Dear Dr. Gott: Please tell me what to do to get rid of my psoriasis. I’ve had it for a long time and just can’t seem to get rid of it. I do have a prescription for Taclonex that works well, but I don’t have health insurance to continue to fill the expensive prescription. What else can I do?
Dear Reader: Most forms of psoriasis are cyclical, meaning symptoms flare up, subside and then flare up again. An outbreak can present with red, scaly patches of skin, itching, painful joints and more. Common forms can appear anywhere on the body, including the inside of the mouth.
Risk factors include a family history of the disease, immune disorders, stress, exposure to cold, certain medications and more.
Treatment depends on the location of the outbreak. Some lesions might be controlled with an over-the-counter topical cream. Corticosteroids are prescription anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed frequently. And, as you pointed out, some drugs can be quite expensive.
Keep your skin moisturized, especially after bathing. Avoid harsh soaps and very hot water. Both will dry your skin and aggravate the lesions. Use a sun block prior to going out of doors in daily sunlight. Controlled exposure can improve lesions, but take caution not to overdo it, as too much sun will trigger an outbreak.
Alternative control includes synthetic forms of vitamin D that may reduce inflammation of the skin and block cells from reproducing. Medicated chest rubs can be applied to affected areas to relieve the itch and stop the scaling.
Apart from being healthful, eating a banana a day can benefit psoriasis, not for the fruit, rather for the peel. Simply rub the inside of the peel over small or mildly irritated areas two or three times a day. Cut the balance of the peel into patches large enough to cover the most serious lesions. Hold in place with paper tape. Replace daily. The results will be astonishing.
To provide related information, I am sending you copies of my Health Reports “Dermatitis, Psoriasis & Eczema” and “Compelling Home Remedies.” Other readers who would like copies should send a self-addressed stamped No. 10 envelope and a check or money order for $2 for each report to Newsletter, P.O. Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092. Be sure to mention the title(s).
Dear Dr. Gott: I am a speech therapist. A while ago, you wrote about treatments for Bell’s palsy and mentioned physical therapy, among other things. I was disappointed, however, that you didn’t mention speech therapy, which may be more beneficial for sufferers. Please let your readers know about this therapy.
Dear Reader: Done. I hadn’t thought of speech therapy as a treatment for Bell’s palsy. When most people think of speech therapy, they think it is used for children who have difficulty enunciating properly or have facial deformities (such as a cleft palate) that make speaking difficult.
So, readers, if you are suffering from Bell’s palsy, consider a referral to a speech therapist familiar with treating the condition. Similarly, if any readers have had positive (or negative) results from speech therapy for Bell’s palsy, please let me know. I will print a follow-up.