They Struggle, Too

In September of this year, I had the privilege to accompany ITSAN (the International Topical Steroid Addiction Network) to the CSD/AAD conference in Washington, D.C. as a patient advocate. CSD stands for “Coalition of Skin Diseases” and AAD stands for “American Academy of Dermatology.” There were many dermatologists present, as well as non-profit groups with their patient advocates.

Before flying into D.C., I already had anxiety knowing that many dermatologists weren’t going to 1) know about Red Skin Syndrome or 2) were going to brush me us off as not real.

On the first day, we mostly met with the non-profit groups. However, the second day was geared mainly towards dermatologists. For awhile I was feeling oddly used. I knew that when we had to go speak on Capital Hill, they’d want me to share my story to get what they wanted, not because it would help me in any way about Red Skin Syndrome. So, I had mixed emotions all day long.

What didn’t help was that at the end of all the meetings Day 2, we ran into an older doctor who told us he didn’t like prescribing steroids very much. Intrigued, we sat down with him. We then entered into an hour long conversation about how his method is to dowse his patients in steroids 6x a day to get rid of the eczema. I think I stopped taking him seriously when 1) he looked at me (and I look WAY better than I have been) and told me “I’d consider you severe atopic” and 2) then went to get up and touch my face without my permission. I told him very bluntly he was not touching my face. If someone starts a sentence off with “I know this may sound conceited, because it is…”, how am I supposed to find you educated? Our conversation was getting nowhere with him and it was very disheartening.

On that same day I had met with everyone from Florida and we exchanged names and how we should go about getting business done on Capital Hill. There were two other advocates amongst all the dermatologists. One was for vitiligo, and one was for alopecia. Both of these conditions are known in the dermatology profession. When my turn came, I felt a bit of  the ‘deer in the headlights’ come on when I tried describing Red Skin Syndrome. One doctor in particular stared at me and asked,

“How old are you?”
“I’m 27.”
“Oh.”
“Why how old do you think I am?”
“I thought you were a teenager.”

Others nodded in agreement that they thought I was much younger. I felt defeated in a sense since I wasting viewed as this young, meek advocate, not the educated adult that I am.

Well, the next day, I rode into Capital Hill feeling slightly inadequate. All the legislation that we had been learning about didn’t directly affect or help my fight for awareness, but I tried to find a way for my voice, in my conscience, to matter.

At one point, I was alone with two other dermatologists. One was from the Orlando area, one was from the Melbourne area. The one from Melbourne also had his wife and son with him. While waiting to meet with our representative (Mica), we spoke to his assistant about our wants and needs. When I waited to share my story, I was able to listen to these dermatologists speak about their troubles and business woes due to how the system is run. I suddenly felt a twang of empathy for them. I believe that doctors should be regulated, but it seems the system in place is making it very difficult for them to practice good medicine. They are run down, unable to give their patients adequate attention. They are fighting with insurance companies, being forced to stay later and later at the office to finish menial paperwork, searching for affordable medications for their patients since prices have skyrocketed, and now are faced with their compounding rights being highly regulated. These are things, as a patient, I have never thought about.

So, when it came for me to speak, I felt much better speaking out for the entire group’s plight, not just my own. It helped me realize that patients are not the only ones struggling. Yes, there are plenty of doctors who still give patients a hard time about Red Skin Syndrome and need to be better educated on steroid use, but there are also doctors who are probably just so exhausted that they are going to be defensive.

The way the system is being run now is for money. Representative Mica even bluntly opened up about one of our legislative asks. There is a call for more research money, of which he whole heartedly agrees. However, when I explained our condition he said it was sad that I would most likely not see any research being funded for my condition since it doesn’t generate a profit. This may not be verbatim, but he said, “Generally they will put money into research if they know they’ll see a profitable return, but with you, they wouldn’t be getting that.”

Even HE sees the uphill battle we face. It’s unfair to push us aside because we don’t fit into their pockets.

