Acupuncture for psoriasis On this page Overview Symptoms Causes Treatment Facesheet 1. Overview Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes red, flaky, crusty patches of skin covered with silvery scales. These patches can appear anywhere on the body. Sometimes the patches can be itchy or sore. 2. Symptoms Symptoms of psoriasis include patches of skin that are dry, red and covered in silver scales, which can be itchy or sore. 3. Causes There are several causes of psoriasis, including: Excessive internal heat caused by smoking, diet (for example chili), alcohol An autoimmune problem Excessive stress or trauma A lack of blood (anaemic) Environmental exposure to heat or wind Exposure to toxins or irritants 4. Treatment of psoriasis Treatments include dietary changes, steroid creams, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. People suffering from psoriasis should stop smoking, cut out chilli and alcohol from their diet. Taking and iron supplement and drinking 2 litres of water a day can also help. As psoriasis is an autoimmune problem and acupuncture is able to regulate immune function, the effect of acupuncture in treating this condition is positive along with dietary and lifestyle changes. Long term chronic psoriasis or those with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis would benefit more from Chinese herbs rather than acupuncture alone. Chinese herbs are much better able to treat psoriasis along with an optimised diet and lifestyle. Chinese herbs became famous in the 1980s by their ability to treat skin disorders such as psoriasis. The treatment strategy used in Chinese herbal medicine is to reduce heat in the person and generate more blood. Affected areas of the body can be washed with a herbal tonic to cool the skin down and relieve itching. 5. Factsheet Download my psoriasis factsheet. References Liao, Sung J; Liao, Thomas A. Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics Research, Volume 17, Number 4, 1992, pp. 195-208(14). Cognizant Communication Corporation, DOI: https://doi.org/10.3727/036012992816357611. Chen, C.-J. and Yu, H.-S. (2003), Acupuncture, electrostimulation, and reflex therapy in dermatology. Dermatologic Therapy, 16: 87-92. doi: 10.1046/j.1529-8019.2003.01619.x. Mei-Ling Yeh, Shu-Hua Ko, Mei-Hua Wang, Ching-Chi Chi, and Yu-Chu Chung. Acupuncture-Related Techniques for Psoriasis: A Systematic Review with Pairwise and Network Meta-Analyses of Randomized Controlled Trials. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 2017 23:12, 930-940. Coyle M, Deng J, W, Zhang A, L, Yu J, J, Guo X, Xue C, C, L, Lu C, J: Acupuncture Therapies for Psoriasis Vulgaris: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials. Forsch Komplementmed 2015;22:102-109. doi: 10.1159/000381225. Wu JP, Gu SZ. [Randomized controlled trials for treatment of 30 cases of ordinary psoriasis by acupuncture and moxibustion]. Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2011 Feb;36(1) 62-65. PMID: 21585062.