This is something that comes up quite often in my practice. A person may come in with acne and seborrheic dermatitis at the same time – or rosacea with perioral dermatitis. There are tons of examples of conditions that frequently appear together.
So the question is — what to do?
My answer — herbal medicine is a great choice whenever there is a complicated picture having to do with the skin. Why? Because of the nature of herbal medicine. Every time we create a customized formula, we’re choosing a variety of ingredients that target exactly what is going on with your skin. Our pharmacy currently has about 25 ingredients (and growing)! If you think about it, western dermatology has very few options to heal the skin: steroids, antibiotics, anti-fungals, etc. Herbal medicine is far more nuanced. Healing may take longer, but it is thorough and complete.
Herbal formulas are targeted, and they change and evolve as your skin changes. We describe the path of healing like peeling the layers off an onion. First redness may go away, then itching. First superficial pimples resolve, then deeper cysts or nodules. There’s a path and progression that addresses all areas of imbalance of the skin.
From the perspective of Chinese medicine, two conditions appearing together may have the exact same underlying pattern. For example, a person with both acne and seborrheic dermatitis will often have a “damp-heat” pattern underlying both conditions. These people may have a lot of redness around both the acne and the seb derm, the skin may be oily or there might be greasy, orangey scales. Frequently they’ll have digestive complaints, too.
But even when the underlying patterns of two separate conditions are not the same, herbs blend together in a formula that, over time, will address each and every symptom that shows up on the skin.