Understanding Itchy and Dry Skin from a TCM Perspective

Dry and itchy skin is an incredibly uncomfortable and distracting condition that hinders many from getting on with their daily lives. It is also a pervasive concern for many due to the increasing amount of environmental stressors around us. What causes dry and itchy skin and what can you do to combat it? Read on to learn more about these dermatological issues from a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective. 

How Does TCM View Skin Conditions?

According to TCM principles, the skin is not only the largest organ of our body, but also one intricately connected to other internal organs and energy pathways. It views skin conditions as a result of underlying imbalances within the body, often associated with the function of the lungs and other related organs. Any issues in these organs or in your energy flow, known as Qi, can manifest as skin problems. 

Dry and Itchy Skin from a TCM Perspective

Heat Accumulation in The Body

Dry and itchy skin is believed to stem from a deficiency of Yin, which represents the cooling, moistening, and nourishing aspects of our body. This insufficiency disrupts equilibrium required for healthy skin, causing issues such as dehydration (where the body struggles to retain moisture) and heat accumulation (where there is relative excess of Yang energy and internal heat). 

Dry and itchy skin can also be rooted in an imbalance in Lung Qi. Our Lung energy is responsible for governing moisture distribution to various body parts, including the skin. When there is a deficiency in Lung Qi, dry skin can emerge due to the lack of moisture being distributed. 

Lung Qi also contributes to Wei Qi, which is our body’s protective barrier that defends against external pathogens. Issues with Lung Qi can weaken the Wei Qi, making skin more susceptible to environmental factors like wind and dryness. 

Additionally, dry and itchy skin can also result from blockages and stagnation in the flow of blood. TCM teaches that blood should flow smoothly and without obstruction throughout the body. When blood circulation becomes stagnant or blocked, it hinders nourishment and disrupts the skin’s ability to regenerate and maintain its moisture balance, leading to skin issues.

Other external factors, such as wind, heat, and dryness can also affect the flow of Qi and blood in the body, leaving the skin vulnerable to irritation. 

How to Resolve Dry and Itchy Skin Through TCM?

Skin Herbal Remedies

There are various TCM skin remedies one can tap on, depending on the causes of your dry and itchy skin. One of which is herbal solutions, which can restore internal balance and promote skin health. Some TCM herbs for nourishing Yin include:

  • Rehmannia (Sheng Di Huang): Rehmannia is known for its cooling properties and ability to replenish bodily fluids. They can help to combat heat in the body, support the kidneys, and regulate moisture distribution, promoting skin hydration. 
  • White Peony Root (Bai Shao Yao): White peony root has a cooling effect that can counteract heat-related skin problems. It promotes health blood circulation, which is crucial for the skin’s nourishment and repair. 
  • Chrysanthemum (Ju Hua): Chrysanthemum has a cooling effect that helps to replenish the body’s Yin energy. It is often used to clear heat to help alleviate skin discomfort and irritation.

Address your skin concerns and eliminate discomfort with Tangs Clinical TCM, a skin clinic in Singapore specialising in resolving skin issues through holistic TCM approaches. Contact us here to book an appointment.