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Medical Malpractice(?) - The Annals of Young Geoffrey: Hope brings a turtle [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Young Geoffrey

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Medical Malpractice(?) [Apr. 17th, 2009|06:28 pm]
Young Geoffrey
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DANDRUFF The ANSWER is usually vinegar. To some problems there are solutions.

What we call dandruff is often the result of a PH imbalance on the skin, which shampoo exacerbates. Wash your hair with a simple non-detergent shampoo, soap, olive oil, beer, almost anything. Rinse. Then close your eyes and pour on some vinegar. The extremely cheap but natural sort — apple cider, for example — is probably best. The smell will stimulate interesting conversations in changing-room showers and your explanation will win you friends. Wait thirty to sixty seconds. Rinse it off. The smell will go away. So will your dandruff.

All dermatologists, pharmacists and pharmaceutical companies know this simple secret. They don't tell you because they make money by converting dandruff into a complex medical and social problem. By most professional standards this would amount to legally defined incompetence or mis-representation.

Dandruff shampoos that promise to keep your shoulders and even your head clear are harsh detergents and may promote baldness, which ought to constitute malpractice.

John Raulston Saul, The Doubter's Companion

psoriasis, not my back
Not my back, praise be.

I was 29 or 30 years old when I quite suddenly developed a skin condition which was subsequently diagnosed as psoriasis. Unlike the man in the accompanying photo, my case wasn't horribly disfiguring, but it was a definite drag. In particular, it showed up on my knees and elbows, spots on my head and a few smaller ones on my face. At it's worst, my skin would be raw and bloody, though strangely it didn't hurt or even itch much.

Anyway, after it didn't go away for a couple of weeks I found myself talking with a dermatologist, who advised me psoriasis is an auto-immune disease about which little was known. He suggested a couple of medications and said we would then see whether or not they worked.

Since then, I've probably tried a good half-dozen creams and ointments, most of them including hydrocortisone, a substance that frankly makes me nervous.

All of them seemed to provide some release from the worst outbreaks, none of them actually got rid of the flaking skin or oozing sores.

So, having read the entry from Saul's rather excellent book (see my soon-to-be-updated reading list for more), it occurred to me that, Saul being no one's fool and dandruff and psoriasis both being somewhat mysterious skin conditions, that I might as well give vinegar a try.

That was a bit more than three weeks ago, since which time I haven't touched my prescription medications. And since which, the huge and ugly patch on my left knee has shrunk to the point where there are two smaller patches, rather than one big one; that on my right knee has almost disappeared; and my elbows are looking vastly better than they have for years.

So, so far, more than so good; I'll keep you posted — and will try to get my camera working so I can post a before/after photo before my skin has (knock wood) been cleaned up completely.

Cross-posted from Edifice Rex Online.

Am I convinced that this is the cure for psoriasis? Of course not; one test-subject, over the three weeks does not nearly make for a decent, double-blind study. At the same time, none of the medications I've tried have worked as well as — so far — is the cheap, apple-cider vinegar I happened to have on hand. Well enough, that a good friend of mine, who suffers from a sometimes quite awful case of eczema is going to try it on a couple of patches of his own embattle skin.

So far, more than so good; I'll keep you posted — and will try to get my camera working so I can post a before/after photo before my skin has (knock wood) been cleaned up completely.


From: sacrosankt
2009-04-18 12:01 am (UTC)
Congrats on your finding! Maybe try tea-tree oil as well?
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2009-04-18 12:06 am (UTC)

Tree oil?

Maybe we should start a newsletter and advertise it on community access television.
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[User Picture]From: tokio
2009-04-18 12:09 am (UTC)
Aw, I could've told you that!
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2009-04-18 12:13 am (UTC)

But you didn't!

Instead, I had hear from one of Canada's leading Public Intellectuals! :)
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[User Picture]From: tokio
2009-04-18 12:15 am (UTC)

Re: But you didn't!

But you never told me you has psoriasis! I imagine that isn't something people bring up often.

I imagine aloe vera juice might also work well for you. Whenever I have skin issues, I mix half ACV with half aloe vera juice in a spritz bottle and spray that shit down. I also do it to my hair once in a while. The aloe vera will calm inflammation.

ACV can cause build-up on the hair, though, so once in a while you will need a stronger shampoo than SLS (detergent) free ones. That is, of course, if you're using ACV in your hair often.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2009-04-18 12:21 am (UTC)

Re: But you didn't!

No, it's not really something I like to advertise about myself, unlike my prehensile tail.


Funny, aloe vera never even occurred to me, though now that you've mentioned it, it seems like an obvious thing to try.
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[User Picture]From: geonarcissa
2009-04-18 05:48 am (UTC)
I have some skin issues that have never been diagnosed, but I suspect are eczema or psoriasis. I get red, blotchy, dry, itchy, oozy, flaky patches every winter. Usually I get one big, persistent patch and two or three smaller ones that don't last as long. The one large patch stays all winter. This year, and the last several years, it's been on my leg. In the past, The problem area has been one of my breasts, which is worsened by any kind of lace trim on a bra.

Anyway, I think the vinegar is worth a shot. I've had success with hydrocortisone, but like you, don't feel comfortable with it as a long term solution.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2009-04-19 11:24 pm (UTC)

Sure sounds like one or t'other

If it's seriously itchy, I'd guess eczema; my psoriosis makes me pick at the loose bits but it doesn't really itch.

Definitely let me know if the vinagar works for you; as you can probably imagine, I'm excited as hell about my results so far.
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[User Picture]From: mijopo
2009-04-19 02:52 am (UTC)


I tried the vinegar today in the shower, I've been having serious dandruff issues lately, I'll let you know if I observe any improvement. Thanks for the tip.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2009-04-19 11:25 pm (UTC)

Re: vinegar

Please do. If we can get enough anecdotal evidence, maybe someday we can convince a scientist to do a serious study.
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[User Picture]From: rev_jo
2009-04-20 01:39 pm (UTC)
years ago i had eczema..

my doctor gave me a slew of prescription creams to try..
of course, none worked..

I thought that I would just have to sit and suffer and scratch for eternity, until a friend of mine told me to try rubbing alcohol..
at first, I thought he was insane, but I guess that's how the US Navy docs get rid of it..
So, I took a very hot shower (as was recommended), slathered myself in rubbing alcohol (which stung like a bitch) and voila.. more than 10 years later and I still don't have eczema..

not saying that its a complete cure, or would work on psoriasis, but.. for many ailments, I've found that its the easy, simple things that seem to work best..
I use ACV for sore throats and garlic for colds and flu.. always works far better than 'mainstream' medicines..

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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2009-04-20 11:07 pm (UTC)


So, I took a very hot shower (as was recommended), slathered myself in rubbing alcohol (which stung like a bitch) and voila.. more than 10 years later and I still don't have eczema..

Just to be clear, are you saying one treatment got rid of it, or did it require a regime for a period of time?

Meanwhile, I'm forwarding this to my aczema-afflicted friend; thanks.
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[User Picture]From: rev_jo
2009-04-22 10:58 pm (UTC)

Re: Fascinating!

The bumps and patches would pretty much immediately scab, then heal, so you only have to do it if/when you get a new flare-up, so after doing it a handful of times over the course of a month, I haven't had it since.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2009-05-01 08:56 pm (UTC)

Re: Fascinating!

Thanks for the details (and congratulations on getting rid of the problem). The vinegar hasn't fully worked (yet?); I might just buy myself a new bottle of rubbing alcohol and try it on one or two of my patches in order to compare and contrast.
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