Columnist: Daniel Yi L.Ac, Bliss Acupuncture Wellness Clinic

Traditional Korean Medicine offers a safe and gentle long-term solution

Tradition Korean Medicine (TKM) has been using acupuncture, cupping, herbal remedies and moxibustion to address various dermatological issues long before conventional dermatology started using oral and topical steroids, antibiotics, immunosuppressants and phototherapy. Today, in countries such as China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan, TKM is used with conventional dermatology or on its own to effectively treat various skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis.

Eczema and psoriasis are two distinct disorders yet both have a hereditary predisposition and are abnormal immune responses. Both disorders also cause chronic inflammation and do not have a clear etiology or cure, which is why patients must receive long-term care. Treatment options in the US are few and limited so most people who suffer from eczema and psoriasis rely on conventional dermatology for relief from their symptoms. Some patients may be able to manage their symptoms adequately through conventional means but a great majority of patients, as evident in the blogosphere and online forums, are desperate and in search for other solutions that will combat the chronic and recurrent nature of eczema and psoriasis.

Our skin is a living, breathing organ that works as a protective shell and helps us communicate with the external world. For instance, sweating not only assists in regulating our body temperature but it also allows our body to eliminate toxins. Many eczema and psoriasis patients are unable to sweat through the affected regions of their bodies, and it is the accumulation of toxins underneath the skin layer that causes inflammation, irritation and itching. When patients scratch areas that are itchy, the body is attempting to release toxins through bleeding as a way to compensate for the inability to release toxins through sweating. Other symptoms such as dry skin, bleeding, flaking, cracking, redness, exudation and lichenification are physically taxing and psychologically damaging to patients, and significantly reduces the quality of their lives.