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What About an Online Diagnosis Page?
from Eden

Hi Ed.  Yesterday, I was looking up Oil of Oregano for my daughter, who has plantar-palmers [a.k.a. localized pustular psoriasis, typically on palms of hands and bottom of feet -Ed]. I heard about Oil of Oregano on one of those infomercials and I thought I would check it out.

She developed the psoriasis about three years ago. She was treated for a fungus infection and of course, that didn't help and it took a year for several doctors to confirm the diagnosis. We had found pictures on the Internet within months and thought this was what she had, but I'm sure you are well aware of how this route goes.

My daughter’s been through the usual treatments. The special UV light did the most good. I hate to see what this P does to her.  She has a young family, a full time job, makes crafts and goes to school. In her free times she gardens and is a carpenter in disguise.

She has to wear gloves a lot when she is working. She’s lucky she has a hubby who does the dishes. At times she almost limps and I hate to see her in this constant pain.

I was wondering, do you have a place where people can go, put in the description of the type of psoriasis they have, their characteristics — you know fair skinned, etc. —  body parts affected, etc., so, it would come up like the number of hits on a page. I don't know HTML, but I think this type of page along with cures and what has worked for different people would be great. A graph type page, but interactive. Shouldn't take long ... couple of hours.

I saw the Dr. Fish on the discovery channel. Why wouldn't other type of fish work? Haven't you ever been in the ocean and felt them nibble?

Okay, that's enough. Have to go back and work on reading more of your e-mails.

Great Site.  -Eden


Ed’s Response:  Sounds like your daughter’s P isn’t cramping her style much, Eden — mother, worker, craftsman, carpenter, student.  She sounds to me like one of those types of people who roll with the punches and think P is a dreadful annoyance.  Isn’t it odd how these people — who seem best able to handle adversity — can sometimes elicit our greatest sympathy?  If we shed a tear for them, they’ll come over to wipe it off our cheek.

I hope your daughter is lucky, like Shelly O., with the oregano oil.  I understand it’s a natural antibacterial.  I’ve heard of it associated with the P-caused-by-fungus theory.  But, as with most natural remedies, often the hype is its own worst enemy.  Something may work — miraculously — and then somebody poses a theory why.  The theory gets beat up by all the nay Sayers, meanwhile the remedy keeps on helping at least some of the people, some of the time, even while all the arguments push others away from giving it a try.  This is why I try not to discourage anybody from trying anything (that isn’t dangerous).  I would love to find something natural that works (and that doesn’t require me to reinvent my lifestyle), and when I do I won’t have the slightest problem at all telling people “I don’t know how or why it works.”  I’d rather do that, I think, then advance a theory.

Your concept for an online P database, where people could fill out a form about themselves and their P and get back a listing of diagnoses, known therapies, remedies, etc., is interesting and desirable, but it probably won’t ever happen.  Your daughter is a case in point:  Her doctors took a year to confirm her diagnosis, during which time she was subjected to treatments that didn’t help much.  P isn’t always easy to diagnose, therefore it wouldn’t lend itself well to a fill-out-the-form automated diagnosis.  On the other hand, we have something close in the Dermatology Online Atlas (DOIA).  By typing “psoriasis” in the box at the end of this link you can begin a horrific adventure through all the varieties of psoriasis, replete with photos and more Latin words than you ever want to read. (This site is also listed in “Other Places” at FlakeHQ.)  You have to start with the supposition that P is your problem (otherwise, why type in “psoriasis”?) but after that, if you can stand the trip, you’ll probably find something that confirms your suspicion or weakens your supposition. 

Regarding Dr. Fish, come to think of it, Eden, I DO remember being nibbled at while romping in the ocean surf.  Who’s to say there aren’t other fish that will nibble away our flakes?  Those folks in Turkey may just be accomplished merchandisers!  Correspondent Francesca found a turtle that loved her flakes, and an anonymous correspondent found ants in Spain that enthusiastically carried away her flakes.  We know dust mites find a flaker’s habitat heavenly….  Maybe we need to bring a zoologist or two into our arsenal of experts working on P therapies.

Stay in touch Eden.  Let us know how your daughter fares with the Oregano Oil.  -Ed

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