Dermatology: A Functional and Chinese Medical Approach
Millions of people suffer from chronic skin conditions such as Psoriasis, Excema, Sebborhea, Acne, and others. Conventional Dermatology seeks to relieve the patient of the symptomatology such as itching, redness, as well as changes in skin texture and appearance. The more recent introduction of Biologic medications has brought more continuous relief but often at a cost of a compromised immune system.
A functional approach looks for the ultimate cause of the skin disorder as well as triggers such as underlying chronic infection or immune reactivity to foods. Moreover, many of these conditions are Auto-Immune meaning the individual’s immune system is targeting and attacking specific skin cells that cause changes at the cellular level. This is basically, an allergic reaction to oneself. In atopic conditions such as Excema or Hives, the repeated episodes of the outbreak are driven by genetic variations that affect the metabolism of Histamines.
Certain types of Acne such as Cystic Acne are created by excessive production of Androgens such as Testosterone which is a result of blood sugar imbalances. This is of course a highly simplified overview but the takeaway is that chronic skin conditions often have causes that are completely unrelated to the skin itself. When these underlying causes are not addressed properly, or in many cases, not addressed at all the chance of lasting improvement is unlikely.
Without even discussing the treatment, this approach, unlike conventional Dermatology, seeks to identify those mechanisms that are driving the skin’s changes. Let’s use Psoriasis as an example. Plaque Psoriasis is an Auto-immune condition that causes an abnormally fast production of skin cells in the basement layer of the skin. As the newly formed cells develop at this accelerated rate the older ones are not ready to sluff off. They begin to pile up as an unsightly silver-colored mound of dead skin cells that are unsightly, flake, and cause discomfort. The point here is if the autoimmunity is not addressed, it’s unlikely the psoriasis will desist, and the patient is left to the mercy of the ebbs and flows of their own immune system.
In Functional Dermatology, the potential triggers and underlying proclivities to any given condition are identified and addressed. This often requires changes in diet, supplementary attention to help correct, genetic variations, as well as other lifestyle factors. Most often the patent is given a customized herbal preparation in the form of either tea or capsules along with targeted herbal salves or ointments that are used topically. Many people have experienced significant lasting relief using this approach.
In summation, if you are only treating the manifestation of a skin rash and leaving the underlying drivers of the reaction unchecked, your improvement will be temporary and subject to any changes in your immune system which in reality are continuous.