As the largest organ of the body, skin carries the job of reflecting our internal health. When there are rashes, eczema, acnes or hives, Chinese medicine never sees them as a problem of the superficial, and should not be dealt with by only “scratching the surface”.

Chinese medicine considers skin conditions as the result of both external and internal factors.

External factors

  1. Wind

Wind is known as the “chief of the hundred disease”. When the person is lack of defensive Qi, wind can easily sneak into the Cou Li level, between the skin and the muscle, causing skin issues. Skin diseases related to wind commonly do not appear on a specific location and come and go. They can causes severe itchiness, dryness, and peeling of the skin.

  1. Dampness

External damp environment and internal body dampness can both lead to damp-related skin conditions. They are characterized by blisters, fluid, erosion, and itchiness. Skin conditions caused by dampness usually have a long course of progression and hard to heal.

  1. Heat

Heat and Fire are from the same source in Chinese medicine. Heat is the stage before Fire. With Heat, the skin feels itchy and with Fire, the skin feels burning. Typical heat related skin conditions occur on the upper portion of the body, and present with redness, swelling, pustules, and erosion.

  1. Parasite

Chinese medicine consider fungal infection as a form of “Parasite” mainly because in ancient time, without the knowledge of microbiology, the itchiness caused by fungus infection lead people to think there was insects or parasite present. Ringworm, jock itch and athlete’s foot are under this category. Another skin pattern related to parasites is bug bite, causing redness, itchiness and topical inflammation.

  1. Toxicity

Toxic stimulant in the food, medication, insects, paint etc. can trigger allergic or even poisoning reactions. Symptoms are usually inflammation, swelling, oozing, papule, hives, and erosions. In an emergency, urgent care should be given.

Internal factors

  1. Blood stasis

Blood stasis related skin conditions are usually chronic. Macules or patches in the color of dark red and purple, or pigmentation on the skin are all signs of blood stasis.

  1. Blood deficiency and dryness

This is another important mechanism of causing chronic skin issues. Caused by blood and yin deficiency due to lack of nutrients or agitation, skin conditions are characterized with dryness, scale-like flake, roughness and itchiness. Skin erosion or oozing rarely happen. Psoriasis, chronic eczema, and chronic itchiness of skin are commonly seen in this category.

  1. Kidney and Liver Deficiency

Skin conditions caused by Kidney and Liver Deficiency are usually chronic. Dryness, roughness, scaling are typical conditions. Pigmentation, hair loss, warts and blood spots can also be indicated by Kidney and Liver Deficiency.

Here is a chart of using TCM diagnosis to help with choosing proper herb for your skin.

TCM pattern


Herbal Products


Skin condition appear all over the body without a specific location;

Severe itchiness;


·         Ke Yin Capsules 克銀膠囊(Wind-heat)

·         Yin Chiao Chieh Tu Pien 銀翹解毒片(Wind-heat)

·         Feng Zhen Wan 風團痕癢丸(Wind-heat)

·         Jade Shield Pills 玉屏風散 (Wind-cold)

·         Du Huo Ji Sheng Wan 獨活寄生丸(Wind-damp, e.g. purpura)

·         Skin and Blood Toxin Clearing Pills 皮肤病血毒丸 (Internal wind)

·         Tian Ma Gou Teng Wan天麻钩藤丸(Internal wind)

·         Shi Du Qing Capsule 湿毒清胶囊(Internal wind and dampness)

·         Hua She Jie Yang Pills 花蛇解痒丸 (Internal wind and heat)


Redness, swelling

Oozing and erosion

·         Feng Zhen Wan 風團痕癢丸(Wind-heat)

·         Acne Sweeping Pills 珍珠暗瘡丸 (Heat toxic and blood heat)

·         Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin 五味消毒飲(Heat-toxic)

·         Huang Lien Shang Ching Pien 黄连上清片(Heat-toxic)

·         San Huang Tablets 三黄片(Heat-toxic)

·         Niu Huang Chieh Du Pien 牛黄解毒片(Heat-toxic)

·         Huang Lian Su Tablets 黃蓮素片(Heat-toxic)

·         Skin and Blood Toxin Clearing Pills 皮肤病血毒丸 (Blood-heat)

·         Hua She Jie Yang Pills 花蛇解痒丸(Blood heat)

·         Jia Wei Xiao Yao Pills加味逍遥丸 (Blood-heat)


Blisters, oozing, erosion and itchiness; more commonly found at the lower body

·         Long Dan Xie Gan Wan 龙胆泻肝丸(Damp-heat)

·         Yujin Yinxie Tablets 郁金银屑片(Damp-heat)

·         Shenling Jianpiwei Keli 参苓健脾胃颗粒(Spleen Dampness)

·         Huo Xiang Zheng Qi Wan 藿香正氣丸 (Spleen Dampness)

·         Er Chen Wan 二陳丸(Spleen Dampness)

·         Shi Du Qing Capsule 湿毒清胶囊(Dampness and wind)

·         Eczema Adjustment Herbal Tea濕疹湯


Chronic dryness, thickening of skin, roughness, scaly skin. Oozing and infection are less common.

·         Si Wu Herbal Soup Packet四物湯(Blood deficiency dryness)

·         Angelica Compound 當歸片(Blood deficiency dryness)

·         Tankwe Gin 當歸養血膏 (Blood deficiency dryness)

·         Liu Wei Di Huang Wan六味地黃丸(Blood heat dryness)

·         Jia Wei Xiao Yao Pills加味逍遙丸(Blood heat dryness)

Blood stasis

Darkness of skin, purple and blue spots, pigmentation, nodules, bruises and hair loss.

·         Tiao Hung Si Wu Wan桃紅四物丸(Blood and Qi stagnation)

·         Xue Fu Zhu Yu Capsules 血腑逐瘀膠囊 (Blood stasis)

·         Anti-Freckle Beauty Recovery Tea退斑茶-黃雀斑(Blood stasis)

·         Ge Xia Zhu Yu Pill 膈下逐瘀丸 (Blood stasis)

·         Shen Tong Zhu Yu Wan 身痛逐瘀丸 (Blood stasis)

Insect infection

Fungal infection, insect bite, local inflammation.

·         Mopiko Ointment 無比膏

·         Mopiko-S Ointment (Extra Strength) 强力无比膏

·         Buddha Brand (二天堂) Ringworm Ointment 癬葯膏



Chen, H. (2018). External Medicine of Traditional Chinese Medicine Zhong Yi Wai Ke Xue 中医外科学 (第1版). China Press of Traditional Chinese Meidicine.

May 27, 2022 — The Herb Depot

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