointment, we sort of stepped back and tried to understand what the Chinese philosophy is, Asian philosophy is, in thinking about eczema.
A lot of it I’m having difficulty to fully comprehend the meaning. For instance, it’s the fire, it’s the heat, and we’re dampening the heat, dampening the fire that you reduce eczema flare. So I don’t really understand exactly what that means, fire in the liver, et cetera. I don’t think that’s a very satisfactory answer. Likewise, I don’t think it’s a very satisfying answer for us to say it’s an immune-based driven process. That’s not the root. That’s why we’re still doing the research. And so, what we do is, we step back and thought about, “What is the fundamental issue with eczema from a Western perspective?” At least, where I can wrap my head in trying to understand it.
Like I explained to you at the very beginning, one is the barrier function. You’ve got a barrier problem. The second is you have an inflammatory condition, an underlying immune system driving the process. And to make matters worse, sometimes you have bacterial infections, and sometimes you have itch that people start to scratch, right? So, what we did was we basically chose the eight herbs that have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial properties, and then used natural wax like beeswax, [INAUDIBLE [00:17:32], and a special mineral, clay mineral, called hectorite which is comprised of a lot of rich minerals in there as a barrier function.
So, we thought to treat this, it’s almost like rational design and trying to figure out how to tackle this problem. And so, we work really, really well. What we didn’t expect was that a cocktail in this final formulation we’ve put together was actually able to stop itching. That was a big surprise.
Abby Lai: Like in your clinical studies that you did? You found that it stopped itching?
Dr. Steven Wang: It was actually very interesting because when you do an experiment, when you do things, you have a hypothesis. You think this is why this is happening, you do this, and you try to see results. What we did was, we had a pretty high confidence in thinking about our eczema ointment, that this formulation we created, can actually help people with eczema flare and rebuild their skin and everything else and heal their skin.
Not heal, you can’t say heal, but it’s like the moisturizer to help them to get recovered. And what was surprising was when we asked people, “How do they like it?” A lot of those people who used the stuff in the beginning keep telling us it stopped itching. We didn’t really believe them because when we looked in the herbs, when we looked at our formulation, we didn’t really see anything we had in there that had anti-aging properties.
So when people keep telling you all of this, you start paying more attention. That’s why it’s good to be conditional researchers because your patients are telling you things. But what was most striking was, I had a colleague who had really bad bee stings on the hand. And over the weekend, her hand just blew up, it was itching, we were seeing patients together and she was just itching and miserable. And so, I offered her some of the ointment. Initially, she was like, “Nah, I don’t need your stuff.”
She’s like, “I don’t know what you’re having, but I don’t want it.” But what’s funny was, 10-15 minutes later, she came back to my office because at that point she was just so miserable. She was like, “Okay, just give it to me. Let me try it.” And so, she did and she put it on, and we were also talking about another patient, this healthy [INAUDIBLE] another patient. We’re sharing what’s going on. By the time we finished discussing another patient, she was about to leave the room, and she turned to me and she goes, “You know what? My hand stopped itching.”
So, that was almost the critical observation we made. Just because people are telling you things, you don’t believe it as much until you see it with your own eyes, right? So that’s when we started a small study looking at people with eczema, psoriasis, even mosquito bug bites, and we measured how effective that was.
Abby Lai: Do you actually have your product on hand right now that you can show on the video?
Dr. Steven Wang: Sure. I don’t know if it will show through.
Abby Lai: Yes. We can see it, for people who are watching the video, they’ll be able to see.
Dr. Steven Wang: This is our little box, and the brand, and product. So, we’ve been [INAUDIBLE [00:21:03] because we started launching the company and selling the product in January of this year, early January, mainly because we were initially going to just write a paper and be done with it. But a lot of our patients keep asking us where to buy it, so that’s how we [INAUDIBLE [00:21:26].
Abby Lai: So Dr. Wang, do you think that your product with the combination of herbs to stop itching can possibly be more effective than using steroids on the skin? Because from personal experience, I found that steroids haven’t been too useful, at least for myself. I know when I use it, I didn’t find any benefit and I didn’t really find that it helped my skin heal.
