My Life During Topical Steroid Withdrawal - A Short Film

Raw, beautiful, honest, heartfelt short film about the lived experience of TSW by warrior Cecillia French. A condition induced by long term use of topical steroids prescribed openly for eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis & various skin issues. Thanks to Cecillia @misscecifrench for her strength & openness & Carlos & Carin @cutfocus team for capturing the reality of living with TSW.


'Sometimes the skin on my body doesn't even feel like me own.
Sometimes dry & scaly, raw underneath.
Sometimes sticky & oozy, but always with a constant feeling of itching & burning that doesn't seem to end.
My skin is in a very raw state. A broken down state. I'm very susceptible to bacteria, infections, viruses.
There isn't a single day I don't itch.
I see life moving forward as i stay still in time. I have a daughter & fiance that I feel like I'm not there for right now.
I'm learning to love myself in every stage of my recovery'.

It is so difficult to convey the deep psychological, emotional, physical pain that we go through during this. The feelings of guilt, shame, anger, inferiority, insanity & hopelessness. For me it was not knowing if there was an end date to the pain. I almost lost the will to live as I was sat at the base of my shower for hours.

'Skin has become so romanticized in our world that any imperfection is up for scrutiny. So to have such a high quality camera reaching into the depths of my insecurities, is to say the least, absolutely terrifying.
I had to really dig deep within myself to pull out the courage I needed to keep going with this project knowing well that I would be putting every bit of my pain for the world to see.

I’m still experiencing the anxiety as we get ready for this release and writing this now. This is more than just about me though, it is about a community of people who have been wronged and are suffering great consequences. It is about bringing light on to something so very dark. It is about opening the doors of discussion and progressing forward in hopes that we can prevent and end this great tragedy. It is about letting our voices be heard'.

I was on steroids for the first 20 years of my life. My skin became addicted to them, reddening, thinning & itching intensely when I stopped. The dermatologists would constantly tell you there were no side effects so long as they were 'used sparingly', yet when I realised ever stronger prescriptions would be given over time. Eventually, I decided to take full control of my health & forget everything the docs. told me so I finally regained hope. I kept a methodical diary of everything touching my skin & ate & I thought if I can overcome this I can help others not go through the living nightmare that this is.

Directed by: Carlos Torres @car1ostorres Karen Torres @carebearcarin from Cut Focus Productions @cutfocus


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