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from Joey K.
First off, I really love and appreciate your web-site. My name is Joey from Chicago and I am 27. I have had P for 7 years now. It is not as nearly as bad as it was 5 years ago. Seems to get a little worse in the winter. I was just wondering if you have tried or had any feedback about the product Dermarest (http://www.psoriasisnomore.com/). I have just purchased it ($20) and was going to give it a shot. -Joey K.
Ed’s Response: Dermarest offers several products targeted to psoriatics: a Scalp Treatment, Shampoo/Conditioner, Skin Treatment and Moisturizer. The active ingredient in all of them is salicylic acid (3%, the strongest dose allowed without prescription). At the web site you have referenced all these products are described and there is a list of stores that carry them.
Of course, there is more to Dermarest products than the active ingredient. For example, the Scalp Treatment contains "kukui nut oil, known to soothe and calm psoriasis flare-ups." (I hadn’t heard about kukui nut oil, but what the heck?)
Fact is, Joey, a significant percentage of people who flake do so mildly, with little discomfort or debilitation, and do not use nor miss using strong prescription-strength remedies. I believe the Dermarest line of products is directed to this sub-group of psoriatics inside our larger demographic. Some would say every flaker should at least try the OTC products before jumping into the more expensive regimens with their threatening side effects.
By the way, salicylic acid is a keratolytic — a substance used to remove scales. Scales are a product of P but not its cause. Removing scales can help quiet itching and makes it easier for other substances to penetrate into P lesions. With this in mind, don’t be surprised if your lesions remain active — generating new scale as quickly as you can get rid of the old — and your need to use the Dermarest products becomes on-going. (In this regard, Dermarest’s URL takes considerable poetic license: psoriasisnomore.) -Ed