The services listed in the text below may vary from province to province.
However, even if your pharmacist cannot prescribe or extend a prescription, he or she will certainly be able to advise you and help you choose the best product for your situation.
Do you have a skin problem? What if your pharmacist could help you solve it and save you a medical consultation?
The skin and its “minor issues”
Skin problems can be unpleasant on various levels. They can cause discomfort or pain, unease or embarrassment or be contagious. Redness, itching, cracks, rashes... These are all signs indicative of a skin problem. Some skin conditions may worsen or last longer if left untreated. That's why it's important to have it checked.
That said, who hasn't already put off dealing with a skin (or mucous membrane) problem, thinking that it's not that serious or that it will be impossible to see a doctor (let alone a dermatologist!) anyway? These days, it is often difficult to get access to a doctor.
However, the good news is that pharmacists are different, and they can take action and help in many cases. Did you know that in some situations, your pharmacist can prescribe treatments for minor conditions, such as various skin and mucous membrane problems? This convenient service can save you time, effort and energy.
A new skin problem?
There are a variety of over-the-counter products available in pharmacies for the prevention, treatment or relief of skin and mucous membrane problems. In some cases, your pharmacist can prescribe them to you. If this can be of help to you, ask them if this is possible for the product you are looking for, and depending on the situation.
Note that it’s always best to consult your pharmacist before buying any over-the-counter products, including natural health products and supplements.
Prescribing treatment for certain conditions
Another interesting option: a pharmacist can initiate treatment to prevent or stop certain health issues when no diagnosis is required.
Among the situations warranting such an act are the treatment of lice and the treatment of allergic contact dermatitis (using a cortisone-based product). The latter consists of an acute inflammatory skin reaction caused by contact with irritating agents or allergens. It causes severe itching and often redness, rashes or sores. A good example is a reaction resulting from contact with poison ivy. Do not hesitate to speak to your pharmacist if you experience such a situation.
An existing skin problem?
A repeat prescription of a treatment already used
Pharmacists can initiate drug therapy that has been prescribed in the past for certain minor conditions as determined by regulation. In other words, in order to be prescribed treatment by a pharmacist, a diagnosis and a prescription for a particular condition must already have been made and prescribed.
This applies to the following conditions, among others:
- oral candidiasis (thrush)
- cutaneous candidiasis (skin fungus infection)
- minor acne (without nodules or pustules)
- mouth ulcers
- atopic dermatitis (eczema)
- diaper rash
- herpes labialis (cold sores)
- vaginal yeast infection
In order for the pharmacist to prescribe treatment, you must have received at least one prescription in the last five years (except for oral candidiasis, in which case the delay is two years). During a consultation with you, the pharmacist will have to make a rigorous evaluation of the situation based on a number of parameters, and then decide whether or not to prescribe the treatment.
Extending your prescription
On the other hand, if you have a skin problem, you may already have a prescription treatment. When a prescription expires (runs out of refills), it can be difficult to contact the prescriber to have it refilled. Did you know that the law now allows pharmacists to extend certain prescriptions?
Following an analysis, and if deemed appropriate, the pharmacist could extend the prescription until you can contact or see the prescriber. It should be noted that this service should never be intended to replace a scheduled or necessary medical appointment, but rather to avoid the interruption of an essential treatment. Ask your pharmacist for more information.
Good advice for prevention and treatment
Beyond the use of medication, be aware that most skin problems can be prevented or alleviated by applying certain measures on a daily basis. As with many health issues, prevention is better than cure.
Your pharmacist can recommend products or measures that can help you control your skin or mucous membrane problem. A cleansing or moisturizing product, gloves, a humidifier, simple tricks, lifestyle changes, etc. There may be solutions that you didn't think they would gladly suggest.
In conclusion, for any question related to a skin or mucous membrane problem, don't hesitate to speak to your pharmacist, who is there to help you!