Treating Skin Problem With Chinese Medicine

Professor Yi Zhu was graduated from Beijing University of Chinese Medicine and Pharmacy in 1976. She has been study the master’s degree course in ‘The Clinical and Experimental Studies on Psoriasis with The Integrating Treatment of Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine ‘in The China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China.Professor Yi Zhu has been working in Guang An Men Hospital in Bei Jing for 21 years. She came to work in the UK since 1997. She is the specialist of dermatopathya. She is the senior member of The Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ATCM).

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Almost everyone would have inevitably experienced some kind of skin disorder at some point in their lives, such as puberty acne, pregnancy mask, age related pruritus, fungal infection of the nails, hair loss and so on. Healthy skin is important to everyone, not just for vanity, but also the body's general health condition. A problem with the skin could be an indicator of a larger problem in the body so it should never be ignored.

Many skin diseases have been recorded over the last several thousand years. Some of them are still difficult to cure completely until now, for example, Psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory skin disease. The incidence of psoriasis is around 2% in the UK. The causes of Psoriasis are complex and still not fully understood, despite efforts from scientists and advancement in modern technology.

The medical research reports and statistical data show that Psoriasis is considered a multi-factor disease related to genetic factors, immune system disorders, viral or bacterial infection, emotional trauma, mechanical problems and even environmental factors etc.

Psoriasis skin lesions can be as small as the head of a pin or large enough to cover the whole body, covered with silvery white scales. It can appear only in one part of the body or all over, with varying degrees of itching. In some cases, the nails are also affected. Psoriasis arthritis, Pustular psoriasis and Erythrodermic psoriasis are especially serious and complex cases.

Treatments of psoriasis in modern medicine include topical medications, oral medications and ultraviolet light therapy. They can help control the skin condition. However, the recurrence of psoriasis can trigger emotional distress, and give the patients and their families a lot of pain, due to the lack of effective preventive and curative methods. Some of the side effects brought about by long-term medication can become difficult for the patients.

In order to find alternative and safe therapies, more and more attention have been focused on Chinese traditional medicine in China. The researchers have made a lot of efforts in clinical trials and laboratory studies, from studying the prescriptions in Chinese medicinal literature that recorded thousands of years of experience of ancient physicians, to extracting and experimenting with active ingredients in traditional Chinese herbs and so on. In addition to medication, some effective external treatments have also been developed, such as herb liquid, cream, ointment and powder. The appropriate application and dosage will depend on the type or stage of the patient's skin condition.

The results show Chinese medicine is indeed effective in the treatment of psoriasis, in particular, with the benefit of fewer side effects and lower recurrence rate. In clinical practice, the diagnosis and treatment are made by following the principle of syndrome differentiation. Treatment using Chinese medicine does not just focus on dealing with the skin problem, but take into account the general condition of the entire body. Chinese medicine emphasizes the importance of holistic assessment of the human body as a whole and its interactions with surrounding environment.

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