Acupuncture for Skin Disorders

Acupuncture for Skin Disorders

Did you know that the skin is the body’s largest organ? It also happens to be the most visible and the most vulnerable. Skin conditions can range from acne to more serious conditions of distress such as eczema and psoriasis that can spread across the body. Skin conditions are often actively itchy and painful and they need to be tended to with special care. Topical creams, injections and other means of medication can work temporarily to relieve symptoms but may not necessarily get to the root of the issue.

Traditional Chinese Medicine’s Perspective

Dermatology is a recognized special area of interest in TCM. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy are used to provide long-lasting relief with the use of plant materials to balance the internal imbalances that cause skin disorders.

In TCM,the skin belongs to the Lung Meridian. The Lung is known as the “Prime Minister” – the one that controls breath and energy that assists the “King” – or the Heart, that is concerned with the circulation of Blood.

The Lung is responsible for adjusting body temperature through perspiration and shivering – and the skin is what forms the first line of defense against environmental changes and energy such as temperature.

In TCM, skin issues stem from the changes between Heat and Dampness in the body that is a result from the Lung being overworked – usually from emotional stress and over-active hormones. This can also cause an insufficient flushing of waste and toxins from the body and cause water retention which creates a humid and moist environment. These fluctuations are clear imbalances that directly connect to skin issues and disorders.

Skin disorders are also a result of a Wind-Heat condition taking place externally on the body. Wind-Heat is explained here (hyperlink to neurological page). Skin eruptions, rashes, and conditions that affect the surface of the body are due to a weakness in the Lung characterized as “Hard-Wind” in TCM.


According to the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, many studies have been conducted to prove the efficacy of TCM on the treatment of skin conditions. A department of dermatology professor, Zhu Renkang, enrolled 108 patients with widespread plaque psoriasis to test Chinese herbal medicine techniques. His results revealed that 72.2% of the patients had a total clearing of the skin and 11.1% had found significant improvement – which means 80% of patients had improved conditions.

As well, a report also documented in the British Journal of Dermatology revealed that TCM has been shown to be extremely effective in the treatment of severe cases of atopic eczema.

Acupoints for Skin Disorders

The three most common acu-points for skin disorders fall on the Large Intestine meridian, the Urinary Bladder meridian and the Lung meridian.

Pool at the Crook (LI 11) – The 11th point of the Large Intestine meridian is concerned with reducing Damp Heat skin diseases that are red, itchy, oozing and inflamed. This includes hives, acne, herpes zoster and is usually paired with the 40th point of the Urinary Bladder meridian for any type of skin disease. This point is also great for pain and inflammation.

Middle of the Crook (UB40) Located between the tendons of the bicepsfemoris and semitendinosus, the 40th point of the Urinary Bladder Meridian is the main point for all skin related issues. It can help reduce inflammation that results in acne, eczema, and severe itching.

Cubit Marsh (LU 5)This is the fifth point along the Lung Meridian that is located at the cubital crease on the radial side of the biceps brachii tendon. It is a He Sea point – a point that works with 6 or more points along the Stomach Meridian, Urinary Bladder Meridian and Gall Bladder Meridian to help with a host of conditions including hot skin and Phlegm excess caused by Heat. It primarily helps with acute and chronic interior conditions that cause exterior skin problems.

Balancing the internal body is the only way to see results on your skin. Acupuncture has been proven as an effective treatment for some of the most major skin conditions. By reducing inflammation and promoting a balanced internal environment in your body, you’re bound to see a reduction of skin symptoms and will be on a path to healing.

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