In July 2009, TSW Syndrome sufferer Kelly Palace created the website AddictedSkin.com based on her own topical steroid withdrawal experience. The website featured her story with photos, as well as journal articles by Dr. Fukaya, Dr. Rapaport, and Dr. Kligman. It quickly evolved into an online community of support for those afflicted with Topical Steroid Addiction/Topical Withdrawal Syndrome.
In January 2012, Palace changed AddictedSkin.com to ITSAN.org and filed for nonprofit status with Dr. Marvin Rapaport as co-founder. ITSAN was granted 501 c 3 nonprofit status on February 3, 2012. Dr. Rapaport left ITSAN in June 2013, and Palace continued as ITSAN President until January 2015.
ITSAN has evolved into a vast network network of TSW Syndrome sufferers around the world contributing ideas, funds, and inspiration. ITSAN members and board volunteer many hours per week to help continue to spread the word. ITSAN has been a Member in Good Standing of the Coalition of Skin Diseases since 2014. ITSAN members and board volunteer many hours per week to continue to educate and advocate on behalf of the entire TSWS community.
What has transpired since starting ITSAN is nothing short of a miracle. Beyond my own journey from steroid dependence to recovery, I discovered thousands of people all over the world, from infants to adults, who were suffering greatly from “unknown” symptoms like mine. Their lives had become a living hell. Their doctors diagnosed them with an “incurable” skin condition and they were told that the only relief they could ever have would be temporary, when using topical steroids. In many cases, their topical steroids had stopped working and their skin was getting worse.
Once we each discovered the research articles by Dr. Rapaport, Dr. Fukaya and Dr. Kligman, our answers were in sight. This is a serious, international health problem that needs attention. I encourage you to find out more about Topical Steroid Addiction / Red Skin Syndrome and the devastating effects it can have on one’s health, and to make a donation to ITSAN to help the cause.
– Kelly Palace, ITSAN Co-founder