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P in Malaysia
Dear Ed, I'm a 38 year old male from Malaysia and was recently diagnosed with P. I have scalp P and also plaques on my body. My acquaintance with P started about 15 years ago when a colleague showed me his lesions and that's when I first heard the word psoriasis.
Here in Malaysia, psoriasis is not well understood. Last year I started noticing small lesions on my scalp that itched and as I scratched some of these lesions bled. My first reaction was oh God, please, I hope it's not psoriasis but within a month, other lesions started to appear on my legs and trunk. I turned to the net and my suspicions were confirmed especially when I came across your great site and its wealth of information.
Finally, I went to a derm in town and after one look, he confirmed it was P and prescribed Polytar shampoo and topical steroids. He never told me more about P and here I was, self diagnosing myself with P and learning all I can about this disease and all he said was “See you in 2 weeks time.”
I am trying to cope with the lesions and trying to put on a brave front but sometimes it is emotionally challenging. I am not keen on steroids and have recently started using a ginger based cream for P. It was invented by a local university Professor and so far the users have given good feedback. A bottle of 10g cost about Malaysian 50 ringgit (USD 15) and it's totally herbal. A patient needs to apply the cream on the lesions 5-7 times a day and improvements are usually seen in 3-4 weeks. I was told the worst case treated was a Middle East man who came down to Malaysia with 90% of his body covered with P and it took 7 months for his P to be healed completely.
Well, any herbal preparation can't be bad and I shall post later on my progress. Please allow me to commend you on your great site and also your sense of humour. Here in Malaysia, we have no such forums or sites that deal with P and the Government run site on Dermatology is hardly updated. Biologics and systemic medications are way too expensive but all Government Hospitals here provide PUVA facilities as none of the derms have a portable unit.
Till later, bye Ed and take care. -Kumar
Ed’s Response: Glad you found us and wrote to us, Kumar. Please DO keep us apprised of your progress on the Ginger-based topical. Ginger is used in a number of medicinal applications here, including its ancient use as a palliative for stomach ache. It’s been used for the treatment of arthritis which may hold a clue as to why it can work for psoriasis (both are inflammatory disorders).
As you’ve discovered yourself, there are significant disparities from country to country with regard to understanding and treating psoriasis. The International Federation of Psoriasis Associations (IFPA) is our first international collaborative focusing on this problem. You may be interested in my January 2006 interview with Sherry Decker, then-U.S. delegate to the IFPA from our National Psoriasis Foundation. Sherry related some statistics from around the world that are shocking. I hope to obtain more current information about the worldwide “psoriasis situation” later this year.Thanks again, and welcome to our community, Kumar. -Ed