So that is why I heavily push and advocate for PREVENTION. If the medical community was aware of the correct way to utilize topical steroids, and what the consequences are if they overprescribe them, then we have a fighting chance to keep patients away from this turmoil. And not only does the medical community need to be educated, but so does the public. Too many times we are given a medication and not taught what it is, how to use it, why we are using it, and what the side effects may be when used.

So doctors, please understand that we are just fighting for our health since the system doesn’t seem to be. And patients, please understand that doctors are fighting for their sanity since the system doesn’t seem to be.

The struggle is real. #WeNeedReform

How is this Legitimate?

This is the abstract from a review done in Australia on the effects of TCS in children.

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“… and their unfounded concerns…” Ya, you read that right. I’m quite concerned as to what they deem unfounded?

“Contrary to popular perceptions, (TCS) use in pediatric eczema does not cause atrophy, hypopigmentation, hypertrichosis, osteoporosis, purpura or telangiectasia when used appropriately as per guidelines.”

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Link for above article

It is well known that using topical steroids on children should be used with extreme caution, and if parents have questions or concerns, they didn’t just suddenly make them up in their head. No, they have undoubtedly heard things (that are likely founded) and have every right to be concerned. Often times, children even outgrow eczema. If their case is mild, there is no reason to start lathering them in topical steroids (in my personal opinion). Babies get rashes and skin blemishes. If they aren’t bothering the child or aren’t severe, perhaps finding a more natural way to deal with their skin would be best before jumping onto steroids.

A problem I also have with the “use appropriately as per guidelines” sentence is that doctors often stray from the said guidelines. If the product says to only use the drug a certain way and the doctor’s discretion is different, then there is a huge problem. No amount of “don’t worry” or “it’s totally safe” will in actuality make it safe for you to go past the 2 to 4 week rule in children. And, the larger the surface area you are told to put the steroid, the higher the potential of adverse effects (you know, those “unfounded” ones).

To further my proof, you can read the FDA Evaluation and Research paper.

Founded by three different references, it states, “… HPA axis suppression has been observed in infants and children with both high potency and low potency topical corticosteroids.” Why on earth would you put a child at an even higher risk with potent steroids when they should only be placed on the least potent steroid first, of which they could still risk having side effects if used over the guideline mark? For example, this evaluation states Fluticasone (Class 5 steroid), is said to be approved for patients 3 months old and up for a maximum of 4 weeks. Other studies show an even shorter period of 2 weeks should be utilized. The potent and super potent steroids are Class 1 and 2.

The best part of this research paper: “… the labeling of each product should advise practitioners of the appropriate duration of use of the product. The labeling should give information regarding how quickly improvement in dermatoses should occur after therapy with topical corticosteroid is started, and practitioners should be advised to discontinue the product if improvement does not occur within this time frame.”

It doesn’t say if the steroid isn’t working, immediately up their potency. It says DISCONTINUE. They need to be reassessed.This is what is supposed to happen.

Interview #2: Dilyana Georgieva

14686207_1655613021418244_489976427_nDilyana Georgieva
Las Vegas, Nevada

1.When did you start using topical steroids? And why?

I started in the beginning of December 2015 because I had an eczema like spot on my left hand, which did not respond to any natural topical treatments. Later on I found that it was some food sensitivities that were causing the eczema.

2. What was the name of the topical steroid?

It was an over the counter steroid cream CVS’ pharmacy brand.

3. Were you ever prescribed more potent steroids? 

I did not ask my allergy doctor for a prescription and he did not suggest.

4. How did you find out about RSS?

The day I stopped using the cream my eczema exploded, or so I thought, so I Googled “topical steroids detoxification and healing” and I came across the ITSAN web site. I am so grateful to ITSAN and similar online recourses to find so early in the process what I have, what to expect, and in some extent how to cope with it.

5. What made you feel you had RSS?

Since it started, I have been fitting 100% to the clinical presentation of the condition with all symptoms and signs of it.

