Summer means bathing suits, tank tops, and shorts – especially in Wilmington, NC, where heat and humidity run high, and a trip to one of the beaches in New Hanover or Brunswick counties is the best form of relief. For people with skin disorders, however, summer can be less a cause for celebration, and more a cause for concern. Skin disorders can be exacerbated by soaring temperatures, making many uncomfortable or embarrassed by their conditions.
Unfortunately, Western medicine falls short when it comes to both cures for skin disorders and treatments that are safe and long-lasting. Yet Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), including acupuncture, has been effective in relieving many skin conditions. TCM acknowledges not only the present symptoms, but the underlying causes, such as an overactive immune response or inflammation within the body. Acupuncture also addresses other essential factors that cause inflammatory skin conditions, such as stress, hormone imbalances, food sensitivities, and poor diet.
For most skin disorders, acupuncture points are stimulated along the arms, legs and torso. Needles stay in the skin anywhere from ten minutes to an hour, in order to improve the flow of Qi, ease stress, and reduce inflammation. For specific ways acupuncture can help with skin disorders, read on:
Acne: a common skin condition that can strike both adolescents and adults. In TCM, acne is associated with dampness, heat, and in severe cases blood stagnation. Once the dampness and heat are cleared from the system through acupuncture, the skin will also clear.
Eczema: a chronic allergic reaction which causes the skin to become red, inflamed, intensely itchy, and in some cases to blister. In TCM, eczema is associated with heat, wind, and dampness. Acupuncture can provide relief by clearing heat, dispelling wind and dampness, and moving the blood.
Psoriasis: an auto-immune disorder of the skin that causes rapid turn-over of skin cells, which then causes the skin to appear silver white and form what is known as “psoriasis plaques,” usually on the knees and elbows. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs, as well as dietary modifications, have been shown to provide relief for psoriasis.
Rosacea: a condition that includes blushing, flushing, and spider-like blood vessels on the face, acne-like sores, and red, watery eyes. Rosacea worsens over time, so if you’ve been diagnosed, the time to seek relief and treatment is now. Luckily, acupuncture can provide both these things.
Vitilgo: a skin condition caused by death or damage of the skin cells that produce pigmentation. While exact causes are still unknown, scientists believe it is caused by stress factors. Acupuncture is a low risk option for treating this disorder.
Urticaria: more commonly known has hives, it is a red, itchy skin rash. Urticaria can be caused by allergies, though chronic cases are more likely the result of an autoimmune reaction. Acupuncture treatments relieve this condition by cooling red, inflamed skin, and working on nerve signals to sooth intense itching.
No matter what sort of skin disorder you’re struggling with, acupuncture can help you find the relief you deserve. The sooner you schedule an appointment, the sooner you’ll be able to lounge at the beach, comfortable, confident, and cool as a cucumber.