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Concerned About My Meds
from Judy W.

Dear Ed: Haven't written in a while, but have enjoyed coming back and reading your monthly briefing, the mail, and I always like to go back to the archives....

I guess I have finally gotten tired of having this P. I see that it is not just going to go away on its own. I keep thinking it will go away just as mysteriously as it came ... but no, this hasn't been the case. So, on to the purpose and the question of my letter.

I want to ask about the medicines that my derm prescribed for me. What do you know about them? They are Lotrisone Cream, Cloderm Cream, and Diprosone Lotion (Beta Methasone .05% Dip). As I have mentioned before to you, I have a phobia type fear of all medications. Although these are topicals, the caution always mentions not going in the sun, which suggests to me that this stuff gets into your system. Also, I have heard that steroids aren't something one wants either. You and others have mentioned that after using certain meds your P came back more fiercely than before!

I tell myself that I don't HAVE to take meds at this point—I do not have it so bad—but the itching gets to me and keeps me awake many nights. I get embarrassed at times, like when my pant leg crawls up exposing a deep purple crusty ugly on my leg. And my scaly ears embarrass me!! What exactly would the meds do for me and would it be worth it as far as coming back worse or hurting my body system?

Ed, when I read about the meds you have used, the things you have tried, your open mindedness concerning what might work, well, I really admire your courage and continued hope in fighting this invader. Thank you for your reply. Sincerely, -Judy W.

*****

Ed's Response: Hi, Judy. I was able to find information on Lotrisone and Diprosone Lotion, but not Cloderm Cream. This from PDR Family Guide to Prescription Drugs:

Lotrisone, a combination of a steroid (betamethasone) and an antifungal drug (clotrimazole), is used to treat skin infections caused by fungus, such as athlete's foot, jock itch, and ringworm of the body. Betamethasone treats symptoms (such as itching, redness, swelling, and inflammation) that result from fungus infections, while clotrimazole treats the cause of the infection by inhibiting the growth of certain yeast and fungus organisms.

According to Dr. Lowe's Psoriasis: A Patient's Guide, Diprosone Lotion is a corticosteroid cream in the Group 5 category. Lowe relates 7 categories of corticosteroids, 1st category being the strongest; 7th the weakest. Interestingly, Diprosone Cream is a group 3 drug and Diprosone Ointment is a Group 2.

Not knowing anything about Cloderm, your prescripts for Lotrisone and Diprosone Lotion describes a pretty mild P therapy and a diagnosis that has not ruled out a fungal infestation as well as (or instead of) P. Did your derm instruct you to apply the Lotrisone only in specific areas (e.g., feet, hands, scalp)?

I can't give you medical advice, Judy, but on the Great Spectrum of P Therapies, at least two thirds of what your derm has you doing sounds pretty harmless. I simply have no information about the other third. If your lesions—which sound mild to begin with—respond well to these meds you have every right to be an extremely happy person! Keep us apprized. -Ed

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