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Irritating skin conditions can be difficult to treat. While conventional medicine offers little help beyond topical ointments, Chinese medicine takes a deeper look beyond the surface to improve skin health and reduce itching, redness, and pain. Chinese herbal medicine can be used to help treat skin conditions like acne, eczema, hives, dermatitis, rosacea, psoriasis, and more. As the skin and hair are related in Chinese medicine, herbal formulas can also help with hair loss, early graying, and thinning hair.
In Chinese medicine, the skin is a helpful diagnostic tool, often telling us on the outside what is happening on the inside. Skin conditions are most often seen as a secondary symptom of a deeper underlying condition. To treat dermatological conditions, Chinese herbalists look to the internal imbalances that are causing the skin to react. These can be related to lifestyle factors like diet and stress or internal issues like excess heat, dampness, or blood stasis.
As for hair loss, thinning, or graying, Chinese herbalism works to rejuvenate the body’s core yin to support and nourish the hair follicles and improve the look and vitality of the hair.
The skin is heavily affected by the quality of the blood and the body’s temperature balance. One of the most common reasons for irritated, red skin conditions is called “blood heat.” This occurs when blood, which is meant to be a nourishing, cooling, yin substance becomes too hot and leads to inflammation in the body.
Dampness causes many issues in the body, including certain skin conditions. When the skin becomes puffy, swollen, or raised, dampness is often involved. Dampness is also present in conditions with pus or fluids, such as cystic acne and some types of psoriasis.
Hair loss, thinning, or early graying can be a sign of poor yin quality. Yin nourishes the hair, giving it strength, abundance, and luster. A lack of yin and blood will often show first in the quality of the skin, hair, and nails.
The Lung system is most closely related to the skin. When treating the skin, Chinese medicine often also supports and balances the Lungs.
Spleen, Stomach, Large Intestine
The skin is also closely related to the health of our digestive system, namely the Spleen, Stomach, and Large Intestine. Poor Spleen health often leads to a build-up of dampness which can cause breakouts and irritation. The Stomach is susceptible to heat and inflammation, often showing up on the face as acne, cysts, or elsewhere as redness and itching. The Large Intestine has the job of eliminating toxic waste from the body, but a sluggish digestive tract leads to heat, stagnation, and excess toxins.
Skin conditions improve the best with a well-rounded approach to treatment. While topical creams and supplements may make a helpful difference in the symptoms of skin conditions, addressing the internal environment of the body is the only way to make substantial and long-lasting changes. Chinese herbs are used to rebalance the body from the inside out. Acupuncture helps to reduce heat, inflammation, stress, and encourage a healthy digestion. It also directs a healthy flow of blood to the skin. Nutrition and food choices is also important in reversing skin conditions. There are some key tips to follow (such as reducing fried and spicy foods) but nutritional therapy takes each individual’s unique constitution and condition into account. Other lifestyle habits (like sleep schedules and personal product choice) may also be addressed.
When it comes to dermatology, Chinese herbology shines. Difficult and complex conditions like psoriasis, vitiligo, and eczema that fail to see results with conventional medicine often improve with the whole-body approach of herbal medicine. Herbs are used both internally in the form of tea or pills, or externally with herbal creams and tinctures. While external/topical products focus on eliminating symptoms, the internal formulas work to re-establish a healthy balance in the body to heal the skin conditions from the root.
The following are important herbs used in our popular formulas for skin conditions:
Dang gui/ Astragalus root: Dang gui is a commonly used herb in many skin condition formulas because of its affect on the blood. Dang gui nourishes the blood, while also helping it flow smoothly. This helps to enhance the quality and health of the skin.
Zhen zhu mu/ pearl powder: Zhen zhu mu, or pearl powder, is an ancient Chinese remedy for skin conditions. It is most famous for helping to reduce acne and give the skin a gorgeous glow.
Yi mu cao/ Motherwort stem: Yi mu cao is a cooling and circulating herb that is used in formulas to reduce inflammation and itching of the skin.
Skin conditions like acne or psoriasis can greatly affect your quality of life. If conventional medicine has not helped you overcome your skin troubles, or you are looking for a more natural way to achieve healthy skin, Chinese medicine has your holistic solution. Shop our collection of Chinese herbal formulas that improve skin conditions and enhance hair growth.
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