jsl123 I do not mind any questions. I posted my findings to definitely try to help others. I honestly thought I was a lost cause with my EC. I was so damn desperate that I was trying almost anything. It wasn't until I dove heavily into my research that I thought about using a timed release form of probiotic.
To answer your questions...
1) I feel I am not 100% cured because I have always suffered from chapped lips. Even when I was a little boy. My lips used to burn and chap so badly that I used to get a ring around the vermilion area of the lips. I just think that I was born with something that causes my lips to chap or dry regardless of whether it is EC related or not. However, I know that it is not contagious.
2) What I mean about using the Bepanthen cream is that, if I feel a bit of dryness or discomfort in my lips, I will dab on a little bit of the Bepanthen. I probably do this like 5 or 6 times in a month and it is just a very light coating of it. I bought some empty lip ointment tubes on Amazon.com and filled one with the Bepanthen to take it with me if ever I needed it. I really feel that it is the best lip moisturizer for me because I truly neither see nor feel any side effects from using it and my lips respond very well to it too.
3) Believe me when I say that I can do ANYTHING with water or liquids and nothing on my lips turns white. Even rigorous kissing is not an issue at all. :-)
4) This is a good question. I have complete elasticity back in my lips. Nothing feels tight as if stretching skin around a scab kind of tight so, I know exactly what you mean.
5) I can't really say that for certain because I was trying a lot of things but, in a couple of weeks I saw some changes that I thought were just a fluke. It wasn't until I was into the first month or two that I began using the probiotics is when I started believing that something great was finally about to happen. I did do the Hulda Clark 18 day parasite program but I still had EC long after I completed it.
6) Let me tell you that my stress levels have NOT reduced at all during or after healing. If I had to paint a scenario I can say that I was pretty much "cured" on a battlefield. I am a truck driver and honestly? I can't remember a time where I have been so stressed out in my entire life. I get so stressed out on the job that I get chest pressure and I can feel my blood pressure shooting up through the roof because my face feels flush. It isn't driving the truck that is stressful it is the complete and total idiocy of the things other drivers do around me that just pisses me off to the point that I get that way. I am working on a career change even though I do like driving an 18 wheeler and get paid well to do so but, I just can't see myself doing that until my retirement years. I have always had a brain but sometimes I was afraid to use it. It's a little complicated in that regard.
7) I can't give you a definite time period of the course of my healing because I didn't believe anything was happening but, I did notice that something was up after about two weeks. It wasn't until a couple of months that I was seeing things like no morning white slime, no white lining in the mucosa of my mouth upon after using the probiotics. I now take the same probiotics when I remember to take them just for good overall health, not because I need to for something in particular like EC.
8) I did not touch my lips at all during the whole process. If anything fell off it might have been while I was brushing my teeth or taking a shower but I did not peel or scrub my lips at all. They actually looked like they were raw but I felt that wasn't the case when I saw the grooves in the skin of my lips returning and they weren't burning. When my lips were raw and red there were no grooves or texture to the skin of the lips. I also noticed red inflamed blood capillaries inside the mucosa of my lips that I just don't see anymore. I used to shine a neutral white LED flashlight on my lips in order to try to see a little bit beyond the mucosa and into the redness. I would be able to see little red "veins" in the mucosa that I could only define as hyperkeratosis (inflammation) that was always confirmed from my biopsies. I no longer see that now.
I tried to reintroduce traditional toothpaste back into my personal hygiene practices and have noticed that my lips turn pretty dry after using it so, I think I am done using any form of regular toothpaste if it isn't the Tom's of Maine one. I was a little worried about not using fluoride but, I technically still am because I rinse my mouth with tap water after I brush and the tap water in NY is fluoridated. I guess I will get the full scoop after my next dentist check up to see if my teeth are going downhill or not. One of the hygienists in the office is always complimenting my teeth so, I don't think I have a reason to worry.
Hope I was able to answer your questions in detail.