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Still suffering from psoriasis
Published in The Egyptian Gazette on 09 - 04 - 2010

AS mush as 5 per cent of the world's population suffers from psoriasis, a common, no - contagious skin disease.
In the US, 10 million people suffer from this disorder.
Scientists have been looking into using natural substances to treat skin diseases, in
order to avoid the sideeffects associated with chemicals.
These natural substances include beeswax, gum honey and almond oil, which were used
by the Pharaohs and are still used till today, but not as they should be.
Fortunately, Egypt and other Arab countries possess natural substances used to treat
many skin disorders, especially psoriasis.
This was discussed at the third International Conference of the Arab Society for
Treating Psoriasis, held in Cairo last week.
According to Dr Agharid el-Gammal, head of the society, the skin is an important
bodily organ that performs many functions. It is the body's first line of defence.
“People with white facial skin are most vulnerable to psoriasis, which is a chronic, inflammatory, non-contagious disorder of the skin,” she said.
“It is the result of an abnormally rapid multiplication of the cells of the epidermal layer of the skin. Psoriasis is considered an incurable, long-term [chronic] skin condition.
“It has a variable course, periodically improving and worsening. It can affect any area of the body, but is most commonly found on the scalp, elbows, knees, hands, feet and genitals,” she added.
Dr el-Gammal, who was also president of the conference, is a consultant dermatologist at Ain Shams University in Cairo.
She has come up with a new therapy based on apitherapy (using hive products for medical and pharmacological proposes). Her therapy involves using a mixture of cactus and gum honey as an ointment, as she explained at the conference.
This new ointment, known as aloreed, is 100 per cent Egyptian and is used to treat different types of psoriasis.
“Seventy-four patients with different types of psoriasis were treated with the new ointment and a remarkable 86.2 per cent of them improved without any sideeffects,” according to Dr el- Gammal.
The conference was attended by dermatologists who are specialists in psoriasis from Tunisia, Syria, Palestine, the US, Austria and Croatia. Just why people contract psoriasis is unclear. It may be due to a combination of things, including genetic predisposition and environmental factors. It is common for psoriasis to be found in members of the same family, while the immune system is thought to play a major role.
Despite research over the past 30 years looking at many triggers, the 'master switch' that turns on psoriasis is still a mystery.
Dr Yassin el-Qybati, the Assistant Secretary-General of the Arab Dermatologists' Society, delivered a lecture entitled 'Psoriasis is the endless Disease', in which he noted that psoriasis still
causes many people to suffer.
“Mankind has been suffering from psoriasis for the past two millennia. These days we have drugs to help reduce the area infected with psoriasis, but most psoriatic patients still suffer from skin manifestations, depression, anxiety, neurosis and sometimes social rejection.
“Once psoriasis appears as an early localised disease, it persists throughout life even with the most effective biological drugs,” el-Qybati commented.


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