By Liana Jacob
THIS YOGA TEACHER who suffered from eczema so severe she was driven to attempt suicide after strangers called her a ‘leper’ has now transformed her skin by ditching steroids and switching to a plant-based diet instead.
Yoga teacher and freelance graphic designer, Josephine Raneses (29), based in Manila, Philippines, was just four-months-old when she was diagnosed with severe eczema. She has been on and off various antibiotics and steroids to mask the symptoms.
Despite trying out all doctor-prescribed medicines, Josephine was told by her dermatologist that she could be inflicted with this skin condition for the rest of her life. She felt like a ‘prisoner’ in her own skin for years and was mocked by strangers, who labelled her a ‘leper’, ‘dirty’, ‘shameful’ among other names.
Her depressed state lead her to have suicidal thoughts and she attempted to end her life three times, until she found a natural method for healing. She began treating her eczema naturally on the Medical Medium protocols, founded by Anthony William, who channels Spirit’s information, and a whole-foods plant-based diet. Since she implemented this new lifestyle, her skin has transformed and has described her recovery process as ‘life-changing’.
“I was diagnosed with severe eczema since I was four-months-old and have been haunted by it for almost twenty-eight-years,” Josephine said.
“I have been on and off all kinds of antibiotics and steroids ever since and my family and I invested so much time and money jumping through hoops from doctors to allergists to specialists.
“I have been pumped full of useless drugs and topical steroid creams that would clear my skin up overnight but worsened in the long term.
“I was a glorified lab rat under the mercy of arguable information. A dermatologist once said: ‘you should just get used to it because this is how you will live the rest of your life.’
“Living with eczema is horrendous, it’s agonising, humiliating and very deeply traumatising. I’ve grown accustomed to the odd looks and have become privy to the close-minded and ignorant comments here and there.
“I’ve been called a leper, dirty, shameful, you name it. But for the most part, it was due to a lack of information and understanding on the topic.
“Imagine living your life in constant isolation and fear of the outside world. My face, body and extremities would split, ooze, bleed, weep, crust over, flake and itch.
“My finger nails fell off and I went weeks without showering because the water felt like acid burning my skin. I hid at all costs from ever being fully seen and averaged one to two hours sleep on a ‘good’ night.
“The remainder of my time awake, I cried. I looked and felt like a monster. The ‘invisible’ symptoms were by far worse.
“I was an anxious, chronically fatigued, deeply depressed, socially withdrawn shell of myself. Living in fear of my pain.
“I remember wearing thick woolly tights and jumpers to school in the peak of summer to hide my weeping, oozing eruptions.
“The lack of sleep hindered my focus to study, lack of study caused stress which only further exacerbated my skin and on that vicious cycle went. Luckily, my school were very understanding of my situation and let me resit the exams.
“I would occasionally consider taking a blade to my skin in attempt to shave off the excruciating layer of skin, like descaling a fish. Like I said, I felt like a monster and acted the part. This is what topical steroid withdrawal can do to your soul.
“Like it hurts to talk, but you want to communicate. Like you want to move but are paralysed in your own skin. Like you can’t access thoughts but can’t stop overthinking. Like it hurts to eat but you’re hungry as hell.
“Like you want to get up and be doing things but are trapped in your own body—held hostage by your illness.
“It has given me a new lease of life, in that I am actually able to live it now. This new found-freedom in my skin and body has me feeling like, well, me again.”
Josephine describes the severe side effects when she quit and withdrew from all steroids; both topical ointments and internally, tropical steroid withdrawal (TSW), and what a difference it has made to her life since she began healing the natural way.
“I’ve experienced the god-awful effects of this poison first-hand and do not wish it on anyone. On top of the severe chronic eczema, my long-term steroid use spurred on a slew of other hormonal health issues,” she said.
“From chronic fatigue to nerve pain and suicidal tendencies and brain fog. Just a quick glance over at the TSW or Topical Steroid Withdrawal hashtags on Instagram will be reason enough to quit cold-turkey.
“I have now been treating my eczema naturally on the medical medium protocols and a whole food plant-based lifestyle. I am very much still healing and reversing almost three decades of liver and skin damage.
“Yes, eczema is an issue that stems from the liver and is caused by the Epstein Barr Virus — I credit and am forever indebted to Anthony William for this life-changing, and in my case life-saving, information.
“My eczema, for the most part, is triggered by highly inflammatory foods such as; grains (gluten), eggs, refined sugar, canola oil, pork, corn and MSG (preservative and natural flavouring).
“Consuming an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables and avoiding (the aforementioned) foods that feed viruses and pathogens in my body has been a game-changer.
“These high vibrational living foods keep flares at bay due to inflammation having subsided in my body.
“Prayers and meditation have been a huge part of my transformation — because what we feed our minds is equally, if not more, important.
“Fellow skin warriors, you don’t need to be ‘fixed’ because you are not broken. Sometimes we just need to be seen, heard and met wherever we are right now.
“I see, hear and feel you, warriors. You deserve to heal too and live your best life. I want my story to remind anyone currently in the midst of the itchy hell that is eczema, that healing is possible, and it is within your reach without the need for steroid dependency.
“I spent many years in solitude, internalising my condition, frustrated with feeling like I’m dragging behind in life and just ‘merely existing’ — while everyone else is swiftly moving forward and cruising by.
“Please know this: you are not here to just merely exist. The fact that you’re still here, hopeful to find answers, means you have a chance to change things.”