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Alternative Medicines May Aid in the Treatment of Psoriasis

Last Updated: October 02, 2018.

Some complementary and alternative medicines may be helpful in the treatment of psoriasis, according to a review published online Sept. 5 in JAMA Dermatology.

TUESDAY, Oct. 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Some complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) may be helpful in the treatment of psoriasis, according to a review published online Sept. 5 in JAMA Dermatology.

A. Caresse Gamret, from the University of Miami, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to identify studies evaluating all documented CAM psoriasis interventions. Included interventions had more than one randomized clinical trial (RCT) supporting their use.

The researchers identified 44 RCTs (17 double-blind, 13 single-blind, and 14 nonblind), 10 uncontrolled trials, two open-label nonrandomized controlled trials, one prospective controlled trial, and three meta-analyses. Compared with placebo, topical indigo naturalis (studied in five RCTs with 215 participants) showed significant improvements in psoriasis. Curcumin (evaluated in five studies with 118 participants) showed statistically and clinically significant improvements in psoriasis plaques. Twenty studies evaluated fish oil treatment, with most RCTs showing no significant improvement in psoriasis; however, most uncontrolled studies showed benefit with daily use. There was modest efficacy associated with meditation and guided imagery therapies (three single-blind RCTs with 112 patients). Acupuncture showed significant improvement in one meta-analysis of 13 RCTs versus placebo.

"This review will aid practitioners in advising patients seeking unconventional approaches for treatment of psoriasis," the authors write.

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