Brian is an author of international
renown and public speaker. He is currently writing his book
Chinese Medicine: A Practical Guide to Optimal Healing.
Brian practices acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine
in sunny San Diego, California.
I thought that I would field you a question. I was going to
have a small dime-sized sebaceous cyst removed from my scalp that
I have had for several years. Do you know of an alternative to
Acupuncture for Skin Problems
Yes, acupuncture can be quite effective for skin problems- cysts,
warts, scars. What the acupuncturist does is surround the lesion
with needles, and may apply electrostim to the needles. Another
local treatment would be an herbal formula, the contents of which
would depend on the nature of the cyst as diagnosed by the herbalist/acupuncturist.
Treat the Root to Prevent Recurrence
Sometimes, surgery for these problems doesn't result in a permanent
change. It's best to look for the root of the problem- What if
you do have surgery, get it removed, and then another one forms?
The acupuncturist may do other points that deal with the root
and related patterns of imbalance.
Chinese Medicine on Skin Problems
Chinese medicine is personalized, so for the best treatment,
you'll have to see an acupuncturist one on one, but here is some
- External (skin) problems are usually manifestations of an
- The skin problem is located on particular acupuncture meridians
(channels). This helps the acupuncturist diagnose what internal
problem might be the cause, and how best to target the treatment.
- Acne, cysts, and pustules are what Chinese medicine
calls dampness and phlegm. The latter is a harder more concentrated
version of the former. If there is white pus, it is considered
cold or neutral; yellow pus is considered heat. Also, there
can be blood stagnation, which is a dark or red or purplish
skin lesion or cyst. Depending on the nature of the lesion,
the external herbal treatment is different.
- Diet (food choices) and digestion are major factors
in acne, dampness and phlegm. Greasy food, hard to digest foods,
and irregular eating times are hard on the digestion. Poor digestion
leads to dampness, which is a kind of toxicity, or diseased
fluids. For more about a good diet for digestive problems and
dampness, read this article.
- For a Chinese medicine case study on acne, read this
article on another website. There are some typos in that
one- e.g. I'm pretty sure he means 'Topical,' not 'Tropical