The safe and natural way to save your skin!

Q: The excema I've had for years on my hands has flared so badly that my doctor says it's psoriasis. Medications certainly help, but the dryness and cracking continue. Can you make any other suggestions?

GR: If you have psoriasis, you know all too well what those silvery scales and red, raised patches on your hands, arms, and face look and feel like. And if you're one of the five million people in the U.S. suffering from this painful and unsightly condition, you know just how resistant to treatment it can be.

Conventional medicine generally treats psoriasis with topical cortisone preparations, which can alleviate its symptoms. However, the potential side effects include bruising, changes in skin color, and dilated blood vessels.

In addition, patients commonly become resistant to the cortisone preparation after several months of treatment, which means that their dosages must be consistently increased.

As with any other condition that I treat in my practice, I find it better to address the root cause of it rather than trying to band-aid the symptoms.

The rapid cell division that occurs in psoriasis is attributed to an abnormal ratio of two different cell growth-regulating factors. This ratio can often be normalized with an herbal remedy called Forskolin, which is often used in Ayurvedic medicine.

Forskolin is available in many health food stores, and it does not appear to have any toxic side effects. Most preparations offer 5 mg tablets and capsules, which should be taken two or three times daily for a total dose of 10 to 15 mg per day.

Ultraviolet light therapy is also an option, and it's one that's actually offered by the mainstream. UV radiation penetrates the skin and slows the abnormal rate of skin cell growth.

In most cases of psoriasis, food allergies and sensitivities are common. Once allergies have been determined and treated by a physician, there are a number of vitamins, minerals, and herbs that can drastically improve -- and even eliminate -- psoriasis.

A naturally-occurring metabolite of vitamin D, called 1.25 dihydroxy vitamin D, can be very effective for most cases of psoriasis. However, it's only available by prescription through compounding pharmacists.

Vitamin B12 and folic acid are also helpful in treating psoriasis. Because the dosages required are fairly large -- 1,000 to 3,000 mcg of vitamin B12 daily and 50 mg
of folic acid taken two or three times per day -- you may need to get a prescription from a doctor skilled in nutritional medicine.

To achieve the highest level of relief, these nutrients should be taken over the same period of time. Just keep in mind that it can take two to three months to experience results.

Finally, the elements nickel and bromide (in very small quantities) can help cure psoriasis. Yes, CURE! Often, this chronic skin problem disappears completely.

Other times, it's substantially improved, so it's worth trying -- especially since adverse reactions are few.

Drop me a line at askdrrothfeld@nutritionandhealing.com, and I may choose your question to answer next!