Skin Health Concerns? Try Acupuncture!

Suffering from Dermatitis?

Dermatitis describes different conditions of skin inflammation. There are many kinds but the most common ones are atopic, contact and seborrheic. All three of these types manifest differently on the skin, and for different reasons.

Atopic dermatitis is more commonly referred to as eczema. The problem area typically reddens, becomes itchy, and then when scratched, the skin oozes, dries, and eventually a crust forms. It usually first appears during infancy or in young children. It often arises in the folds of the skin, where air doesn’t easily reach and the temperature may be slightly higher. The face, particularly the cheeks, may also present with symptoms.

Contact dermatitis pops up when the skin makes contact with an irritating substance. Skin usually feels itchy, looks red and may blister. An irritant can be anything from jewelry to pollen blowing in the air. A common example is the rash from poison ivy. It can be intensely itchy and take on an awful appearance, but ultimately disappears after 2-4 weeks without having done major harm. Recognizing and avoiding the irritant is sound advice in this case.

Seborrheic dermatitis is another way of describing a very bad, persistent case of dandruff. The tell-tale signs include flaky, scaly and itchy sensations on the scalp, but sometimes appear on the upper chest, back and face. When occurring in babies, the condition is known as cradle cap. The culprit is a fungus which thrives in body parts inhabited by oil-producing glands. A hair rinse made from a liter of water, mixed with 5-10 drops of tea tree oil, may help reduce skin flaking and itchiness.

Due to the variety in the different types of dermatitis, it is important to receive a proper diagnosis. Not only will any problems on the skin need immediate attention, but it is also possible that the immune system is weak and needs strengthening.

If you suffer from dermatitis schedule an appointment today!

Dry Skin Relief

The medical term for pathologically dry skin is xerosis. Xero is the Greek word for dry. Dry skin usually manifests temporarily, but in chronic cases, symptoms may persist for weeks, or in worst case scenarios, a lifetime. Certain diseases such as hypothyroidism, atopic dermatitis (eczema) and type 2 diabetes may produce symptoms of xerosis.

Xerosis presents physical and mental challenges. Some patients bear the burden of unsightly areas on the skin and suffer from pain or bouts of itchiness. For some it can be so bad as to interfere with the duration and quality of sleep.

Bleeding from cracks, or chafing from overzealous scratching open the body up to infection. For these reasons, seeking help at the first sign of any of these symptoms can help prevent symptoms from worsening.

Lifestyle factors can cause dry skin, and in these cases modifying your behavior can help reduce symptoms. Central heating units, fireplaces and space heaters generate warmth, but at the expense of moisture in the air. Try turning down the heat and using hats and blankets while indoors.

An arid environment in general, whether warm or cool, can provoke or worsen symptoms of dry skin. Adding moisture to the air can help with dry skin, so consider using a humidifier in your home. For a quick fix, place an uncovered bowl of water in your room and just let it sit. This allows the water to slowly evaporate and add moisture to the room.

According to the theory of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, the lungs directly affect the state of the skin. This is because they are one of the organs responsible for fluid metabolism. A healthy respiratory system ensures the skin receives the proper amount of moisture. Assisting the lungs is necessary to create fluids which can nourish the skin.

Whether you experience dry skin on a periodic or chronic basis, call today to find out how acupuncture can bring you relief!

Study: Acupuncture Effective in Reducing Allergy-Caused Skin Irritation

A 2010 study showed acupuncture to be an effective treatment for allergen-caused itchiness and skin irritation in people with eczema. The study titled “Influence of acupuncture on type I hypersensitivity itch and the wheal and flare response in adults with atopic eczema-a blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial,” brought good news to eczema sufferers in the acupuncture and Oriental Medicine community.

Study participants included those suffering from eczema, who agreed to be exposed to an allergen in order to elicit an allergic skin reaction. The trial then rated the itch intensity, and examined the size of the wheals (a welt, lesion or swelling) and the skin perfusion rate.

Perfusion refers to the process of blood delivery through the capillaries and into skin cells. Higher rates of perfusion are generally a positive thing. This indicates that an adequate supply of blood swiftly reaches the skin in order to expedite the healing needed at the problem area.

Not only did the real acupuncture participants feel significantly less intense itchiness, but the size of their wheals measured smaller when compared with the other groups. Additionally, the higher rate of skin
perfusion observed in the real acupuncture participants also demonstrated the viability of acupuncture as a therapy for atopic eczema.

Source: Pfab F, Huss-Marp J, Gatti A, Fuqin J, Athanasiadis GI, Irnich D, Raap U, Schober W, Behrendt H, Ring J, Darsow U. “Influence of acupuncture on type I hypersensitivity itch and the wheal and flare response in adults with atopic eczema – a blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial.”, Allergy. 2010 Jul;65(7):903-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2009.02284.x. Epub 2009 Dec 11.

Posted in Blog.