Traditional treatments for inflammatory skin diseases like psoriasis and dandruff often have undesirable side effects. Some are as serious as skin cancer. In addition, some anti-dandruff shampoos contain carcinogens. What we need is a safer solution.
Researchers at the Medical College of Georgia may have stumbled on an answer. They found that a little-known protein, called caspace-14, keeps the skin moist and protects it from ultraviolet rays. It is also low in the skin cells of people with psoriasis. But a simple compound could trigger the production of caspace-14: a green tea polyphenol called EGCG.
There?s just one problem. When you mix green tea chemicals with other ingredients, they oxidize too quickly. What?s more, they dissolve in water, and water can?t penetrate your skin. They may give you temporary relief, but I wouldn?t rush out to buy a shampoo or lotion with EGCG.
That?s because there?s an easier and cheaper way to get temporary relief from psoriasis and dandruff. All you have to do is make yourself a very strong cup of green tea. Then apply the tea to your scalp or other affected area. It works just as well, if not better for temporary relief.
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If you?re looking for a more permanent solution, look for products that say "liposomal" on the label. This means that fat surrounds the active molecules, so they can be carried deep into your tissues. Some products that may work for you include: Gary Null?s Heavenly Hair Cleanser or n-fruizontm Body Therapy shampoos. Both are available online.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand
Hsu S, Dickinson D, Borke J, et al. Green tea polyphenol induces caspase 14 in epidermal keratinocytes via MAPK pathways and reduces psoriasiform lesions in the flaky skin mouse model. Exp Dermatol. 2007 Aug;16(8):678-84.