I thought that with the slowing down of the flow of new patients during December that we were reaching a better position for all the suffering RSS patients. But, no, that was not to be; one patient from the hospital sent me a U-tube telling me of her abject severe pain and the hospital doctors refusing to give her pain medicine unless she allowed them to wrap her in steroids! With her refusal to do steroids they gave her only a sleeping pill and refused to give her any pain medicine and the doctors walked out of the room! The next day she gave in and let them wrap her and then they gave her pain medicine. Her skin was ‘on fire’. She told me she knew she was going to rebound and wondered what to do next. What would you do?
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About the Author: Dr Marvin Rapaport, MD
In 1978 I initiated and set up the contact and photo dermatitis clinic at UCLA. There was a need to evaluate a large group of patients who exhibited severe eczematoid rashes, especially on the face. Patients were referred from all over Southern California. All patients underwent a lengthy history and examination. Further evaluations included blood studies, allergy patch testing, special sunlight (photo) testing and skin biopsies. From the start it was apparent that most patients experienced a mild dermatitis on various parts of the body that progressively worsened. Their histories always included numerous doctor visits, multiple physicians, and therapy consisting of an increasing amount of corticosteroids. My testing failed to reveal any specific culprit chemicals, cosmetics, perfumes, workplace or recreational exposures. It became increasingly clear that the physician’s therapy, the corticosteroids, was invariably causing the problem. I wrote 7 scientific articles that were published in the most august peer-reviewed dermatologic journals and I gave many lectures at various dermatology meetings. To this day an unfortunate reluctance exists on the part of most physicians to accept this simple concept.