Sunday, July 10, 2011

Alternative therapy for Psoriasis


Some studies suggest psoriasis symptoms can be relieved by changes in diet and lifestyle. Fasting periods, low energy diets and vegetarian diets have improved psoriasis symptoms in some studies, and diets supplemented with fish oil (in this study cod liver oil) have also shown beneficial effects. Fish oils are rich in the two omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and contain Vitamin E, furthermore cod liver oil contains Vitamin A and Vitamin D.

The severity of psoriasis symptoms may also be influenced by lifestyle habits related to alcohol, smoking, weight, sleep, stress and exercise.

Another treatment is ichthyotherapy, which is practised at some spas in Turkey, Croatia, Ireland, Hungary and Serbia. Doctor fish living in outdoor thermal pools are encouraged to feed on the psoriatic skin, only consuming the affected areas. The outdoor location of the spa may also have a beneficial effect. This treatment can provide temporary relief of symptoms. A revisit to the spas every few months is often required. This treatment has been examined in two small clinical trials, with positive results.

Hypnotherapy may be effective for psoriasis.

A psychological symptom management programme has been reported as being a helpful adjunct to traditional therapies in the management of psoriasis. In the UK, The Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance (PAPAA, a not-for-profit charity) has funded research, carried out by the University of Manchester, to develop a symptom management programme called Electronic Targeted Intervention for Psoriasis (eTIPs) using a modified Cognitive Behaviour Therapy model. This research follows research by Fortune, et al. on psychological stress, distress and disability in patients with psoriasis.

It has been suggested that cannabis might treat psoriasis, due to the anti-inflammatory properties of its cannabinoids, and the regulatory effects of THC on the immune system. The adverse effects of cannabis might be overcome by use of more specific cannabinoid receptor medications, to inhibit keratinocyte proliferation.

On 17 November 2008, researchers led by Yin-Ku Lin of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University in Taoyuan, Taiwan, told Reuters by telephone that Indigo naturalis (qing dai, 青黛), a dark blue plant used in traditional Chinese medicine, appears to be effective in treating psoriasis. In the latest issue of Archives of Dermatology, they wrote, "The Indigo naturalis ointment-treated lesions showed an 81 percent improvement, the (nonmedicated) ointment-treated lesions showed a 26 percent improvement."

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