What is Psoriasis?images

Psoriasis is a chronic condition that manifests on the skin as red, itchy patches with silvery and dry scales.  Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition and has been linked to problems associated with systemic inflammation, metabolic disorder, and diabetes.  It can go through periods of remission and flare-ups while ranging to very severe to mildly annoying.

What are the different types of Psoriasis?

There are five major types of psoriasis.  These include plaque, guttate, inverse, pustular, and erythrodermic psoriasis.  Each type is associated with specific symptoms.

  • Plaque: This is the most common type of psoriasis. It presents with thick red patches of skin covered by silvery white skin.
  • Guttate: This type is characterized by numerous small reddish pink sores which resemble drops of wax on the skin. This form is associated and usually occurs after a streptococcal infection. Guttate psoriasis can develop into a chronic plaque psoriasis.
  • Inverse: Inverse psoriasis presents with smooth red patches of skin usually at the armpits and groin areas.
  • Pustular: This type of psoriasis is not commonly seen in our clinic. It manifests with various sized yellowish blisters and is accompanied by high fever and swollen joints.  Hospital admission is typically required.
  • Erythrodermic: Presents with intense inflammation with a red and peeling rash covering a large portion of the body.

What are the causes according to Chinese Medicine?

It is important to know that with any disease, Chinese medicine diagnosis and treatment involve a holistic way of viewing and working with its associated symptoms.  Psoriasis which is now seen as an autoimmune and a systemic inflammatory problem in Western medicine is also diagnosed and treated in this way.  Here are a list of the possible causes and contributing factors according to Chinese medical theory:

  • External Pathogenic Factors or Allergens
  • Inflammatory Diet and dietary irregularities
  • Emotional stress and sleep disturbances
  • Damage to body’s moisturizing capabilities
  • Accumulation of internal stagnation and dampness

All of these causative factors contribute to the improper nourishment of the skin either through not allowing the skin to receive nourishment or from the body’s inability to nourish.  This then allows the presence of heat to manifest on the skin to create the common symptoms associated with psoriasis.