By some miracle, I was able to get an appointment with a new dermatologist (Dr. I) about 5 weeks post eyelid/ear lobe infection. It usually takes months but the pandemic meant that the doctor was only booking patients a month in advance, so I had a good feeling.
I made my notes to bring along with my history and some questions – I was ready to try again with a dermatologist.
Dr. I came into the room and said pretty rudely “why are you here?” even before looking at the file containing the referral information from my family doctor. So, I began to tell them about my recent experience but something felt weird to me, the doctor didn’t really want to listen and seemed eager to diagnose and get in a quick fix/prescription. It was so awkward.
They felt that my ear lobe infection was likely cause by an allergy to nickel even after I informed them I taken out my surgical steel earrings about 7 months before the infection, but they wouldn’t listen so I assume somewhere in my file is now written that I have an allergy to nickel (I do not by the way). I did however learn a couple of interesting things.
This included that since my primary “eczema zone” is my hands there is now a prescription drug approved to treat it. It’s called Toctino which they described as a “retinoid cousin of Accutane“. Here’s the catch though, it requires A LOT of birth control (but only if you’re a woman) and I would be required to essentially take the Toctino in a “low dose” for basically the rest of my life.
The appointment wasn’t helpful but when we were talking about the nickel allergy (with me opening disagreeing) they mentioned in haste that the only way to know for sure would be via a patch test but I would likely wait a year or more to get an appointment. I agreed to be referred to another dermatologist for the patch test.
My notes from the appointment were: 1) Use Protopic instead of Betaderm Ointment (my staple treatment), 2) Use products on the “safe list” – a picture below of the list which was put together by another dermatologist, 3) Avoid jewelry (their concern with nickel), 4) Change my shampoo and conditioner and 5) consider Toctino.
Oh, and wait for a call from the dermatologist who is specialized in patch testing. Note – I did not get the script for Protopic filled.