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Perioral Dermatitis is a skin disorder which causes an 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.

The exact cause of perioral dermatitis is not known and is only a recently recognized condition.  In our clinic, we often see patients that the condition developed after a period of stress, use of a topical cream or steroid, or associated with a digestive problem. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are effective at treating  perioral dermatitis.

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Perioral Dermatitis in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Chinese medicine takes a holistic approach to the diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions.  Every patient has their own experience and story and the treatment must be personalized to you.  My goal is to correct the underlying imbalance causing the perioral dermatitis which will provide the body with an opportunity to heal.

I will first consider the appearance of the skin. The skin provides a lot of information about the underlying imbalance.  We will look closely at the skin in order to ascertain what the underlying imbalance is.  We will consider the color of the skin, size of the lesions, the nature of the lesions, presence of scaling, and location of the scales.  For example, are the lesions only at the mouth or have they spread to the eyes.

Other significant factors we will consider are digestion, including food sensitivities, bloating, or other issues, sensitivity to heat, and overall wellness.

Once I have identified the underlying imbalance causing the perioral dermatitis, I will recommend a customized herbal formula and acupuncture treatment aimed at correcting this underlying imbalance.   Each aspect of the treatment is aimed at addressing a piece of the imbalance underlying the condition.   The herbal formula will be a combination of different herbs that  creates a powerful synergy to regulate the inflammatory process causing the condition. We will also discuss possible foods to avoid.


Joseph Alban, L.Ac.

Joseph Alban is a New York Licensed Acupuncturist and Board Certified Herbalist providing the highest quality Acupuncture and Chinese medicine care tailored to your needs.

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