6. Were you diagnosed by a doctor? Did you have a supportive doctor?

I have not been diagnosed by a doctor because there is no one in my area of Las Vegas, NV who is familiar with the condition.

7. What were your first symptoms?

My rash exploded the same day I stopped the steroid cream to cover 3/4 of my arms and 3/4 of my legs including buttocks. I had immense burning, stinging, and flu like symptoms.

8. Is your family supportive? Friends?

Yes, it is supportive. I do not involve my friends in this.

9. Have you ever been to a hospital for this? 

No

10. What has been the hardest part of this condition?

Everything was hard and challenging from the physical pain, burning, stinging, itching, decreased range of motion, and fever to the emotional and mental suffering and isolation, the inability to exercise and socialize. This condition is a life altering event.

11. How long have you been in withdrawal? 

It started on 05/22/16 up to now.

12. What do you use as comfort measures during this?

I have been focused on the solutions instead of the problem. I had the appropriate mind set to cope with the TSW without succumbing to depression, self-pity, and a sense of helplessness. Mentally and emotionally, I was at the right place to be able to stay on the positive side of it. I credit that to the online recourses for the condition and my spirituality. I have created multiple self-care natural and organic cosmetic products to alleviate as much as possible the symptoms of itching, burning, pain, and inflammation. I kept myself busy and distracted from the TSW suffering to have the feeling of a decent, normal life. I practice daily relaxation and self-hypnosis which is a great tool when one has a struggle with a chronic condition.

13. Are you employed? Has this affected your job status?

I do not work outside of home due to another long lasting disability from Fibromyalgia.

14. Have you gone to therapy/wish to go to therapy because of this condition?

The only therapy I would like to try is mineral baths. However, I cannot tolerate traveling currently. I live in Las Vegas, NV. I am Bulgarian in origin and we have a number of mineral water resorts specialized in skin conditions treatment. These waters are similar to the famous Avene, France thermal mineral waters. The treatment there is much cheaper than in France.

15. If there is one thing you could say to another sufferer, what would it be?

I am aware that some TSW sufferers experience a much worse process and have their entire bodies affected. However, I would say that staying positive, focusing on solutions, trying to keep some things of their normal life routines, and employing relaxation and meditation techniques would be of great benefit to their recovery process. One book/audio book that has helped me through episodes of health struggles is The Power of Your Mind to Heal, by Joan Borysenko PhD.


Thank you Dilyana for your awesome interview!

Topical Steroid Label

Whenever we purchase a prescription, there is always an insert or attached label outlining that specific drug’s usage. More often than not, we toss it into the trash. What we should be doing is taking the time to read the insert because it holds extremely valuable information. However, on the contrary, there is misguided information that needs to be looked at closely.

The following is seen on the insert for Clobetasol Propionate, a Class 1 Super Potent steroid:

In bold letters: do not use for more than 2 weeks, 50g per week, because it can suppress the HPA axis.

First off, it warns not use to this for more than 14 days. What it does not say is “Do not use for more than 14 days unless your doctor thinks it’s cool.” There is a definite reason why it states that warning despite what your doctor tells you.

HPA axis suppression is not something you, or your doctor, should take lightly. You are highly increasing your chances of developing Red Skin Syndrome and creating an imbalance in your adrenal glands.

Also, what does 50g a week mean to you? Most likely nothing because you are not a doctor and have no idea how to measure out 50g.

Let’s say your doctor gave you a tube that was 60g large, and their instructions were to “use on flaring areas once a day.” That was it. That was all they told you. Well, your thighs, hands, elbow area, and neck are flaring. These areas combined, using the fingertip method, come out to around 10g a day of use. 10g x 7 days = 70g a week. That is over the maximum limit of use.

But let’s take this further. In bold, the insert states:

“Precautions: General: Clobetasol Propionate is a highly potent topical corticosteroid that has been shown to suppress the HPA axis at doses as low as 2g per day.”

