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About Dr. Tirant and the Psoriasis & Skin Clinics™
from David C.

Backstory:

Dr. Tirant's Treatment in Australia

Painful PUVA and Dr. Tirant Experience

Globe Hopping When a Flare Happens

Dr. Tirant's Psoriasis and Skin Clinic Changed Her Life

Going to Try Dr. Tirant's Regimen

Hi. First of all can I say your site is great reading for alternate therapies for psoriasis.

I was interested in Dr Tirant after reading some of the posts on FlakeHQ [see Backstory, above].

Being the paranoid person that I am, I then went to look at his website (psoriasis.com) and the Medical Board for Victoria.

I find it interesting that Dr Tirant's "Dr" title is actually the result of post doctorate studies, NOT a medical degree. He is not a medical doctor or a dermatologist. His degree is in clinical research and natural medicine (diploma).

I thought that it might be useful to mention that to people coming to your website for info, because Dr. Tirant's website is misleading (probably deliberately so) and makes this very unclear.

He hence is unable to prescribe true medical treatments (e.g. corticosteroids) and patients should seek a medical doctor first prior to going to such a clinic.

Regards,  -David C.

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Ed’s Response: Thanks. This is important information, David. Could you please send me the URL at which you found Tirant's credentials? Most appreciated.  -Ed

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David’s Response:  Basically I went to his website’s "about" page here: http://www.psoriasis.com.au/. I clicked the link "Dr Tirant" (sorry for some reason copying the URL didn't work). The page lists medical research scientist and "skin practitioner" and "undergraduate studies" but is cleverly careful not to mention medical degree or dermatology.

Then I went to the Medical Board of Victoria's website and typed his name into the medical register: http://medicalboardvic.org.au (select “Search Register” tab). 

By law all medical practitioners in Victoria must be publicly listed on the medical board's register to legally practice in this state. He practices here in Victoria (my father sees him) but is not registered — hence he does not have a medical degree.

I started getting concerned about his treatments as all the ingredients in his creams and ointments are listed with their Latin names (e.g. Paraffinum Liquidatum: paraffin oil according to any other manufacturer), an often-used trick by unscrupulous salesmen to disguise the commonality of their product's ingredients. Also, their products use zinc oxide, which (as an ex pharmacist) is used in sunscreen. One of the medical treatments for psoriasis is UV treatment, so how does a UV blocker help?

Anyway I understand that there are many people who have seen benefit from his treatments one way or another, so I see no major issue with using his treatments if they work for the patient. However, I still feel that a medical doctor's advice should be sought and medically proven treatment options exhausted prior to attempting this, and that patients should be aware that Dr. Tirant does not have any access to, nor any experience in, treating patients as a medical doctor with current medical therapies.

Thanks again for your website — invaluable in sorting the wheat from the chaff!

Kind Regards,  -David Choy

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Ed’s Response: Thanks for the information, David. You cannot get to the “About Dr. Tirant” article through a direct URL due to the page format (frames). On the home page, click on the “About Us” tab under the top banner; then, using the “About Us” directory in the leftmost column, click on “Dr. Tirant.” This article has a four-paragraph lead section that covers Dr. Tirant’s credentials — which you described above, David — then a section sub-headed “The History of Dr. Tirant’s Treatment Protocols.” In the second to last paragraph in the article, Dr. Tirant is actually referred to as a “non-dermatologist.” This expression is used in the context of his research and treatments being favored by some European dermatologists.

Some folks dislike the idea of Dr. Tirant having a line of products that includes topical and oral medications, lotions, soaps, shampoos and conditioners under the Dr. Michaels and/or Psoriasis & Skin Clinics (P&SC) labels. A cursory examination of the slightly-descriptive ingredients lists suggests nothing surprising. Lots of concoctions with some well-known and some not-so-well-known ingredients — tar, salicylic acid and zinc, for example, a wide assortment of oils with names that suggest both plant and animal origins and a some commonplace bases, like David’s Paraffinum Liquidatum (a.k.a. paraffin). Though I’ve had no direct experience with the products and have not obtained price information, others have informed me these products tend to be pricey by Australian standards. It is interesting that some of the therapeutic drugs, especially the pills, are not sold independent of a consultation by a P&SC practitioner. I don’t know how rigidly this rule is enforced.

The P&SC business has also turned to franchising. A list under the “About Us” tab shows 17 clinic locations in Australia and New Zealand, and another list sites 20 more locations where there are “business opportunities” (which I assume means the parent company would like to see P&SC franchises).

Dr. Tirant’s credentials and business do not fit into the mainstream “medical practice” as experienced here in the U.S. Here health care is throttled by insurance companies that maintain some kind of symbiotic relationship with the medical establishment and big pharma. That combination has made it much more difficult for non-mainstream healers to operate. The reforms just passed by our Congress and signed into law by President Obama are still beyond comprehension by laymen like me, but what I have managed to penetrate suggests “the system” isn’t likely to change that much. We haven’t been a comfortable place for businesses like P&SC and we’re not likely to be in the near future.

Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis have been diseases that don’t excite our medical industry. In fact, most of the significant breakthroughs for psoriasis treatment in the past half century have been accidental discoveries tripped over while pursuing treatments for other things. Those accidental discoveries faced significant hurdles on their road to becoming drugs that are helping flakers today. They had to show promise of enormous profitability and/or very tolerable up front investments before they would be seriously considered. Unanticipated setbacks in any stage of development and trials threatened immediate abandonment. In this kind of environment I find it refreshing to know operations like Dr. Tirant’s Psoriasis and Skin Clinics can flourish somewhere — even if, for now, they are out of reach for me. -Ed

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