Diagnosis in traditional Chinese dermatology
By Davina Mercuri
In traditional Chinese medicine all diseases can be viewed as patterns of symptoms that correspond to individual disorders or syndromes. The goal then is to treat the pattern disorder which is the root cause of the problem, rather than using a standardised treatment for a single disease name. What this means is that every patient will have a subtly different treatment.
For example, one of the common patterns in acne is 'Lung heat' (because Lung is considered to be closely related to the skin). This is the most common pattern in a teenager.
But not all patients with acne are treated in the same way. Chinese medicine views the body as a whole entity. It does not separate the person from his/her skin, nor one’s emotions, diet, lifestyle or environment.
All these factors will contribute to a traditional Chinese medical diagnosis.
During a consultation one might be asked about sleep, emotions, diet, digestion, and so on. The pulse will be felt, and the tongue examined. All these methods provide the data which will give an overall picture as to how the body is functioning as a whole. Traditional Chinese dermatology is not just ‘skin deep’.