Specialty pharmacies are, in a way, throwbacks to the earlier days when pharmacy technicians took medication orders from physicians and produced drugs “from scratch.” Gradually, the drug business was taken over by the large commercial concerns that mass-produce our modern day tinctures for what ails us. For some people, however, particularly those suffering from skin disorders like eczema, the old ways are best, and a trip to a compounding pharmacy is in order.
Specialty pharmacists create medicinal substances that are free from the dyes, fillers and preservatives present in mass-produced medicines. Working in a sterile environment that helps ensure their products are free of contamination, they’re also able to make prescriptions that are specially engineered for each patient’s needs and sensitivities.
In the field of Dermatology, or study of our wondrous wrapping, the skin, Eczema is a blanket term for skin inflammations that are believed to be a result of an impaired immune system. It is characterized by severe responses to soaps, makeup, clothing, detergents, jewelry, or even sweat. Sudden changes in temperature and humidity can also induce an attack, which leads to severe itching, skin flaking, and even angry blisters. Stress can also be a trigger.
In the United States., up to 20% of children and one to two percent of adults are afflicted with this condition. It often appears in infancy, but generally clears up by age three. Many cases persist into adulthood, though, and are sometimes linked to factors like Asthma, food allergies, or allergic rhinitis (hay fever).
Because this and other skin disorders, such as Psoriasis, warts, or Rosacea appear in a population that is overreacting to irritants around them, it would seem practical then, for individuals to seek therapy that won’t cause additional distress. A specialty pharmacist will work with the patient’s doctor to create and deliver the right medicine in the right formulation for each individual’s particular needs.
A sterile compounding pharmacy can produce the necessary medicine in just the right dosage and combination; if many drugs need to be administered simultaneously, this can be accommodated in one application. Relief can come in creams, sprays, dermal patches, or even lollipops. The patient is monitored closely and the dosage or formulation can be altered as needed.
The goals are pain management and control of the enormous urge to itch the skin, as well as hydration and healing of the inflamed skin.
All this is guided by the principle of providing individualized medicines – one unique person at a time.
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