Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatment for Perioral Dermatitis

Perioral dermatitis is a rash on the face that may include redness, bumps, dry skin, and irritation around the mouth and nose.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine treat perioral dermatitis by addressing the underlying  imbalance causing the condition.

Every patient has their own experience.  The acupuncture treatment must be personalized to you.

Perioral Dermatitis in Traditional Chinese Medicine

My holistic approach to perioral dermatitis considers your whole a state of health including your skin, digestion, sleep, hormone balance, and stress levels.  My goal is to bring the body back to a state of balance, when you are in balance you are healthy.

To identify the imbalance underlying the perioral dermatitis, we will review your medical history and also examine the appearance of the skin. Which are the predominant perioral dermatitis symptoms?  Is it redness, bumps, dryness, scaling? Is it around your mouth only or also around your eyes? Is it worse with stress?  Do certain food affect it? Did you have a history of facial creams and steroids? Is it worse around your periods?

This information provides a path to identifying the underlying imbalance and then to create a customized treatment including acupuncture, herbal medicine, and other therapies for you.

I will also take your energy pulses, observe the tongue, and asking in-depth questions for formulating the proper natural treatment for your perioral dermatitis.

In Chinese Medicine, Perioral Dermatitis is most often caused by Qi Stagnation and Stomach Heat.  The herbs and acupuncture are chosen specifically to correct these imbalances.

Causes of Perioral Dermatitis

The exact cause of perioral dermatitis is not known.  Perioral dermatitis is  associated with topical steroid use on the face or inhaled steroids, cosmetics, fluoride toothpaste, or other irritants.   I have often seen that the condition develops after a period of stress.

Perioral Dermatitis mostly afflicts young women and causes a significant amount of stress.

Chinese Medicine treatment for Perioral Dermatitis

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese herbal therapy are tailored to your specific perioral dermatitis symptoms.  To heal skin conditions we use only natural treatments such as acupuncture and strong herbal teas called decoctions.  Decoctions are a combination of many herbs which are boiled or dissolved in water to create a strong tea.   Herbal balms also can help the skin heal.

The goal of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine is to correct the imbalance underlying your condition.  Herbs will help correct the underlying imbalance as well as balance the skins’ microbiome, hormones, and digestion. Once the imbalance is removed, the body is able to heal itself.

Imbalances underlying Perioral Dermatitis

The most common imbalances in acupuncture causing perioral dermatitis are Qi stagnation, that is a lack of flow of the body’s energy or qi, and heat.

If the perioral dermatitis is caused by stagnation, the symptoms most often include redness, thin scaling, and only a few pustules. The more redness and pustules, the more heat is present. If the erythema (redness) is persistent or becomes worse when you are hot or in the sun, the heat is more intense and deeper in the body.

Acupuncture for Perioral DermatitisDigestive health can also be a factor. Bloating, constipation, or irregular bowel movements may be a sign that heat is disrupting the digestive system.

If the the POD is cause more by heat and toxins then herbs that remove heat and toxins will be used.

Acupuncture points that clear heat from the body are chosen. If the POD is caused by stagnation and heat, then herbs and acupuncture which move the stagnation and heat will be chosen. Cupping on the back can also be a helpful tool to remove heat and inflammation.

The natural therapies for perioral dermatitis work together by regulating the inflammatory process underlying the condition as well as balancing the skin’s microbiome, the body’s hormones, and your digestion.  By treating the underlying imbalance causing the perioral dermatitis, we can see long term improvement in the condition.

A Testimonial from a patient with Perioral Dermatitis

Within weeks of coming to New York to study, I began to experience a facial rash, perioral dermatitis, which I never had before. I felt very bad, I couldn’t sleep, and my face became itchy and red. I tried many different things on my own, but nothing worked. So, I decided to try acupuncture and herbs. Even from the first acupuncture appointment with Joseph I felt a lot better.  The perioral dermatitis on my face was much less and my general condition was very good. After 3 months of treatment I have a significant improvement. My skin is not that sensitive anymore and, I believe, I’m not going to experience that rash in the future.

Kathy, NYC

Joseph Alban, L.Ac.
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