The Skin is Our Body’s Largest and Fastest –Growing Organ

The skin is our body’s coat. It also is our largest and fastest-growing organ. The skin reflects and reacts to imbalances within the body’s internal landscape and the effects of the environment. Internal disharmonies caused by strong emotions, diet, and your constitution can contribute to the development of a skin disorder.

skin

Environmental influences, such as wind, dryness, dampness and heat can also trigger or exacerbate skin disorders.

General skin conditions that can be treated with Acupuncture/Chinese Medicine include acne, dermatitis, eczema, pruritus, psoriasis, rosacea, shingles and urticaria (hives).

Evidence that acupuncture and herbal medicine have been used for skin disorders, such as hives, can be found in early medical literature dating back to 3 AD.

Medicinal plants and stone needles were utilized to relieve and cure discomforts of the external areas of the body.

Acne

While acne is a condition that affects nearly 85 percent of all adolescents, the American Dermatologist Association reports that 20 percent of adults have an active acne condition. So, though some are led to believe that acne is a problem that only teenagers experience, the fact is that acne can impact any age group.

Acne often occurs when the hair follicles or pores become clogged from oil, dirt, dead skin cells, bacteria, environmental toxins or physical irritations on the surface of the skin.

Hair follicles are connected to sebaceous glands, which secrete an oily substance known as sebum. Ordinarily, the secretion of sebum provides a luscious, healthy sheen to hair and skin. But there are times when the substance builds up, causing the pores to become plugged.

acne

If you are showing symptoms of acne, even if it’s not chronic and severe, you may want to consider an appointment.

In addition to directly treating your skin condition through a personalized acupuncture treatment plan, you can also receive treatment if you experience emotional distress from your skin condition.

Plus, if you seek treatment earlier rather than later, you may help reduce the incidence of permanent scarring.

Treating Eczema

Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a skin disorder resulting in rough, red and itchy patches on the body. In addition, there can be a host of other symptoms and complications that can greatly vary between individuals.

For some, small blisters may be present that when scratched, may bleed or ooze fluid and then crust over when dry. For others, a persistent need to scratch itchy skin may cause anxiety and sleep problems. Other symptoms of eczema include nighttime itching, red or brown skin discoloration, bumps that ooze fluid and harden when dry, scaly-looking, thick, cracked or dry skin, skin inflammation or sensitive, uncomfortable skin sensations.

Complications that may arise from the symptoms of eczema include asthma, allergies, skin infections, insomnia, emotional problems or eye problems.

Chinese Medicine largely defines this condition as one related to heat. This manifestation of heat on the skin may stem from an internal imbalance (e.g. a weakened immune system), an allergic reaction (e.g. peanut allergy) or a combination of both these internal and external factors.

There are many reasons why the body may succumb to a heat condition and lead to the manifestation of eczema symptoms. Strong or prolonged emotions such as anger, rage or jealousy may contribute to a pathological buildup of heat.

Overworking may also be a contributing factor, as this may interfere with other activities such as exercise and things that bring joy and pleasure into one’s life.

Each patient will have a different set of circumstances. At the time of your visit, mention any emotional or behavioral difficulties you feel may be related to your eczema. This way, a treatment plan can be developed that will address all of your symptoms.

Hives

Hives (urticaria) are swollen and red bumps, patches or welts on the skin that appear suddenly. Itching is the most common symptom associated with hives, although some people report that hives cause a stinging or burning sensation.

Hives can occur anywhere on the body including the hands, face, lips, tongue, throat or ears. A sign that the whole body is experiencing a hypersensitivity reaction, a hives outbreak can occur due to a wide array of stimuli.

While intolerance to certain foods, additives, intense emotions, sunlight exposure and medications can all cause hives; in 70-75 percent of outbreaks, the exact cause of hives remains unknown.

hives

In Chinese medicine, an outbreak of hives is described as wind invading the skin and the meridians, causing itching and swelling. When the eruptions are red, it is an indication that wind and heat are involved. When the eruptions are a pale pink or white, it is likely that the diagnosis will be wind-cold invading the skin.

How the condition is diagnosed will determine what acupuncture points are used, what herbal medicines are prescribed and what lifestyle/dietary recommendations are made.

Chronic Dry Skin

When the superficial layer of skin becomes dehydrated due to changes in weather, allergic reaction, and certain medications or bathing/showering, it may develop fine flakes and dry patches. The medical term for this condition is called xerodermia or xerosis, and it may be temporary or respond well to moisturizers.

Unfortunately for some, this condition becomes chronic and causes uncomfortable symptoms that require professional treatment.

If chronic dry skin goes untreated, there is a higher risk of secondary conditions like tears in the skin that lead to infection, rashes, eczema, cellulitis or thickening and darkening patches.

nutrition and skin health

The Neijing, a highly regarded Chinese medicine text, states that “the lung has a natural aversion to dryness.” Not only is the lung vulnerable to dry conditions, but when affected, it can cause conditions of dryness in other areas of the body. Therefore, a practitioner may diagnose a patient exhibiting symptoms of chronic dry skin as having a lung imbalance.

Nutrition and Skin Conditions

Here at Allendale Acupuncture and Nutrition Clinic, we’ve treated a number of skin conditions including extremely dry skin, eczema, acnes, and hives.

With applied kinesiology, we’ve found that the deep causes of these conditions are usually the combination effects of toxins in the intestines, pathogens spread throughout the body, and food intolerance. Since each patient displays different pathological syndromes, it’s difficult to generalize.

However, the most important thing any patients with skin conditions must do is: stay away from wheat and sugar. Wheat produced by GMOs tends to create toxic-environments in both small and large intestines; sugar seems to be biggest culprit in helping yeast, fungus, and mold flourish.

Through a systemic approach integrating diet changes, food-based-natural supplements, and some homeopathic aids, most skin conditions demonstrate dramatic improvements.

food that look best

Foods to Help You Look Your Best

Be sure to integrate these items into your diet to help keep your skin look its best:

Vitamin A: Acting as an antioxidant to neutralize harmful elements in our skin, vitamin A helps to prevent wrinkles, resist infection and maintain the skin’s elasticity. One of the best places to get vitamin A is from vegetables that are deep orange in color, such as carrots or sweet potatoes.

Blackberries, Blueberries, Strawberries and Plums: Antioxidants and other phytochemicals in these fruits can protect cells from damage and disintegration, thus guarding against premature aging. In a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, these four fruits weighed in with the highest “total antioxidant capacity” of any food.

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs): Responsible for skin repair, moisture content and flexibility, and because the body cannot produce its own, EFAs must be obtained from one’s diet. Fish, walnuts and flaxseed oil are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Selenium: An antioxidant mineral responsible for tissue elasticity and healthy skin, selenium can be found in brown rice, turkey, tuna and Brazil nuts

Green Tea: Green tea’s ability to slow down the development of some signs of aging is attributed to its high levels of polyphenols, which have been well-documented for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Water: Essential to maintaining your skin’s elasticity and suppleness.