2g per day! That is around 4 fingertip units a day.

2g x 7 days a week = 14g a week. So, more accurately, 50g a week is WAY too much. Even if 14g a week is seen as the ‘minimum’ to cause HPA axis suppression, that means THERE IS A POSSIBILITY it can happen with just 14g a week, which in turn shows there is a LARGE POSSIBILITY it will happen at the ‘safe usage’ of 50g a week.

That 36g difference is remarkable. This is something that rarely ever gets explained in a doctor’s office. When a doctor gives you the instruction to “use sparingly”, this is what they should be explaining to you.

But let’s move on.

When using steroids, adults are not equal to children.

“Pediatric patients may be more susceptible to systemic toxicity from equivalent doses due to their large skin surface to body mass ratios.”

First off, the word systemic should bounce out. If any doctor tells you that topical steroids “are not systemic”, they are lying to you. Just because you are not orally using them, does not mean they do not penetrate our skin and enter our system.

And two, this should put up a huge warning flag. If 14g a week is the lowest dose they saw suppression in for adults, try halving that, or even one quarter. That would be between 4g and 8g a week for small children and babies. And, because they are smaller, there is a larger chance of suppression. Besides, in bold caps, the insert says, “Use in children under 12 years of age is not recommended.” If a doctor prescribes this to a child under 12, especially a baby, know that this recommendation should read more as a forbiddance.

“If concomitant skin infections are present or develop, an appropriate antifungal or antibacterial agent should be used. If a favorable response does not occur promptly, use of clobetasol propionate should be discontinued until the infection has been adequately controlled.”

First off, you’ve got the vague “promptly” in there. Give us actual numbers, perhaps, “1-2 days”. And secondly, you should NEVER use steroids on an infection. It will just make them worse. Check out Tinea Incognito.

“#5 Patients should inform their physicians that they are using clobetasol propionate if surgery in contemplated.”

I had never heard of this before, so I do hope this information is shared in the doctor’s office and not left for the patient to (not) read in the insert.

And last, but certainly not least, in lovely bold writing, “should not be used on the face, groin, or axiliae”. This isn’t a recommendation. This is a definite warning.

Feature #3: Megan & Sheryl

Megan Garza megan-garza

Age: 25

Career: Unemployed due to TSW

When did you cease using topical steroids: September 2014 last application of TS

What type did you use: Clobetasol, Triamcinolone, Fluocinolone and Protopic 0.1% ( I’ve also been on iv/ oral rounds)

What is your favorite product for comfort? Lemongrass balm, avene thermal spring water, & organic rose water

What is the hardest thing to deal with during this condition? The beginning days of TSW when I had cracks all over my face/ neck and oozing. Having my hands completely covered with RSS as well as oozing blisters on all my fingers. Self esteem has been shot down completely due to TSW as well as having anxiety.

What is the first thing you will do when healed? Wear a short sleeve shirt with jean shorts. Then I would take off to a beach and wear a bikini 24/7 and soaking up some sun rays.


sherylmorrisSheryl Morris

Age: 36

Career: Systems Support Officer, University of Dundee, Scotland

When did you cease using topical steroids: 1st time Sep 2010, 2nd time was 6th Jan 2013 (however was on orals between Mar 2013 and Dec 2013). Date stopped using any type of steroids 21st Dec 2013

What type did you use: Hydrocortisone, Elocon, Dermovate, Betnovate creams/ointments. Also used Haelan Tape (tape impregnated with steroids), oral steroids (prednisolone), hair mousse (betnovate in it)

What is your favorite product for comfort? The turning point for me came when I started using a combination of Milton bleach solution on patches skin that kept getting infected along with Manuka honey under cotton gloves for my hands overnight. I also found using Moogoo shampoo, conditioner, baby bubbles wash and nut oil free moisturiser really helping. I also use a nettle moisturisers made locally in Scotland. I used several different products over the years, some helped at different stages of the process – for example, heavy 50/50 really helped my skin when it was red raw but trapped heat and bacteria in so in the long run actually made it worse, and more itchy.

