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JKM > Volume 42(2); 2021 > Article
Lee, Jung, and Lee: Comparison of Research Characteristics in Western, Chinese Traditional Medicine and Korean Medicine on Psoriasis



We compared research characteristics of western medicine, Chinese medicine and Korean medicine on causes, mechanisms, types, treatments and prevention of psoriasis.


For western medicine, “Psoriasis” was used as keyword on Pubmed, for Chinese medicine, “銀屑病” and “中医” on CNKI (China National Knowledge Infrastructure” and for Korean medicine, “건선” on OASIS. Keyword searches were done for papers and books published after 2010. For Chinese medicine, there were more in-depth searches done for “從血論 (血熱, 血瘀, 血燥)” and “陽虛症”.


Western medicine puts an emphasis on the foci, and approaches it from molecular and genetic levels based on molecular biology; while it views psoriasis as a disease with multiple possible causes, it ultimately sees it as an inflammation that is immunity-mediated. Western medicine seeks to suppress cytokine in order to prevent and eliminate inflammation at each stage of treatment While they are effective short-term, psoriasis recurs shortly after. Chinese and Korean medicines categorize psoriasis as an internal comprehensive systemic diseases that encompasses the patient’s physical and mental characteristics, and defines it as a disease that has many causes and mechanisms such as “血熱, 血瘀, 血燥” and “陽虛”. They use herbal medicine, acupuncture, and lifestyle interventions to improve the overall health of the patient in addition to treating psoriasis. Treatments are effective, but it takes relatively longer to see results, and can recur.


In order for more progress to happen on psoriasis treatment, each branch of medicine must exchange knowledge and information more frequently.

Fig. 1
Flow chart of psoriasis by Western Medicine, Chinese Traditional Medicine and Korean medicine
Fig. 2
The Mechanism of psoriasis in Western Medicine
Table 1
Concepts of Western Medicine on Psoriasis
- Skin-centered (Lesion-centered)
- Molecular and gene-level molecular biology studies
- Multiple causes, single mechanisms (Immuno-mediated inflammatory disease)
- Suppressing inflammation such as inhibition of cytokines (Th, IL, and TNF-α)
Table 2
Concepts of Chinese Medicine and Korean Medicine on Psoriasis
- Internal comprehensive systemic diseases
- Organismic diseases of the skin, body and mind
- Various causes and mechanisms
- Anti-inflammation, Anti-febrile, Reinforcement and control of organ function, and Normalization of sweating
Table 3
Comparison of Western Medicine, Chinese and Korean Medicine on Psoriasis
Western Medicine Chinese and Korean Medicine
Cause Autoimmune abnormality, infection, heredity, drug-induced inflammation. 血熱 血瘀 血燥 陽虛
Mechanism Immune-mediated, autoimmune 氣血循環障碍, 㭗熱, 發汗障碍
Treatment Steroids, ultraviolet and UV, sunlight, VD, biological medicine Korean medicine, acupuncture, lifestyle improvement
Prevention and Management Exercise, food, sunshine, etc Mental and emotional management, exercise, food control, etc
Therapeutic goal Anti-inflammation (Suppressing and blocking inflammation) Anti-inflammatory, Strengthen human organs, promoting sweating


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