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Patients are turning to alternative remedies for psoriasis

More and more adults with psoriasis are using alternative remedies in place of traditional allopathic treatments, says a recent survey. One expert believes it’s due to undertreatment of the condition.

More than four in 10 U.S. adults with psoriasis are using alternative remedies in place of traditional allopathic treatments for psoriasis and nearly 40% report using treatments ranging to vitamins and dietary changes to yoga to complement the medicines they’re on, according to results of a survey published online March 29, 2019 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

When asked why they used complementary and alternative therapies, about 56% of adults said traditional allopathic medicines did not help them or they had unwanted side effects from traditional treatments. Nearly 23% said they prefer “natural” ingredients. Only about 4% suggested care access was a reason.

“The most important thing to take away from this study is that this is happening,” says the study’s senior author Adam Friedman, M.D., professor and interim chair of dermatology at George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences. “They are turning to what some physicians or even patients might not consider are medications as either their sole approach to treating psoriasis or in combination with what we’re giving them. And we have to ask them about it.”

Dr. Friedman and colleagues referred to a survey of psoriasis patients distributed by the National Psoriasis Foundation to nearly 101,000 members, asking about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use and motivations for it.

Two hundred-nineteen completed the survey. Of those, 165 adults, or more than three-quarters, described themselves as having mild or moderate psoriasis. Still, nearly 46% of those surveyed considered their psoriasis to be severe.

Read on: Patients are turning to alternative remedies for psoriasis

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