Psoriasis can affect both the skin and joints. It is a dermatological autoimmune condition that manifests on the skin as the eruption of red, scaly patches. The problem usually occurs on the elbows, knees, scalp and trunk. These lesions or bumps can become thick and pus filled resulting in peeling and skin irritation. These (psoriatic plaques) are areas of excessive skin production and inflammation. When psoriasis affects the joints it is called psoriatic arthritis.
The exact cause of psoriasis is still unclear but the following are a few possibilities that scientists have come up with:
Western medicine commonly treats psoriasis with topical medications and/or oral medications and injections that are directed towards the immune system. Over time, your skin can become resistant to treatment and may no longer work, especially when topical steroids are used. Also, many psoriasis sufferers say that they have either not yet found a treatment that really works or they are afraid of the adverse reactions they will have to the medications.
What is the best treatment for psoriasis? In most cases, the patient has tried every medication and ointment without success and is seeking an alternative. In the initial visit, the patient is asked many detailed questions and we talk with them about the course of treatment. Acupuncture is recommended several times per week initially. In all cases, patients are advised about their diet and nutritional supplements are recommended. Eastern herbal medicine is a very important part of a natural treatment for psoriasis. We use herbal formulas that inhibit inflammatory cytokines associated with psoriasis.
According to the Eastern medicine theory, psoriasis is due to heat and dryness in the blood giving rise to wind toxins which flow into the skin. This may also be mixed with dampness. Therefore, the treatment principles are to dispel wind and disinhibit dampness, clear the blood and moisten dryness.