A tube of ointment squeezes out lotion in the shape of a question mark on top of psoriasis plaques.

Yiganerjing: Two Years Later

Two years ago, at the launch of the PlaquePsoriasis.com site, I wrote an article called “Internet Sensation: Yiganerjing.” It was prompted by an explosion of discussion on the psoriasis forums about this amazing new Chinese herbal cream, which seemed almost too good to be true.

We now know it was. Yiganerjing marketed itself as an all-natural, steroid-free cream that would cure many ailments, including psoriasis. Two years later we discovered it contained super potent steroids and unlisted anti-fungal agents.

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Unlisted steroids are never good

A number of advocates in the >psoriasis community, myself included, had tried unsuccessfully to have Yiganerjing tested for unlisted steroids. A few of us even mailed samples to research laboratories that had done similar testing in the past.

In the end, the researchers weren’t interested in testing it on behalf of the public, and private companies charged thousands of dollars to test for just one steroid, let alone all of them. In the end, the regulatory agencies would have to step in.

We can't say we didn't try!

During that two-year period, an often hostile dichotomy broke out between psoriasis sufferers: those that urged caution, and those that weren’t concerned. Both sides had their own arguments.

Those of us who were highly suspicious of unlisted steroids pointed to the fact that no herbal cream was that effective, and that with lax Chinese regulations it was best to air on the side of caution.

Those who continued to use Yiganerjing either didn’t believe it contained steroids, or felt even if it did at least they were getting it for a lower price. It popped up on eBay, Amazon, and even had a Facebook group dedicated to selling it in the UK.

As someone who always remained suspicious, I felt awful watching people use this on their face, on their children, even on newborn babies. Many complained that their skin was becoming fragile and tearing, a sign of steroid overuse. It was gut-wrenching.

Yiganerjing was too good to be true

Even though it took two years, the health regulation agencies finally caught on. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulation Agency (MHRA), which regulates drugs and medical devices in the UK, conducted an analysis that revealed Yiganerjing contained clobetasol propionate.

Clobetasol propionate is not only a steroid, it’s a super potent Class I steroid. Yiganerjing also contained unlisted anti-fungal agents like ketoconazole and miconazole. The UK agencies cracked down, making the sale of Yiganerjing illegal. It disappeared from eBay and Amazon, and the Facebook sellers shut down their group for fear of the legal consequences.

Always do your research before trying a product

It would be an understatement to say that some people had very choice words for me for writing my first article, for suggesting Yiganerjing may contain steroids and that people should exercise caution. I am incredibly relieved to finally have answers, and to see the health regulation agencies step in.

I hope people have realized that controls in other countries are not always the same as our own. Mostly, I hope that no one suffered long-lasting consequences.

Sadly, I doubt this is the last we'll see of miracle creams that work better than their ingredient list suggests. To that I say, always try to make the most informed decisions about your healthcare... and beware the snakeoil salesman!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The PlaquePsoriasis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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