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Psoriasis of Hands
Psoriasis is not a deadly condition. It's not debilitating in any serious sense. But it can cause dramatic dips in quality of life. As time goes on, psoriasis tends to spread, from one area gradually to another. It's characterized by dry thick patches of what to most people look like dead skin or scale-like skin. The problem can range from mild to severe, which may scare some people. In medicine such presentations are often termed lichenification or keratosis.
It's very unfortunate that most people have come to believe this is incurable. And modern medicine only has steroids to offer. This makes one think that if steroids didn't exist dermatologists might as well not exist as well, as this is the primary if not only arsenal for most chronic non-infectious type skin conditions.
Recently I treated a female patient with this problem, which is located on both hands, specifically the palms and fingers. The presentation is thick dry patches in certain areas, whereas other affected parts are not as scaly, but instead dry, rough and cracking, resembling wound marks from cuts.
Obviously inflammation was occurring as redness of the affected areas were evident. The patient complains of severe itching of the affected parts which results in scratching, making things worse. Furthermore, multiple fluid-filled vesicles were seen in clusters around certain areas. The patient had consulted me if she should use steroid creams. I vehemently said NO. Steroid creams do not help. It only makes it worse and will make the skin thinner over the long run, which makes treatment even more difficult.
Apparently, the problem has been going on for about 2 months, seemingly out of nowhere. Before it was tolerable, but just recently in the past few weeks had been increasingly getting worse. I explained from Chinese Medicine perspective this is a result of environmental "dampness evil", which is the infiltration of humidity into the channels of the hands causing this condition, and this happens due to the hot summer this year. The patient also uses her hands extensively in her work, so dealing with this problem is extremely important. If the condition continues to worsen, it might even affect her career.
I had to explain that the reason why so many people are stuck with skin conditions almost permanently is not because it is incurable as mainstream medicine says. Obviously steroid creams are not the final say. The reason is because skin conditions are relatively obstinate conditions, so even though Chinese Medicine can treat it and even cure it, it still takes time.
Of course, time is a relative term, and depends on the problem and the person and other factors. In the very beginning of the treatment, there was some improvement in terms of decreased itching, but the overall external presentation did not change all that much.
However after a period of time went by, the condition started to gradually improve. Modifications of the herbal medicine were necessary to accommodate different stages of the progress. The recovery process was essentially a gradual shift from a thickened patchy skin that gradually lessened in amount and thickness.
Later on, the thickening and squamation essentially stopped. What's left was tender red skin that looked as if a layer of skin was peeled. At this point, the skin was still prone to splitting and cracking as it is still weak and tender. But as treatment continued, the skin started to regain its strength and felt more moisturized. Finally, as the skin recovered to a certain degree, the inflammation subsides.
Although the above process sounds quite tedious, but in actuality, because this patient complied with my treatment very well by coming in regularly and finishing the medicine on time, the entire process took only slightly over a month. And right now it is around 90% recovery.