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No to Soriatane, Yes to Seawater Plunges
from Debbie B.

I just "happened" on this website after my doctor prescribed Soriatane for me today. I read the brochure and was horrified at the potential side effects. Already depressed over the appearance of my skin (I always wear long pants and long dresses), I am extremely worried about losing my hair. This would be the final straw for me. I was told that this side effect was dose-related and I would be started on a low dose (75 mg per day). I was also told this should not happen with low doses.

After reading the comments on your site I've decided NOT to take this drug.

I was also very happy to see the comment about sea water. An amazing thing happened to me this summer. My hubby and I stayed at the beach for a little weekend vacation and I waded in the water at sundown (so no one could see my legs). Two days later when I returned home I noticed the red spots on my legs were almost completely gone! I mentioned to my husband that maybe it was the sea water. We both laughed as we've lived in Florida almost our whole lives and never go to the beach. I told him it would be amazing if sea water actually was beneficial. I think it is. I'm headed back to the ocean to try a total body plunge and will check back with you then. -Debbie B.


Ed’s Response: Well, Debbie, I certainly can’t fault you for opting out of a systemic therapy. I opted out myself for years. I think the risks need to be weighed against quality-of-life. I was not so much depressed about my appearance (probably a male trait in our society) as I was fearful about debilitation when my psoriatic arthritis got bad. I judged not being mobile to be a significant compromise of my quality of life. I certainly can believe, though, that depression could represent just as significant a compromise. But only you know when that happens, and hence when (and if) you are ready to take the risks associated with systemics.

You might want to get a copy of the booklet from which I quoted in my response to Arthur C. this month (Soriatane and Male Reproductive Ability?): Oral Retinoid Therapy. As neither a doctor urging you to take the drug, nor a pharmaceutical company interested in making the drug compelling, the National Psoriasis Foundation literature puts a very neutral spin on the pluses and minuses. Click on their name to go directly to their contact page and ask for this booklet.

I hope your fast and impressive reaction to your beach wading episode gets repeated when you take your full-body plunge. I know it works extremely well for some people. You said you did your wading at sundown. Does that mean you did or did not get any sun exposure on your legs? I ask because it is widely thought the combination of sun exposure and seawater work together for maximum benefit. You might want to experiment further with seawater plunges including and excluding sunlight exposure. Do let us know how it goes. (Watch out for sharks and undertows! <wink>) -Ed

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