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Domonick, Oakland

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A recent study found herbal remedies for eczema improved quality of life by 33%, reduced the need for topical steroids and decreased the blood level of 4 inflammatory proteins.

Dermatology

Dermatology is another specialty within Chinese Medicine that has existed for at least one thousand years since the Song Dynasty. Treatment consists of acupuncture and herbs; herbs are ingested orally and sometimes applied topically. The ultimate goal in treating dermatological conditions is that the patient’s symptoms subside and office visits taper off.

Atopic Dermatitis, or more commonly known as eczema, is a chronically recurring skin disease that affects all races and ages. Mild eczema manifests as dry and scaly skin that itches. More severe outbreaks may present with red patches of skin that are weepy, shiny or lichenified (thick patches with skin markings).

Treatment for eczema ranges from one month to several months, depending on the severity of the case and patient’s lifestyle. Diet, weather, environmental triggers and emotions are important components for diagnosing eczema in Chinese Medicine. A combination of acupuncture and herbs is usually prescribed and progress (not necessarily resolution) is seen within a month.

A recent Hong Kong study found that a combination of five Chinese Medical herbs eased eczema symptoms. The 85 study participants reported their symptoms improved by 33%, their need for corticosteroids was reduced by 4 days, and the blood level of 4 inflammatory proteins decreased. The five herbs in the study are: Flos lonicerae (Japanese honeysuckle), Herba menthae (peppermint), Cortex moutan (root bark of peony tree), Atractylodes Rhizome (underground stem of the atractylodes herb) and Cortex phellodendri (Amur cork-tree bark).

Psoriasis is another chronic skin condition and is characterized by well-demarcated scales. Itching is common and can occur anywhere on the body; common sites are the scalp, elbows, knees, palms and soles, fingernails and toenails. Dryness and skin flaking are also common.

Treatment strategy for Psoriasis is similar to eczema and ranges from one month to several months. Diet, weather, environmental triggers and emotions are important components for diagnosing Psoriasis in Chinese Medicine. A combination of acupuncture and herbs is usually prescribed and progress (not resolution) is seen within a month.

Acupuncture Facelift or Facial Rejuvenation is the practice of focusing the treatments on improving skin quality. While it is common for skin tone and color to improve during the course of medical acupuncture treatments, facial rejuvenation focuses on removing wrinkles and blemishes, enhancing skin tone and looking younger. It has recently become more popular in the United States due its effectiveness without the possible side effects of more traumatic rejuvenation techniques. Improved skin tone typically appears within 1-2 treatments but a course of 10-12 treatments is required for the effects to last.