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Thread: Information about treating rosacea with TCM

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Country: Germany

    Default Information about treating rosacea with TCM

    If you are intersted in TCM this might be interesting for you:
    All materials © 2002, by Marisanda™; all rights reserved.
    Do not copy without permission of the authors.

    Constitutional Facial Acupuncture Renewal™: Part 3
    ”Treating Rosacea: A Chronic Condition”

    by Alexis Bennett, L. Ac., M. S., and Mary Elizabeth Wakefield, L. Ac, M. S., M. M.
    Alexis Bennett is a licensed acupuncturist in New York, certified in Pennsylvania, and is Board certified by the NCCAOM.
    She received her Masters degree from Tri-State College of Acupuncture, a B.S. from the University of Nebraska, and studied nutrition at the graduate school of the University of Kentucky.
    Alexis has studied facial renewal since 1999, and completed her Advanced Constitutional Facial Acupuncture certification with Mary Elizabeth Wakefield. She also co-teaches Constitutional Facial Acupuncture Renewal with Mary Elizabeth in a variety of locations on the East Coast.
    Alexis is in private practice in Wayne, Pennsylvania.
    Mary Elizabeth Wakefield has 22 years of clinical professional experience in the healing arts. A licensed acupuncturist, NCCAOM certified, she is also a Zen Shiatsu practitioner, massage therapist, cranio-sacral therapist, opera singer and Interfaith minister. A graduate of Tri-State College of Acupuncture in New York, she has studied with such notable acupuncturists as Kiiko Matsumoto, Dr. Mark Seem, Arya Nielson, Carolyn Bengston, Dr. Yitian Ni, Richard Tan, Jeffrey Yuen and Fabien Maman.
    She is the creator of Constitutional Facial Acupuncture Renewal, and was a presenter at the recent CSOMA conference in San Francisco. Ms. Wakefield has given her unique facial renewal seminars in spas, acupuncture schools, including AZ Acupuncture School and the Desert Healing Center in Tucson, ACTCM in San Francisco, Mercy College in New York, and in other locations around the US.
    In our last article, we explored the modality of herbal therapy, using poultices, creams, and essential oils. As we continue our journey, we examine a chronic skin condition, rosacea, and its treatment within the protocol of Constitutional Facial Acupuncture Renewal.
    Rosacea is a chronic, highly visible skin condition, marked by acute swelling and inflammation. It may begin with a tendency to flush easily, then progress to persistent erythema (redness of skin) and talangiectasia (enlarged blood vessels) along with papules and pustules of the cheeks, nose, forehead and chin. In more serious case, the nose is red and bumpy, and the eyes become gritty and red with a possible loss of vision.
    Symptoms of Rosacea and Associated Target Groups:
    Rosacea: usually women from the age of 30-50; often of Celtic origin with fair, sensitive skin, light eyes and hair
    Rhinophyma: usually men; W.C. Fields, for example, had a red, bulbous nose and thickened, puffy cheeks, probably exacerbated by excessive alcohol consumption
    Ocular changes: 60% of rosacea patients develop gritty eyes, conjunctivitis, blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids), iritis, keratitis (inflammation of the cornea), and eventually, loss of vision
    Acne: usually affects a younger population with the skin eruptions usually confined to the back and chest. This is not toxic heat, as in normal acne. However, the patient will manifest redness of the skin and enlarged blood vessels
    Etiology: (specific signs and symptoms and recommended treatment)
    According to Mazin Al-Khafaji, co-author of Peter Deadman’s Manual of Acupuncture, rosacea falls into the following patterns:
    1.Heat accumulation in the Lung meridian: because the Taiyin channels contain more Qi than blood, the Lung’s Yang Qi can become hot, rise and overflow into the face and nose area.
    2.Heat accumulation in the Stomach and Spleen: stagnant heat in the Yangming channels rises to the face and nose, aggravated by the consumption of hot drinks, spicy food and alcohol, which all enter the mouth. This opens and damages the blood vessels in the face.
    Recommended Tx for both of the above patterns:
    Signs and Symptoms: easily flushes, erythema, red papules with an absence of, or a few, pustules
    a.Persistent erythema: Chuan xiong (Radix ligustici chuanxiong), Hong hua (Flos carthami tinctorii); safflower is good for circulation, easing blood stasis, and especially for erythema
    b.Papules: Tao Ren (Semen persicae); peach kernel moistens the intestines and moves blood stasis; also Hong hua (Flos carthami tinctori)
    3.Blood stasis: heat stagnates and leads to the stasis of heat and blood; this is further exacerbated by extremes of heat and cold.
    Signs and Symptoms: permanent red flush, talangiecstasia, many papules and pustules
    a.Persistent erythema: Mu dan pi (Cortex Mouton radicis); peony tree root has a strong relationship to the skin and complexion, and is used quite often to treat stagnant heat in the face.
    Zhi zi (Fructus gardeniae jasminoidis); gardenia moves stagnant blood, and is one of the herbs to mix with frothed egg white in a facial poultice for treating
    facial heat

