From my own personal experiences I come up against this all too often. Earlier this year when I decided to stop using topical steroid creams and immunosuppressants, I was met with a tonne of aberration from my dermatologist. Even now, after switching derms I still have a stand-off battle when I tell her I'm still not using the steroids, it's almost with spite and malice that she retorts; "Oh of course you're not." as she then rolls her eyes to the back of her head. What she seems to be failing to understand is that I'm not steroid-phobic. I genuinely feel that the treatments I have been given over this 4 and a half year period have done me more harm than good. I'm now worse than I ever was and I can only think to put it down to the prescribed medications after finding nothing other than cats and dust mites that I am severely allergic to (which only happened after my period of stress - I was never that allergic).
When I told my former dermatologist of my findings regarding Red Skin Syndrome and Topical Steroid Addiction he seemed happy enough to want to find out more at my next appointment, but I now realise he only agreed to read them to keep me sweet. The next appointment came and he didn't even bother to look at Dr Rapaport's papers. He told me they bore no credibility. Yet even when I argued that he should take a look at my own blog and read up on the blogs of fellow sufferers who had come out the other side cured he told me that he didn't like all this "technology business" and didn't use computers.
Erm what? You're a doctor living in the 21st century. It's basically your right to use a computer to find out what's going on in the current world!
That is when I decided to switch to seeing another derm, who again seemed to be on my side in the beginning, but as you can see from my previous entries, she turned out to be just as sour. What is their problem? Sure I can understand that it must be somewhat frustrating to be told these creams that you've been telling your patient to apply liberally are in fact the cause of the problem, but to outright dismiss the idea when all other treatments have been exhausted? I think it would at least be worth a try, no?
I realise that this isn't all the fault of doctors however, as Shane stated in his post, there are some scary convictions relating to dermatologists particularly regarding why they chose the specialism; not because they have an interest in the subject but because of the healthy pay packet and more time off. That kind of heralds part of the reasoning as to why they seem to stick so vigilantly to their treatments of topical steroids and immunosuppressants. If you're not bothered about your patients with recurring eczema that only gets worse why not just chuck something stronger at it instead of addressing the cause of the problem. It makes me angry.
Sure, there are some derms out there who do care about their patients and not just from a medical perspective, they do genuinely care for their well-beings (look at Rapaport, Fukuya, and all other red skinners who have been provided with love and care)... however I don't think I've found one for myself yet.
I'm not disputing the jobs of the doctors as it must be really frustrating to see your patient failing to respond effectively to treatment, but at the end of the day us patients do rely on them to give us some form of hope. Afterall, they are the one that have done the years of medical research and have the experience of treating other patients with similar conditions.
On top of all this there's the whole idea of the pharmaceutical companies making their mega bucks by distributing their medications which are initially approved by the FDA, but later are found to cause deaths and other life-threatening illnesses that weren't listed on the insert. This is then decidedly covered up as they would lose a lot of money and it creates more media hype and stigma against them. To the average Joe, that's you and I, we have no right to know what we put in/ on our bodies. As long as the big guns are raking in money then the world can go round.
It truly makes you wonder if anyone has your best interests at heart in wanting to get better or is life just one big scam? Ooooh deep!
Also as an aside: don't you find it ironic that the inserts for many of these prescribed medications state that side effects can consist of skin rashes, itching, hives, allergic reaction, dry skin, edema and so on and so forth? Just a tad ironic that they won't give credit to steroid induced eczema yet the symptoms are often listed as side effects. How would you know if it was a side effect if you're already using these treatments to cure the said symptoms listed...?