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The Dog’s Healing Lick
from Mark K.

Hi Ed:  Found your web site to be very informative. I'm 32, from Singapore, have psoriasis on 50% of my body, mainly on legs and torso.

I’ve tried most of the creams available, UVB — cleared for a while, came back after 2-3 months — UVB and cream don't seem to help until...

Some weeks ago, I went on the Atkins diet to help "improve" my health (not my psoriasis).

After going on very low carb and NO sugar diet, I found that my psoriasis seemed to itch less and less redness, fewer flakes.  I wonder if anyone out there has any diet experiences to share?

I also have a silly habit of letting my dog lick my feet. My feet had two small patches of psoriasis a few weeks back, the dog licked them, I find it to be quite a lazy way of scratching my sores.  But, to my amazement, the psoriasis patches on my feet  all cleared up. I proceeded to let the dog lick a spot on my elbow and it’s clearing  up, too.  "Doggy! Come lick my back!"

My friends are pondering if the enzymes in my dog's saliva aren’t “the cure.”

Cheers, Mark K.


Ed’s Response:  Hello back to Singapore.  Nice to hear from you, Mark.  First, on the subject of diet.  How much time have you got to spend reading?  Diets of one sort or another are the most proclaimed of all the unproven therapies to treat P.  Search on the word “diet” from the FlakeHQ home page and you’ll get 109 hits — and we’ve been nowhere near comprehensive in our treatment of the subject!

Yours is the first mention I’ve heard of P improving on the Atkins diet; however, it’s not uncommon for P to respond — worse OR better — to any major change in a flaker’s life.  The true test will take a few months.  How closely will your P improvement track with your adherence (or lack thereof) to the Atkins diet?  (If I remember correctly, the things from which you must abstain in the beginning you can eventually come back to, in moderation, of course, after you've attained certain weight loss milestones.  Is that correct?)

And regarding that handy mutt.  I suppose if small Turkish fish allowed to nibble on lesions are therapeutic, a dog’s fond licking should not surprise us with its healing powers.  At the very least, I imagine the process of being licked is a type of exfoliation.  I think, in the animal kingdom, “saliva” can be very very bad or, perhaps, very very good.   As I understand it, the bite of a Komodo Dragon (monitor lizard, somewhere near your neck of the woods) kills its prey by the infections transferred through the wound from the Komodo’s saliva.  Very very nasty stuff, that dragon spit.  Conversely, almost all mammals treat their own wounds and the wounds of their offspring by “licking them clean.”  Quite frankly, Mark, I think I’d feel considerably less fear at any dog’s lick than the prospect of being licked by some of the people I’ve run across in my wanderings. 

If the trend continues — that is, your spots the dog licks continue to improve and/or go away entirely — at least have the saliva analyzed.  And, in the meantime, please don’t change the dog’s diet. <wink>  -Ed

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