Mirak Home Care System

A review of the Web ads for Mirak products for the treatment of psoriasis.

Grade F

The Mirak Home Care System is a set of products sold by Dermatus LLC. These products were originally developed at Centro Mirak, a psoriasis clinic at Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands, where they provide a complete psoriasis treatment package of Sun, sea and relaxation, along with these products. At best, the Home Care System can be considered a multipart moisturizer, possibly a very expensive one, judging by all the different stuff (Dermatus does not have prices listed at their web site).

The first outrageous thing that struck me about the site is the slogan: “Natural Skin Care Products from the Elementary Forces of Nature.” It sounds like they’ve bottled lightning.

The products that Dermatus sells are “Volcanic Earth,” “Vitamin Cream,” “Spring Water,” “Cactus Oil” and “Shampoo.” Going by the ingredients lists and other details, they all sound like moisturizers with some extra vitamins, minerals, herbs and whatnot thrown in. Well, maybe not “Volcanic Earth” since you’re supposed to moisturize afterwards.

I cannot contain my disbelief about the claim that iron is a topical moisturizer and cleanser.

Also note that the Vitamin Cream contains dimethicone, a medically inert silicone water repellant. I believe this destroys the “natural” claims.

The site mentions a “recent report from the Journal of European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology” on every single page that “suggests our product really does help treat psoriasis and eczema.” What does that report say?

It says, basically, that after six weeks of study, the only difference between Mirak Home Care System products and a placebo treatment is a slight reduction in induration (loss of elasticity or pliability). There was no reduction in inflammation, plaque size, or several other things checked via biopsy. Both the Mirak and placebo groups experienced the same amount of reduction of scaliness (the investigators believe this was due to the “greasiness” of both treatments).

The reduction in induration, the investigators say, may actually be due to one or more of the components of Mirak. Probably true. There is quite a lot of stuff in the Vitamin Cream just by itself. However, the placebo control of this study is questionable.

The investigators were surprised to find so little difference between Mirak and the placebo, and chalk up their expectations to the stories they heard from the clinic. They consider the Sun, sea and relaxation to be responsible for most of the response they’d heard about. Note that they specifically held the trials in the autumn and winter (in Northern Europe, to boot), and told people to keep the treated plaques out of the Sun, in order to eliminate those effects as variables.

The final sentence of the report says quite a lot: “The efficacy of the Mirak Home Care System as monotherapy is limited.” Don’t buy this stuff. If you don’t have a favorite moisturizer already, you can find decent ones at the supermarket. Save your money for a beach vacation.

March 31, 2002, Update: The old home page now simply says “Welcome to www.dermatus.net”