Red Skin Syndrome: Stop The Suffering

A continual avalanche of new and long-suffering “eczema” patients who have found me over the Internet has prompted me to begin a new website and daily blog. The simple fact is that these patients are unique and identifiable through many simple and time-tested methods. They do NOT have eczema but instead are manifesting symptoms of another kind.

The doctors that these patients have seen believe that they are treating chronic eczema when indeed they do not recognize that their patients have severe vasodilation and redness from the steroids that they themselves are prescribing! Their patients have developed Red Skin Syndrome (RSS) and a topical steroid addiction (TSA) from using the increasing amounts and strengths of the corticosteroids prescribed to help them.

The time has come for eczema societies and physicians to stop exposing these patients to dangerous misguided therapies.

I will dismiss detrimental recommendations, invalid explanations, and other faulty advice and on the part of many physicians.

I will discuss the appropriate methods to make the right diagnosis that will lead to a CURE for Red Skin Syndrome.

The blog will be based on my life experience and medical practice solving the problem of Red Skin Syndrome one patient at a time over the past 35 years. The content of each blog will address a specific topic in the scientific understanding of Red Skin Syndrome and the ordeal of topical steroid addiction that so many patients continue to experience. There will be ongoing commentary on the misdirected myths and the often misguided medical advice and therapies that exist on the topic including raising caution about enlisting patients into new drug studies that are treating the wrong diagnosis and can potentially cause even more harm to patients.

My goal is to end the current tragedy of needless patient suffering. It may take the patient months or even years to recover but the reward is a lasting cure.


  • Red Skin Syndrome
  • RSS (Red Skin Syndrome)
  • TSA (Topical Steroid Addiction)
  • Steroid Addiction
  • Steroid Withdrawal
  • Eczema
  • Atopic Dermatitis
  • Red Scrotum Syndrome
  • Vulvodynia (Painful & burning in the vulvar area of women)
  • Atrophoderma (Thinning of the skin)
Marvin Rapaport is the man!, this group wouldn’t exist without his work, no-one would even be aware of the condition if it wasn’t for his expert knowledgable and dedication… He’s the best dermatologist to go to about this. Should be given a medal for all the suffering he’s ended as a result of his discoveries. No one else understands this condition more than he does.
Douglas Maddy
Thank you from the bottom our families hearts for the work you do and the help you provide Rss sufferers. My daughter is fully healed and would never be living the like she is now with out the Rss community and your involvement in that. Today she turned 7 and has perfect skin and is able to enjoy being eczema free.
Kirsten Lyle
Despite lectures to dermatologists and papers published in the most prestigious Dermatology journals, the mainstream medical community will not accept the concept that it is their medical therapy that causes and promotes Red Skin Syndrome. Instead, they continue to mislabel the disorder and insist that “chronic eczema” is an incurable condition. I am determined through my blog, the media, and the numerous cured patients to take this concept into mainstream thinking.
Listening to my patients, understanding their plight, adhering to the sound tenets of my medical training, and abiding by the wise counsel of my mentors to embrace new ideas is the way to practice good medicine.
The blog will be based on my life experience and medical practice solving the problem of Red Skin Syndrome one patient at a time over the past 35 years. The content of each blog will address a specific topic in the scientific understanding of Red Skin Syndrome and the ordeal of topical steroid addiction that so many patients continue to experience.
My goal is to eradicate Red Skin Syndrome by curing those suffering RSS patients with whom I have personal contact and by spreading this science to all those who are too distant via technology.
The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready, and it may be a long time before they get off.

― Henry David Thoreau

Latest From The Blog

Every three or four days I will publish new commentary on the blog. Drawing on 35 years of experience treating patients suffering with Red Skin Syndrome I will include an array of patient histories, photographs, patient stories in their own words, appropriate comments from the dermatology literature, and details on physicians in the world who understand this problem and are willing to help. I know that you will find yourself and your tale on these pages and I am confident that you will find the cure that will end your suffering. Every patient that I have seen, over 3,000 in 35 years, has been cured or is on the road to recovery. I look forward to this adventure together.

