Question:

I have recently finished a long treatment program for severe psoriasis, after which I was instructed to moisturize the areas twice a day. In addition, I have a medicinal gel to apply to any spots which reappear, also twice a day. Normally, I skip Shabbat and maximum pour oil over the areas. Now, with Rosh Hashana being followed directly by Shabbat, I am worried about 3 days without the medicinal gel for the trouble areas. (I don’t know if it is important to the Rav, but it is a clear ointment, relatively loose and one is supposed to use the applicator itself to spread it.) Am I allowed to use it with a “shinui”? Is there a difference whether it is Rosh Hashana or Shabbos? Thank you so very much for your help!
Wish you and your and all of Am Yisrael a Ktiva and Hatima LShana Tova LAlter LHaim Toivim

Answer:

The halachot of taking medications are the same on Yom Tov as on Shabbat, therefore it wouldn’t be permitted for you to apply the gel. I would suggest that you apply a generous amount of it before Yom tov so hopefully it will last you for longer.

As a side point, regarding applying oil, I understand that applying the oil will not be an issue mimariach (smearing), but I would be interested to know why applying oil to the areas that you want to heal would be different than healing it with a medicated gel.

Have a Kesiva Vchatima Tova, and I wish that your Yom Tov and Shabbos should pass without having any need to use anything.:

Sources:

O:CH 328-1, Shulchan Shlomo 328-40.

 

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6 Responses to “medicated gel on Shabbat and Rosh HaShana”

  1. this person needs medicine to prevent a choli sheain bo sakana

    • In order to be considered a choleh shein bo sakana the illness has to affect the persons functioning, such as having a severe pain or a flu, to the degree that the illness impairs his functioning. That does not seem to be the case over here.

  2. As the person who wrote the original query, I would like to clarify two different points. First, the oil that I have been using on Shabbat is a siimple, non-medicated oil. Its purpose is to maintain the (currently) healthy state of my skin, much as a healthy person takes vitamins on Shabbat to maintain their health rather than cure something. (I was told that this is allowed by some poskim.)
    Next, regarding the problem spots I spoke of that – from a physician’s point of view – should be immediately treated with the medicated gel: This gel is supposed to keep those spots from turning into psoriasis IY”H. I must point out, in my eyes, the case of psoriasis that I had prior to the 5-month UV treatment that I recently finished was debilitating. The constant itching and discomfort greatly affected my ability to focus on tefila and on learning. It also severely disturbed my sleep.
    I apologize for any information that I should have originally included but didn’t. I wanted to make my question brief, and perhaps in the interest of doing so, I actually neglected to mention important points.
    Is the situation clearer now?

    • From your question it seemed to me that you put the oil on when it starts to come back.
      If the psoriasis was debilitating then it would be considered a choleh shein bo sakana.

  3. “severe psoriasis” –
    Dec. 17, 2007 — Psoriasis is not generally thought of as life-threatening, but it just might be for those with the severest forms of the disease. People with severe psoriasis had a 50% increased risk of death compared with people without the inflammatory skin disease in a newly reported study.Dec 17, 2007

    • I don’t think the person asked the question meant it in such a way.

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