Dermatological Conditions

The skin is the body’s largest organ. As the first layer of defense, it is responsible for protecting the body and the internal organs. Skin problems vary in severity from a mild annoyance to possible warning signs of more serious conditions. There are hundreds of skin conditions, which often have similar signs and symptoms and are sometimes difficult to distinguish. Skin conditions may be acute and chronic and affect people of all ages and backgrounds. Some of the most commonly seen skin conditions include acne, dermatitis, rosacea, hives, eczema, and psoriasis.

A holistic approach to skin health

Skin conditions are often an indication that there may be some imbalance internally. As the largest organ in the body, the skin sometimes provides insight into a person’s general health and the health of their internal organs. Chinese medicine views the skin as a window into the rest of the body. A skin condition means that there is an internal disharmony at a deeper level. The location and nature of the skin condition may point to where to look in the body. For example, if the skin condition is on a particular channel or meridian of the body, it is a clue that you should look at that particular organ system. Chinese medicine views the body as nature in miniature, meaning that all the elements exist within the body just as they do in nature. If there is an imbalance of wind, dampness, heat, cold, or dryness, this may present as a skin condition. So how do these imbalances occur? Diet, lifestyle, emotions, environmental factors, and constitution all play a role in how these elements are balanced within our system and may contribute to skin conditions. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine take a holistic approach to treat skin conditions, addressing both the root cause of the condition along with the physical presentation.

Can acupuncture help with acne?

Anyone who struggles with acne knows what a frustrating process it can be. With countless topical products out there and so much mixed information, it can be difficult to find a solution that not only works but lasts. Most dermatologists will treat acne topically in combination with steroids or antibiotics. While this approach is often successful initially, it is often not a sustainable approach to treating acne because it only treats the surface of the problem. Acne is just a symptom of a deeper imbalance within the body. The Chinese medicine approach to treating acne looks deeper than just the symptom and examines all aspects of health to determine the cause of the acne. By targeting the cause of the acne versus just the manifestation, acupuncture and Chinese medicine can deliver lasting results. Acupuncture can help to reduce some of the systemic inflammation in the body that may be contributing to the acne while helping to re-establish the balance between the different organ systems. Dietary modifications and herbal therapy are also an important part of treating acne holistically and may be included in your acupuncture treatment.

Can acupuncture help with eczema?

Eczema is a skin condition that causes inflamed, itchy, red, and dry skin. Like many skin conditions, Western medicine has not yet identified the exact cause of eczema, however, it is thought to be an overactive response of the body’s immune system to an irritant. Conventional treatment for eczema is usually a topical steroid, however, this is not an ideal permanent solution. Excessive use of topical steroids can lead to side effects such as thinning of the skin. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine offer a safer alternative solution that provides effective results. Chinese medicine can help with eczema by addressing the root cause of imbalance within the body. Acupuncture can help to reduce inflammation and address the symptoms such as itchiness and redness. Acupuncture can also help to regulate the immune system, managing the body’s response to irritants which exacerbate eczema.

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