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Sudden P Explosion After 17 Years
from Jenny S.

Ed: I was diagnosed with P the week I was graduating from high school. That was 17 years ago. I have always been a mild case until this week. I have broken out all over my body with tiny red spots (by the grace of God my face was spared) and I am mortified. My doctor gave me Cormax cream and an antibiotic (Kephlex). My biggest fear is that this may never go away and I won't be like I have always been. I have not experienced this in the 17 years I have had it. I have only had it on my elbows and maybe a tiny spot here or there. Do you have anything to say that will maybe ease my fears?

Love your site. Please keep it up. -Jenny S.


Ed's Response: I wish I could give you a recipe to make it all get better. Your eruption is unfortunately not all that unusual. Cormax' active ingredient is clobetasol propionate, a powerful corticosteroid, one that I've been using for many (perhaps TOO many) years. My derm prescribes antibiotics too me when lesion cracking and/or bleeding is obvious, or when it's obvious I'm scratching until I bleed.

One thing I would advise you to do is think hard and write down everything you did and consumed for three months prior to the eruption that was at all out of the ordinary for you. Include in your notes any extraordinary emotional or stressful situations during that period. If your eruption DOES signal a change for the worse in your P, you are likely to be on the threshold of two new "pastimes." One is finding a treatment regimen that is effective for you. The other is determining what triggers your bad spells—and this is where your notes might help.

I know it is painful to consider this may signal a permanent change in your life. The most traumatic realization for me came when I heard a doctor say for the first time, "It can't be cured." Until that moment I'd never heard a doc say anything like that to me. I'd never experienced visiting a doctor without some confidence he or she would fix what ailed me.... But since that time I've heard similar words many times, and about other problems. It doesn't surprise me or shock me anymore. In fact, I hope that becoming so blatantly acquainted with my frailties, fallibilities and mortality has, in some sense, improved me as a person. Maybe. Maybe not. I know that I look back on my life BEFORE P and see someone blithely naive and a little narcissistic—someone "too full of themself," as my grandmother used to say. But I don't want to attribute too much of my perhaps false sense of maturity to my P ... hell, I might just be getting old.

Keep us apprized of what develops, Jenny. -Ed