Dupilumab: Further Comments

By | March 28th, 2017|Categories: Dupilumab|

After having cured 4000 plus patients with steroid addiction and Red Skin Syndrome, I feel duty bound to offer sound advice to those still mismanaged suffering patients still floundering in their care. In that regard I look at every new drug offering promise of improvement or cure to these patients. I dissect the quality of the study and tear apart interpretations of the results. Too many times in the past the force of profits from the drug companies and the force of notoriety from the researchers make strange bedfellows and poor protocols and reportage to practicing physicians.

The drug Dupilumab for which a long blog was written and posted a few days ago necessitates deeper criticism and comment. The drug studies have been published in two august medical journals, namely the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD) and the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). Coincidentally the sponsoring drug companies, Regeneron and Sanofi previously in June of 2016 sent out a ‘release to physicians’ that Dupilumab used with topical corticosteroids was superior to treatment with topical steroids alone in long term Phase Three trials. The patients discussed in the release were ‘inadequately controlled moderate to […]

Dupilumab Study

By | March 22nd, 2017|Categories: Dupilumab, RSS Patients|

The following are comments by Marvin Rapaport MD, owner of this website, Red Skin Syndrome, and edited and clearly written by an esteemed writer and journalist, Ruchy Reese, who writes for the monthly magazine, Wellspring.


I am writing in response to an article that appeared in the December 15, 2016 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, entitled “Two Phase 3 Trials of Dupilumab versus Placebo in Atopic Dermatitis.” It is with great concern for the conduct of sound scientific studies, combined with heavy dread for the outcome of patients that will be treated with this drug that prompts me to submit this article for hopeful publication.

As a board certified dermatologist, medical professor, and former head of the Contact and Photo Dermatitis Clinic at UCLA, I have worked with thousands of patients suffering from skin conditions ranging the gamut from psoriasis to seborrheic dermatitis. Through the course of my work with patients, it became obvious that many of the patients diagnosed with atopic dermatitis, were — and still are — misdiagnosed.

Classical atopic dermatitis as described in Rook’s Textbook of Dermatology (1968) presents as the following:
Itching is the cardinal symptom, the lesions consist of discrete papules (prurigo), half the cases clear […]

My Journey

By | March 14th, 2017|Categories: Information on Red Skin Syndrome, Topical Steroid Withdrawal|

Dr. Rapaport,

I recently came across one of the pictures of my Topical Steroid Withdrawal/Red Skin Syndrome (TSW/RSS) journey. It was of my lips – swollen, red, burning, peeling, splitting. Some symptoms were apparent before stopping TS, yet several dermatologists continued to prescribe them, Protopic and Elidel. I also endured probably all of the other TSW symptoms in varying degrees of severity – none of which was mild. The picture inspired me to make this post. For anyone new to this site, you’ll find symptoms elsewhere on it.

As I near the end of this nightmare, I think about the loss of time and opportunities – never to be regained. I consider this to be “theft of life” (although unintentional) due to the ignorant, incompetent and dismissive doctors I saw. I never had eczema or any skin issues in my lifetime, but was misdiagnosed and mistreated for something very minor that spiraled into my addiction to TS and its withdrawal symptoms after I stopped.

Because of physical pain, inability to sleep, being homebound, barely able to endure minimal clothing or even move due to nerve pain and skin tightness, lack of physical activity, emotional distress, and eating junk for comfort that resulted in […]

Persistence in Atopic Dermatitis

By | November 30th, 2016|Categories: Information on Red Skin Syndrome, RSS The Disease, Uncategorized|

November 17, 2016


Bruce H. Thiers, MD

c/o Detra Davis, Managing Editor

Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology

930 E Woodfield Rd

Schaumburg, IL 60173


Re: Persistence of Atopic Dermatitis

To the Editor:


In the recent article “Persistence of Atopic Dermatitis” (Simpson et al – JAAD Oct 2016 V75 N4 p681-687) an analysis of multiple studies and papers from numerous authors discusses the “persistence of AD” with no mention of clinical patterns, therapy used, or symptomatology of the patients.


