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Simple Inexpensive Solution Soothes Psoriasis Plaques

Simple Inexpensive Solution Soothes Psoriasis Plaques

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.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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