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River Clinic Oriental Medicine

Markham Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine--River Clinic, Richmond Hill, Scarborough正體字 - Chinese Traditional简体字 - Chinese Simplified日本語 - Japanese
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Natural Psoriasis Treatment

There are many forms of psoriasis such as pustular psoriasis, guttate psoriasis, plaque psoriasis, inverse psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Psoriasis is more common in dryer climates such as central Canada than in more moist climates like the coastal provinces.  It affects 2-3% of Canadians.

Cause & Treatment

It is an autoimmune disease where stress and infections are well known triggers for different forms of psoriasis.  Normal skin cells take about 20+ days to go through the process of maturation and shedding. In a psoriasis patient, this maturation is sped up, taking only 3-5 days.  This means they are shedding a lot more skin than average, which is why psoriasis patient have the typical silvery scaly skin.  T-cell driven inflammation is responsible for the accelerated skin cell growth and new blood vessel formation (angiogenesis) seen in psoriatic plaques.


Conventional medicine will use topical steroids to control inflammation and Vitamin D related drugs to slow down the rapid skin cell maturation associated with psoriasis.  Other drugs that are used for severe psoriasis are immunosuppressants, many of which are anti-cancer medications that shut down your body’s inflammatory response.  Immunosuppressant medications are very harsh and cannot be taken for extended periods of time, leaving psoriasis sufferers with limited therapeutic options.


Chinese Medicine & Psoriasis

In Oriental Medicine, psoriasis is understood to be disorders of the Blood that is an imbalance in the body’s circulatory system.  In Dr. Poney Chiang’s natural dermatology practice using herbal medicine, he groups psoriasis into 3 dominant patterns.


Blood Heat Psoriasis

This means there is a lot of inflammation in the patient’s blood.  Western medicine also recognizes that there are more pro-inflammatory mediators like TNF-a in psoriatic plaques.  In Oriental Medicine, the Blood Heat type of psoriasis plaques tends to be red in color and presents with blood spots, called Auspitz signs in Western dermatology.  The psoriasis is still active since new plaques are continuing to appear in this type.  This is the type that is most likely to be scaly.  The way this type of psoriasis is treated is to use herbs that are specific in cooling the blood layer in the body.


Blood Stasis Psoriasis

The plaques in the Blood Stasis psoriasis can be deep red or even have a purplish undertone.  These plaques can also be quite painful.  This indicates the blood is really stagnating.  These psoriasis plaques are thick but do not have to be scaly.  There tend not to be new developing plaques, just persistent stubborn plaques that no long responds to any topical medication.  The way this type of psoriasis is treated is by using herbs that have the function to invigorate the blood so that the blood is able to flow smoothly rather than being stagnant.


Blood Dryness Psoriasis

This type of plaques are neither red nor purplish, they tend to be more dull, pale pink in color.  This Blood Dryness type lack the thick plaques seen in the Blood Heat and Blood Stasis types.  The plaques have very slight scaling.  It is not very active, meaning, it hasn't really gotten worse and has been the same for a long time.  Treatment of this type of psoriasis requires the use of herbs that have the function of nourishing the blood, which moistens the skin to rid the body of scaly skin and dryness.


Oriental Medicine recognizes that there are many possible causes for psoriasis.  Combination of the above 3 patterns are very common.  Therefore depending on the unique appearance of your psoriasis and the information that is gathered from observing your tongue and sensing your pulse, a customized herbal treatment plan will be designed specific for your body type and psoriasis type.



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Emiko Kanematsu, R.TCMP R.Ac.

Winnie Wong, RMT

Jeff Chung, R.Ac 

Poney Chiang, R.TCMP, R.Ac



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