Q. One of your readers wrote about success using Listerine for acne. I had equal success using Listerine for my psoriasis.

Large red areas on my legs itched severely. The doctor could offer no cures except to enter a clinical trial. Instead I used Listerine. I applied it twice a day and the itching stopped almost immediately. It took about six or seven weeks for the redness to disappear.

That was seven years ago. The psoriasis has not recurred. The cost was minimal; the look on my doctor’s face was priceless.

A. Your story is intriguing. We suspect that dermatologists would be skeptical. Nevertheless, we have heard from others that old-fashioned amber-colored Listerine does help ease the itching of scalp psoriasis. It may be due to some action of the herbal ingredients such as thymol or eucalyptol, but it has not been studied.

Other natural approaches to psoriasis include moderate sun exposure or consuming turmeric, green tea, oolong tea, vitamin D, flaxseed oil, cilantro or salsa.

One reader reported: My wife’s eye doctor recommended Barleans filtered flax seed oil for dry eye. She takes one ounce twice a day for dry eye. She was also plagued with flaking to red oozing skin on her hand which was psoriasis. The flax seed oil made the psoriasis disappear.”

Another one had this experience:I suffered from psoriasis on the soles of my feet (palmo-plantar pustulosis) for about three years. Was given Soriatane and a number of steroid creams/light treatments, etc. and nothing ever helped (and the side effects were horrid). The psoriasis was beginning to appear under my toe nails.

“Then someone recommended that I give up gluten. My feet where a little better within a week, much better within a month, and I had practically no trace of psoriasis after 6 months. It has been seven years since I gave up gluten and my feet are perfectly healthy with no trace of psoriasis.

“A year ago I suffered a bout of guttate psoriasis, with the red spots covering me from neck to ankles and wrists. I read online that turmeric might help. The active compound is best absorbed in the company of the active ingredient in black pepper and it is fat, not water soluble. So I mix a big bottle of oil, vinegar, lots of ground black pepper, and several tablespoons of turmeric.

“It separates so I give it a good shake before pouring it. I eat salads every day. The guttate psoriasis has not returned and my feet are still as healthy as can be. Needless to say, I continue to eat gluten-free and now try to consume as much turmeric as possible.”

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  1. Sky
    Reply

    I must testify that the amber colored Listerine treatment is clearing my skin beautifully. I have suffered for the past two years with itchy, burning, red patches on my arms and legs. I use a spray bottle filled with Listerine ONLY. I do not mix it with water. I no longer itch. I have no inflammation, and miraculously I can see my skin again. I will continue this treatment and hopefully the dark discolored skin to go away.

  2. KVS
    Reply

    I use the brown (generic) anticeptic Listerine full strength.

  3. SP
    Reply

    Thank you all for your tips to treat psoriasis. I would like to try the Listerine, do I use it by itself?

  4. Angie
    Reply

    What ratio of listerine to water would you use to apply to affected areas of psoriasis? I have it on both soles of my feet, and would love to know if it’s really working for anyone else.
    Thanks in advance!

  5. Linda
    Reply

    I have tried the Listerine for 1 week and it is drying up my spots on my arms and the lower part of my legs- I also have a very large skin area on the thigh area and had it biopsied – the doctor said it was an allergy to some “drugs” I was taking that was over a year ago. I have changed out my medications and over the counter vitamins and herbs and no effect. I am hoping this will work on it. thanks for the article in the Dallas Morning News, please continue.

  6. SARA H., FAYETTEVILLE, NC
    Reply

    For almost 40 years I suffered from “dermatitis” on both arms. Went to many dermatologists, even to uab and I live in N.C. The only dr. (s hundred miles away) who ever helped, did superficial radiation abt. 3 times a year. He passed away, and no other dermatologist would do that… so finally after using pain patches for several years, I stumbled onto something similar on the internet. I began taking, orally, two capsules each, of flaxseed oil 1200 mg and lecithin 1300 mg. I do not remember how long before it “cured” the dermatitis, but I no longer use pain patches. It’s been about five or six years and the two supplements are still working!!! Thank the lord for the internet…..and for the Graedons.

  7. L.A.
    Reply

    Years ago, I had heard to use the amber Listerine on the dog for “hot spots”. (Undiagnosed itchy areas) Works for the dog, why not us. Also works for dandruff (the human kind) and heard it works as a repellant for head lice when sprayed on the hair.

  8. KATHLEEN V.
    Reply

    In response to the reader who used amber colored Listerine for Psoriasis. I tried that at one time as well, but cider vinegar (organic w/Mother) worked better; but be careful to not get it into your ears if you have scalp Psoriasis as I do. Be sure to wear ear plugs.
    I got it into my ears and it caused me much pain for weeks. If you try this, be sure to wear ear plugs!

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