Psoriasis

Psoriasis

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition where your white blood cells mistakenly attack your skin cells.  This causes your body to produce new skin cells too quickly.  As a result, you may develop thick, scaly patches of skin that may also be red or inflamed.  The common symptoms, causes, and treatments for psoriasis will be discussed in this article.  Chinese Medicine and how cosmetic acupuncture can help treat psoriasis will also be discussed.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis Symptoms:

Psoriasis may be uncomfortable and annoying, but you may be glad to know it’s not contagious.  While there are several types of psoriasis, the most common symptoms of the condition are thick, inflamed patches of skin.  These patches may be either red, purple, or brown.  These patches of skin can often be painful, itchy, or burning, and usually have silver, white, or grey scales of dry skin on them.  If you have psoriasis, you may notice that your symptoms flare up from time to time, then subside again. 

Psoriasis Causes:

One of the main causes of psoriasis is your own immune system.  In autoimmune disorders like psoriasis, the cells in the immune system attack your own cells instead of pathogens like viruses.  Psoriasis occurs when your immune system attacks your skin cells.  Your skin responds to this attack by producing new skin cells more quickly.  This causes skin cells to build up because the older skin cells don’t have enough time to fall off.  As a result, raised patches of skin appear; inflammation may also occur due to the attack.

Certain triggers may also bring on psoriasis flare ups.  These can vary from person to person and may change over time.  Common psoriasis triggers include stress, sunburn, shots and vaccines, medications, drinking alcohol, and infections or injuries.

Psoriasis Treatment:

To make sure your skin condition is psoriasis and not another disease, your doctor will usually just perform a physical examination.  If your symptoms are unclear, you may also need a biopsy.

Researchers have so far concluded that there isn’t a cure for psoriasis.  But there are treatments available for soothing your symptoms.  These medications work in different ways, by slowing down the production of skin cells, and reducing inflammation and scales.  Depending on how severe your symptoms are, your doctor may prescribe either topical creams or oral or injected medications to treat your symptoms.  The problem with medications like methotrexate and cyclosporine that are taken orally or injected, is that they often come with severe side effects.  That means you may develop more severe problems than your original symptoms.  

Other treatments that may help reduce your symptoms include light therapy and diet.  Losing weight if you’re overweight can help, as well as avoiding trigger foods like meat, dairy, and processed foods.  You should also include many nutritious whole foods, vegetables and fruits in your daily diet.

Psoriasis

Acupuncture for Psoriasis: 

If you’re looking for a psoriasis treatment option without a risk of severe side effects, cosmetic acupuncture may be the option for you.  Acupuncture originates from Traditional Chinese Medicine, which has been practised for thousands of years.  While acupuncture is traditionally used to treat health problems, it can also be used to treat skin and cosmetic problems too.

Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into specific points in the body.  These points link to a complex network of energy meridians. By accessing this energy network, your acupuncturist can help your body to heal from the inside out. In this way, acupuncture can help you treat problems like psoriasis.

Conclusion:

Overall, psoriasis is a condition caused by the immune system attacking your skin cells.  This leads to raised, inflamed patches of scaly skin.  Although there are many medications available to treat psoriasis, many of these come with side effects.  Therefore, treatments like acupuncture can provide an effective and safer treatment option for psoriasis.

To find out more about cosmetic acupuncture, see our webpage at https://balancetcm.co.nz/category/facial-acupuncture/.

If you’d like to know more about how Chinese Medicine can help, please see our website at https://balancetcm.co.nz/traditional-chinese-medicine-hamilton/.

Psoriasis

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References:

Centre of Balance Hamilton: Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine (n.d.). Archive for category: Facial Acupuncture. https://balancetcm.co.nz/category/facial-acupuncture/

Holland, K. (2020, June 30). Everything You Need to Know About Psoriasis. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/psoriasis

Phua, S. (n.d.). What Is Traditional Chinese Medicine? Centre of Balance Hamilton: Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine. https://balancetcm.co.nz/traditional-chinese-medicine-hamilton/