Psoriasis - Acupuncture can help

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Millwoods Acupuncture Center
102, 2603 Hewes Way
Edmonton AB,   Canada

Phone: (780) 466-8683



Psoriasis Rehabilitation


Psoriasis is a common immune-mediated chronic skin disease, which is frequently found on the skin of knees, elbows, scalp, hands, feet or lower back. The skin cells of the patients mature and move rapidly up to the surface of the skin over three to six days, instead of normal 28 days. It generally appears as patches of raised red skin covered by a flaky white buildup and can cause intense itching and burning.

Psoriasis affects 2 to 2.6 percent of the United States population, or between 5.8 and 7.5 million people.

There are five types of psoriasis. They are plaque, guttate, inverse, erythrodermic and pustular type. The results of clinic treatment largely depend on the type of psoriasis. It is very important that you talk with your physician about what course of action to take with your type of psoriasis.

There is no blood test for psoriasis. Physicians usually diagnose it by examining the affected skin.

Psoriasis may be triggered by emotional stress, injury to the skin, some types of infection or reaction to certain drugs. Many treatments are available to help manage its symptoms.

It is believed that “Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis have no cure[1], but people have a wide range of treatment options to help them gain control over their disease. Many different therapies can reduce, or nearly stop the symptoms of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. No single treatment works for everyone, but something is likely to work in most cases. Individuals may need to experiment before they find a treatment that works for them.”

Treatment in conventional medicine

In conventional medicine, there are three major ways to treat psoriasis in conventional medicine.

(1). Sunlight and topical agents (external therapies), which include the use of steroids, coal tar, calcipotriene, anthralin, salicylic acid, and other topicals.

(2). Phototherapy, which involve the use of Sunlight, ultraviolet light B, lasers (pulsed dye and excimer), and PUVA (psoralen plus ultraviolet light A).

(3). Systemic (internal) medications usually are reserved for patients with moderate to severe psoriasis or disabling psoriatic arthritis. They also are used for erythrodermic or pustular psoriasis. The drugs that may be used include: Methotrexate, oral retinoids, cycloporine, biologics (made from living sources, such as viruses, animals and people and must be injected or infused into the body, rather than taken orally), and other systemics (such as Hydroxyurea, Mycophenolate mofetil, Sulfasalazine and 6-Thioguanine).

(Data source:, cited Feb. 13, 2004, cited Feb. 13, 2004)


How psoriasis can be improved by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

In TCM, following therapies are used for the treatment of psoriasis:

Acupuncture: including the acupuncture point injection of herbal preparations.

Chinese herbal therapy: applied orally or topically, in injection or in infusion into circulation.

Herbal therapy for psoriasis

Principally, TCM believes that Psoriasis is caused by blood-heat, blood-dryness and blood-stagnation. Progression of psoriasis causes accumulation of toxins, wind-damp invasion into meridian, and exhaustion of Yin[2] by heat toxins in the blood.

Herbs used for the treatment of psoriasis largely depend on the stage of the disease and the condition of individuals.

Generally speaking, the cure rate of psoriasis with herbal therapy is between 50% and 80%, depending on the herbs used, with or without topic application of the herbs, etc. Following figures show only some of the clinic experiments in China.





Herbs can also be prepared into an infusion or injection. These make herbal therapy simple in clinic, as dosage can be strictly controlled.



When used for psoriasis, acupuncture can also yield significant positive results.


String implantation therapy

String implantation therapy means to implant a string made of sheep intestine material into acupuncture point. The technique has been long used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for the treatment of asthma, chronic bronchitis, and other disease. When used in psoriasis, the results are encouraging as well.



Other therapies

Since patients with psoriasis experience much stress including significant distress from the symptoms of the disease, Qigong therapy is recommended.


1. Readers should realize that for early stage psoriasis, to reduce the skin lesion is not so difficult anyway. However, it is easy to relapse. To prevent the relapse is in deed the challenge to any medical systems, conventional medicine or the TCM.

2. To reach complete cure, one needs to have the TCM treatment every year. The treatment should be sometimes every year for some years. It is similar to the TCM treatment for asthma that needs a year-by-year maintenance. The difference is: patients with asthma need the TCM maintenance mostly in summer every year, the psoriasis may need it in winters. The maintenance is to change body constitution so that it is not so sensitive to environmental stress.

3. It can be said that there is almost no way for conventional medicine to help people with skin disorders. The drugs used by the conventional medicine do not work properly or have more side effects (such as the use of steroid hormones). In another words, skin disorders is one of the area in which TCM works better than the conventional medicine. People is recommended to try the TCM first or get a second opinion from his/her TCM doctors before use any steroid products).

4. If the skin lesion is isolated, it is recommended to use potato slice to try. You can cut the potato (any kind) into thin slice. Put the slice onto the psoriasis, leave for 10 to15 min until it turns warm as your skin. Take it off and put on a new slice. Repeat it for 3 to5 slices every day for several days. It takes only 2 to 3 days test to tell if this folk therapy works or not.

[1] This is the comments of conventional medicine, does not mean that TCM doctor agree with it.

[2] Yin here means the Yin in the Chinese Yin and Yang theory.