Third World Derm Creams
I just returned from a
Culinary Tour in Morocco and one afternoon we ventured to the spice market in
After several days of
cooking lessons, I had formulated my list of spices I would be purchasing and
bringing back home to create decadent meals for my family and friends. To my
surprise, I discovered their version of "dermatologic compounding," and I was immediately
I also was humored to
see the man behind the counter, wearing a white lab coat identical to medical
providers in the states. I asked him if he was a pharmacist or attended
any medical training. He replied, "No, my family is in the spices." Okay. So, a
long standing family business of spices and no medical science background, (my
I was drilling him with
questions, quickly jotting down ingredients and attempting to avoid looking
like a lunatic tourist or compounding spy!
The herpes compound
included saffron, almond oil and jasmine. The spice "expert" claimed he
formulated this for canker sores, cold sores and cracked lips. Saffron?
Hilarious. Can you imagine telling your patient to rub a little saffron cream
on their lips BID? Maybe? Someone should try it. Might I suggest one
thing: change the name! What would your date think if he/she used the
restroom and your Herpe jar was accidently left on the counter?
Next up was my personal
favorite because we all know I LOVE teenage acne: acne compound. This consisted
of tea tree, Palm Oil, Argan Oil and Rosemary Oil. Clearly, I'm not versed in
Arabic spice concoctions, especially for dermatologic application; however,
this seems like a very OILY mixture.
I can't imagine the Tea
Tree properties to be drying enough to overcompensate for all the oils. Maybe?
Again, who's trying this? Argan Oil is simply delicious! Processed from
grinding argan nuts, Moroccans serve this at every meal as a finishing oil. I
quite possibly consumed several cups of this oil during my two weeks of
Argan Oil was also found
in his Exzema compound. I love the spelling of this! Rosemary nut oil and Clove
oil are the other two components that "smooth the skin," he said. I don't know
about you but if I rubbed Rosemary on my atopic skin, I‘d have urticarial
wheals before I could count to one hundred. I do have several patients that
swear by Rosemary drops to help their xerosis. Maybe?
Lastly, the Psoriasis
cream compounded of Black Tar, Sulfur and yes, you're seeing the trend; ARGAN
OIL. We all love the Black tar & Sulfa combo for psoriasis, minus the
smelly mess. Does the Argan Oil take this compound to the next level? Maybe? Could Argan Oil be the
next magical dermatology trend?
Traveling through third
world countries is always fascinating, particularly when seeking out pieces of
culture that relate to your profession. Stumbling upon these dermatology
compounds was definitely unexpected and incredibly enjoyable.