Autumn Skin

Apr 19, 2022

During the cooler months of autumn and winter, due to the dryness in the air, our skin can naturally become more prone to problems such as rashes, dryness, and flaking. According to Chinese medicine, the Lung energy is said to be reflected in the skin. In tradition medicine, the season of autumn relates to the functioning of the lungs and large intestines and when imbalance arises within these areas of the body skin problems such as Urticaria, Psoriasis, Eczema, Vitiligo, rashes, and Acne can flare up or increase.

Traditional medicine, acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas may be an effective treatment for these types of skin issues and other problems of the skin such as alopecia, chilblains, and leg ulcers. ‘Prevention is better than cure’ and in traditional medicine, dry skin brushing prior to showering is a valuable method to remove dead skin layers and nourish the skin by promoting circulation. This method is particularly effective when used in the season of autumn, to help the lungs function of circulation of energy (qi) and to stimulate blood flow while creating a preventative method for more serious and chronic skin problems. Atopic dermatitis with itchy, redness and dryness, in the folds of the skin, like the elbows, knees, wrists and eyes are often seen in autumn and are commonly associated with an allergy to environmental factors such as pollution, mould, foods, soaps and can coincide with hay-fever and asthma.

Removing the associated irritants and treatment with acupuncture and herbs is a well-documented remedy. Seborrhoiec dermatitis is a more severe condition that can cause an extreme dandruff and very itchy red and inflamed skin on the face, in the armpits, groin and under the breasts. Internal medicine is necessary in these cases and Chinese herbal formulae are prescribed to nourish the blood so the blood may nourish the skin. Extra herbs are included to stop itch. Commonly seen in clinical practice are varying types of eczema. Eczema can be treated with acupuncture and herbal medicines that may relieve the dryness and itch, by softening the thickened and sometimes, blistered, and crusty skin. Acupuncture can play a major role in stress relief that may also be aggravating the eczema problem. Psoriasis is one of the scaling disorders of the skin that can appear in different degrees over the body. From small spots to thickened, scaly plaque that may be itchy or thickened, scaly and pustular skin. Some types of psoriasis are classified as an auto immune disorders and can lead to a painful psoriatic arthritis of the joints and psoriasis of the nails.

Traditional Chinese medical diagnosis is used to establish the underlying pattern of disharmony for each individual case and treatment with acupuncture and herbal medicine is commonly prescribed. Usually, three months of treatment is required to achieve lasting change and good results. Acupuncture and moxibustion are used to stimulate local hair growth in the hair-loss condition of alopecia. Fine acupuncture needles are used to surround the area of hair loss to stimulate local blood supply and circulation to regenerate hair and skin. This technique is also used in cases of leg ulcers, chilblains to encourage skin regrowth and repair. Practitioners sometimes choose the highest of quality topical Chinese herbal creams for the more stubborn, chronic skin problems. These are tried and tested herbal formulas that are applied 2 or 3 times daily to the affected areas.

Traditional medicine, including acupuncture, moxibustion, Chinese herbal medicine, and traditional dietary advice may be a highly effective treatment for common and unusual skin conditions. Some people have spent years using hydrocortisone, antihistamines and other creams and medicines and this cycle may be stopped or reduced with a course of appropriate traditional Chinese medicine.