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My Life long Personal attempts to battle Psoriasis...

The following is a list of different  medicines, programs and other such endeavors I have tried. Some worked to some extent, some didn't work at all, I think others were total scams, some had terrible side effects while some left me wondering if they did any good or not and others were just way to hard to follow so who knows if they would have worked or not. This is just the opinion and experiences of one man. I think I've tried everything except injections...

Lots of Turmeric Spice:
I read a bunch of stuff on the internet about how turmeric was a natural anti-inflammatory. Even a few stories of people who said it worked wonders for them. But for me, I had no positive results. But my hands and feet did turn a fancy yellowish orange color. Actually I tried this for about a week while I was documenting the success of my program. I'm pretty in tune to what's helping or not and I definitely didn't feel turmeric did anything special. I didn't like orange hands so I quit pretty quick. Actually, my Psoriasis stricken arthritis joint flared up that week like it never had before and so did my Psoriasis. I would have to say it made me worse than any better.

Water Softener or Water Softener Salt Baths:
I paid for something on the internet claiming a cure or something like that...I can't remember exactly but all I know is...the directions I purchased told me to buy a soft water machine for my home because their Psoriasis went away completely with the use of one. I think it also said something like "if you don't have a water softener then just try dissolving water softener salts in the tub and soaking for a while each day". I don't remember exactly but I do know I tried it and it didn't do a thing for me. I've had a water softener since then (which I don't regret) but it never did anything to rid me of Psoriasis. 

PUVA or Other Sun / Ultraviolet Light Therapies:
There is no denying it, the sun is a Psoriasis sufferers friend. Tanning beds have helped me in the same way. The side effects however are well cancer, leather skin, pre-mature aging etc. In the 8th grade I went on a pretty serious program called "PUVA". Basically this required that I take medication that made me really sensitive to sunlight so that my skin would absorb more of the ultraviolet rays. I had to wear sunglasses whenever I was near sunlight to keep from hurting my eyes. I've used sun therapies to ease my Psoriasis condition in the past, I'm sure I will use it in the future but I don't want to look twice my age either so I'm cautious.

Coal tar treatments: 
Yep real coal tar. Apparently nobody knows why it works but for many years the application of coal tar has proven beneficial for Psoriasis and other skin conditions or dermatitis. This treatment can and did offer a decent level of relief. Biggest downside was that it is greasy, stains clothes and has you smelling like a newly paved road. Pretty inconvenient treatment if you ask me. But desperate circumstances require desperate measures. This treatment can help. Average remission seemed to be about two weeks. My doctor would prescribe me a compound that contained a little steroid so I could never feel comfortable using too much of it. This treatment also works well when I would do a little sun bathing.

Topical Steroids:
Yes they work and can work fast…for a while. But steroids require that you constantly apply them , it can thin your skin, cause stretch marks, cause cancer (I think) and when it stops working…watch out! Psoriasis can come back from a steroid remission with a vengeance! Worse that before! I hate steroid treatments but sometimes I had no other choice.

PSORIATANE™ (Extremely High doses of vitamin A):
This drug works to clear psoriasis. But the side effects were one of the worst I had ever experienced. I started taking this drug about May of 2005 I think. It took about 4 months to clear my skin. Problem is, I started losing my hair (had to shave my head. I just went for bald). The skin on my hands and feet came off in sheets (painful and really gross). And I’m convinced it effected me emotionally. Yes, mentally. The drug warns of depression and feelings of suicide (but I found this out only later)…looking back, this was one of the worst times of my life. I had a great job as an executive…after I started this drug things went down hill fast. I highly regret taking this drug. It cleared my skin at the expense of ruining my career and I had to start all over in another industry. Hindsight is 20/20 and this drug was devastating to me on so many levels.

I bought a book online that suggested this therapy. I can’t tell if it was helping or not. All I remember is feeling pretty sick to my stomach. The theory if I remember was that Psoriasis sufferers seemed to show lower levels of ZINC in their blood than the average person. True or not? Not sure. But if indeed Psoriasis sufferers lacked ZINC, the idea was to replace that deficiency with high doses. I think I tried this for about 2 months and gave up.

