Nav: Home

Psoriasis patients turn to alternative medicine when traditional treatments fail

June 20, 2019

WASHINGTON (June 20, 2019) -- Patients with psoriasis frequently use complementary or alternative therapies to treat their symptoms, according to survey results published by dermatologists from the George Washington University (GW) in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, psoriasis is chronic autoinflammatory skin disease that speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells, which causes raised, red, scaly patches to appear on the skin. Treatments for psoriasis range from topical ointments to ultraviolet light therapy to drugs. Psoriasis is associated with other serious conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and depression.

Through a survey distributed by the National Psoriasis Foundation, a team led by Adam Friedman, MD, interim chair of the Department of Dermatology at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, found that patients with psoriasis typically turned to complementary or alternative medicine when their traditional medications failed or presented harsh side effects.

"Patients turn to these treatments because what was initially prescribed is not working out for them," explained Friedman. "But what we found through the survey is that patients may not completely understand what products will work best for them."

The survey found that patients reported using complementary and alternative medicine that have not previously exhibited efficacy or have not been studied for the treatment of psoriasis. Vitamins D and B12 were frequently reported, though neither of which have documented efficacy against the disease. In contrast, indigo naturalis -- a plant extract widely used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and recognized as a therapy for several inflammatory conditions -- has shown efficacy, but was not reported in the survey. Dead Sea treatments were commonly reported and have shown therapeutic benefit.

"In addition to the chosen treatments, we also found that less than half of the respondents would recommend complementary or alternative therapies to others," Friedman said. "This could be a result of using therapies supported by limited evidence."

Acknowledging that these treatments are part of patients' armament, Friedman and his team suggest that educational initiatives that enable physicians to discuss evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine may improve patient satisfaction and outcomes.
-end-
The article, titled "Uses of Complementary and Alternative medicine by Patients with Psoriasis," published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, is available at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0190962219305031?via%3Dihub.

George Washington University

Related Psoriasis Articles:

Psoriasis drug target offers potential for osteosarcoma
Research reveals a new therapeutic target for the treatment of osteosarcoma.
Study: Some biologic treatments for psoriasis may be safer for patients
In the largest study of its kind, Erica D. Dommasch, M.D., M.P.H., a dermatologist in the Department of Dermatology at BIDMC, and colleagues found a decreased risk of infection in patients with psoriasis using some of the newer, more targeted medications compared to those taking methotrexate, a drug widely used since the 1960s as a first line treatment for moderate-to-severe psoriasis.
Higher weight increases risk of psoriasis
The higher a person's BMI, the greater the chance of getting psoriasis.
Lipid that aids normal skin turnover may help psoriasis
Topical application of the lipid phosphatidylglycerol, or PG, on a mouse model of psoriasis reduced inflammation as well as characteristic, raised skin lesions, they report in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
New insight into the mechanism of the drug against sclerosis and psoriasis
A multidisciplinary research team at Aarhus University has provided fundamental new insight into the mechanism of the medical drug dimethyl fumarate, which is the active component of important treatments for multiple sclerosis and psoriasis.
More Psoriasis News and Psoriasis Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...