MCG scientists see results treating psoriasis with glycerin

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Researchers at the Medical College of Georgia are finding promising results when using glycerin to treat psoriasis, an inflammatory condition in which cells build up and create dry, scaly patches on skin.

Dr. Wendy Bollag and her team have found glycerin stages a “four-pronged attack” against psoriasis.

“It inhibits the growth and promotes maturation in skin cells,” Bollag, a cell physiologist and skin researcher at the Medical College of Georgia and Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, explains. “It also shows when it’s converted to fat, it can inhibit inflammation. Even the glycerin itself tends to be good at decreasing oxidative stress, which is another byproduct of inflammation. It also seems to be good at helping to repair the barrier. It helps with the normalization of skin cells.”

Glycerin is sold at pharmacies, and is an ingredient found in moisturizers and even sports drinks, according to Bollag. Her team found that when applied to skin topically, psoriasis symptoms were alleviated.

“It’s a moisturizer. It improves the barrier. It softens the skin. It helps get rid of skin cells that are piling up.”

“Because it’s a moisturizer, it tends to reduce the scaling that you tend to see with psoriasis,” she adds.

Bollag suggests glycerin be mixed with water in a one-to-one ratio before it is applied onto effected areas of skin. If used daily, she says results can be seen within two weeks. However, Bollag admits this treatment may be best suited for mild cases of psoriasis. She suggests people with more severe cases use their prescribed medications and treatments to clear the psoriasis first, and then use glycerin to keep it from flaring up.

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