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Skin diseases are one of the most common reasons to see your doctor. Yet, they are often stubborn conditions which do not respond to medications.  Or even worse the medications have side effects. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine offers a natural and effective treatment for many skin conditions, such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, perioral dermatitis, and others. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine has been treating skin diseases for at least 3000 years. The treatment of many skin diseases were discussed in the first known book of Chinese medicine, The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic (Huang Di Nei Jing). In the thousands of years since, Chinese medicine doctors and scholars discussed and debated the best approaches to treatment of skin conditions. Traditional Chinese Medicine Understanding

Traditional Chinese Medicine has been used to treat skin conditions for thousands of years. While Perioral Dermatitis is a newly recognized disease, only about 35 years old, the Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments for similar skin conditions remain helpful in addressing the condition. Symptoms of Perioral Dermatitis Perioral Dermatitis is a skin disorder which causes an erythema (redness of the skin), red bumps (called papules and pustules), and scaling. Perioral Dermatitis can look like acne, although it is not the same condition. 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

Atopic eczema causes profound itching.  Often the itching is the first sign of the condition and scratching leads to the inflammation. A recent research report examined acupuncture treatment of itch in atopic dermatitis (1).  This study was quite sophisticated.  They compared acupuncture versus antihistamine treatment to reduce itching.  They also compared acupuncture and antihistamine to an acupuncture and an antihistamine placebo.  Finally, they looked at if acupuncture was better for preventing the itch or treating the active itching. The acupuncture was stronger than the antihistamine in its ability to reduce itching.  In fact, the acupuncture was the only clinically relevant reduction in the itch.  While the antihistamine also reduced itch, it was not as strong as the acupuncture.  Also, acupuncture

Some think that only teenagers get acne.  But many adults, mostly women, develop acne in their 20’s and remain with it well into their 40’s.  Adult acne is a very common issue I treat in my acupuncture clinic. The combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbs are very effective for adult acne treatment. One theory is that stress causes hormone imbalances which effect the development of acne. Also, as many people know, the menstrual cycle can influence acne. Traditional Chinese Medicine Acne Treatment Acupuncture helps the body to manage stress and encourages the body to relax. Chinese herbs work to regulate hormone imbalances, especially if there are irregular menstrual cycles. Herbs can help to control bacteria levels and decrease inflammation. The

Eczema causes terrible itching.  The itching in many cases is what leads to the development of dry, irritated, and inflamed skin associated with eczema.  I often use acupuncture to help control the itching in eczema. A research paper from last year showed that acupuncture helps to reduce itching in people with eczema.  In this study, the researched caused a hypersensitivity reaction in eczema patients.  Then, they used acupuncture to help reduce that itching. In my NYC Acupuncture clinic I often use acupuncture to help patients with itching from eczema.  I find that auricular and body acupuncture combination to be the most effective.  After the acupuncture, I often will use magnet stickers in ear acupuncture points that correspond to the specific

If you read my blog regularly, you will know that imbalances are the cause of disease in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. For autoimmune conditions like psoriasis, the concept of imbalances really makes sense. The immune system is overactive and the body attacks itself. In acupuncture and Chinese medicine, the three most common imbalances that cause the psoriasis are blood heat, blood dryness, and blood stagnation. Chinese medicine and acupuncture doctors have long said that by removing these imbalances, the acupuncture and Chinese medicine is a natural treatment that acts like hitting the reset switch, in this case, resetting the immune system. I think this is very accurate description for immunologic diseases. My training during 2009-2010 at Mount Sinai was in

“The Heartbreak of Psoriasis” is a phase the author John Updike, a sufferer of psoriasis himself, used to describe his self consciousness with the condition. While psoriasis is a skin condition, it impacts people’s daily lives in social situations and has a significant emotional impact. In addition, psoriasis may cause itching, physical discomfort, and is often associated with arthritic joint pain.   Acupuncture and Chinese herbs have been used to treat psoriasis for thousands of years. What Causes Psoriasis? In both acupuncture theory and western medicine, psoriasis is more than skin deep. Psoriasis is caused by a complex interaction between genetic disposition, the environment, and the immune system.  In acupuncture,  this dysfunction is described as imbalances which disrupt the body and

Acne has profound effects on people’s lives, effecting social life, education, and even employment.  In fact, studies have shown that it is more difficult to get job with a bad case of acne.I’ve used Chinese medicine and acupuncture to treatment many people with acne, both teenage and adult.  It works by breaking the cycle of breaking out in pimples, developing, inflammation, and infection.  The key is to correctly diagnosis the imbalance that is causing the acne.What Causes Acne? Acne is a disorder of the hair follicle sebaceous gland. This gland can get clogged up with proteins and oils from the skin.  The clogged pore develops into a pimple, a white head or a blackhead. The pimple allows for a situation

Eczema is a chronic skin disorder which causes intense itching.  Eczema is often said to be “the itch that rashes” because the itch precedes the rash and inflammation.  Scratching the itch then leads to inflammation. Eczema is best understood as a group of skin conditions that have similar types of inflammation.   Eczema rashes are often dry and the skin may thicken from scratching.  Eczema is also prone to becoming infected. For thousands of years, Chinese medicine physicians have used acupuncture and herbs to help different types of  eczema. The therapy is targeted to stop the itching and regulate the inflammation. Types of eczema There are many types of eczema which acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help.  Here is a list

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Eczema is often worse in the winter because of the dry air.  But some people only get eczema in the winter.  In Chinese medicine, when eczema occurs only in the winter it is called winter dermatitis. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapies can help reduce the symptom intensity and frequency by correcting correcting imbalances in the body.  Once the imbalances are removed, the body can work to heal itself. Here’s one patient’s story. This patient was a woman in her early 30′s.  She was experiencing raised red and scabbed lesions on her hands which were which were very itchy.  At times there was a thin and watery discharge.  There was a direct relationship between the temperature and the irritation– the colder