While there are a variety of prescription drugs and traditional over-the-counter treatments for psoriasis, many of these options lack effectiveness or are risky enough to make people uncomfortable. In any situation it’s best to talk to your doctor about all options. In the United States, traditional treatments for psoriasis include topicals, pills, and injections. But there is another treatment option you should consider.
There are many challenges that come with finding the right psoriasis treatment. These include cost, effectiveness, and insurance approval. I have spoken to some psoriasis sufferers who are happy with their treatment, while others seem to have exhausted all means.
The Mayo Clinic states, “Effects of psoriasis treatments also can be unpredictable; what works well for one person might be ineffective for someone else.”
But can something dead bring your skin back to life?
It’s located between Israel and Jordan in Southwest Asia. It is referenced several times in the Bible and is at least 3 million years old. What is it?
If you guessed the Dead Sea, you are correct. About a year ago I spoke with some other psoriasis sufferers who advised me of the apparent mystical powers of this body of water.
It is said that this body of water, which isn’t a sea at all but a lake, can heal those with diseases of the skin.
They stated they had conversations with a spa owner in Israel, negotiating on a deal for a trip to the Dead Sea with a 28-day stay for about $2,000. That’s an amazing deal. I researched the cost myself and found a stay for a few days (less than a week) at a resort there would definitely cost a couple of thousand dollars.
For the most effective treatment, patients are advised to stay for at least 30 days. “For millennia, people with psoriasis and other disorders have made pilgrimages to the Dead Sea, where the waters, 10 times as salty as the ocean, are rich in magnesium and other minerals,” the National Psoriasis Foundation reports. “The increased oxygen in the air calms the nerves and relaxes the mind.” This type of treatment is referred to as “spa therapy.”
Psoriasis sufferer Matthew Kats documented his Dead Sea Journey on Youtube, which can be seen here. In the video, his body is significantly covered by large red patches of psoriasis. Just by the third day you can see a bit of improvement. By day 20, the video shows that Kats was completely clear of his psoriasis.
Imitation is the greatest form of flattery and treatment
If traveling thousands of miles to the Dead Sea is a bit over your budget, or you don’t have enough vacation days, there are treatments in the United States that mimic the effects of treatment via the sea.
“What we try to do is recreate the Dead Sea therapy to the greatest extent possible,” says Dr. Jeffrey Altman, Medical Director at Mavena Derma Center. His facility helps treat skin diseases. The treatment Altman is reffering to, is called Balneo phototherapy.
The method is quite simple: the facility uses salt imported from the Dead Sea, which patients bathe in. In conjunction with the baths, there is light therapy that mimics the temperature and sunlight found in the Middle East. Although the results have about a 70 percent success rate, Dr. Altman says, “The response rates aren’t quite as durable of what we see in the Dead Sea.”
If that doesn’t work…
If neither of those options are a possibility, companies such as San Francisco Salt import salts from the Dead Sea, which you can add directly to bath water in your home for a price ranging from $25 to $88, depending on the size of the bag. However, remember that results will vary. The more the treatments differ from the methods at spas on the Dead Sea, the less effective they will probably be.
What are your thoughts on these treatment options?
20 Quick Facts About the Dead Sea http://www.sfsalt.com/20-dead-sea-facts
For Some People with Psoriasis, Spa Therapy is a Clear Choice https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/treatments/alternative/spa-therapy-for-psoriasis
VIDEO: Dead Sea Salt Therapy for Psoriasis- on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=od2JekF4FYk
Psoriasis Dead Sea Treatment https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRIHc36ZTSw
Alisha Bridges has battled with severe psoriasis for over 20 years and is the face behindBeing Me in My Own Skin, a blog which highlights her life with psoriasis. Her goals are to create empathy and compassion for those who are least understood, through transparency of self, patient advocacy, and healthcare. She is currently a student at Georgia State University pursuing a career as a Physician's Assistance—her passions are dermatology and sexual health. Alisha also shares her passion as a Social Ambassador of the Psoriasis HealthCentral Facebook page where she shares timely tips, stories and insights on living with psoriasis. You can also find Alisha onTwitter.