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Related article: Skin conditions

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that affects the skin that varies in severity from minor localized patches to complete body coverage. The richness of the skin microbiome and the emerging discrepancies between the microbial composition between health and disease point to a microbial etiology for psoriasis.

The Marshall ProtocolA curative medical treatment for chronic inflammatory disease. Based on the Marshall Pathogenesis. treats psoriasis by reactivating the innate immune responseThe body's first line of defense against intracellular and other pathogens. According to the Marshall Pathogenesis the innate immune system becomes disabled as patients develop chronic disease.. In the course of treatment, patients' disease symptoms may become worse due to a process called immunopathologyA temporary increase in disease symptoms experienced by Marshall Protocol patients that results from the release of cytokines and endotoxins as disease-causing bacteria are killed..

Skin microbiome

A decade ago, Chiller et al. concluded, “The skin is a poor media for bacteria given the large number of inherent defense mechanisms.”1) This assessment was undermined seven years later by Fierer et al.’s work, which found that the average human palm harbors at least 150 bacterial species – an order of magnitude greater than previous estimates.2) A 2009 Science study expanded on this understanding of microbial diversity in skin, showing that forearms and underarms, though located just a short distance apart, are as “ecologically dissimilar as rainforests are to deserts.”3) Trillions of bacteria, fungi, viruses, archaea, and small arthropods colonize the skin surface, collectively comprising the skin microbiome.4) One prominent researcher called human skin a “virtual zoo of bacteria.”5)

Novel insights are being revealed about the extent to which skin microbiotaThe bacterial community which causes chronic diseases - one which almost certainly includes multiple species and bacterial forms. affects health. For example, odors produced by skin microbiota are attractive to mosquitoes as shown by in vitroA technique of performing a given procedure in a controlled environment outside of a living organism - usually a laboratory. studies, and variation in bacterial species on the human skin may explain the variation in mosquito attraction between humans.6)

Patients with psoriasis have different populations of microbes on their skin

Evidence of infectious cause

  • cell wall deficient bacteria – In a 2009 study, Wang investigated the carriage rate of cell wall deficient bacteria in the tonsil or pharynx of psoriasis patients. Cell wall deficient bacteria, a term often used interchangeably with l-formDifficult-to-culture bacteria that lack a cell wall and are not detectable by traditional culturing processes. Sometimes referred to as cell wall deficient bacteria., were isolated from 74.2% of psoriasis patients, 23.5% of chronic tonsillitis patients and only 6.3% of controls.7)
  • differences in microbiotaThe bacterial community which causes chronic diseases - one which almost certainly includes multiple species and bacterial forms. between psoriasis and normal skin – A 2008 study of psoriatic skin not only found 84 novel species never before known to persist in skin, but also double the proportion of microbes from the Firmicutes phylum in psoriatic patients, as compared to healthy controls.8) In contrast, Fahlén's study analyzed 10 psoriatic patients using pyrosequencing,9) finding no difference in levels of Firmicutes but confirmed lower levels of Propionibacterium. The discrepancies between these two studies illustrate the importance of focusing on the activity of microbes and as well as the competence of the immune response.
  • bacterial DNA in blood of psoriatic patients – Peripheral blood samples from 20 patients with psoriasis and from 16 control subjects were studied for the presence of bacteria by PCR using universal 16S ribosomal DNA primers and specific primers for S. pyogenes. Sequence analysis of amplified 16S rRNA sequences was used to determine taxonomic identity. Ribosomal bacterial DNA was detected in the blood of all 20 patients with psoriasis, but in none of the controls.10)

Other treatments

For many physicians, immunosuppressive medications are a first-line treatment for psoriasis. These drugs suppress the innate immune response, which provides some patients with temporary symptom palliation, because they reduce immunopathology, the bacterial die-off reaction.

Patients experiences

I've had lots of experience with psoriasis (which looks like sarc lesions, BTW). I've found a cream that helps it feel better. It's a combo of mango and shea butter that I buy at Walmart, made by Tree Hut. It's very soothing.

Reenie, MarshallProtocol.com

Patient interviews

Guss Wilkinson

sarcoidosis, psoriasis, insomnia, kidney stones

Read the interview

Interviews of patients with other diseases are also available.

Notes and comments


Skin microflora and bacterial infections of the skin.
Chiller K, Selkin BA, Murakawa GJ
J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc6p170-4(2001 Dec)
The influence of sex, handedness, and washing on the diversity of hand surface bacteria.
Fierer N, Hamady M, Lauber CL, Knight R
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A105p17994-9(2008 Nov 18)
Topographical and temporal diversity of the human skin microbiome.
Grice EA, Kong HH, Conlan S, Deming CB, Davis J, Young AC, Bouffard GG, Blakesley RW, Murray PR, Green ED, Turner ML, Segre JA
Science324p1190-2(2009 May 29)
Skin microbiome: looking back to move forward.
Kong HH, Segre JA
J Invest Dermatol132p933-9(2012 Mar)
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Gao Z, Tseng CH, Pei Z, Blaser MJ
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A104p2927-32(2007 Feb 20)
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Cell-wall-deficient bacteria: a major etiological factor for psoriasis?
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Substantial alterations of the cutaneous bacterial biota in psoriatic lesions.
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TNF blockade: an inflammatory issue.
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Lancet Oncol10p751-2(2009 Aug)
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