TCM is an effective treatment for psoriasis because as a therapy it recognises the diagnosis of the distinct variations in both the presentation & appearance of psoriasis varies from patient to patient. It is the skill of the practitioner to assess the severity and subtleties of each individual case. An awareness of these variations allows the herbal formula to be tailor made to the individual.
Diagnosis is everything in TCM and the differences that are taken into account in the diagnosis of psoriasis are the extent of the scaling, degree of redness, itch, severity, duration and spread of the plaques, onset of psoriasis. Other more generalised symptoms include levels of thirst, constipation, history of sore throats, signs of arthritis, oil spots on fingernails, plus any familial history of autoimmune diseases.
Because the skin turnover rate in psoriasis is so fast, any new form of medication will appear to be working well but inevitably it loses its efficacy in time. Amanda frequently adjusts the herbal formulas as the skin improves.
The treatment for psoriasis involves an herbal formula of between 10 to 16 herbs that is drunk 2-3 times a day for several weeks or months and a handmade skin cream. In some instances a wash may be recommended.
Frequently following a throat infection, this is an acute manifestation of small red lesions and up to 40% of guttate psoriasis cases will heal within 6 months. The remaining 60% of sufferers may go on to develop plaque psoriasis.
Treatment at the early stage of the disease is very effective as antibacterial herbs are used to treat the underlying causes of the throat with a number of herbs that have been successfully used to treat psoriasis in China for several centuries.
Pustular Psoriasis – two types:
Palmo Pustular Psoriasis
This affects the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. The lesions consist of yellow pustules, which quickly turn brown.
This form of psoriasis is treated with herbs, which are diuretic, and anti inflammatory in nature as the treatment principle is to dry out the pustules and calm the inflamed red skin on the pustules.
Generalised Pustular Psoriasis
This is a medical emergency and is accompanied by rapidly developing lesions and feelings of feverishness. It is occasionally the result of a rebound reaction to immunosuppressants used in plaque psoriasis.
The total treatment time can vary from 8 weeks to 6 months depending on the duration and severity of the individual case.
Within 3 to 5 weeks of having started the treatment you may notice any of the following predictable signs of improvement:
Itching begins to decrease. Scales may loosen and more scaling is apparent but this is temporary. From approximately week 5 to 7 the lesions are noticeably reduced in size and redness. They may clear from the centre outwards and appear to be getting larger as they fade – this is normal.
Week 8 onwards the lesions continue to clear and fade, there may be one or two small and stubborn lesions left. It is advisable to continue treatment until all lesions are gone.