Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Do you have plaque psoriasis (psoriasis vulgaris)? Treating plaque psoriasis with a topical form of aloe vera tends to reduce flare-ups. This is according to a research report presented during the International Congress of Dermatology (ICD) held in Prague last May. When compared with patients who use topical steroid, those who underwent aloe vera treatment showed greater improvement of their plaque psoriasis after eight weeks.
How to Identify Plaque Psoriasis
Plaque psoriasis is easier to identify than the other manifestations of this condition. Raised lesions, made vivid by bright red inflammation, form on your skin. Eventually the dead skin cells bunch up into off-white scales covering the lesions. Psoriasis vulgaris, or plaque psoriasis, is commonly found on your scalp, elbows, knees and trunk.
As the inflammation spreads, plaques may spread over larger patches of skin and merge into one another. The lesions may also appear in mirror-like locations on opposite sides of your body. Psoriasis occurs anywhere on the body, but plaque lesions seem to have a special affinity for your scalp, knees and elbows.
If you want to see some photographs of plaque psoriasis, you may want to click on this link of PsoriasisInternational.org. (Warning: You might find some of the pictures gross!)
The Aloe Vera Effect
The latest study reported at the ICD was not the first of its kind. Another clinical study was conducted in 1998 which found that applying aloe vera cream on affected skin three times daily for at least 28 days helped to control the psoriasis inflammation. In certain cases, skin outbreaks did not recur for about one year.
It is of no surprise that studies have found aloe vera to be beneficial to psoriasis patients. Legend has it that Cleopatra and Nefertiti used aloe vera as part of their beauty treatment regimen. The moisturizing characteristic of aloe vera, in fact, is the attribute that has encouraged me to use aloe vera as part of my psoriasis treatment. That's why I was ecstatic when I read about this latest report from the ICD.
Instead of using aloe vera cream, I use aloe vera gel. I usually apply the aloe gel after shower. I have been practicing this ritual for about two months now. It has an amazing effect on my skin. I still use corticosteroid cream, of course, but I keep it to the minimum, say, twice a week application.
You may want to try applying aloe vera cream, or aloe vera gel, on the affected parts. It is believed that the moisturizing and anti-inflammatory characteristics of aloe vera improve plaque psoriasis. Aloe vera has always been considered an alternative treatment without the detrimental local and systemic effects associated with chronic use of topical steroids.
Photo credit: Biology Big Brother (flickr.com)
Balch, P. (2002). Prescription for Herbal Healing. (New York: Avery).
LeVan, L. (1999). The Psoriasis Cure. (New York: Avery).