Treating Skin Conditions with Chinese Medicine

We all have skin, and it does more than just cover our bodies. It maintains a homeostatic balance of moisture, protection and good and bad bacteria. If there is a disharmony affecting the health of the skin there may be dryness, itching, weeping, pustules, excess oil, etc. Often in Western dermatology problems are treated with topical creams or strong medications that help superficially but often do not treat the root cause. The relief maybe instant and strong, but sometimes these medicines are too strong to be able to be sustained over a long period of time.


A Chinese medicine dermatological diagnosis differs from conventional medicine and its treatment on many levels. We see the health of the skin as a reflection of the internal health of the body. In a consultation we will not only look and observe the skin, but also ask many questions in regards to your overall health and the functioning of your body. We will also take your pulse and look at your tongue. With this information we can develop a thorough understanding of the mechanisms causing the disease and formulate a tailored treatment specifically for your condition. 

Treatment Options

A lady using traditional counterbalance hand scales to dispense a herbal prescription into wicker trays at The Grove Chinese Medicine

Herbal medicine and acupuncture can both be viable options for treatment depending on the condition. [See our page of research on Chinese Medicine for skin conditions]
However often Chinese herbal medicine alone or a combination of acupuncture and herbal medicine provides the best results. Herbal medicine can come in various forms. Raw herbal decoctions, made by boiling raw herbs into a tea, are by far the most efficacious form. A decoction may not be very palatable, but most people find the results are worth the bad taste. If decoctions are not an option we have a range of powders, pills, tinctures, herbal creams and washes which can be combined with decoctions or used as standalone treatments in these cases. 

Diet and Lifestyle

Your diet and lifestyle can be crucial contributing factors to your dermatological condition. Chinese medicine takes a holistic approach to healing and consultations and this includes discussing any dietary or lifestyle changes you could make to assist in managing symptoms or reducing flare ups in the long term. 

Length of Treatment

The length of treatment for skin diseases depends on the condition, how severe it is and how long it has been a problem. Generally changes should be seen within 5 – 7 weeks but the entire treatment may take as long as 3 to 6 months, even up to a year. Chinese medicine is not a quick fix, because the aim is not only to treat the disease but to also restore the ability for the body to maintain healthy skin functioning and thus preclude the need for medical (both herbal and western) intervention.

Why The Grove

We are a raw herb focused clinic with more than 400 herbs in our onsite dispensary. Our practitioners are chosen due to their herbal expertise and draw upon this extensive knowledge to create effective tailored herbal prescriptions.

Davina Mercuri has practiced dermatology with The Grove for more than 10 years and has studied with renowned UK Chinese herbal dermatologist Mazin Al Khafaji. Jade Ouk first encountered Chinese medicine following a 30 year long struggle with eczema. After experiencing how Chinese herbal medicine helped her she was inspired to become a Chinese medicine practitioner and to draw upon her lived experience to help others. Jade has completed an advanced training certificate with dermatologists from Zhejiang Hospital 


Chinese dermatology developed by working with people directly, not by microscopic experimentation in laboratories. It is a dynamic medicine that has evolved over centuries by carefully observing patterns of illnesses and using natural sources of medicine to restore health. The correct use and choice of herbs can help with many various persistent skin diseases. The advantage of Chinese medicine is the subtle use of herbs to achieve results with minimal side effects.

“Healing is not a science, rather it is the intimate art of wooing nature”

W.H. Auden