What Patients Say Works for Psoriasis

psoriasis graphicFor the live-updated, fully-labelled, interactive version of this infographic, click here.

By Alexandra Carmichael, Co-Founder of CureTogether

People living with Psoriasis have reported that some of the most effective treatments for their skin include simple interventions like sunlight, salt water, and avoiding stresses.
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This is according to a new study by CureTogether, a free resource owned by 23andMe that allows people to share information about their health and treatments.

Psoriasis is one of the most prevalent autoimmune disorders in the United States, affecting an estimated seven million Americans and 125 million worldwide. The condition is characterized by patches of itchy, scaly skin. In its mild form, psoriasis may be just a nuisance, but severe cases can be both painful,  disfiguring and debilitating.

Finding the right treatment can be difficult, so CureTogether asked people living with Psoriasis to rate the effectiveness of 34 different patient-reported treatments.

Participants in the study said they found that phototherapy, cortisone injections, swimming in the ocean, and sunlight were among the most effective, in addition to avoiding stress and triggers and the medications Dovonex and T-Gel. Conversely some common treatments such as oatmeal baths, Epsom salts, and Vitamin D, were among the least effective, according to the study.

Most Effective Rated Treatments for Psoriasis
1. UVB Phototherapy
2. Cortisone injection
3. Salt water/ocean
4. Sunlight
5. Topical corticosteroids
6. Avoid triggers
7. Avoid stress
8. Dovonex
9. UVA Phototherapy
10. T-Gel

Where did this data come from? This is the result of a four-year CureTogether study on Psoriasis, in which 275 people living with the condition shared information about their symptoms and what treatments worked best for them. We’d like to thank those who participated. And just as they shared their experience with treatments, we’re freely and openly sharing the results of the Psoriasis study.

This is part of a regular series of CureTogether research findings. CureTogether’s research findings are different than those made by 23andMe, which look at genetic associations with illness, traits and drug response. But as we continue our work with the CureTogether community, 23andMe hopes to incorporate more of this kind of self-reported information into our own research. CureTogether present its findings just as they are — patient-reported data — to stimulate discussion and generate new insights for further research.

Please tweet, blog, or pass this along to anyone who can benefit or is interested in Psoriasis. Thank you!

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  • Fran

    I’m surprised no survey respondents reported using a paleo diet to help psoriasis. Lots of people get good results for autoimmune conditions and skin conditions by adopting an exclusively whole foods diet that excludes all grains, legumes, and dairy.

    • E

      I am on the Paleo diet . I have P. It doesn’t help. There is no cure. There is only endurance.

      • Ognywogny

        Good god somebody who speaks the truth. (40 years in now)

    • Todd

      My symptoms all went away within a month of switching to a Paleo life-style. The back scratchers located in every room of my house now go unused. :-)

      Todd

    • Grace

      We went primal rather than paleo & it helped my son (though his psoriasis was not widespread or severe).

  • Heather Osborne

    What works for me is a good bit of sun. Makes flare-ups occur much farther apart and less intense. And if you can get goat’s milk products, like Cracker Barrel’s lotion. It’ll clear up my worst rashes….

  • ray san

    Thank you for this interesting post and the also-interesting links! I don’t have psoriasis, only some eczema which affects what I can wash with, but it is good to read thoughts about positive approaches to suffering, however occasional or otherwise it may be.

  • Psoriasis Vulgaris

    Such a complex condition that specialists haven’t yet been able to find a cure to put psoriasis to rest for ever. Strangely enough, it seems sufferers usually grow resistant to treatment, that’s why most doctors usually alternate different methods: one week of systemic treatment, two of topical and so on.

  • Aunty Liz

    Try homeopathy. I was seeing a homeopath for years before I was officially diagnosed with chronic heavy metal toxicity, something I’ve had for more than all of my adult life. Still, that didn’t answer the sudden onslaught of symptoms in 1992 that last year I found to be caused by Lyme disease. The icing on this bitter cake, I’ve now discovered in the last fortnight that I also have somehow picked up not only the parasite that lodges in the lymphatic system and can cause elephantiasis, but also the one that lodges in the serous cavities and the one that lodges in the subcutaneous tissues. I expect the following relates to those parasites as I did not experience a number of the supposed symptoms of Lyme, including incontinence, lymphedema, hair loss, digestive problems, to name a few, until after exposure and infection in 2005.

