Cosmetic Acupuncture for Damp–heat type psoriasis

| January 17, 2012 | 0 Comments | 321 views

Western medical concept
Flexural psoriasis
This tends to occur in later life. It is characterized by well-demarcated, red, glazed plaques confi ned to fl exures such as the groin, natal cleft and submammary area. There is less scaling.
Erythrodermic and pustular psoriasis
These are the most severe types of psoriasis, refl ecting a widespread infl ammation of the skin. They may be associated with fever, malaise and circulatory disturbances.
They are more localized variants of pustular psoriasis that confi ne
themselves to hands and feet but they are not associated with severe systemic
symptoms. These types are more common in heavy cigarette smokers.

In my experience, this type of psoriasis is more difficult to treat effectively than the previous type. It is more extensive, and both the skin generally and that of the psoriasis is thicker and does not respond well to needle stimulation. If these patients are smokers – as they often are – treatment will not be effective at all. I always ask these patients if they are smokers before we start acupuncture, and tell them that unless they stop, the acupuncture will not work for them. They have to make a decision before treatment begins.

Damp–heat type psoriasis – traditional Chinese medicine view
● Thick, hard and raised reddish areas with white scales.
● Pruritus with bleeding or infl ammation.
● Patches appear on arms, legs, torso, neck and scalp.
● Patches tend to wander and spread fast.

Damp–heat in Lung

Fig 6.6 Local needling around area of psoriasis

Fig 6.6 Local needling around area of psoriasis

~ This type is treated similar to damp–heat type neurodermatitis.
~ General points – Sp 10, UB 17, Du 20, SI 8 sedation, TW 10 sedation.
~ For elimination and circulation of dampness – LI 4, St 25, TW 6 and Sp 9, St 40, Lu 5.
~ To eliminate heat: either dispersing heat technique (see p. 77) or local plum-blossom tapping to bleed; Lu 5 venous bleeding.
~ Avoid milk products, fatty foods and refined sugars.
~ Avoid coffee and alcohol; reduce consumption of red meat.
~ Treatment twice weekly for eight sessions, then once weekly for 6–8 sessions, then reduce frequency gradually.

The treatment is to eliminate dampness, but also to disperse heat. The points SI 8 and TW 10 are used to sedate the yang of the Heart and pericardium indirectly, through their coupled organs. Lu 5 bleeding, plumblossom tapping to bleed local patches, or dispersing fire needle technique (see p. 77) can be used to disperse heat.
The points LI 4, St 25, TW 6, which are the constipation points, and Sp 9 and Lu 5, which are points to descend dampness to the urinary system, will get rid of excessive dampness from the body. Point St 40 should circulate any stagnating fluid.
The next possible method to push the improvement forward would be to bleed distally, either on finger- or toe-tip or jing-well point of meridian where the psoriasis is present, or on a vein that is distal to the lesion but still along the same longitudinal line.
Advice for patients
Between dampness and heat, the dampness seems to be the under lying cause, and the heat seems to be caused by the stagnant dampness. It is therefore necessary that the patient co-operates with us to reduce the dampness by following a strict diet code. As the dampness always comes from the Spleen to the skin, there is no easy way to achieve this other than by reducing all damp-producing foods and heavy evening meals. When the dampness diminishes, the heat will reduce of its own accord.

Light cotton clothing and exposure to wind or fresh air when possible
will assist the movement of damp stagnation. Baths in seawater, or homeprepared high-saline baths will remove dampness through osmosis, and are very good to take once or twice weekly. With all of these additional therapies, one could achieve fairly good results with the acupuncture. There may be an improvement of 50–75% after 12 to 14 treatment sessions. The yang areas such as the scalp, neck, arms and torso would be the first to clear; the yin regions such as the buttocks, inguinal area and the legs would clear more slowly. After achieving about 50% improvement, some local treatment on the stubborn patches may be advisable (Figure 6.6).

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Category: Cosmetic Acupuncture

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