What is the hardest thing to deal with during this condition? Recurring skin infections, lack of support from doctors/dermatologists, the uncontrollable itch, the pain, the wet feeling of ooze, feeling disgusted, the flakes of skin EVERYWHERE, depression, anxiety

What is the first thing you did when you healed? First thing I did when I got my first real break was go to Glastonbury festival and few months later got married, I did have several skin infections after this so it took a while longer before I felt truly healed.


 

Different Instructions for the Same Steroid

If things weren’t confusing or muddled enough, it has come to my attention that a steroid can have different recommendations in different countries. The steroid is the same and yet guidelines are blatantly different.

Let’s take Diprosone for example. This is a Betamethasone Dipropionate topical steroid.

In the UK, it states:

  • Do not use on any other skin problem as it could make it worse especially rosacea (a skin condition affecting the face), acne, dermatitis (skin inflammation) around the mouth, genital itching, nappy rash, cold sores, chickenpox, shingles or other skin infections. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
  • Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before using diprosone ointment. This medicine should not be used under bandages or plasters.
  • Side effects that may happen with oral or injectables corticosteroids may also occur with corticosteroids used on the skin, especially in infants and children.
  • If the ointment is used more often than it should, or more than prescribed, it can affect some of your child’s hormones. This may affect their growth and development.
  • If Diprosone Ointment is used in children, it should not be used on any part of their body for more than 5 days.
  • Do not put the ointment under your child’s nappy, as this makes it easier for the active ingredient of the medicine to pass through the skin and possibly cause some unwanted effects.
  • Usually for adults and children, a thin layer of Diprosone Ointment should be rubbed into the affected area of skin twice a day.
  • Do not use the ointment on your face for more than 5 days.
  • Do not use a large amount of ointment on large areas of the body, open wounds or areas of the body where joints bend for a long time (for example every day for many weeks or months).
  • Most people find that when the ointment is used correctly, it does not cause any problems. However, if you use the ointment more than you should, particularly on your face, it can cause redness, stinging, blistering, peeling, swelling, itching, burning, skin rash, dryness of the skin, in the skin, inflammation of the hair follicles; excessive hair growth, reduced skin pigmentation; allergic skin reactions; dermatitis (skin inflammation); other skin infections, thinning of the skin and red marks.

In Australia, it states:

  • Do not use Diprosone if you have:

a viral skin infection, such as cold sores, shingles or chicken pox, a fungal skin infection, such as thrush, tinea or ringworm, tuberculosis of the skin, acne rosacea, inflammation around the mouth, skin conditions with ulcers,

Unless your doctor tells you.

(^^^^^^^ That seems unbelievably risky).

  • Do not use Diprosone just before having a bath, shower or going swimming.
  • Tell your doctor if: you are pregnant or breast feeding.
    Your doctor will tell you if you can use Diprosone during pregnancy or while you are breast feeding.

(^^^^^ again, whatever your doctor tells you? Why can’t the pamphlet tell me? Or is it that nobody knows and everyone is just guessing…)

  • Apply a thin film of Diprosone Cream or Ointment or a few drops of Diprosone Lotion to the affected skin or scalp twice daily. Massage gently until it disappears. For some patients, once daily application may be enough for maintenance therapy.
  • It is important to use Diprosone exactly as your doctor has told you.

(^^^^^ What if they tell you to go against the guidelines?)

  • Do not use Diprosone for more than four weeks at a time unless your doctor tells you.

(^^^^^^ And here is my point!)

  • Do not use Diprosone under dressings or on large areas of skin unless your doctor tells you

In the UK pamphlet, it says you should not use steroids on an infection site, even though the AU pamphlet says you can do it if your doctor instructs you to do so.

