Rick Yeager’s Web Site

A review of Rick Yeager’s web site about antifungals and psoriasis.

Grade D

Rick Yeager has been a psoriatic for 20 years, and now (as of this writing) claims to have been clear of symptoms of both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis for three months. He claims he bought Ken Kessler’s Nystatin information, then made up his own treatment based on Kessler’s by combining oral Nystatin suspension, “coloncare” products, an anti-yeast diet, oral hygeine and exercise. His theory, like many others before him, is that psoriasis is caused by yeast, specifically Candida.

Which is fine. It’s been shown that yeast infections can trigger or exacerbate psoriasis, sometimes to the point where psoriasis cannot be properly treated. Antifungal (yeasts are fungi) treatments may be required to eliminate the original trigger prior to the disease itself becoming responsive to mainstream treatments. If a person is lucky, eliminating yeast infections may eliminate the psoriasis, but there’s no guarantee this will happen.

Anyway, on to the Web pages… The homepage of Yeager’s site begins with a disclaimer, which is pleasant, since many people seem to try to hide it. The disclaimer is followed by a very large description of psoriasis, its complications and some statistics (not all of which seems reasonable to me, but it’s mostly correct). Near the bottom, though, it appears that Yeager is attributing all of the text to John O. A. Pagano’s book,Healing Psoriasis: the Natural Alternative. If so, criticism of the text will be left for when I get around to reviewing the book itself.

After clicking the big “Enter” link, we find a page on which Yeager makes a nice enough dedication of the site, but then suggests we “Put down your methotrexate, cortisone, PUVA and cyclosporine. TAKE BACK YOUR LIFE!!!” This is horrible advice, given what we find elsewhere on this page. Methotrexate, Steroids and PUVA are all proven treatments for psoriasis and allow many psoriatics to lead what would otherwise be lousy lives. But these are far from being the only options available to us.

Yeager then admonishes, “Don’t let your doctor get away with MURDER!” This is a warning sign of things to come.

The rest of this page is devoted to titles of research studies and books about yeast and/or psoriasis. Many of these studies are irrelevant to Yeager’s theory (such as the report on Candida and atopic dermatitis). All this less-than-pertinent but nonetheless scientific information is called “Pseudo-Science,” and doesn’t prove a thing (although its placement implies that Yeager thinks it does).

Of course, there’s little actual information there, anyway, since all he’s published are the titles to the articles, which say little about what the actual conclusions were (it seems that psoriatics have somewhere around 30% more cases of Candida infection than the general population, but whether that causes psoriasis in any significant portion of the patients is really unknown).

Then there’s the “Treatment” page. Yeager begins by talking about the “best of the best” in treatments and the wide selection there is to choose from, yet he actually only points out six things, all of which are “as important as the other”: Oral Nystatin, Yerba Prima coloncare products, an anti-yeast diet (with unspecified supplements), a moisturizer, an antiseptic mouthwash and exercising. In other words, regardless of his talking about the “best of the best” or the wide variety of treatments, Yeager only advocates one treatment, and not a compilation of treatments. At the bottom of this page, Yeager discusses the reason for the mouthwash in more detail, but seems to incorrectly assume that any white coating on the tongue is thrush. (see also Quackwatch).

Near the top of the page, Yeager says, “Please use this site to help educate yourself and your doctor.” Unfortunately, there’s little information here that could be considered educational. He basically says, “Use Nystatin” without telling us why (and the claim that “Nystatin is an anti-fungal medication discovered to force psoriasis into remission” is questionable, at best). The information he gives on his homepage is educational, but a more reliable source for that information would be the National Psoriasis Foundation.

Yeager’s “Web Links” page begins, “This page contains useful internet links to increase knowledge about this terrible disease.” If the disease he’s talking about is Candidiasis, this might be true. There is not a single link which points to any truly useful information about psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. He also incorrectly labels the RxMed Nystatin information page as the “Nystatin HomePage.”

The “Testing” page Yeager has written has very little to do with testing of anything. It seems more like a page dedicated to over-the-counter and other alternative products and/or therapies to the Nystatin (since Nystatin is a prescription medication in the U.S.). A couple of antifungals are listed (but Yeager supplies an email address in place of a URL for this “Web sites”) and Pagano’s suggestions for colonic irrigation (Quackwatch has a good article on this, too).

Yeager’s “Contact Information” page begins as just that, but for some reason he’s also decided to include a long anti-medical speech here. Typical of this is, “The gardener uses fungicide and the rose prospers. The psoriatic suffers without hope.” Yeager assumes that yeast is the cause of most or all psoriasis and psoriatic arthtritis, and believes that doctors know this and refuse to treat it for fear of losing patients and money. While popular among the public, the yeast hypothesis does not seem to be widely recognized as valid among medical professionals. This, of course, is seen as just more “proof” of the conspiracy, I’m sure.

In Yeager’s “Psoriasis Newsgroups” page, I believe that he incorrectly categorizes both of the Newsgroups in that he implies the original group (alt.support.psoriasis) is very active (it still isn’t) and that there is no discussion whatsoever of “alternative” treatments in the truly active group. Yeager has taken part in the original group only since the beginning of January, 2000. He summarizes Deja very well, though.

April 27, 2009, Update: Yeager’s site is missing from GeoCities and unlocatable.