    In 2008 a small patch of ‘flaking’ skin that looked much like psoriasis developed under one foot. As time went on this blew out into a condition that was very difficult to treat as it presented as eczema, psoriasis, lymphedema and erysipelas in a random and fluctuating manner, eventually enveloping the whole foot and ‘spreading’ to the other and appearing on my thighs from resting my ankles thereon. The first foot even went purple. One problem was, the remedy for one condition would aggravate the other(s) so I was going around in circles. While researching something else I came upon an article related to a remedy I’d not yet had prescribed. Psorinum.

    I got some from my homeopath and from there on, after a very long time, my foot and leg conditions began to heal, and relatively quickly. I had tried antibiotics along the way but after ‘trialling’ 3 that made no difference I stuck with homeopathy. In the end, it was homeopathy that had kept me going for almost 20 years with the varying toxic substances in my body. All that’s left is some skin discoloration, but that relates to the parasites, and the parasites causing multiple conditions for almost a decade on top of multiple conditions caused by Lyme for almost 2 decades and those of mercury for some 4 decades are why it was so difficult to heal. If psoriasis is your worst health problem I have no doubt homeopathy can rid you of your problem. You may also find it helps with other symptoms you may experience, e.g., depression, that you didn’t know were related. I wish I could show you photos because you would hardly believe your eyes and you would realize how well it works.

    The infections I picked up in 2005 have really knocked me around, in part because I just can’t afford to visit the homeopath as often as I need. The remedies always pick me up but having been unable to generate an income for so long I can’t afford to go back regularly enough to maintain the up until I’m properly healed. Having said that, now I know exactly what is the problem with my health I can fast track my healing and I know I will have good health again. The parasites I picked up in 2006 are filarial worms. My homeopath gave me a tincture that rids the body of parasites and, boy, does it work. One dose certainly stirred the pot that well I’ve had to postpone that treatment until after a special event coming up. After that I’m in for a hell of a ride but at least I know the destination is exactly where I want to go.

    I would suggest you try to find a well recommended homeopath. Like any profession, there are those who can and those who should be teaching… Lol.

  • TOPGRAMMA

    I’ve had psoriasis for most of my life,and like many of you I tried many remedies.
    unfortunately, none worked for me.
    Back in 1989 or 1990, I read a book on psoriasis written by a forgotten doctor, and it changed my life forever.
    He wrote that some people have found that the remedy he suggested,which is to avoid pork and pork products (you have to be a detective to ferret them out sometime), but it worked for them and it worked for me. .
    I wish i could remember his name or his book, but unfortunately after i was cured I lost track of the book.

  • Darragh McCurragh

    Saltwater and UV light have long been known to help – q.v. the dead sea psoriasis cures and light therapy. However, I recently found out that black people have a far lower incidence rate for psoriasis – shouldn’t that open a promising path for research?

  • http://www.sfbsc.com/psoriasis-treatment SFSALTCO

    Dead sea salts from San Francisco Salt Company works for my psoriasis. It helps my skin feel hydrated and less itchy. And also dead sea salts contain large amounts of magnesium and bromide, which cleanse and disinfect my skin, making less susceptible to skin-related allergies.

  • CrankyOtter

    You know what sunlight and salt kill? Fungus.
    How have we not found a microbe (yeast like?) that causes psoriasis and exczema? It seems the only reasonable explanation. They seem to act a lot like athlete’s foot. Intractable fungus infections tend to only affect some people and can respond to diet changes but come back if diet reverts. Figure out how to wipe out the underlying infection (chitin inhibitors?) and see if these skin conditions clear up.

  • http://indigohealingcream.com Colby McCarren

    My name is Colby and my father has had psoriasis for over 40 years. He recently came across the indigo plant and found it to be the most effective treatment he has ever found. He developed a cream based on the indigo plant and the stuff really works. Call us for a free sample (plus free shipping).

  • akash sowji

    Hi Friends, Biocon has recently released medicine for Psoriasis called “Injection ALZUMAB”. There are no side effects. If you are facing lot of problem with Psoriasis please use it i am also started using this is my 3th cycle.

  • akash sowji

    Hi Friends, Biocon has recently released medicine for Psoriasis called “Injection ALZUMAB”. There are no side effects. If you are facing lot of problem with Psoriasis please use it i am also started using this is my 3th cycle.

  • Matthew

    I am surprised that meditation isn’t on the chart. I have had tremendous success with it.

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