Doctors combine TCM and western medicine to treat skin conditions
Local medical experts are combining traditional Chinese and Western medicine in the treatment of skin problems like acne, skin allergy and chloasma.
Acne is a common skin disease among minors with an incidence of 40 to 80 percent. Without proper intervention and treatment in early stages, acne is likely to leave scarring. Serious scars can impose a mental burden on young people, said doctors from Shanghai Yueyang Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine on Thursday, the National Skin Care Day, when a free medical consultation on dermatology was launched in the hospital.
"We give patients TCM soup and hospital-made herbal ointment to control sebum secretion and reduce inflammation while introducing TCM methods like huozhen (acupuncture with a burnt needle), acupoint massage and laser therapy. The combination of TCM and Western medicine can have a better treatment effect," said Dr Li Xin from Yueyang's dermatology department.
Li said many skin problems are a reflection of physical issues, so the introduction of TCM medication can improve and renovate the fundamental physique and then help better skin conditions.
"For instance, many people with skin allergies actually have poor immunity. So we offer individualized treatment in line with each patient's physical condition, to enhance the immunity and then use medication and physical treatment on the skin problem to achieve quicker and better outcomes."
While young people care more about acne and oily skin, the middle-aged and elderly can suffer itchiness and pain in skin due to reduced sebum secretion, degraded immunity, damaged skin barrier and diseases due to aging and infection, which can seriously influence quality of life.
"Along with the aging process, people's immune system also degenerates, which is an important reason for some elderly's skin diseases. The incidence of skin infection, allergy, autoimmune disease and skin cancer will rise along with age," said Dr Zhu Minglei from Peking Union Medical College Hospital.
"Inflammatory skin diseases, like eczema, dermatitis, and infectious diseases like shingles are quite common among the elderly, which can be prevented and controlled through healthy lifestyle, proper medical treatment and vaccination. High awareness is very important for skin health."