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Skin Issues? Chinese Medicine Can Help.

In Chinese Medicine (acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and Eastern nutrition), we assess skin disorders based on your collective symptoms and complaints, then develop a customized treatment that addresses the root problems.

  • Acupuncture regulates your body, reduces inflammation, and calms your nervous system

  • Chinese herbal medicine works internally to relieve itching, inflammation, and neutralize skin reactions

  • Eastern nutrition helps to nourish your skin from the inside out

For example, eczema and psoriasis are common skin disorders that develop from an overactive immune response, causing inflammation on the skin surface. Redness, the most common symptom, indicates in Chinese Medicine that your body is struggling to provide coolness and regulation.

While the underlying issues are usually similar, how skin disorders play out in the diagnosis and treatment scenarios is much more complex. If three patients came into the clinic on the same day complaining of “eczema”, we would treat them all differently. Questions we would ask include:

  • What are your symptoms?

  • How long have you been suffering?

  • What's the severity?

  • Is your skin itchy, red, oozy, pus-filled (white or yellow), wet, dry, flaky, scaly, silvery, bumpy, swollen, discolored, hard, or have a burning sensation?

Answers to these questions guide our fine-tuning of treatment.

Everyday occurrences and exposures contribute to skin issues

The very act of living puts us in jeopardy of developing skin issues. Stress, emotional upset, irregular digestion, spicy cuisine, raw (uncooked) foods, environment, drug intake, chemical exposure, and airborne toxins can manifest as skin disorders.

This is why it’s so important to complete all your medical forms in detail prior to your office visits. As an acupuncturist, my job is to identify the root cause of your conditions, including eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, allergic reaction, rash, hives, infection, and herpes. With all your personalized details at hand, we can use Chinese Medicine to help diagnose wind-heat, damp-heat, blood heat, wind toxin/dryness, toxic heat, excess heat accumulation, blood deficiency, blood stagnation, yin deficiency, and/or liver Qi stagnation.

Skin health starts with digestion

Your digestive system can tell us a great deal about your skin. Do you get bloated? Have frequent indigestion? How often are you pooping? Do you experience acid reflux?

Long term consumption of cold and raw foods like smoothies, salads, sushi, and crudo can cause chronic disorders in your digestion, reproductive organs, and skin. In acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, we strive for “balance”. How do we balance? It’s about food properties and temperature, mainly hot, warming, cold, cooling, damp, or phlegm-driven foods. Consuming certain foods and avoiding others can make a huge difference in your skin health

Foods that can help balance your skin

  • Seaweed (preferably in cooked, soup form)

  • Dandelion greens/teas

  • Chamomile

  • Chrysanthemum

  • Pearl barley

  • Mung bean

  • Cucumber

  • Winter melon (great when mixed in a soup with mung bean for double action)

  • Potatoes

  • Squash

  • Beets

  • Bamboo shoots

  • Water chestnut

  • Cornsilk

  • Okra

  • Watermelon

Foods to avoid if you have skin irritation

  • Greasy, fried, oily foods

  • Seafood, especially shellfish (scallops, shrimp, mussels, oysters, clams, crab, lobster)

  • Sushi

  • Sugary foods (desserts, tropical fruit, citrus like oranges and grapefruit, especially in drink format, sodas)

  • Alcohol

  • Spicy foods

  • Raw foods

  • Dairy products

  • Coconut milk

  • Duck

  • Processed foods, especially meat

  • Garlic

  • Onions

I hope this helps and I look forward to helping you resolve your skin issues at your next appointment!

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