Clearing Up Eczema and Psoriasis
Quite a few people come into my clinic and ask for topical lotions and creams for skin conditions. Largely, the problems are psoriasis and or eczema. Most people are used to just using a new topical cream until it isn’t effective anymore. Then just switch to another one. Occasionally, when it gets bad enough, they use a steroid or go on prednisone for a while. This is just to have a small period of relief from the itching, scaling, and bleeding.
What Are Psoriasis and Eczema?
For the most part, skin reactions are toxic reactions. When we think of toxicity, we think of poisons coming out of the skin. But that is only one kind of toxin. In Chinese Medicine, we consider excess heat a toxin and can have the same effect when it produces a skin eruption. In actuality, this means that your skin’s workings are quite good. If it weren’t so good, this toxicity could go move internally. There it could even cause other more dire things like infections, fevers or even be part of a cancer picture. Dryness or dampness are also agents. In a manner of speaking of toxicity, one leads to dry lesions (eczema) and the other to damp weeping lesions (psoriasis).
While that may explain the lesions, that doesn’t necessarily explain the itching. The itching is actually a wind in the skin. This 'wind' is a Chinese Medical term. It brings on things contracted externally or derived internally by the Liver. If blood is good, effulgent and flowing, the liver is happy and it anchors the 'chi.' If the liver is not happy, the 'chi,' or energy, runs without the blood and becomes a wind. If the body’s balance is good and the blood is good, the blood will bathe the skin and you won’t have these skin problems.
Eczema is normally associated with dryness. For the most part, the skin of the body is an outward extension of the lung. This may, at times, also become dry, as in a dry cough or constant dry mouth or thirst. At times when the lungs are good, eczema may be worse, but as long as the skin is worse, the lungs may have fewer problems. Often in children’s cases, it will alternate with asthma, and if the child is weak enough, both may be bad at the same time. One malady may save the other from the body's reaction.
Actually, the real perpetrator is most often the Liver. Not only does the Liver serve as the most toxin-dumping organ, but is the most stress-responsive organ as well. Many preconditions exist which make the Liver the causative agent and all of them come from the blood. The Liver needs in proper abundance and flow of blood to function properly. Here are some concepts: 1.) You may have dry liver blood, which allows the energy and the blood to separate and send an itching wind to the skin. 2.) You may have blood stagnation, which, though slightly different, may lead to the same thing. If you have either condition, you may see floaters before the eyes and have a rather pervasive thirst. This is because you are always trying to liquefy the blood to make it a more operative and effective agent in the body. 3.) The third condition is a yin deficiency, which means essentially that the liquefying portion of the blood is lacking. Here, you may sweat at night and have a lot of thirst, especially in the darker hours. 4.) You may just have a deficiency of the blood which could mean that you are tired and pale and itch a lot.
For psoriasis, most of the above holds true, except that there is a dampness involved. So the lesions are weepy as well as bleeding, itchy and all the rest. It tends to settle under the scalp, and in the cracks of the skin where the joints are (when dampness settles into the bones of the joints, arthritis or rheumatism results equalling Psoriatic Arthritis). But it is mostly a problem below the waist as that is where gravity settles the dampness the most.
The source of the dampness may be environmental or dietary. If one contracts it while living in a dampish area, it was likely environmental. If one has long suffered from loose bowels and generally lacking thirst, it is associated with Spleen Qi deficiency and Dampness. In this case the problem is mostly dietary, for which we might just blame our ignorant parents. Most often it is a combination of both.
Recently, a patient of mine, a woman of forty-one, had had a bad case of psoriasis since the age of 18. About a year ago we treated it and it almost completely disappeared. She was thrilled! Recently, however, due to a bit of stress, it started to come back. We did a course of herbs and it subsided again. But she agreed that it was time to look at allergic causes to her problem.
We found a number of agents that were clearly allergens, but the most obvious ones relating to blood were minerals and iron. So, I put those first and foremost. We gave elimination treatments for both and in the 24 hour period following, she had two vivid detoxifying encounters. She remembered a time when she was 14 years old and was thrown from a horse. She landed face down, and came up with a mouth full of dirt (minerals). The second was a time when she was very sick and her mother gave her an iron pill and she threw it up violently.
Since that detoxification period, her skin has cleared dramatically. She also noticed that she no longer had reactions after a bath or when drinking water or eating green vegetables. Clearing yourself of a long-term skin disease is never done in an instant. It truly involves a passage into changing your energies in order to clear the external symptoms.