The skin cells of psoriasis patients multiply up to ten times faster than normal skin cells. Psoriasis typically occurs on the knees, elbows, scalp, torso, palms, and soles of the feet. Psoriasis is caused by T-cells in the body attacking healthy skin cells instead of viruses and foreign bacteria. In response to this attack, the body produces more new skin cells, and these new cells accumulate on the surface of the skin before the old dead skin cells are shed, creating layers of scaly skin patches. Infected areas can be itchy and painful, and plaques can merge together to create bigger plaques and cover a larger surface area.
Psoriasis usually occurs in young adults, and disease conditions can last for quite a long time and reoccur frequently, making the disease persistent. Conventional medicine has no exact pathogenesis of psoriasis, but it is suspected to be related to genetic, unresolved infection, metabolic, endocrine, nervous system dysfunction, mental and immunological disturbance.
The main signs and symptoms of psoriasis include red skin patches covered with white scales, bleeding dry and cracked skin, itchiness and burning sensation, thickened, pitted, or ridged nails, and swollen and stiff joints.
There is no cure for psoriasis in Western medicine, but depending on the severity of the patient’s conditions, doctors may prescribe medications to ease the itchiness and pain. Creams and ointments such as corticosteroids, salicylic acid and moisturizers, and medications for suppressing the immune system can be prescribed.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine provide great improvement for psoriasis patients by remedying skin care symptoms as well as gaining better control of the condition within the first few treatments. TCM works to resolve diseases by using the foundations of TCM diagnosis patterns to gain an accurate understanding of the cause of the patient’s conditions to formulate a treatment that is best suited to each patient. It is common to incorporate herbal formulas, moxibustion, and diet therapy with acupuncture to strengthen the treatments for best results.