Dr. Steven Wang: I think you ask really good questions. Obviously, I don’t know the full answers without doing a head-to-head test. I think the only way you know it is – I think that’s something that we are planning on to do. That is, you find an individual with eczema that has, let’s say on both sides of arms, they all have itchy rash. And you ask the patient how itchy it is on the left side versus the right side, and then we put a steroid cream on the left side, and our cream on the right side and ask them, and just get them to simply score an itchiness scale.
But I can share with you, people would use our ointment. A lot of them actually on the website actually would come back and tell us on their review that it really helped with itching almost instantaneously. And so, that’s a good observation that we made. And so, we know a small sample of clinical study that we did, we saw that. And also in real life setting, getting feedback from people. So, that’s good. Now, I used steroids for other conditions and for eczema in the past. I don’t think steroids is very effective in stopping itching right away.
Here’s a reason why: Itch is also a very complicated and neurological nerve system, and it requires different fibers on the nerve that basically have a focal area that flares up, and that sends a signals, the afferent fibers, sends a signal back to your spinal cord, eventually reaching to your brain cortex, and then sends back, et cetera. It’s a very complicated kind of physiological system. And steroid actually doesn’t work that fast. In order for steroid to work, the molecule has to get into the skin and then actually then have to get into the cell, pass through the cell membrane, get into the cytosol, which is the cell, and then you have to finally get into the nucleus of the cell to shut down the entire inflammatory pathway.
The way steroid also works is it has to bind to a certain nucleus, the gene transcription. So, it takes a couple of weeks. It takes two to three weeks for the steroid action to sort of…
Abby Lai: So, you’re supposed to use it for two to three weeks before you see results?
Dr. Steven Wang: Yeah. So, that’s why when people using steroid cream and steroid lotion, you put it on in one day for eczema and you don’t see any results, right? You don’t see anything. You got to use it for a period of time, because that’s when you give the medicine enough chance to work, but you have to shut down and stop the inflammatory transcription factor. And the nucleus, the DNA in the nucleus, transcribed into messenger RNA. mRNA basically transcribed into protein, protein basically starts having effect on the body, and the peptides causes inflammatory reactions.
And so, the steroid doesn’t lock those peptides. You have to actually go all the way down to the nucleus and shut down that entire production pattern. That’s why it takes two to three weeks before it works. That’s why I think I agree with you that you say you put steroid on and you don’t see the itch right away or for two to three weeks. And so, that is a physiological reason, a logical reason, why steroids don’t work as fast.
Abby Lai: I always thought you shouldn’t use steroids for a long time, like more than a couple of weeks.
Dr. Steven Wang: Here’s actually a very, very interesting discussion about “How do we use steroids?” A steroid is a very common prescription for treating a lot of skin conditions, ranging from eczema, to lice, to poison ivy, and a lot of those conditions. And when used correctly, when used in the right appropriate amount of time, it is needed. There are some times you just need those things to shut it down. But at the same time, I think there are a lot of patients, especially moms, who don’t want to use steroids for a long period of time on their kids for one reason or another.
I think that is why we are getting the feedbacks from, because this product is not a treatment for eczema, but it’s really a moisturizer that happens to have all of those great properties and is designed specifically for people with eczema. And a lot of the folks and mothers, even people who have eczema, they bought our product, what they found is it helps them reduce itch, so they don’t have to scratch, they don’t have itch. And so, they’re provided a sense of comfort.
I think itch is a big, big problem with eczema. And also, you create this natural barrier, and you sort of allow the skin to sort of heal from the inside out. I think that’s all very, very important.
Abby Lai: But what are your thoughts on topical steroid withdrawal?
Dr. Steven Wang: Honestly, I have been learning about this over the last nine months or so. What is really interesting was, I did not know about this entity until about nine months ago. It was actually very interesting because one of the customers who bought our product and wrote to us and told us that they had eczema, topical steroid withdrawal syndrome. Prior to that, I did not know this problem. I connected with the International Topical Steroid Withdrawal Network, and I spoke to Joey VanDyke who is the chair, and the president, and a lot of other members.
