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Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM, views skin conditions as an imbalance in the body. To better explain the role of different internal organs in skin conditions, we need to discuss five elements theory in TCM terms.
Each of body's 5 major internal organs is associated with an element, emotion and can be affected by natural pathogens. Now we consider them based on the 5 elements theory.
LR -- HE -- SP -- LU -- KI
Liver's element is wood, it pertains to anger, growth, extension, softness, harmony, flexibility. (Wood feeds fire) and can be affected by wind. The Liver is the mother of Heart and can balance or control Spleen.
Heart's element is fire, it pertains to joy, draught, heat, flaring, ascendance, movement. (Fire creates earth[ash]) and can be affected by heat. The Heart is the Child of the Liver and the mother of Spleen and can balance or control the Lungs.
Spleen's element is earth, it pertains to thinking, growing, changing, nourishing, producing. (Earth bears metal) and can be affected by dampness. The Spleen is the child of the Heart and the mother of Lungs and can balance or control the Kidneys.
Lung's element is metal, it pertains to sadness, strength, firmness, killing, cutting, cleaning up. (Metal carries water as in a bucket) and can be affected by dryness. The Lungs are the child of Spleen and the mother of Kidneys and can balance or control the Liver.
Kidney's element is water, it pertains to fear, moisture, cold, descending, flowing. (Water nourishes wood) and can be affected by cold. The Kidneys are the children of the Lungs and can balance or control the Heart.
So this shows how our emotions and external factors can affect an organ and eventually our skin.
Since there are numerous skin conditions, it is not possible to lay out the treatment plans for all of them., practically we need to differentiate the root causes, identify the patterns according to the TCM, and move ahead with the treatment plan.
Skin Conditions Treatment Plan based on TCM:
Usually acupuncture is applied first, and if the condition does not improve reasonably time wise, then herbal medicine can be added to the plan.
In most cases Heat is one of the major pathogens affecting skin (heat can be caused by emotional factors, diet, life style and toxicity, which can cause dryness, and in turn dryness causes wind manifesting as itchiness. Heat can cause redness.
Dampness can cause oozing and more severe itchiness when combined with heat.
Depending on the intensity of pathogenic factors, the severity of the conditions vary.
In most cases acupuncture points to clear heat, wind and dampness will be applied. In terms of herbal remedies the same principles can be followed after the diagnosis and differentiation.