Our skin is not only our protective barrier to the environment, but also a mirror to our internal health. Skin is the body’s largest organ. It is also the most visible and vulnerable organ. Skin conditions are very common and the discomfort of conditions like acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, hair loss and dry skin is often followed by distress over their appearance.
While acne is most common in adolescents, and eczema is becoming increasingly common in children, each of these conditions affects people of all ages. Eczema is the appearance of dry, scaly, red patches of skin. Rosacea is the term used to describe an uneven and often permanent blush across a person’s forehead, cheeks, and chin, which is often accompanied by small bumps and visible blood vessels. Psoriasis can spread across the body, but is most commonly found on the elbows and knees. It is the result of excess skin production that forms red or whitish scaly patches that can be itchy and painful. The causes of hair loss are numerous.
TCM treats skin disorders in a unique way.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) sees all diseases holistically. Skin disorders are no exception. According to TCM, most skin disorders are the result of the body unable to eliminate toxins completely. Theoretically, a healthy person can eliminate toxins from diet or the environment. However, many people have minor irregularities that prevent the complete elimination of toxins. As a result, toxins pushed towards skin without being removed.
Typically, the symptoms of your skin disorder will tell a lot about your overall condition.
1) Redness: Usually redness and rash is a sign of Heat according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The patient commonly shares other symptoms such as constipation, dry mouth and/or irritability.
2) Oozing: Usually oozing is a sign of Dampness according to TCM. The patient commonly shares other symptoms such as lethargy, fatigue and digestive illnesses.
3) Itching: Usually itching is a sign of Wind according to TCM. The patient commonly shares other symptoms such as dryness and low energy.
It is well known that most skin conditions are poorly treated by Western medicine. Most sufferers are commonly prescribed steroid treatments in order to address the symptoms. However, steroids may cause a number of severe adverse effects and do not usually address the causes. Depending on the individual (his body constitution and symptoms), a holistic approach would try to correct the body’s irregularities while promote toxin elimination. A combination treatment of acupuncture and herbs can usually correct the overall condition as well as treat the skin disorder satisfactorily and can provide longer-lasting relief than Western methods.
For conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, there is extensive evidence that TCM can alleviate the symptoms with equal efficacy and, certainly, with fewer side effects. Furthermore, for skin disorders with an autoimmune component, herbal treatments can be tailored to attempt to suppress the cause. Skin conditions are affected very strongly by stress and hypersensitivity to environmental allergens. TCM continues to pursue research in this area, and provides treatments that address these issues specifically with good results.