How Psoriasis Can Be Treated
The red patches of skin covered with silvery scales that characterize psoriasis are unsightly and uncomfortable, especially when they appear in such vulnerable places as the hands or the soles of the feet. Psoriasis victims are frequently very self-conscious because of their skin problem and frustrated by fruitless attempts to control it.
The traditional therapy for psoriasis involves applying coal tar to the scaly patches, which are then exposed to ultraviolet light. This is messy and time-consuming but reasonably effective in the short run. (In the long run, psoriasis almost always comes back.) In the early 1970s, researchers developed a psoralen drug, which makes the skin more sensitive to light. Patients are given the drug orally then are put under high-intensity ultraviolet light. This treatment works, too. However, with both treatments, psoriasis victims run the risk of developing skin cancer.
Searching for a safer type of treatment, doctors at Stanford University's dermatology department turned to heat therapy. They have utilized hyperthermia on psoriasis with great success.
'It's especially good for small specific areas of psoriasis, like elbows and knees,' says Elaine Greenberg, who conducted the study. 'In our experiment, we treated 22 different areas of psoriasis on nine separate people. By using a special ultrasound device, we heated the psoriasis plaques to 110℉ [43.3℃] for 30-minute periods, three times weekly for a total of four to ten treatments. In that time, 68 percent of the psoriasis areas cleared completely and another 23 percent responded partially.
'This method of treatment has a distinct advantage,' Dr. Orenberg told us. 'There are no adverse side-effects as there often are with drug therapies.
The main problem with hyperthermia is that it can't be done at home. A heating pad, for example, would not do the job, says Dr. Orenberg, because it doesn't get hot enough. You'd have to sit with it on for about six hours every day to match the effect of the treatment device they use.
More promising treatmentsDoctors are also investigating the effectiveness of etretinate (Tigason), a vitamin A-derived drug, in the treatment of severe psoriasis, and the results have been very encouraging. Etretinate has been described by Dr. Eugene M. Farber of Stanford University and president of the International Psoriasis Research Foundation as 'one of the most exciting drugs in the history of dermatology'. Unfortunately, there are side-effects, including possible birth defects, so etretinate should not be used during pregnancy or for 12 months before conception. In the UK, it can only be prescribed by a hospital consultant.
Some results have been reported using a form of nicotinic acid — a B vitamin — taken by mouth to treat psoriasis. One study combined a topical aminonicotinamide drug with niacinamide for a 'significant' recovery in 85 of 99 psoriasis patients (Archives of Dermatology).
Don't rule out food allergies, either. While psoriasis has not been proved to be caused by allergies, the theory has not been disproven. Putting psoriasis patients on a gluten-free diet (i.e., no wheat, rye, barley or oats) resulted in 'remarkable improvements in these patients'. One doctor reported that his wife's psoriasis cleared up when she stopped eating fruit (especially citrus), nuts, maize, and milk. Other patients under the same doctor's care improved on similar programs (Western Journal of Medicine, November 1980).
How to Treatment Psoriasis Problems Naturally Reviewed by Healthy Kite on 8/27/2016 Rating: