Viral Warts and Molluscum Contagiosum: Treatment with Chinese Medicine

Viral warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and come in different forms, and the more common variants are common warts, plane warts and plantar warts.

Plantar warts are small growths that usually appear on the heels or other weight-bearing areas of your feet. This pressure may also cause plantar warts to grow inward beneath a hard, thick layer of skin (callus). Chinese Medicine is useful for the treatment of planter warts. Treatment is effected both internally and externally.

In the treatment of warts, internal consumption of herbs works on the immune system (warts are a form of viral infiltration by the HPV virus) while topical medicine helps loosen the warts so that it can be removed.

Molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection of the skin which produces benign, raised, painless bumps on the skin. These skin-colored bumps may disappear on their own and rarely leave scars when they’re left untreated. Molluscum contagiosum is contagious and can be spread by direct contact or by coming in contact with a towel or clothing that has been contaminated. This disease is self-limiting, but the bumps could remain for months to years if not treated. Treatment is through the use of Chinese herbs and involves working on the immune system.

Peri-oral Dermatitis

Peri-oral dermatitis commonly shows up as papular and pustular lesions forming around the mouth and chin area. This type of presentation primarily affects females of childbearing age.

This condition may present together with rosacea, but should not be confused with acne, because there will not be any black or white heads. Perioral dermatitis responds well to Chinese herbs, and if appearing as part of a facial dermatitis presentation, may also respond well to acupuncture.

Treating Stasis Eczema with Chinese Medicine

Stasis eczema is also known as gravitational/varicose/venous eczema. This form of eczema commonly affects the lower limbs of the elderly, and arises as a consequence of chronic venous insufficiency, which leads to poor circulation in the lower limbs.

Varicose eczema is commonly treated using topical steroids and emollients. Chinese medicine helps by improving circulation.

Pompholyx Eczema

Pompholyx eczema is a common dermatitis of the hands, and sometimes of the feet. It is characterized by persistent and recurring blistering itch and desquamation of the skin.

Lichen Simplex / Neurodermatitis

Lichen simplex is a localized, well-circumscribed area of thickened skin (lichenification) resulting from repeated rubbing, itching, and scratching of the skin.

A solitary plaque of lichen simplex is circumscribed, somewhat linear or oval in shape, and markedly thickened. It is intensely itchy. Some places often get these lesions, for example, the back of scalp and neck, the gentials, or the wrists/forearms.

Acupuncture can be very helpful for lichen simplex.

Lichen Planus

Lichen Planus, known in Chinese Medicine as Zi Dian Feng (紫癫风), which means’purple patch wind,’ is a pruritic disease of the skin and mucus membranes that typically occurs in adults, affecting both men and women equally.

Lichen Planus can be categorized into common and hypertrophic forms; there are also lichen planus of the mouth, tongue and genitals.

1. Plaque Psoriasis
This is the most common form and is easiest to recognize. Plaque psoriasis presents as well-defined, symmetrical red plaques, with the most common locations being:
a. Ear: within and around the ears
b. On the scalp and bordering the hairline
c. Extensor aspect of elbows and knees
d. Torso: especially the lower back

Inverse/flexural psoriasis (less common) is when lesions appear in ‘folded’ areas (flexures). These include: