Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease with unsettled etiology. T-cells were suggested to be of major importance in its pathogenesis. Several therapeutic modalities have been used for treatment of psoriasis.
Apitherapy entails the medical use of honey bee products as honey, bee venom and propolis. The objective of this study is to evaluate bee venom and propolis, as a new therapeutic modality for localized plaque psoriasis.
Forty eight patients were randomized into four treatment groups: Group I received intradermal bee venom twice weekly; Group II received topical propolis ointment in vaseline base; Group III received oral propolis capsules 1 g/day; and group IV received intradermal bee venom, oral and topical propolis. Response to treatment was assessed by calculating Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) score and measuring serum interleukin-1β (IL-1β) before and after 3 months of treatment.
A significant reduction in both PASI score and serum level of IL-1β was observed in all groups. Changes in PASI score and IL-1β were significantly higher in Groups I and IV compared to Groups II and III. All treatments were tolerable with minimal adverse effects.
In conclusion, intradermal bee venom and oral propolis are safe and effective treatments of localized plaque psoriasis with minimal tolerable side effects.
Intradermal bee venom has superior results than oral or topical propolis when used alone or in combination with propolis.