Rook’s Textbook of Dermatology (1968) (1) describes the clinical presentation and pathology stating, “Itching is the cardinal symptom, the lesions consist of discreet papules (prurigo), half the cases clear up by the age of 18 months, the childhood phase typically involves the flexures of the elbow and knee, lichenification is common, the adult phase manifests itself as essentially similar to that in later childhood with lichenifications in the flexitures, atopic erythoderma is very uncommon.”


In my experience (2) with both children and adults who have ongoing persistent eczema-like eruptions they exhibit:

  1. Wide spread red papules
  2. Symptoms of burning skin
  3. Skin pain
  4. Generalized erythema
  5. Edema and skin oozing
  6. Repeated flares of redness interspersed with totally normal skin periods
  7. Spongiosis on biopsy
  8. Suppression occurs with steroids but symptoms get progressively worse.


None of […]

Letter to Editor of JAAD

By | November 30th, 2016|Categories: Dupilumab, Topical Steroid Withdrawal|


November 17, 2016


Bruce H. Thiers, MD

c/o Detra Davis, Managing Editor

Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology

930 E Woodfield Rd

Schaumburg, IL 60173


Dear Dr. Thiers:

Please review the two enclosed “letters to the Editor” with an open mind. I am appealing to your scientific nature as a doctor as well as to your humanitarianism. Over the last thirty-five years I have diagnosed, managed and cured 4,000 steroid addicted atopic and facial seborrheic dermatitis patients with my withdrawal protocol. All patients had previously been misdiagnosed as having “bad or chronic eczema” and all were treated with ongoing corticosteroids. Tens of thousands of other patients have also successfully withdrawn from steroid usage by themselves with minimal assistance from the internet, support groups, and my personal website. All of them were suffering the severe symptoms of steroid addiction, all completed the withdrawal process, and all were ultimately cured. It is a staggering success but remains unreported and controversial because mainstream medicine refuses to acknowledge that withdrawal from topical steroids is the proven cure for what is mislabeled “bad or chronic eczema.”


Chronic steroid usage changes the history and clinical appearance of atopic dermatitis. The initial diagnosis of atopic dermatitis is a separate identifiable condition from the Red […]

Ethics in Drug Studies

By | November 30th, 2016|Categories: Dupilumab, RSS Patients|

November 17, 2016

Bruce H. Thiers, MD

c/o Detra Davis, Managing Editor

Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology

930 E. Woodfield Rd

Schaumburg, IL 60173


Re: Ethics in Drug Studies

To the Editor:


Dupilumab (JAAD 2016, 75; 506-516) by Simpson et al has three glaring ethical concerns:

  1. Protocol: There is no mention that all subjects are still using the accepted atopic dermatitis therapy of corticosteroids. New drug studies must be pure and not allow other therapies to be considered placebos.
  2. Prior research: There is no mention of prior peer reviewed studies demonstrating that corticosteroids are the cause of almost all ongoing “bad eczema.” What is the ethical burden of authors to mention published data which is at variance with their study?
  3. Results with graphics: The study results cannot be assessed as accurate due to the contaminating inclusion of other medications in the placebo group.


New drugs and their published studies claiming patient benefits require careful

scrutiny regarding protocol, criteria, evaluations and conclusions. Despite institutional review and appearance in peer reviewed journals, criticism and negation of study findings is often still necessary.


Criticisms regarding the above ethical concerns:

  1. The protocol states that topical medication for AD (other than bland emollients) were stopped one week before baseline. A pre-marketing news release by […]