Communications (December, 1997)

Skin Capless in Sydney
by Andrew

Gidday Ed. I live in Sydney, Australia and am just browsing the net looking for something to relieve my psoriasis. It is such a piss-off I am at a loss as to what to do. Recently I bought some Skin Cap and for the first time in 15 years it disappeared, only to find that I can no longer get any due to an FDA ban.

I also work in television as a videotape editor here at ABC. I don't know how you or anyone else copes with this problem as I have never met or know of anyone with Psoriasis, but you mentioned a Saran Wrap that helped you. Does that help?

By the way I only have Psoriasis on my elbows and knees and behind the ears and it drives me to despair. Anyway thanks for listening. Regards, -Andrew

*****

Ed's Reply:

I wasn't aware that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration's ban on Skin Cap was inhibiting its distribution in Australia. Were you getting your supply from the U.S., or did UK or Australia follow suit in banning Skin Cap? In any case, for your elbows and knees you might try getting the clobetasol propitionate through Glaxo Dermatology as "Temovate" ointment. (In the U.S. this requires a prescription.) That's what I used under my Saran Wrap occlusion with good results.

However, my derm says don't use Temovate behind the ears. His reasoning has to do with the potency of the steroid and the thinness of the scalp back there. The steroid is more likely to penetrate the dermis, get into the bloodstream and systematize if applied in thin-skinned areas like the scalp. My derm doesn't like using prescription corticosteroids of any strength on the head, but allows me to use weak ones—e.g., Westcort or DesOwen (desonide cream) behind my ears on my face lesions. For the rest of the scalp he prescribes a concoction called "scalp cocktail" which is a witches' brew of coal tar derivatives and salicylic acid bound into some sort of gelatin that I apply thickly at night and occlude under a shower cap.

Good luck! -Ed

PS - Try not to shed flakes into the electronics. Flakes gum-up the works!

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