International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology
Not a good idea! Until it is possible to consult a dermatologist, there are some dos and don’ts.
- While there are infections of the skin, such as folliculitis, impetigo, and secondarily infected dermatitides (eczema), not every skin condition has a bacterial infection. Don’t scrub the skin with soap. It will irritate the skin.
- Dermatitic skin (eczematized) is injured. Don’t rub it with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide (H2 O2). These are irritants and often will aggravate the skin condition.
- If there is itching, do take a bath with colloidal oatmeal (Aveeno®) or cornstarch. This will offer relief for several hours.
- Don’t panic. Applying a topical sensitizer, such as a dephylhydramine preparation, may create an allergic reaction.
- Lotions and creams may lubricate skin that is scaling – scaling and dryness are two different conditions; however, there is the possibility of creating folliculitis. Don’t apply them to everything.
- Fungal infections of the skin do occur, but everything on the skin is not due to a dermatophyte (ringworm). Don’t apply an antifungal cream without reason.
- There are bacterial infections of the skin, but not every skin condition is a bacterial infection. Don’t apply an antibacterial ointment without reason.
- Aunt Mabel has a wonderful recipe for chocolate cake. Unless she took a residency in dermatology, she may not know about treating skin disease. Don’t take her advice without checking.
- A skin condition may be eliminated quite quickly. Do consult a dermatologist, instead of procrastinating.
Marcia Ramos-e-Silva, MD, PhD
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Lawrence Charles Parish, MD, MD (Hon)
Philadelphia, PA, USA