Dermatology Basics

Physicians of non-dermatology jokingly ask if there is anything new in dermatology, or do you still treat everything by “If it’s wet make it dry. If it’s dry make it wet. When in doubt prescribe a corticosteroid cream.” Patients could do much worse than following those basic tenants. The question is how those general therapies should be followed.You may want to check out West Dermatology Palm Springs for more.

You usually want to use “wet-to-dry” compresses to make something that is wet become dry. To do that, use a saline soaked gauze or clean wash cloth to first put on the weeping area, then remove it and let it air dry.

More often, making a dry area wet is the question. Dry skin is a concern that is very popular. One of the most common skin conditions is atopic dermatitis, also called eczema. If you have dry skin, the first thought to do is to avoid anything that removes the usual body oils. Avoid soaps to the maximum extent possible, particularly deodorant soaps. Also, avoid contact with detergents and solvents that dissolve normal skin oils and remove them. Next, add emollient lotions and creams to maintain the skin’s normal moisture and to add moisture. For people with dry skin all over, a trick that can be useful is to take a not-too-hot shower without soap to bathe, then use mineral oil or baby oil to wet skin before drying off. Then gently dry your towel. This will allow the skin to have a thin, non-greasy oil film and maintain the moisture of the shower in the skin throughout the day.

The last use of the strongest available off-the-shelf hydrocortisone ointment. In the US, this is an ointment of 1% hydrocortisone. As a vehicle for corticosteroid topical medication, ointment is less dry than cream.