Integrative Approach to Psoriasis Vulgaris

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Abstract

In this article, we present a literature review of the most popular and commonly used therapeutic procedures belonging to complementary and alternative medicine, which is part of the modern concept of integrative medicine, used in the treatment of psoriasis. Psoriasis is a chronic, systemic, inflammatory disease wherein skin changes are the most visible sign. It occurs in approximately 1% to 3% of the world population, and the National Psoriasis Foundation of the United States estimates the number of patients in the whole world at about 125 million. Psoriasis primarily affects the skin, burdening patients with inflamed, pruritic, and sometimes painful lesions covered with whitish scales that last for years. Because of its prevalence in the general population, diversity of the clinical picture (from minimal and localized lesions without subjective symptoms to life-threatening conditions), and disease duration (practically a lifetime), psoriasis is a disease that has become a focus of modern medicine, and therapeutic options for the treatment of psoriasis are currently very numerous and diverse. Conventional treatment of psoriasis is guided by the so-called principle of “steps,” where treatment options are applied according to the severity of illness assessed by a physician. Apart from the official therapy for psoriasis, as it is defined and understood in modern developed societies, there exists in parallel a great number of traditional, complementary, and alternative psoriasis treatments, which are based on the beliefs, experiences, and theories inherent to different cultures; in this article, we have analyzed the literature related to some of these procedures.

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