Chinese Dermatology

Chinese medical dermatology can refer back to many centuries of experience, with detailed records on the effects of Chinese herbs and acupuncture on the condition of the skin. Comprehensive descriptions of the treatment of specific skin diseases were put down in writing by ancient scholars, and their clinical histories and notes offer a depth of experience we still utilize today in our practice.

Yet, time does not stand still. A great deal of research into Chinese medicine has been conducted both inside and outside of China. The result of this combination of a rich history and modern developments is an independent and sophisticated specialty in Chinese medicine, which can be effectively employed in the treatment of many, if not most, skin diseases. This is particularly true for the most common skin problems presenting in our clinics, where the effectiveness of conventional medicine therapy is very poor. A single, inflexible approach as so often seen in conventional medicine cannot fit every patient in his or her complexity.

Psoriasis is a very good example of this. It is fascinating to consider how long TCM has been used for the treatment of psoriasis in China: over one thousand years. The earliest ancient description of psoriasis from TCM perspective was in the Zhū Bìng Yuán Hòu Lùn (General Treatise on the Etiology and Symptomology of Diseases). This text was written by Cháo Yuánfāng during the Suí Dynasty in 610. Using its rich experience in treating difficult skin diseases, TCM allows for an individual treatment, fully adapted to each individual patient’s needs. TCM can treat different stages and different sub-types of psoriasis according to their appearance, caused by different pathogenic factors according to TCM. This enables us to work more precisely with the patient, responding to the most minor influences and changes. TCM offers us great flexibility in its application and multiple options that can be employed to treat each type, subtype and form, while considering various contexts and living situations.

“Treating Psoriasis with Chinese Herbal Medicine: A Practical Handbook“, written by Sabine Schmitz marks the beginning of a new handbook series on the treatment of skin diseases with Chinese herbal medicine. Designed for TCM dermatologists, general TCM doctors, or anyone studying TCM. Knowledge is the only treasure that increases when shared!  Order your copy online.