Old-fashioned ichthammol may help

Always consider a superimposed contact allergy from something the patient has been applying. However, the usual therapies failed to work in this patient and the question became “What to do next?”

A good, old-fashioned treatment is to wrap the leg in an ichthammol-impregnated bandage. Ichthammol is a tar, derivative of shale oil, which soothes the skin and allows the eczema to settle.

The bandage, left on for seven days before changing, stops the patient scratching it. Other options include a zinc-impregnated bandage. If they start scratching