And then I also had a chance to just go on to their website and look at their posts, look at their history, look at the pictures, look at all the issues. It was quite of a learning experience, and it gave me far more respect to think about how should we prescribe steroids and what should we [INAUDIBLE [00:29:02]. First of all, we do not know the prevalence of this disease, meaning “How common is topical steroid withdrawal?” The reason why I say this is because you have tons and tons of dermatologists and physicians who are constantly prescribing steroids over decades for thousands and hundreds of thousands of patients over a long period of time.
The only thing we’ve been told in medical school, and residency, everything, is that chronic use of steroid can cause thinning of the skin, and can cause flushing of the blood vessels on the face, and some people have steroid allergies. Those are the known side-effects. But when you started reading about the folks on the topical steroid withdrawal group and they have hair loss, they have cataract, they have osteoporosis, they have swelling of the lymph node, they have shedding of the skin, their skin completely breaks open, it is a serious problem.
And the problem is, I think we may not be able to recognize it. That’s because I think this disease may not be as common. So as a result, physicians don’t see it, right? And this individual physician let’s say sees 5,000 patients a year, and if you have, let’s say, let’s just make up some number that the incidence of the disease is like [1:10]0,000 or something like that. So, that patient may not come to the doctor’s office, so that doctor will be prescribing steroids for a long time, may not recognize it and may not see it, right?
That’s the power of the internet, because you have support groups, and they all talk to each other. All of a sudden now, you’ve got this group of people who have similar symptoms, similar presentations, similar issues. And now, for dermatologists for us and for researchers, now we can look at them and say, “Okay, now, what exactly is going on?” We need to pay more attention to it. We need to understand it better.
And I think this is at the beginning phase, and I think a lot more work is needed. But at the same time, I want to step back. I also want to say that we also have to be very responsible about how to think about steroids. Steroids is very, very effective for a lot of patients, for a lot of conditions. And at the same time, we know that it has potential side-effects. We have to balance that.
Every drug, every medication has risk profiles, and we have to recognize that. So, that’s also very important. You can’t just say, “We have to ban steroids.” Because if you do that, a lot of patients will suffer and they will take away a very effective tool for us to treat a lot of skin conditions.
Abby Lai: I know you’re a good friend of Dr. Peter Lio, who I interviewed in another podcast, and he had a very similar outlook and approach as well. Do you have any words for what patients who are going through topical steroid withdrawal can do or even what they can… Because I know that a lot of dermatologists are still not on board with it, and that can be very frustrating as well.
Dr. Steven Wang: I think first thing, join the ISTAN group, itsan.org. They have some great, great members who have gone through the process, who have recovered, who are in the process of recovering. They’re very nurturing, they’re very supportive with each other, and they provide enormous amount of great resources. First thing to do is join that group and seek out. I understand exactly what you’re saying, because it can be frustrating.
As a patient who is suffering from this problem, and a lot of them may be presented initially with just red rash all over the whole body, they’re itching, they’re miserable, they can’t sleep, they’re scratching, their skin is falling off, and they’re exhausted, either because their immune system has gone awry, they’re not getting enough sleep, they’re not getting enough food, they’re over stressed; all of those compounding problems, adding them together, making people feel they’re alone, right?
And sometimes, it causes enormous amount of strain in the family as well. And you try to find help, you try to seek help, and a lot of healthcare professionals they don’t understand it and they don’t see it. And so, no one is able to give you the best course of action of how to go about it. You also feel alone.
So, that’s why I think joining that group, and just the mere fact hearing that you’re not alone and you have a supportive group of people, and also a very encouraging group of people who have gone through that process and come out in the end fully recovered, that’s also very inspiring. So, that’s number one.
Number two is, I think it’s difficult, but I think you have to work with your physicians. You have to somehow educate the physicians about this entity. You have to do so in a respectable manner, of course. There is a really good paper that’s published in JAAD that’s sponsored by the National Eczema Association. Peter was actually one of the core authors on that paper. I highly recommend you get that paper, print it out, even just bring it to the doctor’s office and say, “Hey, can you entertain the possibility of whether or not I have this problem?”
