Psoriasis is an inflammatory and immunological cutaneous disease. The high morbidity in patients with psoriasis results from severe clinical manifestations and/or adverse effects of treatment. The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society and Federal Medicare and Medicaid Services have approved the use of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO(2)) for more than 15 indications, including wound healing, infections and late effects of radiation, which are largely unresponsive to conventional treatments. Accumulated data show that HBO(2) has anti-inflammatory effects and other positive influences on the immune system, making it a rational treatment in the management of psoriasis plaques and arthritis. We present the cases of two patients with long histories of psoriasis vulgarus who exhibited marked improvement with use of HBO(2.) The first patient was 40 years old and had pustular psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. He was treated with six sessions of HBO(2) (at 2.8 atmospheres of pressure for 60 minutes), which successfully controlled his symptoms. At the 18-month post-treatment follow up, the patient exhibited complete remission of psoriasis and marked improvement in psoriatic arthritis without medication. The second patient was 55 years old with extensive psoriatic lesions, and exhibited marked improvement within 15 sessions of HBO(2). No adverse effects of HBO(2) were identified. HBO(2) may possess potential therapeutic efficacy in the management of psoriasis. We outline the pathogenesis of psoriasis and the selective anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects of HBO(2). We hope that this will provide a basis for elucidating the mechanisms of action and consequently pave the way for further controlled studies.
Butler, Michaels, Al-Waili, Finkelstein, Allen, Petrillo, Carrey, Kolanuvada, (2009). Therapeutic effect of hyperbaric oxygen in psoriasis vulgaris: two case reports and a review of the literature. Journal of medical case reports, 2009 Aug;3():7023. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19830133