(June/July, 1999)

New to Hand and Feet P
from Sandy

Hi Mr. Ed. I started with a rash on my feet last summer, went to a Dr. in January, and then another and then a Derm before I finally found out what was wrong with my feet. I am fairly new to this disease, so I'm not really sure what the best method of treatment is. My feet have cleared up on their own only once and then it was only for a week. I wish I knew what was normal for this disease. Are they broke out most of the time? Are there any shoes that a person could wear? I am 45 years old and going through menopause. My sisters told me that I could use my Kotex pads to stick on the bottom of my feet, since I didn't need them any more. I have P on the soles and heels of my feet and on the palm of one hand. Do you have any suggestions on how to help or clear this up? -Sandy

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Ed's Response: At the moment I'm sympathetic and not very helpful, Sandy ... because my P is raging on hands and feet, too. As you are a relative newby to P, your derm is probably graduating you up the scale of treatments from mild to major, intending to stop when s/he comes upon something that works. All I can say, really, is that for eight years now I've treated my hands and feet P with topical steroids, from mild to major, and used occlusion (sealing the medicine under plastic gloves, disposable garbage bags, or plastic wrap over night) when the problem was at its worst. For eight years this has been my tack and, until this past Winter, it had worked fairly predictably. Then, it all stopped working predictably last October.

The chances are you will find something topical that will control and/or clear your hands and feet P with or without occlusion. Whatever that is, it may not work forever. It hasn't for me, but I'm grateful for the eight years of predictable waxing and waning. Good luck! -Ed

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