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How an integrative dermatologist treats eczema

Integrative Dermatology is relatively new in Western countries despite existing for thousands of years. This kind of dermatology complements existing medical practices with alternative healing modalities that make use of Traditional Chinese Medicine, herbs, and acupuncture, to name a few. 

An Integrative Dermatologist acknowledges the connection of all the organs, searches for imbalances found internally and externally as well as the behavior of a patient before treating a skin issue. Dr. Peter Lio, one of the more known practitioners, shared his experiences and expertise on how to heal Eczema in one of the episodes of The Less Stressed Life Podcast.  

Here are four ways integrative dermatology treats Eczema: 

  • Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). A combination of herbs, acupressure/acupuncture, movements like Tai chi, and diet. This kind of modality acknowledges and treats both the mind and body to heal ailments. One of the things you would also like to address when treating Eczema is the stress that goes with sleepless nights brought about by itching, restriction of food to determine triggers, and herbs that may lessen the itching of the skin. 

  • Dr. Aron Regime. Dr. Richard Aron created this regimen. It was a mix of steroids, an antiseptic, and an emulsifying agent. This topical treatment isn't sold. You have to mix these ingredients yourself, which can be quite tricky for some people to do. 

  • Vitamins and Probiotics. Integrative dermatology adheres to the connection of the internal and external organs. Immune system deficiencies can be a cause of constant transepidermal water loss, which then leads to "leaky skin" or the symptom you see when the skin barrier is damaged.  

  • Pink Magic Cream (b12 and base). A topical treatment that combines a creamy base with B12 powder. This cream is a combination of western and eastern medicine. This treatment m the inflammation and itching to bring back a semblance of normalcy to the patient. 

A thing to remember with healing skin ailments like Eczema is that each case is different from the next, and treatment can also vary.  The key to managing and healing is to know your triggers and reactions to various elements. 

Scroll down to read the transcript or listen to this episode.

If you want to listen to this episode using your favorite podcast player, follow this link.

Transcript of the Episode: 

  • Snippet (00:00) Intro (00:20)
  • Kick-off of Skin Month on the Less Stressed Life Podcast and Christa's book launch (00:46)
  • Christa introduces Dr. Peter Lio (1:28) 
  • How does one become an Integrative Dermatologist? (2:15)  
  • Acupuncture as a powerful modality and adjunctive treatment (03:33)
  • Why you can't have a one size fits all solution to Eczema (04:49)
  • 3 things to look for if you suspect you have Eczema (5:35)
  • Types of Eczema (5:40)
  • Presentations on where Eczema manifests in the body (6:41)
  • Getting stuck in the loop of  finding what causes skin disturbances (12:00)
  • Diagnosis ex juvantibus : the search for what works for Eczema (13:15)
  • Connection of internal imbalance and your skin (16:06) Staff as a significant driver in atopic dermatitis (16:27)
  • Transepidermal loss and the state of the skin during seasonal changes (18:25)
  • Leaky skin (19:19)
  • Relationship of food and Eczema (20:04)
  • The Dr. Aaron Regimen (26:04)
  • Coconut oil as an alternative to antibacterial inspired by the Aaron Regime (29:19)
  • Dale Pearlman - Pediatric Dermatologist from Stanford who created an Aaron Regime alternative using alcohol (30:29)
  • Endolysins - rips up Staph Aureus but leaves the good bacteria normal (31:00)
  • Micreos - Glad Skin (32:07)
  • Liver support - vitamin D and probiotics (33:06)
  • How Herbs help the body (34:20)  
  • Topical steroid withdrawal (37:22)
  • Working together with TCM with Dr. Olivia Sue Friedman (38:07)
  • Short term use of steroids (38:04)  
  • Two kinds of patterns: "When you're flaring up" vs. "when you're better now" pattern (39:04)  
  • Pink magic cream created by Dr. Lio (40:15)
  • Cortisol, hormones and why other people can't get off steroids that easily (41:09)
  • Pink magic cream works topically (44:18)
  • B12 powder plus base is something Dr. Lio has used for ten years now (45:00)
  • Outro (47: 51)

Links to resources mentioned in the episode:



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