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for New Teacher
Many thanks for your site which has provided me with many laughs
since I first stumbled across it. It really is refreshing to hear that
there are others who understand the suppressed rage provoked by a much
loved and over fussy grandparent brushing your shoulders down in public!
I live in the
UK and am training to be a teacher. My new profession has thrown up
interesting P-related problems. I spend a lot of time pointing at
students' work which immediately reveals my nail P. Also, children being
children, they frequently ask what is wrong with my head. I'm glad that I
have the confidence to be able to answer them directly and put up with the
occasional "f*** off scabby" shouted from across the playground!
But lets just say it doesn't make my day any easier trying to find
secluded corners to de-flake my shoulders!
I'm 23, have
had scalp P since around 17 and developed plaques on my arms, legs and
back about two years ago. I am currently taking Dovobet with good effect
but, as reported, a diminishing return with each re-application following
a break. Dovobet can't (to my or my GP's knowledge) be used on the scalp,
so this remains an enraged area.
I am visiting a
new derm tomorrow and am really hoping for UV treatment as, being single,
application of topical cream to my back is near impossible. I don't really
know how effective this is or how it works and would be interested to hear
of any reports.
meantime, keep up the good work, keep up the honesty.
flakes flying in the UK. -Richard
S., Cambridge, England.
Response: Scalp P can be a
tough problem, Richard. Fortunately,
treatment options are growing, though I can’t speak to the availability
of anything in particular in the U.K.
exciting new product I have found for scalp P is Olux Foam.
This is a favorite topical corticosteroid — clobetasol propionate
— in a base of deep-penetrating, fast evaporating foam (with a
concentration safe for the scalp). It
leaves no greasy or oily residue in the scalp so can be used any time of
solution is another scalp treatment for P.
My personal experience has been fluocinonide works to keep P at
bay, but not well at getting rid of stubborn scalp lesions.
In other words, I do something else to calm my scalp down, then use
fluocinonide as a preventative at the first subsequent itching.
I’m not sure
whether Dovobet would be prescribed for scalp P or not.
I know Dovonex by itself, which is a part of Dovobet, can
supposedly be used on the scalp. But
betamethasone (the other part of Dovobet) is one of those corticosteroids
typically considered too strong for scalp use.
(Strong corticosteroids tend to thin skin at the area of
application and, since scalp is already “thin,” these corticosteroids
are avoided — mostly likely because they are not readily available in a
The most common
“intense” scalp treatments are overnight occlusions, usually of
tar-derivatives, salicylic acid, or some compound of both.
Until the advent of Olux Foam, I always achieved good results
occluding a specially compounded combination of tar and salicylic acid
(search on “scalp cocktail” here
for more references). This
therapy means going to bed wearing a shower cap and hoping it doesn’t
come off during the night, as the tar in the compound will stain linens
and even if it doesn’t stain it is a goopy mess.
But it’s always worked for me, and usually after only two or
I applaud your
courage facing your students with your raging P.
While they undoubtedly take advantage of every opportunity to make
you feel weird, I hope you’re taking occasional advantage to set them
straight on matters of chronic incurable conditions like ours.
(Though, in my heart I know it must be tempting to grab hold of the
most obnoxious and say, “Now I’ve touched you!
You’ve got it, too!”) -Ed