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Another Dermatovate Enthusiast
from Oscar G.

I just caught on to your site.  I have read a lot of the stories and I can relate. Thanks, Ed, for sharing the knowledge and experiences.  I'm sure most of your visitors and readers are as appreciative.

Here's my story.  I have a mild case of P and it appears on my elbows, knees, and ankles.  I scratch my head often, so maybe I also have a mild case there.  I first noticed it on my elbows back in 1981, when I worked in L.A.  Went to several visits with one doctor (costly, but thank God for insurance).  He said it was stress related, and if I learned to deal with the stress it, the P, should go away.  He also prescribed an ointment that was very expensive and worthless (didn't do a bit of good).  I quit using the ointment, and simply just lived with the itching and scratching for a couple of years, or so. 

I moved to San Diego in '83.  Shortly, thereafter, I got tired of the itching and scratching (sounds like the cartoon show in "The Simpson's," doesn't it?), and decided to visit a doctor there.  This doctor was much more knowledgeable, and much less expensive (don't you just love that kind of doctor?).  He diagnosed my P and asked me if I had any problem using an ointment that had not been FDA approved.  I said I had no problem, as long as he knew it worked and was OK with it (medically).  He recommended "Dermatovate," and told me I could get it in TJ (Tijuana).  He said it was inexpensive (it cost me $4.75 at the time) and that I could cross the border with it with no problem.  He told me to apply it over the entire P area (the area on my elbows was approx. 1" by 1"), in a generous amount, and then cover it with a piece of plastic ("Baggie") so it wouldn't rub off, and/or cause a mess.  I got some, did as he said, and it worked just fine after a few applications. 

The funny thing is a few months later the P came back.  This time on my ankles.  So there I go again.  I still had some of the wonderful ointment left and began applying it to my ankles.  It went away again, but shortly thereafter, it came back again, to my elbows.  I've been doing this for years now and don't pay too much attention to it.  I would like to know, however, if any of your readers have experienced something similar, and if so, what is recommended.  Thanks Ed.  –Oscar G.

*****

Ed’s Response:  Well, Oscar, I’d wager a few million flakers have experienced something similar.  You just described my first ten years with P.

Check out Dermatovate in the U.S.?, from Jim M. 

Searching again today I learned no new information, but I did discover something interesting.  When I searched on “Dermatovate” directly from the Internet Explorer address field I received links to Spanish language GlaxoWellcome sites.  When I searched through Yahoo! I got one of those site links again.  So, going directly to www.glaxowellcome.com, I thought I’d search on Dermatovate and find anything available in English — which ended up being nothing.  In fact, that search said there was nothing containing that word, but that I should try “Dermovate,” which yielded information about a topical drug based on clobetasol propionate (a corticosteroid used in several products for the treatment of psoriasis).  I’m not sure what’s going on.  If the product you are using is really “DermATovate” it may be a Dermovate knock-off, or it’s simply a Mexican version of the drug, which would explain the Spanish language GlaxoWellcome web.  The other curious thing is the price you say you pay for your supply — $4.75 for an unknown quantity.  In the U.S., a 60-gram tube of Temovate ointment (presumably the same drug as Dermovate) costs between $60 and $70.  With no more information that would certainly make me question whether or not “DermATovate” is what I think it is.  Might it be diluted version of Temovate, which is GlaxoWellcome's prescription strength version of clobetasol propionate in the U.S.?

In any case, it is a topical, and that’s why it’s working for you for awhile, but not always.  I've yet to find or hear about a topical that works forever.

That your P is cropping up in new areas is also not unusual.  For many that is the normal progression of the condition.  In my case, after many years of similar experience, it appeared that all those places on my body that were going to get P had gotten it at some time or another.  It has been years now since I have detected a “new” lesion, but old ones wax and wane — sometimes I think that waxing and waning is mitigated by my therapies (which always have been topical potions, plus or minus other things), and at other times I think I am just wasting my time.

So climb aboard Oscar, you’re a member of the club.  And if you learn any more about “Dermatovate,” please share it with us.  -Ed

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