** Originally posted by BrianH **
This (NPF) resource of contact and information is hugely valuable and a great mine of information. As a result of reading and feedback and direct contact with members, I have come to a somewhat more "sophisticated" hypothesis about how Glycerin is functioning normally and therapeutically with respect to psoriasis. (See wildflowerAnn's Glycerin thread http://www.psoriasis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=29633 for ongoing discussion of individual experiences, and some of the background material and references, such as http://tinyurl.com/4wob2n and http://www.cleaning101.com/oleo/whygly2.cfm )
Normal skin has 4 stages ( http://www.healtheez.com/glycerin.htm , http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/12/031203075525.htm ) : (only) bottom layer dividing and generating new cells, top dying as a drying & waxy barrier against water etc. in the environment. ("... In the endless cycle of skin-cell production, the youngest cells move up from the deepest layer and switch from replicating as their main function to eventually becoming mature surface cells that spit out lipids to help form the skin's protective barrier before they die.")
So these layers are normally separated by glycerin, which keeps them in their proper "sequence" of development, plus lubricates. This is also partly due to the signaling function of g. which "tells" each layer what it is supposed to be doing. Glycerin is normally in ready supply, as it is a (10%) usual breakdown product of fat (in its triglyceride form).
In a p. plaque/spot, the inter-layer glycerin is missing or blocked, or simply unable to keep up with a "burst" of proliferation/inflammation. Layers stick together and get muddled, all continuing to divide and thicken. Lymph and blood supply systems etc. are overwhelmed.
(Exactly how the blood & lymph systems react and cope may determine which "type" of p. one has.)
The undifferentiated "lump" of skin eventually outruns its nutrition supply, etc., and starts to die off at the surface, but in a messy and badly-layered manner. This is "plaque" flaking.
Applying sufficient topical glycerin or using it orally gets the normal layering re-started down at the base of the sequence, and stops the dividing and out-of-control growth of the older piled-up layers.
As the normal 4 layers re-establish from underneath, what I have called the "time-machine rewind" appears on the surface, as the p.-skin is pushed up and dies off. Depending on how long-standing and thick that is, it may be a quick or slower process.
As the normal stage #4 reaches the surface, the last p.-skin falls away, and normal skin is left.
Whatever caused the burst of p.-growth and shortage of normal g. between layers can recur, so quick re-establishment of adequate glycerin supply topically and/or orally is beneficial/necessary.
Other successful treatment modes work primarily by interrupting some other aspect of the above sequence, like inhibiting the inflammation/proliferation response. Some of these have systemic side-effects, as they are dealing with or altering general fundamental cell functions. One of glycerin's advantages seems to be the absence of such complications, and its ready availability at low cost. (Which, come to think of it, should make research and application immensely attractive to insurance companies! :) ?? )