When the superficial layer of skin (epidermis) becomes dehydrated due to changes in weather, allergic reaction, certain medications, or bathing or showering, it may develop fine flakes and dry patches. The medical term for this condition is called xerodermia or xerosis, and it may be temporary or respond well to moisturizers. But for some, this condition becomes chronic and causes uncomfortable symptoms that require professional medical treatment.
What are the general symptoms of chronic dry skin?
- Tight feeling skin, especially after being immersed in water
- Pruritus (itchiness)
- Flaky or scaly appearance of skin
- Skin discoloration
- Rough patches of skin
- Deep cracks that may bleed
In addition, if chronic dry skin goes untreated, there is a higher risk of secondary conditions like tears in the skin leading to infection, rashes, eczema, cellulitis (serious bacterial infection on the epidermis) or thickening and darkening patches.
TCM believes that the skin is one with your body. It is also the largest organ in the human body. The skin plays a pathological and physical function that is closely associated with certain internal organs.
TCM sees the body as system of interrelated parts. In TCM all disorders, including dry or winter skin, which on the surface my seem to be caused by external forces – actually have their root causes in internal imbalances between Qi, blood flow, yin, yang, and blockages of different energy pathways within the body.
To Treat Dry Skin the TCM Practioner would seek to:
- Strengthen ones’ immune system, to decrease the body’s sensitivity to the cold and other negative environmental hazards.
- Balance the internal organ systems using herbal medicines and acupuncture to restore internal imbalances and remove blockages of Qi that are contributing to or causing the dry or itchy skin.
- Release toxins from the skin, to eliminate the itchy, red skin.
- Build up Yin level in the blood, to re-nourish and repair damaged skin.
- Increased oxygen speeds up the release of nitrogen and carbon dioxide, which helps to deep clean and exfoliate the skin. All in all, your skin becomes softer, brighter, and healthier.
- Encourages the regeneration of healthy cells. This causes the outer layers of the skin to get rehydrated, while increased circulation leads to better distribution of oxygen and nutrients.