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What is Psoriasis?
Last Updated: 08/06/2014

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic, non-contagious skin disease characterized by red scaly patches. It may cause lesions, patches, or papules on the surface of the skin, and may occur anywhere on the body; eg. elbows, knees, scalp, nails The main form of psoriasis includes plaque, guttate, pustular, inverse, and erythrodermic psoriasis.

Different forms of psoriasis:

  • Plaque Psoriasis: Plaque psoriasis is the most common type of psoriasis usually involves the limbs, back and scalp. Skin lesions are red at the base and covered by silvery scales. Lesions are well demarcated and vary greatly in number, size and shape. Sometimes only a small area is affected without any obvious change over a long period; sometimes the whole body is affected. If it affects scalp, red rashes covered by silver scaly dandruff appear with intensive itch. It may also affect the finger and toe nails with pitting, distal separation from the nail bed, and discoloration.
  • Guttate Psoriasis: Guttate psoriasis is characterized by sudden onset of numerous Small, drop-shaped lesions appear on the trunk, limbs, and scalp. It occurs most frequently in adolescents and young adults. It is most often triggered by upper respiratory infections (for example, a sore throat caused by streptococcal bacteria). Lesion become larger after the acute phase and may develop into chronic plaque psoriasis.
  • Pustular Psoriasis Pustular psoriasis is a rare condition usually only seen in late middle or old ages. It manifests as blisters of noninfectious pus appear on the skin. Localized pustular psoriasis is limited to the palms and soles covered by numerous pustules. Attacks of pustular psoriasis may be triggered by medications, infections, stress, or exposure to certain chemicals.
  • Inverse Psoriasis: Inverse psoriasis usually affects older people, women more than men. Lesions usually occur in the folds of the skin near the genitals, under the breasts, or in the armpits manifested as smooth red, glistening plaque without scaling.
  • Erythrodermic Psoriasis Erythrodermic psoriasis is a rare and severe condition occurs up to about 2 percent of cases of chronic psoriasis. There is generalized intense inflammation with red skin accompanied by scales peeling off from the lesion. Widespread reddening and scaling of the skin may be a reaction to severe sunburn or to taking corticosteroids (cortisone) or other medications. It can also be caused by a prolonged period of increased activity of psoriasis that is poorly controlled. This condition tends to persist for years and is difficult to be controlled.
  • Psoriatic Arthritis: Psoriatic arthritis occurs in up to 5 percent of psoriasis cases, with a higher incidence occurring in cold weather. Various patterns of joint involvement may be seen. It affects both large and small joints, especially the small joints of the fingers. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and rigidity or deformity of the joints.

What cause psoriasis?

Many factors may trigger the attack in a susceptible individual, although the exact cause of psoriasis is not known. These can include stress; illness; bacterial infection; an imbalance of hormones; toxic substances; and improper diet. But the most common cause is hereditary.

What s the conventional medical treatment for psoriasis?

Most medical treatments for mild to moderate psoriasis are dependent upon locally applied topical creams. These medications include: Emollients and Lubricants. Steroidal Creams. Coal Tar Preparations. Dithranol. Vitamin D Analogues. Vitamin A Analogues. For moderate to severe psoriasis, the focus is to control the symptoms and to prevent secondary infection. These medications include: Ultraviolet B Light (UVB). PUVA therapy. An oral or injected immunosuppressive or anti-inflammatory medication, such as methotrexate, corticosteroids, or cyclosporine. Oral vitamin-A-derived antipsoriatic medications ( Tegison and Accutane ).

What is the Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been practiced for more than 2,000 years in Asia. It is a very old, but vital health and healing system based on harmony or balance. Like most traditional medicine, TCM developed mainly through clinical observation, so it is empirically based. The system uses unique diagnostic and therapeutic methods, such as tongue diagnosis, pulse reading, herbal formulas, and acupuncture to treat patients holistically. Over the centuries, TCM has continued to evolve, most recently with scientifically conducted clinical trials and pharmacological studies of herbal preparations. Therefore, this complete, well-documented medical system can be briefly described in three words: ancient, comprehensive, and scientific.

How does the Chinese Herbal Medicine work on the psoriasis?

What one sees on the outside is the physical evidence of something happening inside the body. Based on this principle of TCM, we may consider the main causes of the psoriasis to be the blood toxins and blood stagnation. The toxic substances may come from poor elimination, improper diet, stress, or hereditary factors. They seep through the intestinal wall, enter the lymphatic system and invade the blood stream, spread all over the body. Sooner or later the accumulation of toxins will block the circulation and immune system, causing the blood to stagnate. Therefore, our special herbal remedies are designed to eliminate the toxins in the blood, stimulate the blood circulation, expel the blood stasis to control the skin inflammation.

What s the nutrition for psoriasis?

  • Vitamins and minerals contribute to good health by regulating metabolism and helping the body release energy from the food you eat. The vitamins and minerals that might help with psoriasis are vitamins A with D, as well as the B vitamins. Fish oil contains lots of omega-3 EFAs. It can improve the condition of skin and nails and reduce the inflammation of cells. Good sources of fish oil include salmon, mackerel, menhaden, herring, and sardines.
  • Evening primrose oil has the highest amount of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) of any food substance. It relieves inflammation, stimulates protein synthesis, repairs, and improves dry flaky skin condition.
  • Zinc helps your body to heal. It is necessary for the proper growth of the skin, hair, and nails. It is the most critical nutrient for a healthy immune system. Psoriasis has been associated with zinc deficiency in research studies.

What kind of food you should avoid?

The food you eat can make you healthier or less healthy; it can strengthen or weaken you. Watching your diet is very important for you. Some food may trigger your psoriasis, or may aggravate your condition. These foods include alcohol, coffee, spicy food, citrus fruits, tropical fruit, and red meats.

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