This stuff worked amazing! It had my skin completely clear for about two years (the years 1996 to 1998 I think). I loved the fact that I could just spray it on. They claimed that the active ingredient was “Zinc Pyrithione” 1%. The same stuff they now put in Head & Shoulders™ Shampoo (hmmm 1% too). Problem is, it was removed from the market for legal reasons because they didn’t tell us it contained a powerful Steroid (according to the FDA). At the time I didn’t care what it had…it worked! I even bought some in Mexico after it was pulled from US markets. I  needed it. When I finally ran out, it became clear that it must have had a steroid. After stopping Skin-Cap™ my Psoriasis started coming back with a vengeance…remember that’s what can happen when you quit taking topical steroids to treat Psoriasis. I think you can still buy the stuff online. Legally? Not sure. There have been several spin-offs claiming to use the same active ingredient without the need for a steroid…none of them worked to do anything but aggravate my skin. One such product I tried (can't remember the name) had me inflamed with blisters. Terrible. Later on I got a prescription to have a local pharmacist compound a similar product with the steroid included. I  never felt 100% safe using it and it really just didn't work like the old Skin-Cap.

This stuff works pretty well. Occasionally, if I go off my program and get a break out I will still use this ointment, especially on my scalp. Apparently the maker found a way to make vitamin D available to the skin in an ointment. Results are fairly quick and would keep me clear for a couple of days. Stop using it however and the condition returns. I got into a bad habit of lathering watered down handfuls of the stuff from head to toe (without a little water it’s just too thick to spread). BUT DON’T DO THIS!!! My face broke out in a very weird reaction. And I could swear, long term extensive use over so much of my body caused me to gain muscle. I don’t know how but I’m sure of it (not too bad of a side effect I guess). Overall I think this is a great product but not good for really large coverage. My skin would become red and sensitive with use.  

Dr Pagano's "Healing Psoriasis" & Cook Book:
There is nothing bad I can say about Dr. Pagano. A number of years ago I ordered his book and the results convinced me once and for all that diet can and does effect Psoriasis. He references the work of a early researcher (Edgar Cayce) that shared this opinions and went to great efforts  to put a nice
reference book together that I think every Psoriasis sufferer should have. While I don't agree with many of the food items he says we can or can't have, the education was priceless. Dr. Pagano believes that Psoriasis is caused by toxins entering the body through the intestine, which according to him,  in Psoriasis sufferers is much thinner than it should be. These toxins tax the liver and finally the skin, the results showings as Psoriasis. I am gracious towards his contributions. I did find however that the Pagano regimens were hard to follow, a bit vague in directions and some of the ideas promoted had a hint of quackery to them. This prompted me to design my own program much better suited to my busy schedule and more specific in direction and discipline. If you try my program or not I highly recommend Dr. Pagano's book.

Doo GroŽ hair growth product:
There are times when I'm pretty bad about sticking to this program, as usual, my skin breaks out in some areas. Once I was especially upset about my arms  and not being able to wear short sleeves. I wanted a quick solution. Searching the net I read something about rubbing this oil (intended for a scalp & hair treatment) on your skin to improve Psoriasis. Well, at first I was rather impressed. It didn't smell too bad, rubbed in nicely and eventually the flaking cleared and redness was reduced. The redness however never did go away completely and unfortunately, after about two weeks straight I simply could not stand the itching. The thickness and even some of the flaking began to reappear even though I continued to put it on twice a day. My overall skin being treated this way became reddish, glossy, I don't know just different. I tried at a later time and experienced the same results. Using Doo GroŽ this way was not something I could put faith in anymore. In short, benefits were short lived, side effect of itching unbearable. That's my experience anyway. One last note, I also tried this on my hair line experiencing a minimal break out. It worked rather well for that without the itching... then again, I don't believe this product is meant  to be used as a large area body lotion, so this makes sense.

Honey & Cinnamon Ointment:
There might actually be something to this treatment. I read a bunch stuff online that says the two combined create some helpful concoction. I tried it for about a week and did find that the itching was reduced as was the flaking. the stickiness however was beyond something I could put up with and I did smell a bit like cinnamon, so I quit. There was also a bunch documentation supporting the benefits of eating the  two together. I figures they taste pretty good so why not? I can't however say one way or another if it actually helps, but it does taste good and doesn't seem to hurt. And oatmeal is on of my favorites.




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