Acupuncture for Atopic Dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis is a disease of chronic and reoccurring eczema. At our clinic, we offer treatments to improve the skin’s symptoms of atopic dermatitis while increasing the body's immunity in order to fight the disease. There are many different causes of atopic dermatitis including immune disorders, skin barrier dysfunction, autonomic nervous system abnormalities due to stress, and external and environmental factors such as one’s climate, allergens, and diet.
In Oriental medicine, atopic dermatitis can be caused by a lack of physical strength or energy. For example, if you consider the condition of atopic dermatitis in a child, it is often hard to cure because the child’s body is weak and lacks energy during infancy. However, by the time a child enters elementary school, the child’s body is usually well developed and will be able to replenish energy from the outside, which can suppress atopic dermatitis naturally. Oftentimes, atopic dermatitis or asthma can improve by the time a child attends elementary school.
It is also possible that a person’s detoxification function can decline due to lack of energy. Energy is supplied from the outside as food. However, if the digestive and absorptive power of the gastrointestinal tract is weak, sufficient energy cannot be produced and increases indigestion. An energy-deficient body has poor access to blood and water throughout the body. This could lead to the liver to insufficiently detoxify due to functional deterioration. When atopic dermatitis lasts for a long period of time, both the body and mind become exhausted. This could lead to additional issues such as insufficient energy for the skin, and disrupted blood flow creating a decrease in the barrier function of the skin resulting in water loss and a decrease in secretion of the sebaceous glands. This causes the skin to become dry, allowing erythema and eczema to appear repeatedly.
How does acupuncture work for atopic dermatitis?
At our clinic, our goal is to treat both the body and the disease. Every individual’s physical condition is different, so we aim to provide acupuncture treatment with herbal tea to best match that person's condition. In the case of atopic dermatitis, treatments are designed to strengthen the body, such as improving the digestive
abilities and supplementing its detoxification power so that sufficient energy is able to enter and spread throughout the body, while at the same time, relieving you of dryness and inflammation. For individuals that are overwhelmed with stress, it is important that we examine their energy circulation and receive treatment to improve the body’s energy circulation as well as their physical and mental condition.
Is atopic dermatitis more common in women?
A majority of our patients with atopic dermatitis are women who feel anxious about receiving endless steroid treatments and have a strong desire to clean their skin. When atopic dermatitis is diagnosed by Chinese medicine, it is often a cause of poor air, blood and water circulation. Symptoms can also be seasonal, and change due to physical condition, stress, and one’s menstrual cycle, so it is important to update the treatment plan when new factors arise.
What is the relationship between atopic dermatitis and the menstrual cycle?
Many of our female patients with atopic dermatitis have also experienced changes in their symptoms during the menstrual cycle. The symptoms can worsen after the ovulation period, or subside when menstruation begins. When a person experiences severe menstrual pain, irregular menstruation, or blood clots during menstruation, it is important to receive treatment that can address both the blood flow and the symptoms of atopic dermatitis.
If you are suffering from atopic dermatitis, please feel free to contact us to receive an individualized treatment plan using acupuncture and herbal tea as an alternative to Western treatments.