    b. Facial itching: Jing jie (Herba seu flos Schizonepetae)
    c.Menstrual aggravation: Yi mu cao (Herba Leonuri heterophylli); Chinese motherwort is wonderful for invigorating blood and regulating the menses; it also eases abdominal pain
    Xiang fu (Rhizoma Cyperi rotundi); cypress spreads and regulates Liver Qi, regulates menses and alleviates pain
    Note: according to the Law of Attraction, you can use these formulas both internally and topically.
    Possible Western treatments:
    minocycline, doxycycline, and erythromycine
    oral and topical metronidazole
    isotretinoin (in severe cases)
    surgery (laser and dermabrasion; for rhinophyma)
    steroids (can initially improve circulation, followed by distinctive worsening of the condition)

    extremes of temperature
    emotional stress
    birth control pills
    intense exercise
    hot, spicy drinks or food
    caffeine, tea, dairy, wheat
    citrus, eggplant, tomato, salty condiments
    acne medication, topical cortisone, and any medications that cause blood vessels to dilate
    harsh skin treatments (chemical peels, etc.)
    cold, flu, allergies
    dairy, wheat
    acne medications, topical cortisone, or any medication that causes the blood vessels to dilate

    Note: It is important to educate your patients about the triggers for rosacea. Be aware that a hereditary predisposition can be a major contributing factor of this chronic, progressive, vascular disorder. Early treatment is essential.

    avoid hot or cold water; be moderate;
    use fragrance-free, color-free, noncomedogenic productions
    for skin hydration;
    do add drops of German chamomile, lavender or calendula essential oil to your products for calming redness and inflammation;
    do use a hydrosol with essential oils to prevent surface dryness, especially in dry, hot climates

    use vitamins A, B, C, D, E and zinc, and silicon (found in horsetail capsules);
    evening primrose oil and borage oil;
    fruits, vegetables and fiber;
    drink plenty of water and healing herbal teas

    [Especially for rosacea: eliminate wheat and dairy from the diet; take 200-400 I.U. of vitamin E and evening primrose daily
    Rosacea Skin Tea – formulated by Shatoiya de la Tour; especially good for rosacea, either as a tea or cold compress. Also good for acne, eczema, psoriasis and burns or sunburn
    1 ½ parts dried nettle
    1 part dried red clover flowers
    1 part dried calendula flowers
    1 part dried comfrey leaf
    1/2 part dried lavender buds

    Boil 1 quart of water, remove from heat, add 4-5 teaspoons of tea mixture, and steep for 30 minutes. Sip tea all day or apply a cold compress to irritated skin. It is a good idea to make an infusion the night before, and drink it during the day.
    [A promising new product for this condition may be alpha lipoic acid. In his book, The Wrinkle Cure, Dr. Nicholas Perricone cites “dramatic results” in rosacea clients using a solution of 1% alpha lipoic acid in a lecithin-based lotion. When applied to the face twice daily, this treatment was very effective, according to Dr. Perricone. In addition, a diet consisting of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cantaloupe, is recommended.
    A Treatment for Rosacea within the Constitutional Facial Herbal Protocol
    Evaluate each case according to the individual patient’s constitutional makeup, the signs and symptoms that you’ve ascertained during your interview, and any filters that you use in your treatment.
    Be judicious about the employment of topical products in your treatment; become aware of the patient’s history of allergic responses to skin creams, etc. When in doubt, use a conservative approach! Avoid warm or hot poultices, as well as any products containing alcohol or other potential irritants.
    Do educate your patients about stress management and their potential triggers for rosacea and related syndromes. Be aware that this chronic, progressive skin condition needs to be treated carefully and constitutionally, and that the inherent healing benefits of your treatments will become more apparent from week to week.
    We invite you to continue with us on our voyage to empower beauty, renew spirit and enhance longevity

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    springfield, mo


    been thinking of acupuncture for a couple things. have you done it with any success?

