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Management of impetigo

Impetigo is a highly contagious, bacterial infection of the skin, most commonly seen in children. It is typically diagnosed clinically,... View Article

May 2021

Consider blue-green algal blooms this summer: Identifying and managing suspected cyanotoxin poisoning in primary care

Cyanobacteria, also referred to as blue-green algae, are micro-organisms that live in freshwater and marine environments. Under... View Article

November 2020

Reducing the burden of melanoma in New Zealand Part 1: Prevention and risk assessment

Limiting UV radiation exposure through sun smart behaviour is the key to preventing melanoma. However, incidence and mortality... View Article

January 2020

Reducing the burden of melanoma in New Zealand Part 2: Early detection of melanoma

Identification of melanoma at the earliest possible clinical stage improves outcomes; lesion thickness is the strongest predictor... View Article

January 2020

Topical antibiotics: keep reducing use

Encouraging progress has been made by prescribers in New Zealand in reducing the use of topical antibiotics such as fusidic acid;... View Article

July 2018

News item: Discussion on Zostavax

Since publication of our article on Zostavax vaccine in March, 2018, we have received feedback from several readers seeking clarification... View Article

April 2018

Zostavax vaccine: now fully subsidised

Zostavax is a herpes zoster (shingles) vaccine that will become fully subsidised from 1 April, 2018 for people aged 65 years.... View Article

March 2018

4% dimethicone lotion: a subsidised treatment for head lice

From 1 May, 2017, 4% dimethicone lotion can be prescribed fully subsidised for the treatment of head lice, which adds another... View Article

May 2017

Topical antibiotics for skin infections: should they be prescribed at all?

Clinical indications for the use of topical antibiotics are continuing to narrow, driven by increasing resistance rates in New... View Article

February 2017

Topical antibiotics for skin infections: when are they appropriate?

In the community, many patients have skin and soft tissue infections that are relatively minor, e.g. scrapes and scratches or... View Article

February 2017

1. Chronic plaque psoriasis: an overview of treatment in primary care

Most patients with psoriasis have chronic plaque psoriasis, the majority of whom can be managed in primary care. Emollients can... View Article

February 2017

2. Choosing a topical treatment for patients with chronic plaque psoriasis

Finding a treatment that works for patients may require trial and error. Topical medicines include emollients, potent or very... View Article

February 2017

3. Monitoring patients with moderate to severe psoriasis

Patients with moderate to severe psoriasis are usually managed in secondary care with treatments including phototherapy, methotrexate,... View Article

February 2017

Prescribing isotretinoin for patients with acne in primary care

Isotretinoin is recommended for patients with moderate acne that produces scarring or distress, or for acne that persists following... View Article

January 2017

How to use fluorouracil and imiquimod for non-melanoma skin cancer in a general practice setting

Fluorouracil and imiquimod creams are fully subsidised topical treatments, suitable for some patients with non-melanoma skin cancers;... View Article

January 2017

Childhood eczema: improving adherence to treatment basics

Emollients form the basis of treatment for all patients with eczema. Emollients and topical corticosteroids are effective at preventing... View Article

December 2016

Topical corticosteroids for childhood eczema: clearing up the confusion

Topical corticosteroids are one of the key medicines used in the management of childhood eczema. However, adherence is typically... View Article

December 2016

Rosacea: seeing red in primary care

Rosacea is an inflammatory facial skin disease that can cause patients embarrassment and reduce their quality of life. There are... View Article

May 2016

Valaciclovir – a first line antiviral medicine

Valaciclovir is an antiviral medicine which can be used for the treatment of Herpes simplex infections and herpes zoster. As of... View Article

March 2016

Should I prescribe a topical antiseptic cream instead of a topical antibiotic for minor skin infections?

Increasing rates of resistance to topical antibiotics continues to change the use of these medicines in primary care. Topical... View Article

June 2015

Cellulitis: skin deep and spreading across New Zealand

Adults and children with uncomplicated cellulitis can usually be managed in the community if they are clinically stable. Oral... View Article

June 2015

News Update

The Australasian Society of Infectious Diseases (ASID) annual scientific meeting | Discontinuation of topical erythromycin View Article

June 2015

Treating childhood eczema - a topical solution for a topical problem

Emollients, topical corticosteroids and avoidance of triggers remain the mainstays of treatment in children with eczema. Under-use... View Article

April 2015

Tinea pedis: not just the curse of the athlete

Tinea pedis is a common fungal foot infection that is often associated with high rates of treatment failure or recurrence. This... View Article

December 2014

Melanoma of the foot

Acral melanoma is a subtype of cutaneous melanoma, which manifests on the palms, wrists and soles of the feet (including the nail... View Article

December 2014

Plantar warts: a persistently perplexing problem

Plantar warts, also known as plantar verrucae, are manifestations of infection with human papillomavirus. They can be painful... View Article

December 2014

Ingrown toenails: digging out the facts

The best method for treating patients with an ingrown toenail has long been debated. Non-surgical options are generally preferred... View Article

December 2014

Cracked Heels: stop them in their tracks

Cracked heels are most often caused by a lack of moisture in the skin. Fissures generally occur on the back of the heel and usually... View Article

December 2014

News Updates

This article has been archived. If you would like access to the original article please contact: editor@bpac.org.nz View Article

October 2014

Safer prescribing of high-risk medicines - Methotrexate: potentially fatal in overdose

