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While Perioral Dermatitis is only a newly recognized disease, about 35 years old, and Traditional Chinese Medicine has been used to treat skin conditions for thousands of years, the Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments for similar skin conditions remain helpful in treating the condition.

Weighting chinese herbs1 Perioral Dermatitis is a skin disorder which causes an erythema (redness of the skin), red bumps (called papules and pustules), and scaling. As the name infers, the most common locations of Perioral Dermatitis include around the mouth, on the chin, cheeks, and next to the nose. It can also occur around the eyes or on the eyelids, which is referred to as Periocular Dermatitis.

Although Perioral Dermatitis does not pose a serious risk to your health, it can be very stressful, upsetting, and embarrassing to an otherwise healthy person. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help.

Perioral Dermatitis in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Chinese medicine takes a holistic approach to the diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions. As a Chinese medicine practitioner, we consider the appearance of the skin, your digestion, immune function, sleep, and overall wellness. Health in Traditional Chinese Medicine is reached when the body is in harmony and balance. Disruption to the state of balance which leads to disease can develop from environmental irritants or emotional stress. Chinese medicine works to bring the body back to a state of balance.

Chinese medicine uses the concepts from the natural world, such as heat, cold, dryness, and dampness to describe illness. The most common causes of Perioral Dermatitis are stagnation, or lack of circulation, and heat. If the condition is caused by stagnation the symptoms most often include redness, thin scaling, and only a few pustules. The more intense the heat the more redness and pustules are present. Another sign of intense heat is if the erythema is persistent or becomes worse when you are hot or in the sun. This reveals that the heat is very intense and deeper in the body.

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine Therapy for Perioral Dermatitis

The goal of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine is to correct the imbalance underlying your condition. Once the imbalance is removed, the body is able to heal itself.

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese herbal therapy are customized to your specific symptoms. For example, if treating heat, acupuncture points such as Large intestine 4, Large Intestine 11, and Stomach 44 are often used. But if there is stagnation, the using points such as Liver 3 and Large Intestine 4 will help circulate the qi.

Chinese herbs are generally given in combinations of 8-12 herbs. The combination of herbs creates a powerful synergy to regulate the inflammatory process causing the condition. For treating Perioral Dermatitis from stagnation, the herbs may include those which help circulate the qi such as chai hu. If there is more erythema, herbs such as sheng di huang will help remove the heat. If there are many pustules, herbs that reduce inflammation, such as ye ju hua, are used.