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Pharmacy/dry skin repair.


I have dry Dermatologist gave me a prescription for a lotion that is VERY expensive $300 a pop!
Are there over the counter products for dry skin repair?


ANSWER: Hi Loren,
$300 for lotion?!!!!!!!!!  Wow!  This is quite expensive unless it's a large bulk item.
It's hard for me to comment on this because I don't know the exact product that your dermatologist recommended.  In short, there are many products for dry skin that you can purchase over the counter for considerably less than $300.  But again, it's difficult for me to make an informed decision without first knowing what your dermatologist had in mind.  If you have the product details, you could always send them to me in a follow-up question, and I'll try to recommend a product that might be similar to it.  Otherwise, if you're looking for a good moisturizer that is light, water-based, non-comodogenic and good for sensitive skin, I always recommend Cetaphil (particular for the face).  I worked with a dermatologist who would always recommend it for her patients.  Cetaphil comes in various forms: face, body, lotion, cream, with sunscreen/without, etc etc.  It can also be used as a soap substitute if you find that soaps or other face washers are too drying.  Generally the cream has a heavier consistency compared with the lotion and is probably preferred where more heavy duty moisturizing is needed.

There are many other brands and types of moisturizers available.  Like Cetaphil, many are water-based, whilst others are oily ointments.  Ointments generally have a more intensive moisturizing action, but they can also be heavy and messy. Ungvita is a good skin repairing agent.  It contains vitamin A and is particularly useful for excessively dry skin on legs and the body.  But I wouldn't use it on the face.  If you are after a product that has a some antiseptic action, you may wish to consider Bepanthen.  Bepanthen is marketed for nappy rash, but it really can be used on adult skin also.  Alternatively, a moisturizer that contains zinc may also be beneficial.  Zinc is known to have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and astringent properties.  I have also seen doctors recommend oral zinc and vitamin C for patients with skin wounds.       

Loren, I suspect, however, that the lotion that your dermatologist has recommended may have some other active ingredients.  In other words, it may be more than just a simple moisturizer.  It is possible, therefore, that an over-the-counter product simply won't do.  I won't know for certain unless you can offer me the product name or ingredients.

I hope this helps, but feel free to contact me again should you have any further information about your dermatologist's product.

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QUESTION: Thanks, very helpful....
I have a spray-on sample: HylatopicPlus
as a sample.
And I don't have the cream variation...when the Pharmacist told me the cost....I contemplated motor oil, as a 'crude' option.

(also, I too am a volunteer on ALLEXPERTS) and the first place I go for experienced counsel.

Hi again, Loren.
OK, HylatopicPlus combines a simple water-based moisturizer with a keratolytic (salicylic acid/lactic acid).  Keratolytic agents work by exfoliating the skin and are particularly useful for getting rid of those dry thickened layers.  They should leave you with smooth, clear skin which remains more easily hydrated.  Keratolytics are often used for the treatment of scaly plaques of psoriasis, corns, calluses and acne.  Some types of keratolytics, such as alpha-hydroxy acids (or AHAs), are used in anti-ageing preparations and chemical skin peels.  I'm not sure why HylatopicPlus is so expensive because its ingredients are fairly basic.  It could just be a simple case of beauty marketing.  These products will always attract a huge mark up.  I don't know???  

Anyway, I did some searching and I've come across a couple of similar products that you should be able to find in a pharmacy without a prescription:  Neostrata Problem Dry Skin, and Amlactin.  I have websites for you below.  These have similar ingredients to HylatopicPlus and so hopefully should do the trick.  And are a lot cheaper!!!!

I thought I'd mention, though, that although keratolytics can offer many benefits, if misused, they can leave you with red, raw, burning skin from over-exfoliation.  This can be avoided by using the smallest concentration initially (relevant only if the product comes in varying strengths) and applying it strictly as directed.  A temporary stinging feeling is normal.  Note also that fresh skin underneath may be a little more sensitive to sunlight, which could be an issue now that summer is approaching.  Be certain to wear sunblock when you venture outdoors.   

All the best.  I also use AllExperts for glad I came across it.  Where else can you get expert advice for free?!!!!!  And it's nice to know that people genuinely want to help others out without expecting anything in return.


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Gisella Campanelli


I am able to answer questions relating to pharmaceuticals, therapeutic regimes and primary health care. This includes offering advice on drug indications, dosages, and disease state management. I can also identify side effects, drug interactions and contra-indications, and offer recommendations on ways to mitigate these. I can diagnose minor illnesses and suggest appropriate over-the-counter remedies and/or preventive healthcare tips. I can recognize cardinal symptoms which would otherwise require referral to a medical practitioner.


I am a registered pharmacist in Australia, and I have practiced in a hospital pharmacy for over thirteen years. My clinical specializations lie within the areas of psychiatry and general medicine (including gastroenterology, respiratory, endocrinology, neurology, infectious diseases, gerontology, dermatology). I self-managed the training program for pharmacy interns in preparation for their final registration exams, and I have worked for the Pharmacy Board of Australia as an examiner and exam writer.

I hold a Bachelor of Pharmacy from the Victorian College of Pharmacy, Monash University, and I am board-registered to practice within Australia. I also hold a Master's degree in an unrelated field (art conservation).

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