Holistic Dermatology in Action – Psoriasis

Leaf-2bTreating Psoriasis with Chinese Herbs

Let’s take a look at a couple of patient stories ~

Bob came in to our clinic at the age of 63 – after suffering with mild to moderate psoriasis throughout his entire life. At age 58, it began to get much worse. He described himself as a “moderate” drinker, yet when asked about how many drinks he had a week, he responded, “I’d say around 30 to 35.” When he first came in for herbal treatment, he had plaques on his elbows and all over his legs. They looked purple, with dry, yellowish scale.He had insomnia, constipation, and chronic anxiety. Some of his fingernails were splitting away from the nail bed. He spent 30 years as a smoker, but had quit in his mid-fifties. He also suffered from arthritis associated with psoriasis.

Damon was a 34-year-old man who had bright red plaques with white scale that easily sloughed off. Two months before he sought out herbal treatment, he was laid off from his job of 5 years. His wife was expecting their first child within the next couple of months. He had a previous history of mild psoriasis, but this was the first time in his life where many lesions were appearing very quickly — all over his trunk, his elbows and knees. He felt as if new plaques emerged out of nowhere every day. Because he was interviewing for jobs, he was stressed out about his appearance – on top of the stress from having no income, a new baby soon coming, and the financial strain of his wife’s upcoming maternity leave (most of which would be unpaid).

Both of these patients were diagnosed with Plaque Psoriasis by their dermatologists.

From the point of view of Chinese medicine, there were different “patterns of imbalance” causing each of these cases of psoriasis. Bob’s Chinese medicine diagnosis was “Psoriasis due to Dry Blood and Yin with Blood Stasis” and Damon’s was “Psoriasis due to Heat in the Blood with Fire Toxins and Wind.” The color of the lesions was different, the scale was different, the size and shape of plaques varied as did the areas where the plaques appeared. Furthermore, life circumstances like stress and drinking differed, as did other symptoms like insomnia, constipation and arthritis. Both men were treated with Chinese herbal formulas that had approximately 15 ingredients. Both were given topical ointments and creams. But the ingredients in the formulas, ointments, and creams were completely different.

It took 6-months of treatment for Bob’s lesions to clear just about completely. Bob also cut way back on his drinking which was a drastic lifestyle change for him. Damon, who actually appeared worse at the time of his first visit, had remarkable results quickly. Within 2 to 3 weeks new lesions stopped emerging, and the ones that were there at the start of treatment were fully cleared in just over three months. In both these cases, holistic treatment got to the root of the problem with both men experiencing long-term positive results.