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Combo Prescript and OTC Regimen Working for Him
from Geoff

Hi Ed.  I'm Geoff from the UK .  I'm 38 and have had mild psoriasis since I was 18 — worst on my scalp and a bit on my legs and hands.  I was always put on coal tar shampoo and body lotion but found them rather ineffective (coal tar seems to work on my feet though).  I've also never had an itch!

I moved to the USA for a couple of years in the mid 90's and found Temovate and Tridesilon 100% effective.  Diprosalic scalp lotion (salicylic acid plus betamethasone) is very effective (100%) on the scalp and, if necessary, the ears etc.

I currently use Dovonex, with which I seem to have about the same success as everyone else on the site, but I'm getting good results actually also applying Vaseline with aloe vera and cucumber 3 times a day.  I use coal tar shampoo twice a week and also Pantene Pro V anti-dandruff (that was a tip from a friend).  So in general my psoriasis is fairly much under control, certainly no flakes but some raised and red skin.  I've recently been getting arthritis in my fingers which is related to the psoriasis.

Anyway I have also recently been diagnosed with a BCC skin cancer on my scalp, which is coming off in a few weeks.  I suspect it's linked to the coal tar shampoo?

Regards. –Geoff


Ed’s Response:  Thanks for this, Geoff.  Sounds like you’ve found the right combination of prescription and over-the-counter palliatives to keep your P manageable.  For most of us, that’s nine-tenths of the battle.  No doubt there will be some readers highlighting some of the stuff you’re using and seeking it out on their own.

And I hope you have the same luck finding a regimen to thwart your PA if, indeed, that’s what’s attacking the joints in your fingers.

Is the skin cancer on your scalp associated with the long-term use of coal tar shampoo?  Well, if you lived in California , there’d be no doubt about that! <wink>  But in those parts of the world where we don’t ‘legislate medical certainty’ there may not be a pat answer.  Lots of people get basal cell carcinoma (BCC) cancer spots on their scalps and DON’T use coal tar shampoos.  What was the likelihood you might have gotten the BCC spots had you NOT used coal tar?  If you never get a BCC anywhere else, the ultimate answer to that latter question may be “unlikely,” meaning, yes, the coal tar shampoo might have triggered the cancer.  But if some time down the road you get one, say, on the back of you hand, or on your shoulder — what does that mean?

Anyway, Geoff, if you never use the coal tar shampoos again I have a feeling you — perhaps more than most flakers — will find an effective alternative.  When you do, will you share that with us, too?  Thanks!  -Ed

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