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Many people take “biologic” drugs that have anti-inflammatory actions on the body and reduce the symptoms of auto-immune conditions like ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

A few names of these biologic drugs include Remicade, Humira or Enbrel. These work well for those people who have an over-active immune system. If I could think of one negative, it would be that they don’t cure or eliminate the root cause of the self-attack. 

More: Ask the Pharmacist: Some generics not up to snuff

Just three weeks ago, a study published in JAMA Cardiology found that using some of these medications could have a beneficial impact on the cardiovascular system. This makes sense to me because after all, the drugs are reducing inflammation chemicals in the body, including those that would hurt the heart.

But due to side effects of biologic drugs, not everyone can take them. Some people cannot afford them. While my suggestions below are not nearly as strong as biologic medications, they might prove to be useful as adjunctive therapy. These remedies also do not suppress immunity. While these are certainly good ideas, I want you to ask your doctor if these are right for you before self-treating.

Fish oil

Fish oils has consistently been shown to support skin health. Studies have shown that taking fish oil seems to help with itching, redness, and the size of the skin lesions. The reason this supplement may work for some people is because there might be a glitch in your fatty acid metabolism. Omega-3 supplements improve redness, thickness, and scaling.

GLA

If your body is deficient in an enzyme that converts dietary fats into compounds that are required for healthy skin, then GLA could help. If you have more Cis-Linoleic Acid and less of the desired Gamma Linoleic Acid or GLA, you could have more flare ups.

Sulfur or Kampuku

Sulfur can be purchased as a soap, and it’s drying. It will ’pull’ dirt from skin cells and unclog the pores so it’s fabulous for acne. Sulfur is not sulfa.

My next best secret is the Kampuku beauty bar by Dr. Ohhira brand. It contains a blend of skin-loving probiotics to help restore healthy microflora to your skin cells. This is instantly soothing and will strengthen your skin’s natural barrier.

Apple cider vinegar or tea tree oil 

A fungi called Malassezia may be involved in seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema and it’s hard to destroy this invader. You could try a diluted application of tea tree essential oil. You could also do a 50/50 mix of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) with water. Both of these have some evidence behind them.

Boswellia

This herb is a strong anti-inflammatory and sometimes taken internally for rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and osteoarthritis. It is available in topical form and studies prove it can help reduce itching, redness and scaling.

For more information on topical Boswellia, write me at scriptessentials@gmail.com.

More: Ask The Pharmacist: Three tips to survive on hydrocodone and other opioids

Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist. The information presented here is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any condition. Visit SuzyCohen.com.

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