PRP Survival Guide


Baths and Showers

The PRP Survival Guide is designed to be a repository of experiences and insights shared by PRP patients and their caregivers. Collectively, the PRP community possesses a wealth of practical knowledge about pityriasis rubra pilaris. Only we can harvest that knowledge.
Share what you have learned as a PRP patient or caregiver about the challenges of bathing and showering. Share what you have been told by your dermatologist? Share articles you feel might be worth reading or websites worth visiting. Here is the first question we ask about PRP, bathing, and showering?

(1)  Can I shower and at what water temperature?

Bill M (Plano, TX)

For some PRP patients, it is simply too painful to bathe or shower daily. I was fortunate. “Bath Time” was my daily salvation.

Step 1 — I filled the tub with very very warm water. It was hot enough to stay warm for 30 minutes. I set the timer. I did nothing but lay there submerged. I could hear the muffled sounds from the television through the closed door.

Step 2 — The sound of my 30-minute timer signaled my nightly regime of “slathering”. I started with the triamcinolone cream on damp skin — everywhere except my face and ears (Desonide® went there) and my palms and soles (combination of urea lotion and Clobetasol®).

Step 3 — My evening cocktail: hydroxyzine, Ambien and two Extra Strength Tylenols. Fifteen minutes later I would be asleep. As long as I didn’t drink water after 9:00 PM, I could sleep from 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM. Figuring out the “evening libation” was a trial and error process I discussed with my dermatologist.

The reason I tell this story is that my evening bath became a welcomed end to what was probably a freakin’ horrific day.

Carol T (England)
Avoid standing under running shower water during the acute stage. Your skin is already parched and water — whatever temperature — will only dry it out even more. Stand in your shower cubicle (or on a towel in front of the basin) and apply plenty of OINTMENT (creams contain additives) all over your body and gently rinse off with a warm flannel.
Once dry, reapply ointment and wear loose cotton clothes. It takes ages but you should only do this once a day. This worked for me – during the acute stage – and I am passing it on as a suggestion. When your skin gets over the “tender and handle with care” stage, apply a very small amount of cream to test whether you are ready. If it burns wash it off immediately.
 If the itching gets you down ask your GP to prescribe antihistamines as they worked like magic for me and helped me sleep.