Psoriasis According to Chinese Medicine (3 of 4: Qi and Blood Stasis)

Common Plaque Psoriasis

“The living cancer.” That is one phrase often used to describe psoriasis. The skin under the lesions in this disease has a cell turnover rate that is 7 times faster than normal skin cells. In normal healthy skin, it takes 28 days for a cell to progress from the deeper layers of the epidermis outward to the surface where it then dies and is shed. But in psoriasis, this process is sped up and occurs in only 4 days. These cells then build up on the surface of the skin and scaly plaques are formed.

From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), these plaques develop when the flow of energy (Qi) in the body is imbalanced.  One of the most fundamental concepts in TCM is that all living things have Qi (“chee”) – life force a.k.a. vital energy – and the Qi must circulate properly to maintain health. In cases of common psoriasis where there is a long history of the disease, we often see Qi & Blood Stasis.

Dan Shen (Radix Salviae Miltiorrhizae). An excellent herb to Dispel Blood Stasis

When there is Qi & Blood Stasis, the lesions typically are darker in color: dull red, purple or even brown.  From a little distance they may even look like a bruise.  They tend to be thicker with silvery-white scales and some older lesions may resemble oyster shells.  In this phase, the old lesions are usually fixed in size and not many new lesions are appearing.  The degree of itching can vary from intensely itchy to not itchy at all.  In women with Qi & Blood Stasis, accompanying symptoms can include painful periods (often with clots) or heavy periods.  The patient’s tongue might be dull purple or dark red or there may even be purple spots.  Practitioners will notice that the patient’s pulse is choppy or wiry/choppy, and deep (esp. if the Qi & Blood Stasis has existed for a very long time).

Tags: Chinese herbal medicine, Chinese medicine, dermatology, herbal medicine, herbal skin care, psoriasis, skin care

Topics: Chinese Medicine, Herbs for Skin Care, Psoriasis

Publish Date: July 7, 2010     *Articles may include updates since original publishing.

About the Author ()

Diana Hermann is a licensed acupuncturist and board certified in Chinese Herbal Medicine. She received her Master Degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in Portland, OR and trained in China at the Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Diana treats patients in her Fort Collins, Colorado clinic and hand crafts herbal skin care products for her company Zi Zai Dermatology. In 2015, she completed the Diploma In Chinese Medicine Dermatology program from Avicenna in London, UK. She completed the program for a second time in 2019 in Chicago.

Comments (2)

Comments RSS Feed

  1. Tai says:

    I stumbled upon your site and was very impressed. There was only one thing I was rather confused about, you say that the picture with the circular rashes is Psoriasis. I have to say the rash on the higher part of the skin is, but the cicular marks look more like Ring Worm.

Leave a Reply