Karla Renaud, M.Ac, Dipl.Ac, Dipl.CH, L.Ac, L.OM
Skin conditions cause so much suffering. Unlike other diseases where people wouldn’t know about them unless you told them, everyone can see that you have a skin problem. I know from my own life experience because I was born with eczema, but thanks to Chinese medicine, I was cured. Helping others resolve their skin conditions in the same way lets me pay it forward. Most skin disorders are not life-threatening and may be thought of as “only” a skin disease, however, a chronic disorder that everyone can see is no fun. For people with severe cases it can be socially embarrassing, and nonstop itching is extremely frustrating.
In graduate school for Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, we learned a little about skin diseases. I made it my mission to help people with skin disorders by taking postgraduate courses from the top experts in the US, China, Japan and England who use Chinese herbs to treat dermatology. From them, I learned to treat many types of skin problems including eczema in infants, children and adults; dermatitis; rosacea; teen and adult acne; chronic hives; fungal infections, recalcitrant MRSA sores; diabetic leg ulcers, and more. These skin conditions respond fairly quickly and with lasting results. In general, psoriasis and vitiligo are more difficult to treat, because they are autoimmune diseases, therefore, patients need to take herbs long term. I have treated many patients over the past decade who had already exhausted all their options through the standard US medical system, but found relief using Chinese Medicine.
Common standard dermatology treatments such as immunosuppressant or chemotherapy drugs can cause severe side effects and even list an increased risk of cancers such as lymphoma in their own side effects warnings. Long term use of steroid drugs or steroid creams, ironically, can damage and thin the skin to the point that it permanently looks purple, which may be worse-looking than the original skin problem.
Using acupuncture to help alleviate stress and improve sleep, making dietary changes, taking Chinese herb teas or pills, and using topical Chinese herb ointments are safe, natural methods that really work. Certain Chinese herb combinations are traditionally used to soothe itching, to calm red irritated dry rashes, or to heal raw oozing skin. In my practice, I have a special acupuncture and cupping treatment for full-body itching that brings immediate relief for most people.
The skin is the largest organ of the body and is very susceptible to stress, allergies, poor diet, digestive problems and lack of sleep. Certain ingredients in common skin lotions such as lanolin, which (although it can help rough dry skin from winter or outdoor work in average people) is very irritating to sensitive skin that is already raw from scratching, and can actually worsen eczema for many people. These are all methods from my experience, my teachers’ experience, and centuries of Chinese Medicine history that truly work, and have been refined over time to help modern people’s skin problems today. Coaching patients to use these time-tested strategies can also help provide long-term relief.
Karla Renaud L.OM. is a Licensed Oriental Medicine practitioner in Pennsylvania. She is NCCAOM national board certified in both Chinese Herbology and Acupuncture. She holds a Master’s degree in Acupuncture from the New England School of Acupuncture. She has studied Chinese herb dermatology with Mazin Al-Khafaji, Andy Ellis, and Huang Huang among other teachers/practitioners. She ran The Herbal Dermatology Clinic and herb pharmacy in New Hampshire for 11 years before moving to Philadelphia and joining the practice at Six Fishes Healing Arts and Six Fishes Neighborhood Acupuncture.
You can schedule an appointment with Karla by clicking here.