Abby Lai: What is the paper about? Is it topical steroid withdrawal?
Dr. Steven Wang: Yeah. I actually have to look it up, but we actually have it on our blog post for people to download that article.
Abby Lai: Maybe you can send it to me and I’ll include it in the blog post so people can download it.
Dr. Steven Wang: I can send you exactly that. We actually wrote a blog post about exactly how do you have the dialogue with doctors and I think we created that link for people to download that paper.
Abby Lai: Okay, that would be very helpful. I know we’re running out of time, but I was wondering if you have any last words of advice for people suffering from eczema and things that they can do about it?
Dr. Steven Wang: Yeah. I think there’s a few thoughts I have. One is obviously, eczema is a chronic condition with a wide range of severity. There are people who have mild type, dry skin, and I think that can be definitely controlled with a good skin care regimen, occasional use of topical steroids, [INAUDIBLE [00:36:33].
But I have to emphasize, it’s how you go about your life and the day-to-day life. That’s very, very important. Pay attention to what you’re doing. What are the stress factors? Are you getting enough sleep? What are you eating? What kind of diet are you having? Those are the type of things that’s very, very important, because this is a chronic condition.
Now, on the other end of it, for people with extreme conditions, steroids are not helping, skin care regimen is not helping, you tried all kinds of food avoidance and you tested yourself with all kinds of allergy tests, it’s not helping. Help is on the way. We are on an era of incredible discovery where we have some of the great new biological medications to treat people with eczema, and I think a lot of the eczema sufferers will find great relief from those medications.
And I think also just folks like yourself who have suffered from eczema, I think it’s wonderful how you guys also were grouped together and educating each other. As a physician, we have the knowledge on the medical aspect, but we have not suffered through that whole process. We write about it, we research about it, but it’s really powerful to see folks like yourself, who have gone through the process, who have actually live experience of how to deal with this and sharing with everybody else, that is very, very powerful.
And also, look at some of our content from our website, and what we try to do to educate people, and also look at your website and look at National Eczema Association’s website. Learn as much about this disease as possible, and don’t give up, don’t get discouraged. I think it’s a manageable condition. It just requires some patience and persistence, unfortunately.
Abby Lai: Thanks for your last words. That’s very helpful for sure. I just want to emphasize to people who are listening again, that you do have a product out, and it’s an herbal product that you formulated and that you talked about in this episode. So if people are interested in purchasing this product, where can they get it?
Dr. Steven Wang: They can just simply search. It’s on our website, drwangskincare, and it’s actually my last name is pronounced Wong but it’s spelled Wang, W-A-N-G. So it’s www.drwangskincare.com.
Abby Lai: Okay, and I’ll include a link in the description as well, so then you can easily search for it. I think there’s a promo code as well that we’ll include for people who are purchasing it. So thank you so much, Dr. Wang for coming on the show. It was great to have you, and I’m sure people learnt a lot. If people want to get in contact with you, should they go on that same website?
Dr. Steven Wang: Yes, they can. It’s the same website. There’s the email on there, so there’s info@drwangskincare. Unfortunately, we cannot provide any medical diagnosis. We just provide education on our website, and that’s the only caveat. And I will be sure to send you that link for that specific article published in JAAD that talks about topical steroid withdrawal syndrome.
Abby Lai: Okay, that would be great. Thank you so much again for coming on the show.
Click my eBook links below to learn more about how you can heal your skin:
- The Elimination Diet: A Guide to Conquer Eczema & Food Sensitivities
- Healing Eczema: Why Dieting Is Not Enough
- The Power of Thoughts: How Mindset Shifts Can Help Eliminate Eczema
- My Detailed Eczema Healing Treatment Plan
Abby is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who helps clients achieve optimal health. She is passionate about seeing people use health and nutrition to transform lives. She hopes that her experiences and knowledge can help educate others on natural remedies that will help eczema. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or YouTube for more updates!
Disclaimer: All the information found on this website should be used for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace proper medical advice. Always consult a qualified health care provider before embarking on a health or supplement plan.