Q. I was diagnosed with psoriasis several years ago. My dermatologist prescribed a number of medications including steroid creams but I did not get much relief. My doctor started talking about adding chemotherapy (methotrexate) and I balked at such a heavy-duty treatment.
I found an online forum of psoriasis patients. Some had tried topical glycerin and found it helpful. I figured I had nothing to lose and was astonished to see how well it cleared my skin. Why don’t doctors know about this approach?
A. Researchers at the Medical College of Georgia have found that glycerin (glycerol) helps guide skin cell maturation (Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Dec. 2007). This basic research may suggest a reason for the good results you have gotten. Most doctors would not know about topical glycerin, as it has not been used in clinical trials yet. It is unlikely to be tested in such a study, because no entity stands to recoup the cost of a trial and turn a profit.
Glycerin is a colorless, odorless, sweet-tasting inexpensive compound used in both topical and oral pharmaceutical preparations. It is used in many skin preparations for its moisturizing and lubricating qualities.