by Dr. Glenn Soja, Lac, EAMP
If you've been suffering with your skin off and on for years and are looking for a safe and effective alternative to many of the mainstream treatment approaches, then Chinese herbal medicine may be right for you. Many patients only stumble into this treatment approach by chance. Once discovered, Chinese herbal medicine becomes a big turning point in their lives, as they are able to get their skin under control without having to rely on the use of steroids or other medications. Through the use of Chinese herbs, mild to severe forms of dermatological conditions can be brought under control. Because it is a treatment approach that works at re-balancing the inflammatory response, treatment takes time and patience. This persistence is often rewarded in the end with skin that is far more stable and comfortable.
Chronic Skin Conditions If you are reading this now you may have already tried numerous other treatment approaches with unsatisfactory results or results that were quickly fleeting. This is often the case with patients looking for an answer to their chronic skin condition. Many of the individuals I see have already cleaned up their diets, and are doing a good job maintaining a healthy lifestyle during their busy lives. They've tried endless amounts of topical creams, supplements, and have even tried acupuncture but to no avail. At this point, it can become very frustrating, feeling that their skin won't behave normally despite all the good they are doing, when no results are seen. There is much hope for those suffering with their skin conditions, that lies within the ancient treatment of Chinese Herbal Medicine. Many people finally see marked or dramatic improvement, and ultimately resolution on their skin issues, once they begin treatment with Chinese herbs by a properly trained Dermatology specialist. Properly administered, treatments are very refined and specific to each patient, thereby addressing the unique inflammatory issues in each person. By doing so we see these inflammatory conditions stabilize once the patient completes treatment. Reactivation of the skin can occur, but it is typically is much milder in nature, and there is much relief in knowing that they can then resume treatment to bring it back under control.
Chinese Medicine for Inflammatory Skin Conditions When using Chinese medicine to treat inflammatory conditions of the skin such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, lichen planus, etc. herbal teas are consumed and compose the mainstay of treatment. These teas are strong in flavor and don't taste like a nice cup of Chamomile tea. They are in fact medicine and have a flavor you might associate with concentrated robust earthy herbal teas. The typical adult dosage is 150 mL of tea twice per day. To ensure quality and dosage, I prepare my teas in house, using cutting edge machinery that allows for a more potent herbal extraction. This service also allows my patients to have pre-made sachets that are specifically and individually dosed, which increases compliance and efficacy of the treatment. The herbal teas can be individually bagged into sachets which are stable for up to 2 months. Many of my patients have busy schedules that involve travel as well, and these vacuum sealed sachets allow them to continue with their herbal treatments during travel. Since these herbs can be stored out of refrigeration, they are perfect for travel as well.
Bringing Back Hope People often wonder what the most typical skin conditions are that I see in my clinic. This is really reflective of the most common conditions affecting our population and those include atopic eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, rosacea, and acne. These conditions have a tendency to become chronic in nature and it is often those that have been struggling with their skin for years that begin to search for therapies that may help them find a solution. In my experience, these conditions can respond very well to herbal treatments with many going into remission. For someone to finally discover that there are options aside from the use of steroids, antibiotics, or other medications to address their chronic inflammatory skin condition, Chinese Herbal Medicine brings back hope.
My aim is for more individuals to become aware of the potential of this treatment modality, when provided by a properly trained Chinese herbal dermatology specialist. When other treatments are not working, Chinese Herbal Medicine should always be offered as another approach to your skin care issues. It is my goal to spread the awareness that Chinese Herbal Medicine is a very hopeful approach, and may provide answers and relief that those suffering from skin conditions are still looking for.
Credit; Dr. Glenn Soja, Lac, EAMP, Dipl OM, has had extensive training in Chinese medical dermatology both in the US and internationally, including completion of a diploma course by world renowned Mazin Al-Khafaji of the UK. Dr. Soja practices at the Mitchell Center for Natural Healing in Seattle.