Treating Skin Conditions with Chinese Medicine

The skin is the largest organ of the body and its health and appearance is a reflection of our internal health.  Beautiful, blemish free skin also depends on an abundance of Blood, Qi and Yin to nourish it, and without it, skin can become dry, flaky or dull.  Imbalances of the internal energy of the body can cause common skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and dermatitis.

Most Western medical approaches for skin problems rely on topical treatments.  Some of these medicines have harmful side effects, and many people find that the problems reappear when they stop using them.  By addressing the underlying imbalance in the body and treating the root cause of skin problems, Chinese medicine can be an effective alternative to conventional treatments.

Individualised treatment of internal balances with acupuncture and herbal medicine is the best approach for chronic skin conditions but there are a few things you can do at home to help improve the health of your skin.

  • Avoid all harsh chemical cleansers and soap as they can irritate your skin and worsen your condition.  Ensure all products are soap-free, including shampoo, hand wash and washing powder.

These simple homemade cleanser and toner are gentle alternatives to commercial face products.

Grind up some rolled oats in a food processor.  Half fill a glass jar with the oats, then fill to the top with honey and mix it in.  Pat onto dry skin and rub in a gentle circular motion to cleanse your skin.  Wash off and gently pat your skin dry.

To make your own toner mix 1 part of apple cider vinegar with 2 parts of distilled water in a jar.  Apply with a cotton ball twice a day after cleansing.

  • Cleanse and tone twice a day.
  • Keep affected areas out of the sun.
  • Enjoy a diet rich in whole foods and avoid processed foods and food additives.   Avoid spicy and greasy foods – in TCM these foods can contribute to the energetic imbalances affecting your skin.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Try not to touch, pick at or rub the affected areas of your skin.