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Complementary and Alternative Therapies in Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis

Apr 14, 2022 9:51 am

It’s been reported that approximately one-third to one-half of patients with psoriatic arthritis will try supplements and other complementary and alternative medicinal (CAM) practices without discussing with their rheumatologists.  Of those, nearly 90% of PsA patients using CAM report benefits! 

Here is your updated review on common supplement data in psoriasis and PsA. 

Psoriasis Evidence:

Not shown to be helpful:

  • Coconut oil in combination with UV light therapy did not improve results for patients. 
  • Fish oil did not show improvement in PsO. 

PsA Evidence:

  • Turmeric and Sarsaparilla root may improve PsA symptoms in combination. 
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin, while not studied in PsA, may be helpful in those who have OA symptoms as well. 

No information:

  • Green tea
  • kombucha 
  • Ginger, though anecdotally, I have one patient who reports ginger, along with folic acid, improves her nausea reported with her MTX.  
  • Cinnamon 

It’s worth noting that Ginseng may alter colchicine and tacrolimus metabolism.

Other wellbeing and quality of life considerations:

  • yoga (gentle, restorative, beginners, or specifically for those with arthritis) 
  • acupuncture 
  • Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine
  • Tai Chi
  • Mindfulness, stress reduction
  • Massage

Knowing that my patients are already considering or even using some of these supplements and alternative medical practices encourages me to continue to evaluate and research them. 

Check out for more information on CAM and supplements

How are you addressing CAM in your practice?


Rachel Tate, DO is in clinical practice in West Palm Beach, FL. Her areas of interest include SpA, musculoskeletal ultrasound, pregnancy in connective tissue disease, and patient advocacy.

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