Hot, itchy conditions such as eczema or psoriasis are indicators of inflammation often due to a combination of diet and stress which creates acidity in the tissues. Rashes can have a multitude of causes: Some are contagious such as measles or chicken pox, and appear in a defined way; others are non-contagious and can be due to allergies (food, drugs or environment). Among the common infectious skin conditions are impetigo, cold sores, warts (including molluscum contagiosum) and Candida Albicans (thrush).
Dry skin can indicate more serious conditions such as thyroid problems, but these usually occur alongside other symptoms. On its own, a dry (most common) or oily skin can be an indicator that the body’s nutritional needs are not being met, and may require a dietary change. Skin colour can be an indicator of a deeper cause such as the yellow hue of jaundice or the characteristic red facial rash of acne rosacea (not to be confused with teenage acne or acne vulgaris).
Acne is a common condition in teenage skin due mainly to a combination of hormone surges, diet, stress and skin cleansing (or lack of it). Excess exposure to strong sun or tanning salons has been linked to the development of skin lesions such as melanoma. With ageing the more common lesions are ulcers, especially on the lower leg; and varicose eczema.
Traditional Treatments for Skin Conditions
Many of the common skin problems will respond well to dietary change and in some cases nutritional supplements. Those conditions which can be linked to stress will benefit from stress management either in the form of herbal medicine or one of the other complementary therapies.
As our skin plays a major role in ridding the body of waste products, it stands to reason that using herbal medicine to help the body do these jobs more efficiently will improve the condition of the skin. Herbalists can also make up creams or lotions which are individually made to suit your skin type and condition. For acne sufferers early treatment can prevent/reduce scarring.
Whatever the presenting condition, advice from one of our medical herbalists will help you to decide how best to look after your skin and the person within it when it gives you cause for concern.
Chinese medicine (of which acupuncture is a part), considers signs and symptoms such as those in skin conditions to be a sign of deeper energetic disharmony within the human system, and has its own diagnostic system through which to understand an individual’s imbalance.
This additional perspective is a valuable part of the Acupuncture process, and together with a western understanding of health and disease enables the Acupuncturist to provide a truly individual treatment. Acupuncture treatments are directed both at reducing symptoms and also resolving the underlying imbalance for a more lasting effect.
Acupuncture can be used alongside conventional medicine and is suitable for people of all ages including women in pregnancy.
Fact sheets can be found on the British Acupuncture Council website www.acupuncture.org.uk including those about Acne, Excema and Psoriasis, Herpes Zoster (shingles), Stress
Reflexology can help the body to rid itself of toxins which may be contributing to skin problems. Some skin problems may have an underlying stress or emotional cause. If this is the case then a relaxing Reflexology treatment may help.
The Reflexologist at Healing Thyme may also prescribe a personalised treatment bottle of the Dr. Bach Flower Remedies for emotional healing and support.
Dr. Bach Flower Remedies
Skin problems that have no known physical cause often respond well to treatment with the Dr. Bach Flower Remedies for emotional healing and support.
The Healing Thyme practitioner will make up a personalised treatment bottle of remedy drops to be taken orally 4 times per day to relieve stress and reduce anxiety and tension. This is done after a consultation lasting approximately 40 minutes.