(May, 1999)

Antibiotic and Antifungal Therapy?
from Brenda H.

I enjoyed "Don't Say This." I have been a flaker for many years (hate the term, but it does fit). I have tried all the usual herbal remedies and prescription ointments. The most recent is Exorex. I have seen a bit of fading but no clearing of my "spots." I have in the past and recently received penicillin injections (2.5 million units—ouch). This has been the most effective for me. The thought being that P is caused by the strep bacteria. The lesions do return after awhile and I am concerned about becoming resistant to the antibiotic. I also had very little success with the antifungal meds. Just a thought—are you aware of any studies of P as a physiological defense mechanism—a coat of armor of sorts? Sounds crazy, I'm sure. There must be a psychological connection. Thanks for your writings and obvious empathy. -Brenda H.

*****

Ed's Response: Hello, Brenda. Given your treatment history with prescription ointments I am surprised—but pleasantly so—to learn Exorex is having a positive (even if not monumental) affect on your P. It must be the banana extract. I don't know of any prescripts that contain it.

I've never heard of megadoses of penicillin for P. P flares have been associated with infections, including the strep bacteria, and if you have a persistent or recurring problem with strep I can understand the megadoses of penicillin for THAT.

Neither antibiotics nor antifungal meds are treatments specific to P—at least not that I'm aware of. The antibiotics may combat infections that trigger P, and fungus problems can create skin reactions that look like P but aren't. For toe and finger lesions especially, fungus should be quickly and easily ruled out ... or quickly identified and treated.

I am not aware of any studies specific to P as a physiological defense mechanism, but semantically that's pretty much what P is believed to be. P is skin regenerating itself at rates associated with healing wounds ... it is a defense run amok. And as far as the psychology of P ... well, the stories about stress are commonplace. The few times I've thrown temper-tantrums in front of derms they've been uniformly quick to retort my bad attitude is likely to exacerbate my P. I personally think there is a psychological connection to ALL aspects of our health.

I hope you have continued good results (even better) with the Exorex. Keep us apprized. -Ed

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