The following was written by Karen Parrot: a member of the CPCRN Board of Directors who personally uses the program below to eliminate skin problems from many dogs that she has fostered and many others who have followed her "Beautiful Skin Care Program."

First, a dog that has a major skin problem should not be dirty NOR should it have long coat. If your dog has an unhealthy coat over most of the body, you would need to pull the coat out (please see our Grooming section) or at least take the dog to a groomer and have the dogís coat clipped short. The skin absolutely needs to be able to breath during the below process, and thick or long coat will prevent this.

PRODUCTS THAT YOU NEED TO PURCHASE: All of these items can be purchased at any large drug store.

After your dog has been groomed to remove the coat, bathe the dog in DENOREX. Try to leave the suds on for 15 minutes. There should be no water in the sink at this time. Some dogs will love the rubbing attention. Give a few treats and get comfortable yourself. WATCH that the dog does not lick the suds or soapy water by the sink or tub.

Rinse the suds off of the dog. Use a plastic container and rinse and rinse. Repeat the above washing procedure, and leave this second wash on for at least five minutes: longer, if you are able.

COMPLETELY rinse the dog. Continue to rinse over and over again even after you think that there could not be any possible suds left. Don't forget under the dogís armpits and tail.

Pat the dog dry with several towels. DO NOT RUB. Do not allow the dog to run in the back yard to dry at this time.

Once the dog is completely dry, spray any sore areas with the Lanacaine spray, as well as any areas that you think might look like they are going to become a sore. Watch that you don't get any spray in the eyes, nose or mouth.

Allow the Lanacaine to dry for a few minutes. Take the dog outside on leash and powder the dog completely with Gold Bond Powder. If you are going to get near the eyes, nose or mouth, cover these with your hand.

Now put the Onesie on tag side up at his neck. Snap two snaps one on either side of his tail leaving the middle open so his tail can poke out. If your dogís skin problem is from the waist up, you can also use an infantís T-shirt in place of the Onesie. The idea is to cover up what you just washed, sprayed and powdered.

Give Benadryl once in the morning and once in the evening -- if scratching is still bad you may give a third one at midday. The caplets are solid, tiny little pills, but they taste nasty! Hide one in a piece of bread or cheese, or in some peanut butter.

In one week, bathe the dog again following the same procedure. The next bath after that should be in two weeks, and after that, one month. Hopefully, the dog won't need a fourth.

THIS REGIME IS TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION THAT YOU HAVE ALREADY ELIMINATED FLEAS, TICKS, AND FOOD CONTAINING CORN. Corn is the number one allergen for food-allergic dogs. This has worked for my dogs and for countless fosters. Only use the Benadryl when it is needed. It is way less harmful and less expensive than allergy treatments, which the new homes may pursue if they wish. Some inhalant-allergic dogs need allergy shots, but this will tell you if further steps are really needed.