Hosts event to raise funds for International Topical Steroid Addiction Network
By Meagan McGone
INDIALANTIC - After suffering from a mild case of eczema, or skin inflammation, Kelly Palace, an Indian Harbour Beach-based Realtor, was prescribed a topical steroid that cleared it right up after two days.
After a month of continuing to use the ointment, an addiction settled in.
Her body became more dependent on the steroids, which kept getting stronger with more trips to dermatologists, and the eczema, which was once only present around her eyes, spread to her hairline, upper lip and chin, and eventually, her entire body.
"Life was miserable for me," Ms. Palace said in a personal story she posted online to chronicle her recovery. "As an active athlete, each run or swim caused my skin to go crazy, so I stopped working out for the first time in my life."
In 2009, a renowned Los Angeles-based dermatologist, named Dr. Marvin Rapaport, gave Ms. Palace the answer she was searching for: she was suffering from Red Skin Syndrome, which can be severely painful and cause intense itching, due to a cortical steroid addiction.
"My skin had become addicted to all the bad topical creams and oral and systemic corticosteroids that I had been prescribed and used for two straight years," Ms Palace said.
Today, Ms. Palace's eczema is almost completely nonexistent. Along with Dr. Rapaport, she co-founded the International Topical Steroid Addiction Network to prevent and treat topical steroid addiction and withdrawal for people who may suffer from the same challenges she faced.
"The organization's main effort is to reach eczema patients with information about the correlation between topical steroids and worsening eczema," Ms. Palace said in a press release.
The organization also aims to change the labels on topical steroids so patients can be better warned, as well as find alternative treatment options for patients that include more monitoring and a less painful withdrawal process.
On Sunday, Aug. 19, at 8 a.m., a "Beach Mile-Mile" fundraiser to benefit the International Topical Steroid Addiction Network will be held at Nance Park in Indialantic and will include a 1-mile ocean swim and a 1-mile beach run. Prices for the event vary from $29 to $65 and 100 percent of the proceeds go to the nonprofit charity. Race day registration will be accepted.
For more information, visit www.ITSAN.org.