(March, 1999)

Ed's Goof on Deodorant Therapy Report
from Lily F.

YIKES! Miscommunication at its worst! I declare my deodorant experiment a SUCCESS! My patch/lesion on my outer thigh is down to a small barely pink little patch. The spot on my temple is very small and not even pink anymore. My toenails have started to look like toenails (as opposed to the toenails that inspired the monster mash ... [giggles]). My hands are staying barely pinker between the fingers. And my scalp has stopped flaking, though it still itches and burns. My ears have cleared up—except inside—but even there the P has lessened quite a bit. BUT ... the "Rocky Raccoon" look around my eyes has also abated, and I sure did not put deodorant there.

Just read you page and have decided I am VERY fortunate. I had been diagnosed as having skin cancer and had them [the melanomas?] burned off for years, but, upon moving, my general practitioner sent me to a derm who was honest enough to tell me there was NOTHING he could do for me. So I have learned to live with P for the most part (as if I have a choice). When I start to flame I use the Synalar (explained in an earlier email to you) and when I start to itch I slather deodorant on the itchy. THE DEODORANT IS EFFECTIVE..

I am sorry I did not make clear the fact that I feel the deodorant is effective.

Love and Huggles to you Ed and to all you Flakers. -Lily


Ed's Response: Sorry, Lily! We have enough problems proclaiming our wee successes without dolts like me turning the message around. Readers: Lily is reacting to our last-month's correspondence, now in the archives as "Nix the Deodorant Therapy" [see link at end]. In the two previous exchanges (also under "Deodorant" in the Archives) Lily describes her discovery and its continuing positive affect on her P. Several people wrote they intended to try it, but so far I've not received any follow-up e-mail.

Your big BUT in the first paragraph of this e-mail is worth underscoring. When an untreated lesion improves along with treated lesions it's always suspicious, but it might be unwise of us to read too much into it—or NOT to. Readers of my book, Flake: Confessions of a Psoriatic, will recall that I experienced a similar "total improvement" from intralesion steroid injections (even the lesions not injected improved) and, as a result, my derm stopped the procedure for fear the medicine was "systematizing." (Evidently, the type of cortisone used has dangerous side effects if it gets into the blood stream and hence into other tissues.) Steroids not withstanding, fact is our skin is a single organ and its behavior isn't entirely understood (most especially by ME). To think that treatments will remain specific (i.e., have no effect on lesions NOT treated) may be just as silly as thinking they won't. Could be, Lily, that when so much DID improve (because of the deodorant, or because of something else) the improvement "generalized" and those untreated lesions around your eyes simply threw in the towel. Well hell! If the rest of you guys are calling it a day, we might as well, too!

You also say, Lily, "when I start to itch I slather deodorant on the itchy." Could be the deodorant is palliating your lesions by abating the itch. I have personal evidence that, in general, lesions run a course that cycles between waxing and waning. I've concluded this from the behavior of a number of my lesions that don't get treated regularly because they don't itch and I forget they are there. Many times I have noticed that, while recalcitrant flaming lesions are giving me fits—even when being treated with heavy-duty topicals up to three times a day—those lesions that don't itch and aren't being treated AT ALL are improving. To me, this confirms what every derm I've consulted has claimed: Scratching aggravates the lesions. If I could never scratch those bad girls, wouldn't they improve (eventually) on their own, just like the other, quieter lesions? I'd get around to answering that question for myself if I could stop the itch. And, maybe, that's what your deodorant does. Especially if it's "slathered on."

In any event, I stand corrected. Debbie did NOT stop the deodorant therapy because it wasn't working (as I implied in last month's "Nix the Deodorant Therapy"). She stopped the regular applications because she didn't need them anymore. Those of you experimenting ... CARRY ON. -Ed

Nix the Deodorant Therapy

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