In the UK pamphlet, it says you should not use this steroid under occlusion, yet the AU pamphlet says it is ok if the doctor tells you to do so.

In the UK pamphlet, there doesn’t seem to be a set time recommendation to use the steroid (except for children and for the face), while the AU pamphlet says to use it no longer than 4 weeks unless your doctor says to do so, but doesn’t say how long to use it on the face.

In both pamphlets, it seems to leave pregnant women under the discretion of their doctor or their pharmacist.

Over and over in these pamphlets, there seems to be a lot of “just ask your doctor” or “unless prescribed by your doctor”. What happened to facts? What happened to “these are the guidelines and they need to be adhered to for the patient’s safety”? Moreover, there are doctors who get paid to prescribe certain drugs to patients, so where is the ethical line? Want to check out your doctor? Dollars for Docs

Also, RSS is not a side effect listed. It never is and should be. Red Skin Syndrome is not just a small symptom or side effect that will go away very quickly. This condition affects so much more than just your skin!

Doctors should also be educating their patients about steroid use, the good and the bad, as well as staying up to date with medical findings and research. Even a well meaning doctor can over prescribe this medication so it is pertinent that you know all there is about topical steroids before you begin use.

 

Medical Terminology Explained

One of the many ways we can feel left out of the medical loop is the jargon that leaves us perplexed and, most likely, uninterested in trying to understand our ailment. The doctor either says some fancy words or we end up reading a pamphlet that looks like ancient hieroglyphics. It can be daunting and when we just want relief, we don’t delve any further than the reaching to take a prescription from the doctor.

The time has come for us to decipher some very important medical terminology so we, as patients, can be best informed about our condition and what may lie ahead if we take a certain treatment.


Antiproliferative: of or relating to a substance used to prevent or retard the spread of cells, especially malignant cells, into surrounding tissues.

Atherosclerosis: a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries. This can cause different problems including coronary heart disease, carotid artery disease, and chronic kidney disease.

Atrophy: waste away, typically due to the degeneration of cells, or become vestigial during evolution. Picture

Axillae: Armpit

Bioethics: the study of the typically controversial ethical issues emerging from new situations and possibilities brought about by advances in biology and medicine. It is also moral discernment as it relates to medical policy and practice.

Corticosteroids: any of a group of steroid hormones produced in the adrenal cortex or made synthetically. There are two kinds: glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids. They have various metabolic functions and some are used to treat inflammation. The ones we usually deal with are glucocorticoids that stop inflammation.

Candidiasis: infection by fungi of the genus Candida, generally C. albicans, most commonlyinvolving the skin, oral mucosa (thrush), respiratory tract, or vagina; occasionally thereis a systemic infection or endocarditis. It is most often associated with pregnancy,glycosuria, diabetes mellitus, or use of antibiotics. Picture

Concomitant: naturally accompanying or associated.

Cutaneous: of, relating to, or affecting the skin.

Demodicidosis: skin disease of the pilosebaceous units associated with human Demodex mites that involves predominantly the face and head. Picture

Edema: a condition characterized by an excess of watery fluid collecting in the cavities or tissues of the body. Picture

Efficacy: the ability to produce a desired or intended result.

Emollient: a preparation that softens the skin.

Erythema: superficial reddening of the skin, usually in patches, as a result of injury or irritation causing dilatation of the blood capillaries. Picture

Exacerbation: an increase in the severity of a disease or its signs and symptoms; a worsening.

Granuloma Gluteale Infantum: a rare skin disorder of controversial etiology characterized by oval, reddish purple granulomatous nodules on the gluteal surfaces. Picture

Gynecomastia: enlargement of a man’s breasts, usually due to hormone imbalance or hormone therapy. Picture

Hirsutism: abnormal growth of hair on a person’s face and body, especially on a woman. Picture

HPA axis: The hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis is a complex set of direct influences and feedback interactions among three endocrine glands: the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland(a pea-shaped structure located below the hypothalamus), and the adrenal (also called “suprarenal”) glands (small, conical organs on top of the kidneys).

