Traditional Chinese medicine has effectively treated skin conditions like acne, eczema, psoriasis, and garden-variety dry skin for thousands of years. According to TCM, the lung is in charge of the skin. To understand the lung-skin connection, it’s helpful to know that Chinese medicine considers the opening and closing of skin pores to be the lung’s responsibility. When the lung is not functioning as it should, the pores can trap elements that cause skin conditions. For example, acne that’s red means heat is present in the skin. Eczema is always a combination of heat, dampness, and wind. The proportion of these pathogens determines the different presentations of eczema. Oozy skin means more dampness, red reflects heat, and itchy indicates wind.
A TCM practitioner chooses from among different herbal formulas and acupuncture points depending on which elements are predominant. Not only does the practitioner help the body get rid of the pathogens to alleviate symptoms, but she also strengthens the lung to make it less likely for the condition to return.