by Martin Chandler
He had the driest skin they had ever seen. He claimed to moisturize it several times a day, but his skin was dark and scaly and sucked the moisture out of anything. In many places, it was hard and cracked, and he worried obsessively that it would turn to stone if he didn’t keep up his daily lotion schedule.
Of course, his doctor dismissed this worry. “Skin can’t turn to stone,” she said. “At worst, it will flake off and expose a layer of skin underneath. The real question is: Why is it so dry? Do you work for a salt company? Or with sand?”
He didn’t, and told her so. She took some samples of his flaking skin to be analyzed, and prescribed him a topical corticosteroid. He left, feeling entirely unhelped and uncertain.