Cosmetic Acupuncture for Damp–cold type psoriasis

| January 17, 2012 | 0 Comments | 214 views

Psoriasis is a normal papulosquamous disorder affecting 2% of the population and is characterized by well-demarcated red, scaly plaques. The skin becomes inflamed and hyperproliferates at about 10 times the normal rate. It affects males and females equally. The ages of onset are 16–22 years (early onset) and 55–60 years (late onset). Early-onset psoriasis is more common. I describe two types of psoriasis below (Figure 6.5).

Damp–cold type psoriasis

Western medical concept

Guttate psoriasis

‘Raindrop-like’ psoriasis is a variant most commonly seen in children and young adults. It may start explosively after a streptococcal sore throat, when very small circular or oval plaques appear over the trunk.

Chronic plaque psoriasis

This is the most common type of psoriasis. It is characterized by pinkishredscaly plaques, especially on extensor surfaces such as knees and elbows. The lower back, ears and scalp are also commonly involved. New plaques of psoriasis occur at sites of skin trauma.

Fig 6.5 (A–C) Psoriasis. (Continued)

Fig 6.5 (A–C) Psoriasis. (Continued)

Fig 6.5 (Continued)

Fig 6.5 (Continued)

Damp–cold type psoriasis – traditional Chinese medicine view

~ Raised, rough and reddened areas covered with fi ne, silvery scales.

~ The scales are shed all the time, covering bedding and clothes.

~ For a short time after a bath the skin becomes more red and less scaly.

~ The condition worsens in winter and improves in summer, especially in warm sea water.

~ The patient is affected by the appearance of the skin rather than itching or discomfort.

~ During healing, the skin fi rst becomes depigmented, and then changes to normal colour.


~ Small area – meridian – use ginger moxa locally; no general treatment.

~ Large area – Lung – UB 13, LI 11, Lu 10.

~ Extensive – use LI 4, St 25, TW 6, St 40 and Sp 9; also use Lu 5 sedation; no smoking.

~ The more extensive the psoriasis, the more difficult it is to treat. Ginger moxa locally on the lesions, regular baths in highly salted water and sunlight are all helpful. Treatment is best given in a course of 12–14 sessions; the initial course can involve bi-weekly treatments, and later courses can be once a week.

Damp–cold-type psoriasis is dormant in nature – it does not cause any irritation or itching, but looks bad. Common areas affected include the backs of elbows and fronts of knees, and it can often be associated with arthritis.

This type of psoriasis responds well to acupuncture, especially if the patches are small and few. The treatment principle is to circulate and eliminate the dampness, and warm the affected areas. If there are only one or two patches they can be treated with ginger moxa alone, without needles. The technique is described in detail on p. 86. The larger the area, the more important it becomes to eliminate dampness – points Sp 9 and Lu 5 descend dampness to eliminate it; and smaller areas only need to warm and circulate the dampness.

Points UB 13, LI 11 and Lu 10 are for tonifying the yang and Qi of the Lung. UB 13 is the Back-Shu point of Lung; LI 11 is the tonification point of the coupled organ and Lu 10 is the fire point/grandmother point of the Lung, and this tonifies the yang aspect of Lung.

Local needling is also very effective in this type of psoriasis. On the normal skin, subcutaneous punctures can be used around the affected patches. The idea is to increase blood circulation around the area (the same prin ciple as moxa). It is therefore necessary that the patient co-operates to reducing the dampness by following a strict diet code.

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Category: Cosmetic Acupuncture

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