Doc Talk #37 – Skin

(Image by Cvmontuy (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons)



Dr Dan and Jamieson talked about skin in this episode – in particular eczema and acne.

We promised you some pictures on the show: here is some eczema/dermatitis.dermatitis_atopica_03

(Image by AfroBrazilian (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons)

This is a pretty mild case of eczema/dermatitis and fairly typical of what we seen in Alberta during the dry winter months.


And here is a more serious case of dermatitis in a baby:


(Image by Gzzz (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons)


Most of the time, mild eczema can be managed at home with some simple measures. We have adapted the following advice from a hydration protocol provided by Dr Jaggi Rao of Rao dermatology:

  • Take baths rather than showers if possible
  • Avoid soap – use a wash like Aveeno, Dove or Johnson’s baby shampoo instead
  • Pat (rather than furiously rub) your skin dry with a towel
  • Within a couple of minutes of drying your skin apply large amounts of moisturiser to the skin (Glaxal Base, Cetaphil or Aveeno work well here

If your skin isn’t getting better with these simple measures, see your doctor as there a number of treatments we can offer.


We also discussed acne – a common skin problem in adolescents (but that sometimes affects adults as well).

It can be treated with excellent results in the vast majority of people. If you are the parent of a child with acne and you think it is affecting them, drag them in to see their doctor! They will thank you for it later.

Topical treatments for acne include antibiotics, antibacterial agents and fancier treatments like topical retinoid. If topical treatments are not enough, or acne is more severe, we may use oral antibiotics, or birth control in females.

For very severe acne a drug called isotretonin can be extremely helpful. It requires close monitoring and regular blood tests.