Ken Kessler

A review of Ken Kessler’s alleged psoriasis therapy and his other claims about psoriasis.

Grade F

Ken Kessler is a proponent of using a topical prescription antifungal for treatingpsoriasis. Since my own interactions with Kessler have been minimal (mostly because he rarely posts to the Newsgroup anymore), I will defer my review to Ed Anderson’s Hall of Pshame. I will, in the future, write a detailed review of the bizarre (to me) information available at Kessler’s web pages.

April 28, 2001, Update: Since Kessler’s web sites are so bizarre, I doubt I’ll ever get around to actually reviewing them. However, Kessler’s patent is a matter of public record, and is much more easily understood. Anyone can read it, for free, simply by looking it up, or by viewing the U.S. Patent Office’s Web version of it. So, here is Kessler’s patented treatment for psoriasis, in summary:

Mix Nystatin (an antifungal medication) with an equal amount of Vaseline. Put the mixture on your plaques at night before bed, and cover with plastic wrap or plastic gloves. Tape the edges. Keep the mixture refrigerated when not in use.

That’s it. Apparently, that’s the heart of what Kessler wants $150 for (the email version, that is — add $5 for him to mail you a paper copy). Now, since this method is patented, if you decide to use it, then, technically, you should send Kessler his money, otherwise you will be infringing on his rights as patent holder. And you’d need to send him the money whether or not your psoriasis goes away. On the other hand, see again Ed Anderson’s Hall of Pshame for more information about the patent.

Kessler claims that a seven-year, “extensive clinical evaluation” has been done on this method, with good results. However, I cannot find where a study or article or letter describing the results has been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal of any sort. I, personally, have good reasons not to trust Kessler (see the Reader Comments), and so simply won’t believe that this evaluation even happened until I see the resultant article (or whatever it is) and verify the researchers and results. I won’t take Kessler’s word for it. I know it’s included in his information package, but I have no intention of paying $150 for information about this particular method, when medical journals have such information for the cost of a trip to a good library.

Of course, I don’t think Kessler should get anyone’s money, since the use of antifungals in psoriasis has been around for decades, and Nystatin in particular has been used as part of a “multi-drug therapy” for psoriasis as far back as 1976 (eleven years prior to Kessler’s “discovery”), and perhaps before that.

When making a decision about whether or not to use this method, speak with your doctor. For one thing, Nystatin is, as far as I know, a prescription drug, so you’ll need at least that much help from a physician. And something else to keep in mind is that your insurance company may not reimburse you for antifungal medications unless your doctor sends in the appropriate test results which show that you do, indeed, have a fungal infection.

May 26, 2002, Update: Kessler has added a section to his main site about the Common Questions and Answers about psoriasis. This is basically a reprint of what appears to be an old (or chopped-up) version of the National Psoriasis Foundation’s FAQ with his “answers” added in a different color. [April 3, 2003, Update: The NPF FAQ has changed.] He mostly agrees with the NPF, but uses a couple of the answers to present a grand conspiracy theory in which doctors are somehow “getting rich” from we psoriasis patients. The economics of this are fairly silly, and it’s all completely unsubstantiated — just Kessler’s say-so that any of these things are true.

Interestingly, Kessler doesn’t bother to reprint or answer the last question at the top of his page, which doesn’t appear on the NPF’s current FAQ, “Are there any foods you should avoid?” Instead, that question is a direct link to Dr. Pagano’s Book web site. Now, if Kessler’s treatment is a cure for psoriasis, why should anyone change their diet? He also neglects the last question on the NPF’s FAQ, which is “Is there hope that a cure will be found?” (The short answer is yes, and it probably won’t be Kessler’s.)

At least the price for Kessler’s information hasn’t gone up.

Reader Comments