RSS and Science Denial
John Cook wrote an interesting article in the July – August, 2016 issue of the Skeptical Inquirer. He stated that “science denial has significant consequences. AIDS denial caused over 300,000 deaths in South Africa. Vaccination denial has allowed preventable diseases to make a comeback. Climate science denial helped delay sorely needed mitigation policies, committing us to dire climate impacts for decades to come. Skepticism (by which I mean an evidenced based approach) is the antidote to denial.”
A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new
A wealth of factual information falls on deaf ears when science denial prevails especially when it is replaced with pseudoscience. Red Skin Syndrome (RSS) is a stunning example of an educated and trained professional group of medical doctors practicing science denial. First, there is persistent denial that the topical steroids the doctors prescribe are responsible for the severe ongoing problems of their “chronic” eczema patients. Second, there is persistent denial that these patients are suffering with Topical Steroid Addiction (TSA) and not chronic eczema. Their red skin is evidence of their addiction. Third, medical professors continue to perpetuate the fiction that steroid usage is absolutely necessary in treating red eczema patients and that more potent and stronger corticosteroids are incrementally required.
Physicians who were educated by reading books, manuscripts, papers, going to medical conventions, and listening to lectures should be skeptical of steroid treatment modalities that are not working and should welcome withdrawal protocols that can actually CURE their patients. Instead, these doctors practice science denial and refuse to accept the science of steroid addiction and remain committed to following the pseudoscience of the drug companies’ newest offerings. This clearly presents a conflict of interest since the cure for Red Skin Syndrome requires total and complete cessation of the topical steroids manufactured by the pharmaceutical companies.
The significant consequences of science denial for RSS patients is a lifetime of needless suffering.