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.
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.”