hereditary. Psoriasis is found in two thirds of all
adult white males but is rarely found in blacks.
SYMPTOMSIt is clearly defined erythe-
matous papules covered with shiny or opalescent
scales. The patient may complain of itching. The
lesions are usually self-healing and heal without
The scalp, extensor surface of
extremities, back and buttocks, and the nails are
the most common sites. A secondary bacterial in-
fection may occur.
TREATMENTThere is no known cure for
psoriasis. The existing treatments may produce
temporary relief. Corticosteroid cream is the most
widely acclaimed of the various treatments and
should be applied at bedtime. Cover the lesions
with polyethylene strips during the night. In the
morning scrub the lesions thoroughly with a soft
brush to remove scales. Repeat the treatment until
the sysmptoms are relieved. Refer the patient to
a dermatologist for routine evaluation. There are
t resting psoriasis.
that may prove effective in
Request advice on them from
Acne is probably the most commonly
encountered dermatitis. It is an inflammatory
disease occurring in areas where sebaceous glands
are the largest, most numerous, and most active.
Human sebum is a tissue irritant. Overfilling of
the sebaceous glands or squeezing by the patient
causes this irritant to escape into the surrounding
tissue and develop a papule. A secondary
bacterial infection occurs, leading to pustule or
cyst formation. These formations may lead to
pitting and scarring.
TREATMENTThe initial treatment of acne
should include advice to the patient to avoid
contributing foods, such as chocolate, nuts, and
colas. Vitamin A supplements are sometimes given
for 3-month periods, with a l-month interruption
to avoid hypervitaminosis. Intruct the patient to
thorougly wash twice daily with an antibacterial,
abrasive soap. A drying lotion may be used. A
broad-spectrum antibiotic administered systemi-
cally may be given during episodes of severe acne.
Tetracycline is the most widely used of these
drugs. Use of this regimen should be restricted
to only the most severe cases due to the side
effects of tetracycline or other antibiotics of this
This is an acute or chronic scaly inflamma-
tion of the skin that usually affects the scalp, face,
presternal and interscapular areas, and body
folds. It occurs in persons with oily skin. Also,
hereditary factors appear to play a part in this
SYMPTOMSThese include scaling that may
be greasy or dry and sometimes pruritic. Redness,
fissuring, and infection may be secondary.
TREATMENTA well-balanced diet with
the reduction of sweets is indicated. Steroid
creams and lotions are often beneficial, and the
patient should be advised to wash with an
antiseborrheic cleanser, such as Fostex®.
This is an acute or chronic allergic inflamma-
tory skin reaction. It is normally the result of
ingesting certain foods or drugs (commonly
shellfish, eggs, milk, and penicillin).
SYMPTOMSRaised wheals may occur over
any or all of the body and itch intolerably. The
patient may run a mild fever and experience
general malaise. Swelling may cause laryngeal
TREATMENTAntihistamines are indicated
for itching. Urticaria is usually self-limiting, but
may last for years. Caution the patient to avoid
reexposure to sensitizing foods or drugs.
Epinephrine 1:1000 may be administered for
Calluses and Corns
These are callous skin lesions that normally
occur on the feet or toes. Faulty fitting shoes are
the common cause.
SYMPTOMSThere is usually tenderness or
sensitivity to pressure. These lesions may be
differentiated from plantar warts by their
TREATMENTSoak the affected area in
warm water and carefully pare the callus.
Correct any orthopedic abnormalities, and make
sure the patients shoes fit correctly.