Psoriasis is a nasty red, itchy, non-contagious skin condition. It can occur on any part of the body but more frequently on the head or joints like elbows and knees. At it simplest it is overgrowth of skin cells and flaking away. Unpleasant to have and unattractive to look at. Psoriasis can affect any sex or race at any age.
Psoriasis may be limited to small localised patches or so severe that it covers the whole body. Even the fingernails may be affected. At other times the joints may be affected with athritic type symptoms whilst the skin remains clear.
Originally Psoriasis was thought to be a form of leprosy and anyone seeing a severe case could well believe it. The exact causes are still unknown but as it occurs in families there appears to be a genetic trait involved. Stress would seem to be a factor in causing the condition to appear. There are many different types of Psoriasis and all of them are unpleasant to have.
There is no one 'cure all' for all types of Psoriasis. There are as many proprietary Psoriasis treatments as there are quack and Psoriasis herbal remedies. Some work for some and not for others. Historically cat feces and goose semen are amongst applications tried.
Presently there is no recognised Psoriasis cure. Psoriasis is for life. The treatments on offer can make the condition go away, sometimes for years at a time. It is often a case of experimenting with what is available until you find something that works for you. It may require a change of lifestyle, or diet or topical application.
I had an aunt who suffered with severe Psoriasis. It affected her every day, so much so that eventually she went home one day and stayed in the house for the remainder of her days. I felt so sorry for her and lucky that I did not have the same condition.
When I was eleven I found I did have it. Nothing like as bad. It only affected my elbows. In the beginning it just felt like a lumpiness under the skin but quickly developed into the itchy red characteristic flakiness. It was both irritating and annoying. In the classroom situation you really have no idea how much time you need to lean on your elbows...and can't.
Over the years it came and went, but never truly went away until one day it seemed to have gone altogether. I was pleased it had gone and did from time to time wonder why.
A cure for some
It was in 1983 that I discovered why my Psoriasis had gone. Elephants! Or more precisely elephant dung...and probably not the dung as such but the oils and compounds in the herbs and grasses the elephants consumed.
Elephant Dung is harmless stuff. It is hardly inside the animal long enough to be turned into anything really unpleasant. An apple swallowed whole will often pass through the digestive system and come out whole and unbruised at the other end. More than once have I seen such apples collected from their journey, rinsed by a keeper, and eaten. Their verdict? "Warm".
Dung is very much part of the life of an elephant keeper. It was very much part of mine.
Back in 1983 we employed a new elephant keeper. It was from him that I learned about Elephant Dung as a Psoriasis cure. He had been severely afflicted with this very unpleasant condition until he started work with elephants. His Psoriasis started to go in his first week at work. It recurred when he left zoo work for a few years. Back with elephants again and the Psoriasis disappeared again. When I thought back it was in 1972 when I first started working with elephants closely that my Psoriasis disappeared.
I am not suggesting that Elephant Dung is the cure all. It may work for some after all it is not so very long ago that chicken droppings were used as a cure for baldness.
But if you know a friendly elephant keeper...well... why not?
Peter Dickinson (author) from South East Asia on August 07, 2010:
RamonB - you will need a friendly local zoo. Many will sell or give away dung for garden fertiliser. If someone were to do a bit more research into the 'cure' they could perhaps make a fortune selling pots of it over the internet. I hope they send me a very small cut if they do;
RamonB on August 07, 2010:
Well, they say you learn something new every day, and elephant dung is definitely new information to me!
I speak to psoriasis patients regularly, so I know how distressing and life ruining it can be. If elephant dung works for some of them then that is fantastic - on a practical note, where do you get a supply of the dung from though?
Peter Dickinson (author) from South East Asia on April 14, 2010:
Asma - I do hope that you find relief from this horrible complaint....touch wood, I have not worked with elephants for several years now. I am not afflicted as before but it has recurred. I will look for an elephant if it becomes worse. All in the interest of science and my comfort.
Asma on April 14, 2010:
I have been suffering from psoriasis for more than 18 years.. nothing has ever made me feel worse.. I wish I would oneday wake up and find it all has gone away!! this is the only dream I have in life..
I think it is impossible to get an elephant dung as we don't have elephants around here in Jordan..
I just wonder if this cure works when applied only once, or like other really boring everyday treatments??
Peter Dickinson (author) from South East Asia on March 25, 2010:
angela_michelle - Thanks for the comment. Zoo work is truly the best though the elephant makes for hard but enjoyable labour. My work today is no longer hands on though my associations are strong.
Angela Michelle Schultz from United States on March 24, 2010:
My dad suffers from this, although we don't have elephant dung readily available, I'm sure my dad will find this article amusing to say the least!
Side note: I am so jealous you work with elephants!!!! My dream job would be at a zoo.
Peter Dickinson (author) from South East Asia on November 02, 2009:
magnoliaz - try you local zoo
magnoliazz from Wisconsin on November 02, 2009:
This is interesting! I believe that elephant dung can help with this condition.
There is just one problem, where does the average person aquire it?
WriteEditSeek from United States on September 01, 2009:
Wow, cool suggestion. I have psoriasis in my left ear. I've tried nearly everything to lessen the symptoms, except elephant dung. Hmm, wonder where I could get some of that? ;)
LondonGirl from London on May 21, 2009:
Another cure (or treatment, more like) I've heard of it letting little fish nibble away at the skin. It's supposed to work, too.
Peter Dickinson (author) from South East Asia on May 20, 2009:
Jim10 - When you work closely with elephants it sort of applies itself or the elephants apply it for you.
The smell is not so bad. It turns some girls on ;-)
jim10 from ma on May 20, 2009:
Well that sounds rather unpleasant. Do you actually need to apply it or is being around it good enough. It is good to know something works. If you can get rid of the smell and put in a bottle people may pay a lot for it. Just don't tell them what is in it.
shamelabboush on May 20, 2009:
Never known this disease before but it's good to know. Thanks