Hyperkeratosis: thickening of the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the epidermis, or skin), often associated with the presence of an abnormal quantity of keratin, and also usually accompanied by an increase in the granular layer. Picture

Hyperpigmentation: the darkening of an area of skin or nails caused by increased melanin.

Hypertrichosifs: a skin abnormality that results in excessive growth of hair. It can be localized to one part of the body, or affect in full. It can affect men or women and is mostly secondary to a genetic disease that causes a hormonal disorder. Picture

Hypopigmentation: the loss of skin color. It is caused by melanocyte or melanin depletion, or a decrease in the amino acid tyrosine, which is used by melanocytes to make melanin. Picture

Iatrogenic: of or relating to illness caused by medical examination or treatment.

Immunosuppressive: (chiefly of drugs) partially or completely suppressing the immune response of an individual. Topically, there is Protopic and Elidel.

Impetigo: a contagious bacterial skin infection forming pustules and yellow, crusty sores. Picture

In vivo: (of a process) performed or taking place in a living organism.

Intertriginous: area where two skin areas may touch or rub together, like armpit or groin

Kaposi Sarcoma: a rare tumor that is named after the dermatologist who first described it in 1872. It is caused by a type of herpesvirus. Picture

Lichen Sclerosis: an uncommon condition that creates patchy, white skin that’s thinner than normal. Picture

Malassezia Folliculitis: an inflammatory skin disorder that typically manifests as a pruritic, follicular papulopustular eruption distributed on the upper trunk of young to middle-aged adults. Picture

Mastocytosis: disorder that can occur in both children and adults. It is caused by the presence of too many mast cells in your body. You can find mast cells in skin, lymph nodes, internal organs (such as the liver and spleen) and the linings of the lung, stomach, and intestine. Picture

Milia: a small white or yellowish nodule resembling a millet seed, produced in the skin by the retention of sebaceous secretion. Picture

Molluscum Contagiosum: a chronic viral disorder of the skin characterized by groups of small, smooth, painless pinkish nodules with a central depression, that yield a milky fluid when squeezed. Picture

Morbidity: is a term used to describe how often a disease occurs in a specific area.

Occlusive: Of or being a bandage or dressing that closes a wound and keeps it from the air.

Ocular Hypertension: an eye pressure of greater than 21 mm Hg. It usually occurs for a long time and doesn’t match with glaucoma.

Perioral Dermatitis: a common skin rash that mainly affects young women. The rash affects the skin around the mouth. Use of a steroid cream on the face seems to trigger the condition in many cases. Picture

Phimosis: a congenital narrowing of the opening of the foreskin so that it cannot be retracted.

Purpura: a rash of purple spots on the skin caused by internal bleeding from small blood vessels. Picture

Stellate Pseudoscars: white, irregular or star-shaped atrophic scars occurring over the sun-exposed areas of the forearms. Picture

Stratum Corneum: the horny outer layer of the skin.

Striae: a linear mark, slight ridge, or groove on a surface, often one of a number of similar parallel features. Picture

Synthetic: made by chemical synthesis, especially to imitate a natural product.

Systemic: of, relating to, or affecting the entire body.

Tachyphylaxis: rapidly diminishing response to successive doses of a drug, rendering it less effective. The effect is common with drugs acting on the nervous system.

Telangiectasia: a condition characterized by dilation of the capillaries, which causes them to appear as small red or purple clusters, often spidery in appearance, on the skin or the surface of an organ. Picture

Tinea Incognito: a fungal infection (mycosis) of the skin masked and often exacerbated by application of a topical immunosuppressive agent. The usual agent is a topical corticosteroid (topical steroid). Picture

Vasoconstriction: the constriction of blood vessels, which increases blood pressure.

Vitiligo: a condition in which the pigment is lost from areas of the skin, causing whitish patches, often with no clear cause. Picture