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Country: France


    Quote Originally Posted by rcb67 View Post
    been thinking of acupuncture for a couple things. have you done it with any success?
    Hi rcb67,

    I am currently being treated by a TCM practitioner. I see him once a month for acupuncture and I also take herbs. I have started this regimen about 2 months ago and haven't noticed any improvement so far. He says my stomach does not function properly and that the heat goes up (it is also linked to the lungs). He says he is sure he will get me rid of this. I doubt it but but I chose to give it some time as I don't anyway expect quick result.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009


    I did acupuncture for 6 months, once per week. It cost me a lot of money and did nothing for my rosacea. I did find the sessions enjoyable and relaxing but my rosacea was not improved.


  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    springfield, mo


    i was worried it wouldnt be worth the cost. Mary good luck on future success though

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Country: France


    Quote Originally Posted by rcb67 View Post
    i was worried it wouldnt be worth the cost. Mary good luck on future success though
    Well, everyone is different and we don't know what causes our rosacea and causes are most likely different for each of us so, for me, it is worth trying something like TCM.
    Wish you good luck.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012


    Hi all,

    I am on TCM for rosacea subtype 2. I have experienced about 90 percent improvement after visiting my physician for 2 months.

    I have tried antibiotics, steroids, acne potions and lotions, rozex, azelaic acid and many others to no avail. I am currently only using the pimple cream given by my dermatologist, and wash with cetaphil only. Desperate, I turned to TCM after reading about some success stories online with TCM.

    I believe that rosacea has a lot to do with the health of one's body, as the chinese believe that when the body is unhealthy, it shows up on your skin. My TCM physician explained to me, that I have excess heat in my body, and this heat cannot pass out of the body, thus it is channelled to the face, esp the nose.

    Some symptoms of being heaty: Dark or yellowish urine, constipation, hard stools, always craving foods which are fried or unhealthy, reddish tongue, itching on your body, not sweating, bad breath, reddish skin, feeling heated up inside your body

    I trusted my practitioner, as I had migraines for years, and western docs only prescribe me with painkillers. I told my chinese doc and he gave me medicine to drink for 5 days, and voila! the migraine was gone, and I haven't had a relapse for 2 months now.

    Basically I would say, don't try acupuncture for rosacea first, but use herbal preparations to treat your inner body's ailments first. I took chinese herbs for 2 months and no longer feel my face flushing up for no reason and my outbreaks are greatly reduced.

    If you want to experience it for yourself, try the following out first before seeking out a good tcm practitioner:

    - Stop eating all dairy products (Dairy causes heat and inflammation in the body, those suffering from eczema might benefit from this too)

    - Drink 2 glasses of water when you wake up, and drink water every hour of the day. No soft drinks or sweet drinks

    - Sleep by 12 midnight everyday (if one sleeps at 3 or 4am everyday, it creates heat in the body)

    - Eat cooling, akaline foods - celery, beansprouts. Avoid acid forming foods like cheese, eggs

    - Stick to only ONE skincare routine everyday (switching products confuses the skin) - I use cetaphil gentle cleanser twice a day and apply pimple cream on spots only)

    - Don't be angry - this makes your blood vessels dilate and makes you even redder. Keep calm, even if you're angry, think ZEN. Breathe~

    Try it out for 2 weeks. Stick to it. If you find that the above helps in your rosacea, then find a reputable chinese physician to further treat your body's condition.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013



    Could you let me know how long it took before you noticed a difference taking the chinese herbs? I have been on them for about 3 weeks and have noticed a very slight difference but not hugely different.


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