Low-dose methotrexate is commonly used in the treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and other rheumatologic diseases,... View Article

October 2014

Topical antibiotics: very few indications for use

Topical antibiotics in general have been excessively used in New Zealand in recent years. The increasing prevalence of resistance... View Article

October 2014

Vulvovaginal health in post-menopausal women

Age-related changes in women can result in an increased occurrence of vulvovaginal dermatological conditions such as vulval dermatitis... View Article

September 2014

“Seventh age itch”: Preventing and managing dry skin in older people

As skin ages, increased transepidermal water loss leads to dry skin (xerosis) and reduced barrier function. Dry skin is often... View Article

September 2014

Rural infections series: Rural round up

In the final instalment of the rural series we present a round-up of infections that may be seen in patients living in, working... View Article

May 2014

Contact dermatitis: a “working” diagnosis

Contributed by: Dr Lissa Judd, Occupational Dermatologist, Wellington View Article

April 2014

The diagnosis and management of herpes zoster and its complications

Herpes zoster (shingles) is a self-limiting condition caused by reactivation of the Varicella zoster virus. Shingles most frequently... View Article

March 2014

Managing non-melanoma skin cancer in primary care: A focus on topical treatments

When a patient presents with a suspicious skin lesion the first step is to assess the likelihood of melanoma being present and... View Article

December 2013

Prescribing update: Low dose isotretinoin for acne?

New evidence is increasingly suggesting that isotretinoin may be best prescribed using a lower daily dose, with the regimen tailored... View Article

November 2013

Causes, complications and treatment of a red eye

Most cases of “red eye” seen in general practice are likely to be conjunctivitis or a superficial corneal injury, however, red... View Article

August 2013

Laboratory testing for isotretinoin

Oral isotretinoin is a highly effective treatment for severe acne, however it is associated with a number of adverse effects,... View Article

June 2013

Microbiological assessment of infected wounds: when to take a swab and how to interpret the results

Identifying and managing infection in wounds is an important aspect of primary care practice. However, many issues relating to... View Article

June 2013

Managing acne in primary care

Acne is a common dermatological condition that affects most people at some stage in their life. Because acne is regarded as “normal”... View Article

March 2013

Managing skin infections in Māori and Pacific families

Compared to other developed countries, New Zealand has one of the highest rates of serious skin infections, particularly among... View Article

August 2012

Diagnosis and treatment of urticaria

Urticaria is a common condition, which is usually non-allergenic, but in the majority of patients a specific cause will not be... View Article

April 2012

Vulvovaginal health in premenopausal women

Symptoms relating to the vulvovaginal area such as abnormal discharge, itch and pain are common, particularly for women of reproductive... View Article

December 2011

Collecting specimens for the investigation of fungal infections

Fungal infections of the skin, nails and hair are caused by dermatophytes. In many cases, diagnosis of infection is made by clinical... View Article

March 2011

Detecting malignant melanoma

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of melanoma in the world. Melanoma is the most common cancer among New Zealand men aged... View Article

February 2011

News in brief

This article has been archived. If you would like access to the original article please contact: editor@bpac.org.nz View Article

February 2011

Skin infections in Pacific peoples

Serious skin infections such as cellulitis, abscesses and impetigo are an increasingly common reason for hospital admission in... View Article

November 2010

TNF inhibitors - an update

Tumour necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors are used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis,... View Article

November 2009

The treatment of psoriasis in primary care

Psoriasis is an emotionally and physically debilitating disease which can significantly affect quality of life. Support with psychosocial... View Article

September 2009

Topical corticosteroid treatment for skin conditions

Topical corticosteroids are used to treat many skin conditions. They should be used at the lowest potency possible for the shortest... View Article

September 2009

Practice tips: PPIs and Paraffin

All about PPIs, Fire hazard with paraffin View Article

September 2009

Managing eczema

Eczema can have a significant impact on the lives of patients and their families. The aims of treatment are to identify and minimise... View Article

September 2009

How to treat acne

Acne is a common skin condition that affects most people at some stage in their life. The aims of acne treatment are to reduce... View Article

April 2009

Upfront: The isotretinoin debate

There are two major safety concerns with isotretinoin :
• It is teratogenic at all therapeutic doses and durations of exposure...
View Article

April 2009

Scabies - diagnosis and management

Scabies manifests as an itchy skin rash, as a result of an allergic reaction to the female scabies mite. Infection is easily spread... View Article

February 2009

Removal of isotretinoin prescriber restrictions

This article has been archived. If you would like access to the original article please contact: editor@bpac.org.nz View Article

February 2009

Management of fungal nail infections

Fungal nail infection (onychomycosis) accounts for around 50% of all nail disease. Laboratory diagnosis is recommended before... View Article

February 2009

Management of impetigo

Impetigo is a highly contagious, bacterial infection of the skin, most commonly seen in children. It is typically diagnosed clinically... View Article

February 2009

Mastitis and sore nipples while breastfeeding

The management of two conditions that commonly, but unnecessarily, lead to discontinuation of breastfeeding are outlined. View Article

December 2008

Imiquimod cream (Aldara) for genital warts and basal cell carcinoma

Imiquimod enhances the immune response to viral infections and tumours by stimulating the immune system to release interferon... View Article

September 2008

Treating head lice

Head lice are non-discriminatory in who they affect, however outbreaks among school children are most common. We discuss treatments... View Article

June 2008