Most people suffer from dry and flaky skin during the winter season and the majority will find that slathering on large amounts of lotion can be beneficial to ease the symptoms of dryness for a few hours. However, Chinese Medicine views the body as a whole and dry skin starts from within. There are two important factors concerning dry skin, one of which is more internal than the other. As you can expect, dry skin results from a lack of moisture or water. Chinese Medicine views this as a lack of Liver and Kidney Yin (Yin being the water component and Yang being the fire component). When there is a lack of Kidney and Liver Yin in the body, there is also a lack of blood to keep the skin healthy and moist.
The second aspect of dry skin comes from weakness of the defenses of the skin. This is more apparent during the cold winter months as the immune system’s defenses are weaker and the skin is more susceptible to the cold and other environmental factors. This function is closely tied to the lungs in Chinese Medicine as the lungs are directly connected to the skin and they govern the health and circulation in the skin. While there may be certain patches of skin that are drier than others, it is important to understand that the skin as a whole is the largest organ of the body and it should be balanced and treated as a whole even if a certain area doesn’t exhibit symptoms.
When the skin is itchy and not dry and flaky, that is also a cause of concern for an imbalance in the Lung function as itchiness in the skin can denote a lack of blood circulation in Chinese Medicine.
What about other symptoms that can present themselves in the spring season such as seasonal allergies? Stay tuned for next week’s blog post on the causes of seasonal allergies in the springtime and what you can do to help.
For more information, please watch our video on the causes of dry skin, and why lotion often isn’t enough.