Topical steroid withdrawal TSW campaign launched to raise awareness in eczema and psoriasis sufferers

To raise awareness of Topical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW), bath salt brand Westlab has announced its TSW Awareness Campaign.

The campaign will be targeted towards those who suffer from TSW, including parents and carers of those with the condition.

It has been developed alongside experts to raise awareness of the urgent need for research to aid GPs, pharmacists, and dermatologists in diagnosing and treating their patients safely, while helping prevent the long-term risks of topical steroid misuse.

What is TSW?

Topical corticosteroids, a steroid treatment applied directly to the skin, help reduce inflammation and irritation for conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. When used continuously over long periods of time, the body can become dependent.

TSW refers to the symptoms that occur when a patient reduces or ceases the use of topical steroids, including painful redness, burning, swelling, itching, flaking, and oozing of the skin.

Not only is this extremely painful for the patient, but it can also lead to mental health issues such as depression, insomnia, anxiety, and PTSD. 

What is the TSW Awareness Campaign?

With limited research around TSW and no definitive NHS guidelines for GPs and dermatologists to follow in supporting their patients, one of the main aims of Westlab’s campaign will be  education to help prevent accidental misuse or prescription of corticosteroids.

The campaign will also see Westlab educate TSW parents with digestible bite-size information on managing childhood eczema and psoriasis more naturally, protecting the skin barrier right from the outset of triggers to avoid TSW.

The brand says it will donate 1,000kg of Dead Sea Salts to the TSW community, providing support to those starting on their journey and those who are acutely in need of relief. 

Through expert panels and sponsorship, the brand says it will also dedicate its time and expertise to educate skin care specialists and pharmacists around the UK. 

Westlab's campaign will aim to prevent future generations from experiencing the devastating physical and psychological effects of TSW, says the brand.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that soaking in a salt bath may help reduce the severity of eczema symptoms, particularly in cases of oozing a lot or where secondary infection is common.

Westlab says that their microbiome-gentle Dead Sea Salts help to soothe, protect and repair the skin’s natural barrier, which is essential for eczema, psoriasis and recovery from TSW.

This is thanks to the abundance of minerals within them, in particular magnesium, calcium and potassium.

The news of the campaign comes after the National Eczema Association announced their commitment to raising awareness about TSW in summer 2022 which was followed by

a British Journal of Dermatology article Topical steroid withdrawal syndrome: time to bridge the gap’, with contribution from the Society.

Westlab has advised that it is working on the campaign landing page. We will update the article with the link once we have it. Have any of your clients experienced TSW? What do you recommend to them to help soothe it?